Adventures in business


Judy and Frank Li are expanding Dewar’s Inn to welcome more corporate and group business.

Dewar’s Inn delivers waterfront haven

Story and Photos courtesy of
Leeds Grenville Economic Development Office 

RIVERVIEW HEIGHTS –  You haven’t experienced Dewar’s Inn on the River until you’ve walked through the courtyard into the picturesque village of cottages connected by elaborate gardens, winding pathways and stunning waterfront decks.
  Owners Judy and Frank Li fell in love with the historic property on County Road 2 when they bought it three years ago. They say viewing the property from the road doesn’t tell the whole story or reveal its interesting history.
  “People say it’s like opening a book, one you can’t judge by its cover – or in this case what you see from the highway. Once you’ve experienced it, you want to come back. It’s so relaxing and peaceful,” says Judy.
  Dewar’s Inn is a favourite destination. The proof is in the sheer number of repeat customers they have, ranging from Leeds Grenville residents to European and American travellers.
  “We have guests who return year after year. Each cottage has a different style so our returning customers can have a new experience each time they are here,” says Frank.
  The Inn earned a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence in 2017, has a score of 9.3/10 and maintains a high customer rating for location, comfort and cleanliness.
  The slogan for the Inn is “For pleasure or Business, Dewar’s Inn delivers.” They cater to corporate and vacationing customers. It is adult-orientated with a no-noise, no-pet policy day and night, which makes for a quiet stay for all guests. Enjoy a free breakfast and WiFi throughout the property. Cottages and rooms have upgraded appliances, fireplaces and A/C. Once the site of a brewery with roots dating back 130 years, it provides great shoreline diving. They also offer special long-stay rates.

  Expansion plans are in the works with a new meeting room opening soon as well as a 1,000-square-foot riverview apartment. “We would like to attract more groups,” says Frank. The existing breakfast room seats 30 with another 40 in the new expanded section for events and family gatherings. They credit previous owner Paul Dewar with helping them make a smooth transition into the business. “He built a very high reputation for this business and we are continuing the tradition.”
  Learn more about Dewar’s Inn on the River and additional imagery by visiting their website, give them a call at 613-925-3228, toll free at 877-433-9277 or send them an email. It is located at 1649 County Road 2 on the St. Lawrence River.

Barry and Sabina Vuolo on the dock of the lakefront vacation spot.


Reeling in fish and having good times traditional at Upper Rideau Resorts

Story and Photos courtesy of
Leeds Grenville Economic Development Office 

WESTPORT  – Five decades ago American Barry Vuolo’s life was forever changed when he first visited the Rideau Lakes.
  The early experiences as a boy turned him into an avid angler and later an experienced fishing guide. Now he has become a partner/owner of Upper Rideau Resorts, a sprawling property overlooking Upper Rideau Lake.   “I’ve fished a lot of places and this is still the best, still my favourite place,” says Barry of the 3.8-acre resort southeast of Westport. “You can’t beat it and people in this area are so nice.”

Sabina with fresh yellow perch she caught earlier in the morning.

Barry and his business partners first purchased the resort in 1998 and set about updating the prime location. Twenty years later, they continue to upgrade the property and its eight fully-appointed cottages and units on the water. All cottages have their own docks along the more than 300 feet of shoreline. There is a boat launch on site, a fish-cleaning station, 10 docks, a beach and playground for children and families.

Pennsylvania residents Ron Ernest and his son R.J., shown here in the fish cleaning station, have been coming to the area for 33 years with their extended family from five U.S. states.

“We have a lot of families that do water sports. We love fishing but this place isn’t just about fishing. It is for the whole family,” says Barry. He and his wife Sabina have clients from both the United States and Canada. Most are repeat customers but they hope to spread the word to area Rideau Canal lovers.
  “We’re open from May to October. It’s such a great place to relax and take in the view, the sunrises and sunsets. In the fall we have a spectacular view of the fall colours,” says Barry.
  Long-time client and friend Ron Ernest, from Pennsylvania, visits at least once a year. “My whole family comes here. Now my grandchildren are coming so that’s my legacy,” says Ron. A skilled fisherman who loves a good fish fry, Ron says he has great respect for the Rideau Lakes and admires how they are not overfished. Staying at Upper Rideau Resorts puts you right on the water and over the years he and his son R.J. have discovered many great fishing spots.
  All fully-accessible, three-bedroom cottages have screened porches, six single beds, new furniture, ceiling fans, full-sized kitchen appliances, including microwaves and coffee makers, dishes, fire pits and charcoal BBQs. There is upgraded cable TV, DVD players and Wi-Fi. All you need to bring is food and bedding.
Learn more about Upper Rideau Resorts by visiting their website and Facebook page or its YouTube channel. Call them at 613-273-7224 or 1-800-216-9227 or send Barry an email

