Obi’s Kitchen

Obi’s Kitchen

Stories of Downtown

Obi’s Kitchen. Owner, Adam Whan

When visiting the businesses of Downtown Belleville you get to take in the beautiful facade of the store front, discover unique local and international products and dine on delicious food. You may catch a glimpse of the owner as they wize by, the life of a small business owner is hectic- they want to engage with the customer though they also must be the boss, the marketing expert, the cleaner, the server, the accountant and that could all be before noon! We wanted to give those business owners an opportunity to slow down for a moment and share their story. Because behind each storefront are people who had a dream and put in a whole lot of work to make it come to life. These are some of the stories of Downtown Belleville. 


Adam Whan is the proud owner of Obi’s Kitchen in the heart of Downtown Belleville at 199 Front Street, Century Place Suite 102. The question on everyone’s mind when stopping in at Obi’s Kitchen for their first time is, where did the name come from? Adam relays that when it came to naming his business, he knew he wanted to do so after his son Owen Benjamin as an homage to his parents who named their own business after Adam and his brother when he was just a young boy. When asking how Adam got into the world of hot sauces and spices he divulged further into his past, “I was a picky eater for as long as I can remember, but it was not until I was older that I realised it’s not that I was picky actually, I learned that I had standards for my food.” That has informed Obi’s Kitchen and why when looking through the many many shelves of sauces, rubs and specialty foods- you can trust that they are quality products.


Starting up in 2020, months before the world came to a halt, Adam expresses that it was a difficult time to start up Obi’s Kitchen but glad he stuck it out. 4 years later, Adam has kept his specialty store open and running smoothly. With a big splash of honesty Adam relays “I don’t ‘Yes, madam and oh no sir’ coming in here is like talking with your best friend just like I talk with mine, I like my customers to feel at ease and know when I recommend a product its my actual opinion and not trying to sell them on anything. There can be a bit of sticker shock when someone comes in for the first time, but after speaking with me you will know what I’m all about, offering quality products that are worth the splurge and if you don’t feel 100% confident in the product just come back and chat friend!”.


Adam offers a laid back but also very knowledgeable experience with customers from having years of experience in home cooking, retail management and helping run his parents store in Ottawa for 8 years. Adam points out that “Everyday is a new day” when asking how he feels about owning a business downtown he relays “It’s no secret that Downtown Belleville has had some negative media attention, but it’s not as bad as all that. Everyday I get to meet new people, interact with kind, friendly customers, all in all I am happy to have my business Downtown, the price was right and I have a pretty great view!” Adam hopes to appeal to audiences outside of his hot sauce fanbase as he also offers Dooher’s Doughnuts on Fridays and Saturdays, a great selection from Frankford’s Finest Meats and other delicious foods like authentic Italian pasta and sauces!


It was wonderful getting a chance to speak with Adam and learn more about one of the unique shops of Downtown Belleville. Before we left we had to ask one last tough question, what is his favourite cafe/ restaurant downtown! “Oh boy, I love Paulo and Dinkles, Bourbon Street Pizza, The Lark, but one that I would want to make sure to highlight is Capers. They are doing some great things over there!”. We thanked Adam and headed on our way, excited to chat with the next Downtown business owner. Stay tuned for that conversation next week!

Click here to learn more about Obi’s Kitchen!

For behind the scenes fun head to the Downtown Belleville Instagram and Facebook!

Stay tuned for more Stories of Downtown coming your way in 2024


Funded by Bay of Quinte Regional Marketing Board