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New panini restaurant and tea house coming to downtown Kentville this fall

Hillary Webb, the owner of Hill’s Grills Panini Press & Tea House, says she hopes the business will open this September in Kentville.
Hillary Webb, the owner of Hill’s Grills Panini Press & Tea House, says she hopes the business will open this September in Kentville.

KENTVILLE - This September, Hill’s Grills Panini Press & Tea House will be opening its doors to customers in downtown Kentville.

Owner Hillary Webb, originally from Dartmouth, is looking forward to sharing her passion with others and using that passion for the good of her community.

“Creating recipes and making really good food has always been like therapy for me,” says Webb. “I think sharing food is one of the common interests that brings people together no matter what their background or history.”

Webb, whose background is in environmental engineering sciences and business management, says that although she’s worked in many different fields, her dream was always to own a cafe.

“I didn't believe the opportunity would present itself so soon, but here I am,” she says.

Hill's Grills Panini Press & Tea House (Hill's Grills for short) will be a breakfast and lunch café, open six days a week. It will specialize in paninis, both breakfast sandwiches and lunch, with a few tasty sides, house-made baked goods, tea and coffee.

It will also specialize in the tea market and will be serving up and retailing over 40 teas from four Atlantic Canadian companies, says Webb. The restaurant is focusing on ethically sourced and sustainably raised products and keeping things local as much as possible.

Tracy Churchill went to a tasting event for the café and says the food is going to be amazing.

“Hillary has put so much thought and time into perfecting her recipes and finding out what people like,” says Churchill. “Her food is original, beautiful and delicious.”

Webb is excited about setting up shop in Kentville. She says Kentville has been working hard to re-brand itself as a town and she believes, in a few years, those efforts will be rewarded.

“The business community here is incredibly supportive, and the town government is very welcoming to new business,” says Webb.

Mayor Sandra Snow says the town is equally as excited to have her in town. Webb was one of several respondents to the request for proposals that went out earlier this year for the Calkin building, where Central Café used to be.

“Hillary's vision coincided with the overall feeling the town wants to achieve with the Calkin Building,” says Snow.  “The idea of a café with an emphasis on tea, to go along with a market/makery and art gallery in the same space in an iconic downtown building, was an opportunity to revitalize that corner and to further build the Kentville brand, of a Breath of Fresh Air.”

Webb says the café also believes in giving back and has a couple of initiatives it will be endorsing to be a true part of the Kentville business community.

“When people choose to eat at a cafe, they are having their ‘me’ time, to relax, de-stress, re-group and re-energize,” says Webb. “I want to provide the space and the food to give my customers the extra ‘oomph’ they need to get through their day, or to share in a meal that will serve as a great memory with friends, co-workers, and family.”

Hill’s Grills Panini Press & Tea House aims to open in early September, after the Labour Day long weekend. Stay tuned to their social media channels for updates on the progress of construction and exact opening dates.

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