The Pulse: May 28, 2024

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  • 24°C: A mix of sun and cloud. Wind becoming south 20 km/h gusting to 40 in the afternoon. High 24. UV index 6 or high. (forecast)
  • Green/Red/Blue: The High Level Bridge will be lit green, red, and blue for the 106th Anniversary of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic. (details)
  • 3-5: The Edmonton Oilers lost to the Dallas Stars in Game 3 of the round of the NHL playoffs on May 27. (details)

Jason Wong on the street next to the front window at Little Bon Bon

Little Bon Bon set to sweeten Chinatown with deep family history

By Sharon Yeo

The creators of Yelo'd are opening an ice cream parlour and café called Little Bon Bon in the historic Hull Block, at 9660 106 Avenue NW, in June.

Co-owners Ailynn and Jason Wong hope Little Bon Bon will add to their family's long history of Canadian hospitality, and bring positive energy to Chinatown.

Jason Wong told Taproot the aim is also to become a destination. "We want people to say, 'After the soccer game, or after dinner, let's go for ice cream at Little Bon Bon,'" he said.

Wong also said the opportunity to open a new Chinatown shop felt like fate, dovetailing with his connection to the neighbourhood and heritage.

"We spend a lot of time down here," he said. "We're here within a six-block radius every one or two weeks. Golden Bird was our first date spot in 1996, and we've been going there ever since."

Chinatown is already a significant part of Yelo'd, too, as it provides many fresh ingredients. "Items that we use fresh as much as we can — things like jackfruit, coconut milk, red mungo bean — we can't get them anywhere else in the quantities that we need," Wong said.

Still, making the Chinatown shop happen took work. During a Chinatown street festival in 2023, the couple connected with a Chinatown Business Improvement Area representative who asked if they would consider opening in the neighbourhood. Although the couple had already pondered the possibility, the BIA was able to sweeten the idea with a grant of $40,000 to cover renovations.

That money was part of the $1 million Chinatown Recovery Fund issued by the City of Edmonton in 2022-2023, with four businesses each receiving a $40,000 incentive to open in Chinatown. The recipients were Pho Satay & Grill, Boa and Hare, One01 Bistro, and Little Bon Bon.

After the grant offer, the couple searched for spaces but couldn't find a suitable option. Then a member of the Chinatown Transformation Collaborative told them about a unit available in Hull Block. "We saw it and the dream wheels really started to turn," Wong said. "We got that feeling of what we could do."

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Headlines: May 28, 2024

By Mariam Ibrahim

A title card that reads Taproot Edmonton Calendar:

Happenings: May 28, 2024

By Debbi Serafinchon

Here are some events happening today in the Edmonton area.

And here are some upcoming events to keep in mind:

Visit the beta version of the Taproot Edmonton Calendar for many more events in the Edmonton region.