Becky Mills has hundreds of repeat customers, including Goldendoodle Fern.

Four-legged friends and their owners turn Klips Pet Grooming into a destination

Story and Photos courtesy of
Leeds Grenville Economic Development Office 

GANANOQUE – At Klips Pet Grooming & Boutique there is always a lot happening in the lively, open-concept grooming area. A visit means you’ll see some pet pampering first hand.
  Owner Becky Mills decided to bring grooming “out of the back room” when she opened her business 13 years ago. She’s created a niche “pet destination” popular enough to have a year-round, downtown core presence with a large client base.

Groomer Kim Perry with Tasha, a pomeranian, after her trim.

  “Originally it was just supposed to be me running it,” says Becky, who now employs five people and is often looking for qualified groomers interested in working full-time.
  “I’m blessed because I have fabulous clientele,” she says. Pets come from as far west as Belleville, north to Portland and east to Prescott. A full dog grooming appointment can take two hours. During that time the out-of-town pet owners are visiting other town shops, restaurants and attractions, says Becky.
  Local town and area customers are also very loyal. “When they leave here, they leave with their next appointment (already booked). Gananoque has been very good to me,” she says. At one time she thought of setting up shop in a larger centre but is glad she didn’t. Her customer list is between 150 to 200.
  In the summer months her clientele swells. “Tourists are a bonus for me,” says Becky. New customers often come back the following tourist season.
  “I enjoy the people and I enjoy the dogs. You get to know them and they’re like family,” says Beck. Team member Kim Perry agrees. While grooming Tasha, a spunky Pomeranian, Kim knows exactly how her canine client will react to the nail trimming portion of the appointment. “She’ll roll onto her back. They all have unique personalities,” says Kim.
  Customers say their pets feel relaxed. “Becky is amazing. She takes such good care of my puppy,” says pet owner Nicki. Within minutes her dog Roxy is enjoying her appointment.
  Klips is located at 176 King Street East. Give them a call at 613-382-9696, send an email or learn more and follow their Facebook page. 

Becky gives a good brush to Caesar.

The Boutique features a variety of pet foods, toys, beds, apparel and specialty items.

Owner B.J. Ward in the new Westport gym located at 79 Bedford Street.

247 Fitness opens second location 

Story and Photos courtesy of
Leeds Grenville Economic Development Office 

WESTPORT – What started as a friendly gesture to share workout space amongst friends in Athens has now led to another self-serve gym in Westport.
  The company 247 Fitness, a gym where members have all-hours access, has just opened in the new Harvest Creek plaza in March. The opening follows on the heels of the successful 247 location in Athens just two years ago. Membership in Westport has already hit 100 and a third Leeds Grenville location is being considered in Merrickville.
  “It was a perfect storm,” says company founder B.J. Ward, an Athens resident with a 25-year fitness and gym equipment sales and services background. B.J. says his new multi-location business practically founded itself.
  “I was originally looking for some equipment storage space in Athens,” he says. B.J. envisioned a small workout area for himself and perhaps a few friends in the storefront of the building. He suggested it on his Facebook page and was blown away by the immediate response.

B.J. at the Athens gym in the Masonic Lodge building, 22 Main Street East.

  “I asked my wife, what just happened?” recalls B.J. of how more than 70 people responded the first day. The gym now has 200 members. As an Athens native, B.J. was also happy to fill a storefront and improve the village’s Main Street.
  The gyms are fully equipped with strength and cardio machines as well as free weights. There is free WiFi and TV, including the Sports Channel. Members gain access with key fobs 365 days a year. Each location has a bathroom and round-the-clock security cameras and emergency phones.
  You are invited to bring your own trainer or certified trainers are welcome to bring their clients. Memberships can be purchased monthly, seasonally (4 months) or annually.
  Learn more about 247 Fitness by visiting the websiteFacebook page or on Twitter.
You can send t
hem an email.


