Laura MacLeod

Former Dartmouth girl, turned nomad, turned Haligonian. Grew up on Brightwood Ave, two blocks from Dartmouth High, the high school I managed to arrive late for everyday. Spent time hopping from job to job until one stuck, ironically while I was working at a restaurant. I decided interior designer was my calling. And it was, for 17 years, 4 countries, 2 kids and several cats. Life took a baseball bat to the status quo in 2013 and landed me back in Nova Scotia, after living abroad for 11 years. A month of deliberation, and I decided to load all I had, and one cat, into a Jeep and drive to BC. I would start culinary school the month after my son graduated from the same school.  Just had to get there, through the rockies in December. Sometimes, when under stress, we don’t always make rational decisions. For the record, I only cried twice, I might have asked Jesus to take the wheel once.

I met the most wonderful people in culinary school. And once they saw that I wasn’t a bored housewife there to coast through, they made me part of the pack. It was a crazy year that reminded me that I wasn’t dead yet, I liked craft beer, I smoked too much when I was with other people who smoked too much and I could work the line without panicking.  I was proudly named valedictorian and I knew that I would be ok. I was through the worst of it with a culinary degree under my belt. I also knew that my personality was not suited to working for someone else, I needed it to be my show. My expensive, stressful, scary, idiotic show. I also had to stop smoking.

I opened The Old Apothecary in May of 2015. It started as a conversation, as most things like this do. But then I started making notes, sketches and menus. At its core, it’s a family business, with an goal of making bread and pastries like the ones we ate moving around the planet. As well as family favourites from home in Nova Scotia.