It’s been months (perhaps years?) in the making, with locals wondering what was behind the papered windows on the stroll.
Now, Toptable Group is celebrating the opening of its newest addition to the foodie scene in Whistler.
Sandwiched between Toptable’s evening and fine-dining establishments—Araxi and Bar Oso—Provisions Whistler is a new concept for the longstanding food-and-beverage operator: a casual café and retail takeout store open 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.
Store manager, Hannah Bell, said Executive Chef James Walt’s idea behind Provisions was “to be able to give Toptable to the people of Whistler, and make Toptable and this fine-dining experience more accessible.”
So, what’s in store?
Provisions has a breakfast menu with a variety of egg sandwiches and healthier options like overnight steel cut oats and housemade granola; a lunch menu featuring more delicious sandwiches and their signature rotisserie chicken, sides and soup; a coffee bar; pastry and dessert offerings; and a retail section with refrigerated takeout options and more.
It’s a little bit of everything, and the Toptable team is looking to refine their menu and product offering as they learn.
“We’re feeling it out, see how it feels for staff, feel what the customers of Whistler are looking for,” said Bell.
“We’re starting simple and quite small, and looking to expand from there.”
It doesn’t feel small inside, however, with café seating for 30 and lots of room to stand at the coffee bar, or peruse the retail store items.
Stepping in the door to the coffee bar, Provisions uses a signature Thierry (Toptable’s chocolate shop in Vancouver) blend with beans from 49th Parallel. It’s the same blend used in all Toptable restaurants, allowing customers to sip this signature blend any day of the week with an in-house or to-go cup. Provisions is also offering a drip program, “going off the Whistler climate and knowing people want drip coffee ... for when they’re in a hurry and trying to ski,” Bell said.
“Also on the drinks side, we make our chai syrup in-house,” she added. “The chocolate sauce that we use for our mochas and hot chocolates is also made in-house, and we’re using Ranger Tea—a local company—and they source out matcha as well.”
They’ve also added an item to pay homage to all of the Australians in town, with an iced Milo Bell says has been selling well.
As far as the pastries, Bell explained Provisions has an in-house baking team whipping up the pastry items displayed, as well as all the buns and bread for the breakfast and lunch sandwiches.
“They’re making sourdough, they’re making breakfast buns in-house, and also doing the breads for Il Caminetto,” she said.
Likewise with the desserts, everything is made in-house by the pastry team, including the restaurant-favourite salted caramel budino from Il Caminetto, as well as the Basque cheesecake from Bar Oso.
At 1 p.m., the rotisserie chickens are available to enjoy in-house, but Provisions also expects customers will “come off the mountain, get a whole chicken, a couple of sides, a bottle of wine and take it back to the B&B or hotel room,” Bell said.
Conveniently, Provisions has a small selection of wines for takeaway, making it a one-stop shop.
So far, Bell says the team has served a 50/50 mix of tourists and locals, and they’re getting great feedback from both.
“I can see there’s people who come in on their first day [of a vacation] and then they’re coming back to us three or four days in a row,” she said.
“And then the second-biggest feedback that we’ve been getting is, ‘this is what Whistler’s been missing,’ so I’m like, ‘Ah, you must be a local.’”
Stop by Provisions any day of the week from 8 to 3 p.m. and learn more at provisionswhistler.com.