Members of the “Strong Business, Strong Community” team are from left, Krista George, Ann Weir, Annette Simonian, Yves Grandmaitre, Krista Weidenaar, Simon Chapelle, Cheri Kemp-Long, Malcolm Norwood and Alison Merkley.

First Counties-wide Business Retention + Expansion Program launches

Story and Photos courtesy of
Leeds Grenville Economic Development Office 

  The United Counties of Leeds and Grenville have launched the largest multi-level Business Retention + Expansion program the region has seen.
  The Counties and the communities of Augusta, Merrickville-Wolford and Rideau Lakes have partnered in a project that will see staff and volunteers directly connect with over 300 businesses in the region. The program was launched at Counties Council on March 22nd.
“It is recognized that 76-90% of new jobs come from existing businesses and we need to ensure we sustain these jobs and support businesses as they explore new opportunities that could result in more jobs in the region,” says Ann Weir, Manager of the Counties Economic Development Office which is leading the project.
  The project co-ordinator is Krista George, Business Retention Officer for Leeds Grenville. Krista will be working with the Municipal Partner Coordinators to provide information, organization and guidance.
  Augusta, Merrickville-Wolford and Rideau Lakes will be launching their municipal projects over the next several weeks. Municipal Coordinators are Augusta’s Krista Weidenaar, Alison Merkley from Rideau Lakes and Cheri Kemp-Long from Merrickville-Wolford.
  The BR+E program is a structured Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) action-orientated approach to business and economic development.
  For more information about the program, volunteering or participating as a business please contact Krista George at 613-342-3840, ext. 5368, or send her an email.

Plant the Seeds for Success One-day Summit

KEMPTVILLE – The North Grenville Rural Summit is for those interested in starting or growing an agricultural business.
  The event is an opportunity to learn, share and network with local farmers, business owners and related industry professionals. There will be workshops, a moderated panel discussion and a catered local foods lunch. You’ll walk away with fresh, practical ideas and tools. Topics include: How to Start a Home-based Agri Business, Business Planning, Funding and other Support, Starting a Livestock Operation, Innovations in Small-scale Farming, Increasing Garden Productivity, Multiple Income Streams, and Sharing Resources by Starting a Co-op.

WHEN: Saturday, April 7, 2018, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

WHERE: Parish Hall, Kemptville Campus, Kemptville

COST: $32.74 for entire day; $22.03 for one session.

Register online. For more about the event and trade show opportunities email and visit the Rural Summit website.

Chris and Carol Palko in their home-based meeting/showroom.

Palko Jewellery Design preserves heritage pieces, creates new legacies 

Story and Photos courtesy of
Leeds Grenville Economic Development Office 

BROCKVILLE – Whether it is the creation of a stunning new custom ring or restructuring an heirloom, jewellery design is a passion for Carol and Chris Palko. 

  The couple established Palko Jewellery Design 22 years ago and today they have a 700-plus client list and continue to grow their business.
  “We love our work and creating your personal ‘Moment in Time’ jewellery is what we strive to do,” says Chris, a goldsmith and designer with 40 years of experience.
  “There is a story behind every piece, its heritage and its legacy,” says Carol, a gemologist and consultant. They view jewellery as art, and work hard to give their clients unforgettable pieces.
  Their services include jewellery design, from conception to finished product, fine enameling, appraisals and estate evaluations, including preparation of estate items. A niche is breathing new life into old treasures with a jewellery re-style. For example, transforming a bracelet into earrings using the same valuable gems. It is a growing trend to have estate jewellery repurposed and made wearable. Palko also does repair work and purchases old gold.
  One client writes: “They have turned jewellery visions into precious family treasures” with their creativity.
  “In the end, people are really happy with what we do,” says Chris. He uses a 3D Computer Assisted Design system in his work. A wax model is then created, from which the piece is then cast and the gems added.
  Another client sums it up perfectly: “Carol and Chris offer a winning combination of sincere customer service and incomparable artistry. I highly recommend them to anyone wanting a piece of jewellery they can treasure.”
  Learn more about Palko Jewellery Design by visiting their website and Facebook page. Give them a call at 613-345-4507or send an email.

