Pinetree Catering Expands Nomad to New Storefront
Story and photos by Nik Fiorito
When the Thunder Bay International Airports Authority expanded the main terminal in 2018, they switched to promoting more local food service vendors. It was at this time that travellers were introduced to Nomad by Pinetree Catering, located in the secure area of the airport’s upper floor. The establishment was received with great fanfare, and featured local eats and treats not only from Pinetree, but also from an assortment of regional vendors.
Fast forward to late 2020: the travel and airline industries have seen massive downturns, and fewer frequent flyers have been able to get their Nomad fix on their way into or out of town. Up to this point, Pinetree owners Shawna Deagle and Nikos Mantis had managed to tread water, but with 2020 also causing their catering bookings to take a hit, they decided to take a proactive approach and double down on the Nomad experience. The result of this is a second Nomad Bakeshop + Sandwich Bar in the heart of the Bay and Algoma neighbourhood at 307 Bay Street, across from the Finnish Labour Temple building.
If you have never been to the airport location, you are in for a treat. Nomad is part marketplace, part grab-and-go, and part restaurant. If you’re in a rush you can pick up a premade sandwich or salad, or take a bit more time to have a sandwich made with your choice of meat and bread or bun. Pinetree prepares and smokes the meat, bakes the bread, and even pickles and brines most of the sandwich toppings in-house or through their Sapling Bakery, which is known to most people as their Thunder Bay Country Market presence. There are also sweet and savoury crepe options, a bakery section featuring items made fresh seven days a week (yes you can buy bags of their pita chips from the food truck!), and locally produced food, supplies, and beverages from between 25 to 30 vendors.
Thunder Bay’s impressive roster of new and locally owned eateries continues to grow, but with a proven track record and loyal following, Pinetree should quickly find its way to the top of many foodies’ charts with the Bay Street Nomad location. Dine-in seating will be made available once pandemic restrictions loosen, and a new outdoor patio area in the adjacent lot is also planned for the spring.
Check out Nomad online at @nomadtbay on Facebook and Instagram and at their website at pinetreecatering.com.