Cathy Sheppard is this year’s recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Sheppard and Associates founder earns Lifetime Achievement Award

Story and Photos courtesy of
Leeds Grenville Economic Development Office 

KEMPTVILLE – Accounting business trailblazer Cathy Sheppard is this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award recipient.
  The award was presented at the International Women’s Day #PressForProgress – A Celebration of Women Entrepreneurs event on March 8th. Approximately 100 business women from throughout the region attended.
  Cathy is the founder of Sheppard and Associates Ltd., accountants and tax specialists serving the area since 1984. From an early age she was driven to run her own business in what was, at the time, a male dominated sector.
  Today, her firm has more than 3,000 corporate and individual clients. She continues to expand her company each year. Her 13-woman team offers bilingual and comprehensive business bookkeeping, accounting and payroll services as well as income tax services. The office is located in Kemptville’s Creekside Mall, 2868 County Road 43.
  The Lifetime Achievement Award was created to recognize women who have created long-standing businesses and have become business leaders in their Leeds Grenville communities.
  The afternoon trade show, dinner and award ceremony was held at eQuinelle Golf Course and was hosted by the Leeds Grenville Small Business Enterprise Centre. It featured keynote speaker Jodi Wright, RBC Global Asset Management’s National Manager, and MC Diana Leeson Fisher, a local author and communications specialist.


Team now includes Business Retention Officer  

Story and Photos courtesy of
Leeds Grenville Economic Development Office 

Krista George joins Leeds Grenville as its new Business Retention Officer.

The Leeds Grenville Economic Development Office welcomes Krista George to the team to coordinate the Counties Business Retention and Expansion (BR+E) project.
  Krista comes to the Counties with extensive municipal and real estate experience. She has supported many municipal economic development committees and sub-committees. A passionate community builder, Krista has collaborated on a business retention and expansion project and has completed the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) BR+E program certificate.
  “I look forward to working with our generous volunteers in all  Leeds Grenville communities, learning about the business climate and how we can help entrepreneurs,” says Krista.
  “We have excellent leadership, a well-plotted course of action and a strong vision for this region.”
  More information on the program will be unveiled in the weeks ahead. Krista can be contacted at 613-342-3840, ext. 5368 or send her an email.







Sarah Gibbons, husband Jeff Haffie and dad Bill Gibbons, at right.

It’s sweet season at Gibbons Farm

Story and Photos courtesy of
Leeds Grenville Economic Development Office 

FRANKVILLE  – When the Gibbons name goes on a bottle of maple syrup, it’s assured a great tasting product is inside.
  “We very much take pride in producing the best quality maple syrup and maple products,” says Sarah Gibbons, who enjoys at this time of year labelling each jar with care.
  “When our name is on it, it is a maple syrup we know we would buy ourselves and enjoy eating,” says Sarah.
  Gibbons Family Farm Maple Sugar House is famous for its Canada Grade A Amber rich syrup collected from its 4,500 taps in Elizabethtown-Kitley Township. Maple sugar candy, maple lollipops and sugar pops, maple and cinnamon butter are all made on site and for sale in the farm’s shop. New this year is maple popcorn.
  “We’re known for being open year round and as a working sugar house where you can walk in the door and see us in action,” says Sarah.

Well, they’re certainly in action right now. The sap is running and the family is filling their store shelves with this year’s harvest and gearing up for their “Maple Days” – four special Saturdayevents at the farm: March 24th, March 31st, April 7th and April 14th. Pancake breakfasts are held each of these Saturdays at the nearby Anglican Parish of Kitley Church Hall in Frankville.
  “We stick to the tradition of using a wood-fired evaporator to keep a steady consistent heat under the pans,” says Sarah. You can sample their product when you visit. The maple syrup industry in Ontario sets the minimum Degrees Brix (sugar content) at 66.5 but at Gibbons they do 67 Brix to add a little more sweetness.
  The family ships its product worldwide, with customers as far away as Australia and Japan. A large order of Gibbons 50ml Maple Leaf bottles is about to be shipped as wedding favours in Taiwan. Gibbons is also well connected locally. They sell to many local restaurants, including Rapid Valley Restaurantnear Lansdowne and Main Street Restaurant and Patio in Merrickville. They are strong supporters of Local Foods.

  A special highlight at the farm this year will be the AOG Art Gallery Open House on April 14th. There is exciting artwork on display both outside and in the gallery. The guest artist will be Frankville metal sculptor Chris Banfalvi, who will perform a live forge demonstration. Learn more on the AOG Gallery website.
  Learn more about Gibbons maple syrup, the art gallery, upcoming Maple Days events and more by visiting their website. You can email them or give them a call at 613-275-2893. The farm is located at 41 Leacock Road, just a few kilometres east of Frankville.


James Budynski at the store’s main counter.

Elgin Street Convenience & Gas Bar is an award-winning stop in Athens

Story and Photos courtesy of
Leeds Grenville Economic Development Office 

ATHENS  – Something happens to people stopping at Elgin Street Convenience & Gas – they become repeat customers.
  Young entrepreneurs James and Kelsey Budynski have transformed an aging gas station property in this village into a top-notch, one-stop location with many services. They’ve grown an impressively large clientele in a short period of time and call many coming through the door by their first names.

James Budynski at the bottled water station.

“A lot of our customers are loyal and come every day,” says James. “We’re a convenience store with a big focus on friendly, old-fashioned service so people feel comfortable.”
  The couple purchased the business in 2016 and immediately started making improvements and adding services. It is one of the reasons they were recipients of the 2017 Ben TeKamp Award for showing a remarkable capacity to revitalize a business to meet the changing needs of a community.
  They operate a bottle return depot, the only authorized Empty Bottle Dealer for the Beer Store between Brockville and Crosby. During a peak week last summer, the couple took in more than 50,000 cans.
  A fan favourite is the large coffee bar with pastry specials and customers who start arriving at 5:30 a.m. You can buy everything from snack foods and dairy products to wood pellets and engine oil. You can even have a key cut. More recently, a licensed Lotto Centre was added and more additions and renovations are planned.
“We’re also a full-service gas station and there’s not many of those left,” says James. The gas provider is W.O. Stinson and Sons Ltd. with unleaded and diesel fuel.
  It is still early days in the business but James says they doubled their January sales over last year. On one Saturday, they had 60 snowmobilers. People are coming back and appreciate the service that is available. James and Kelsey are also community- minded and have a large TV where community groups can publicize their events or area businesses can advertise.

The store is located at 7 Elgin Street North (County Road 5).

Elgin Street Convenience and Gas Bar hours are Monday to Friday 5:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturdays 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.Learn more on their website and Facebook page (5-star rating), send them an email or call 613-924-9868.


Left to right: Gerry Marshall (WOWC Chair),  Keith Currie (OFA President), Robin Jones (EOWC Chair), and Rocco Rossi (OCC President and CEO).

EOWC supports OFA at Queen’s Park joint event on economic development priorities

Guelph, ON – Four provincial organizations shared their voices at Queen’s Park today to strengthen the message to all political candidates that investments in rural communities offer benefits to all Ontarians. The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA), together with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus and Western Ontario Wardens’ Caucus made a joint announcement on the value of spreading future economic development dollars across the province.
  OFA’s election campaign – Producing Prosperity in Ontario – is encouraging greater investment in Ontario’s agri-food sector and rural communities to deliver economic growth and prosperity for all Ontarians.
  “Ontario’s agri-food sector is an economic powerhouse for the province, and we are encouraging the government to make greater investments in agri-food and rural communities as a sustainable and effective way to deliver growth and prosperity for all Ontarians,” says OFA President Keith Currie. “We have a strong collective voice on this position, announcing our partnership here today with organizations that represent the interests of Ontario businesses and communities in rural and urban areas across the province as part of our Producing Prosperity in Ontario election campaign.”
  Rocco Rossi, President and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce reiterated that “only bold action and leadership can strengthen Ontario’s position in the global economy. Ontario must leverage its existing strengths for a long-term vision for prosperity for the province,” says Rossi.
  Eastern and Western Wardens’ Caucuses represent more than 400 communities across the province that need greater access to infrastructure investments for broadband, affordable energy, transportation, as well as education and medical facilities. “The role of the province is to help our rural communities invest in improving social and economic conditions to ensure our communities have the services and support they need to grow,” says Robin Jones, chair of the Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus.
  “We fully support OFA’s initiative to focus on new investments in rural communities that will assist existing businesses, attract new companies, and boost opportunities for residents and regional economic development,” says Gerry Marshall, chair of the Western Ontario Wardens’ Caucus.
  The partnership announced today in support of OFA’s Producing Prosperity in Ontario campaign demonstrates the collective support that exists across the province to secure future investments for Ontario that benefit urban and rural areas. “We believe that spreading the investment dollars around the province is the solution to ongoing challenges that face rural and urban communities, and hold the promise of improving the quality of life for all Ontarians,” says Currie.
  The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) is the largest general farm organization in Ontario, representing 37,000 farm families across the province. As a dynamic farmer-led organization based in Guelph, the OFA works to represent and champion the interests of Ontario farmers through government relations, farm policy recommendations, research, lobby efforts, community representation, media relations and more. OFA is the leading advocate for Ontario’s farmers and is Ontario’s voice of the farmer.

Hammering in the last spike of the company’s completed first phase are, from left, Edwardsburgh Cardinal Mayor Pat Sayeau, Leeds-Grenville MPP Steve Clark, Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes MP Gord Brown and CREWS owner Clayton Jones.

CREWS launches new rail yard at Johnstown

Story and Photos courtesy of
Leeds Grenville Economic Development Office 

JOHNSTOWN – Interest is pouring in for the Canadian Rail Equipment Works & Services Inc. (CREWS) new railyard.
  The 96-acre site at 3518 County Road 2 was officially opened on February 2nd with the final spike driven in to complete phase one.
  “We’re very excited for this growth in eastern Ontario,” said CREWS owner Clayton Jones. “All the right elements are here with the Highway 401-416 interchange, the nearby international bridge and the Port of Johnstown.”

Clayton Jones accepts a symbolic “second spike” from Mayor Sayeau. The company has a second expansion plan in the works.

  “We’re happy with what is happening here,” said Daniel Lajoie, CN Rail Manager of Accounts on hand for the opening and a reception that followed at the nearby Bridgeview Restaurant.
  CREWS provides transloading from rail car to truck, or truck to rail car. It offers rail car storage, in-plant switching for large industry and provides certified operating crews for locomotives and track mobiles. This new location adds to existing operations in Maitland and Hamilton.
  In September 2015, Leeds Grenville Economic Development Manager Ann Weir began working with Mr. Jones to connect him with potential properties and various agencies to support his business expansion plans.

A section of the rail yard.

  “The need for a trans-loading facility was identified in the Eastern Ontario Transportation Needs Analysis completed on behalf of the Eastern Ontario CFDC Network Inc. in 2014,” said Ms. Weir.
  Call CREWS at 613-258-6919 or send them an email.






Air Liquide President and CEO Bertrand Masselot, centre, cuts the inaugural ribbon in front of the new facility with, from left, MPP Steve Clark, Edwardsburgh Cardinal Mayor Pat Sayeau, MP Gord Brown and Ross Fuller, Air Liquide Vice-President,  Process Industries.


Air Liquide opens $30-million facility

Story and Photos courtesy of
Leeds Grenville Economic Development Office 

JOHNSTOWN  – Air Liquide Canada has officially opened its one-of-a-kind new carbon dioxide recovery plant adjacent to GreenField Global.   
The world leader in gases, technologies and services hosted more than 60 people for an inaugural ceremony on Friday, February 9th, followed by plant tours. The unique facility is the only one in the country with a Health Canada drug establishment licence authorizing the fabrication, testing, packaging and labeling of medical grade CO
  “With its state-of-the-art design and latest technology, the 170,000-square-foot facility enables us to capture the raw CO2waste feed from GreenField, a leading Canadian ethanol supplier, and transform it (thus preserving the environment) into liquified CO2 gas,” said company President Bertrand Masselot.

Mr. Masselot, above, and Mr. Fuller saluted local Air Liquide employees for their help in getting the high-efficiency facility up and running.

The strategically-placed plant enhances the company’s bulk distribution fleet in Ontario and Quebec. It was constructed over the past two years and is now in full production with more than 300 tons per day capacity. Air Liquide Canada has its headquarters in Montreal.
  Ross Fuller, Vice-President of Process Industries, called the Johnstown Recovery facility “a resounding success.” He and Mr. Masselot commended the site’s 30 employees and drivers, many of whom were at the opening ceremonies.
  “After just four months of tests, audits and certifications, the results are astonishing,” said Mr. Fuller. “Major industrial customers in Quebec and Ontario benefit from a nearby high quality gas supply source and Air Liquide makes a significant contribution to the local economy.”
  GreenField Global Plant Manager Brendan Bland said Air Liquide’s presence fits squarely with GreenField’s mission statement. “We look forward to a long partnership.”
  Edwardsburgh Cardinal Mayor Pat Sayeau said negotiations to bring the company to GreenField Global’s Johnstown site began back in 2014. “It’s a great synergy of operations,” he said.
  Learn more about Air Liquide Canada on their website and follow them on Twitter @airliquideCAN.



Northern Cables officials Shelley Bacon, front left, and Todd Stafford, back left, met Thursday with Leeds-Grenville MPP Steve Clark and Ontario PC Labour Critic MPP John Yakabuski. The pair highlighted the impact of recent labour policy changes and the province’s high electricity rates on their operations.
Westport grocer Neil Kudrinko, left, details the cost of recent labour policy changes by the Wynne government on his business during a tour Thursday with Leeds-Grenville MPP Steve Clark, Ontario PC Labour Critic MPP John Yakabuski and Westport Mayor Robin Jones.

Gov’t policies hurting local small businesses, manufacturers

(BROCKVILLE) – The Wynne government’s policies continue to make it harder for local small businesses and manufacturers to have the success they need to create new jobs.
  That’s the message Leeds-Grenville MPP Steve Clark and Ontario PC Labour Critic MPP John Yakabuski (Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke) heard last week at the Northern Cables plant in Brockville and a meeting in Westport with Mayor Robin Jones, local grocer Neil Kudrinko and Seamus Cowan of The Cove.
  “We heard loud and clear from small businesses and industries here in Leeds-Grenville that they are suffering as a result of soaring hydro rates, growing red tape and rushed changes to labour policies,” said Clark.
  “These are the people who create jobs and bring investment to our communities. It’s time they had a government that listened to their concerns, rather than telling them to go out of business if they don’t like what’s happening.”
  “What job creators told us today echoed their warnings during Bill 148 committee hearings across Ontario,” said Yakabuski. “But unfortunately this government wasn’t listening then and they aren’t interested in what the people whose businesses are the backbone of our economy are saying today.”
  Clark’s tour of Leeds-Grenville with MPP Yakabuski came one day after the Ontario Chamber of Commerce released its annual Ontario Economic report, which revealed only 23 per cent of businesses are confident in Ontario’s economy. The confidence index is less than half of what it was in 2012.
  “The Chamber’s report shows the terrible price Ontarians are paying due to the mismanagement, waste and scandal we’ve seen under the Liberals,” said Clark, who noted the No. 1 factor – cited by a full 75 per cent of respondents – in why businesses lack confidence in Ontario is the economic policies of the Wynne government.


Owners Kevin Dalrymple, left, and Jason Baker welcomed more than 150 people to the open house.  

Manufacturing open house reveals diverse product line, services


Story and Photos courtesy of
Leeds Grenville Economic Development Office 

BROCKVILLE  – A company known worldwide for its reign over the identification tag industry raised its own profile recently by inviting the public to tour its facility.
Ketchum Manufacturing Inc. attracted  more than 150 people to its open house January 24th showcasing their product lines and services while also celebrating being under new ownership. Longtime employees Kevin Dalrymple and Jason Baker purchased Ketchum last year to preserve its 105-year history of creating ID tags. Ketchum employs 57 people.

Mandi Esquivel operates the punch press making ‘Do Not Disturb’ hotel door tags.

“We manufacture everything from ocean net tags to the key chains on golf carts,” says Kevin of the company’s diverse product lines.
Ketchum makes an array of general identification products as well as specialized tags for the forestry, retail, grocery merchandising, laboratory, hospitality, farming and livestock industries. Many of their products are used for food sales, product traceability and marketing.They also produce inks and pastes, as well as related instruments and clothing, used in the tattoo identification process.
Another service Ketchum provides is contracting and fulfillment of orders with hand assembly services. They do specialized labour intensive projects and have “store and ship” warehousing options when their customers need it. Under their leadership, Kevin and Jason are also working to expand into other products and recently purchased a flat-bed printer.
“All of this makes us more valuable than a standard printer,” says Jason. “We have all of this under one roof for a one-stop shop.”
Learn more about Ketchum by visiting its website. Contact them via email or call at 613-342-8455.

Ketchum makes tags for a diverse number of sectors.








John Calgey looks over a series of numbered metal tags.








Kevin with the company’s newest investment – a flatbed printer.

















Economic Development team is growing

Story and Photo courtesy of
Leeds Grenville Economic Development Office 

Simon Chapelle joined the Leeds Grenville  Economic Development Team this month.

Simon Chapelle has joined the Leeds Grenville Economic Development team as Business Development Officer.
  Simon comes to the United Counties with a diverse background as an experienced entrepreneur and consultant in finance, sales, marketing, research, data analysis, as well as grant and proposal writing.
  “I’m looking forward to working with Leeds Grenville businesses, municipal leaders, committees and communities,” said Simon.
  Simon served in Hastings County as chair of the board for Enterprise Facilitation – Small Business and Retention and as a member of the Economic Development Advisory Board. As a consultant, Simon provided contract and project management services and secured grant monies for business expansion and retention. He holds a Masters in Public Administration (MPA) degree from Queen’s University and has experience in working with all levels of government. 






From left: Jen Hart, Aaron and Samantha Klinck of Funny Duck Farms near Frankville receive the Regional Agri-Food Innovation Award from Glengarry-Prescott-Russell MPP Grant Crack this past December.

Area businesses cheered for Agri-Innovation

Story and Photos courtesy of
Leeds Grenville Economic Development Office 

The Farmersville Community Abattoir (FCA), located on the outskirts of Athens, and this edition’s featured business, Funny Duck Farms, are new recipients of the 2017 Premier’s Regional Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence.
  The awards are presented each year to innovative agri-food businesses boosting the local economy and creating jobs.
  The Farmersville Community Abattoir, located at 63 Addison Road, opened in late 2016 after Leeds Grenville livestock producers saw the need and rallied the community to secure funding. FCA is a not-for-profit corporation with a board of directors. The abattoir is being recognized for job creation, contributing to the long-term viability of agriculture in eastern Ontario and for helping provide more access to more local food.
  FCA was profiled in the January 17, 2017 edition of Leeds Grenville eNews.

Barbara Schaefer, FCA’s board chair, with MPP Grant Crack.




Samantha Klinck, co-owner of Funny Duck Farms, shares a moment with her Maremma Livestock Guardian pups and adults.

Funny Duck Farms is an award winner using new tech for year-round greens

Story and Photos courtesy of
Leeds Grenville Economic Development Office 

  ROCKSPRINGS – It’s January, the snow is falling and yet Funny Duck Farms is growing fresh, green fodder for its animals.
  Samantha Klinck, husband Aaron and her sister Jen Hart, made the decision less than a year ago to invest in hydroponic fodder units to provide better nutrition year-round for their mixed farm of chickens, ducks, sheep, pigs and cows. The innovation has earned the local farmers a 2017 Regional Agri-Innovation Award from the Province of Ontario (see related story below).
  “The big thing for me is this is good nutrition for my animals year round,” says Samantha, adding they are happy they invested in self-contained, insulated FodderWorks (“Animal Nutrition is no longer cut and dried”) units at their two Morrison Road (Kitley Line 8) certified organic farms in Elizabethtown-Kitley. See the Fodder at Funny Duck Farms video.

Samantha shows trays of seed in an insulated hydroponic unit, which runs even in cold, snowy conditions.

  “It’s a good return on investment,” she says. The farms are using less water and electricity. “We’ve seen no jump in our power bill whatsoever because we’re using our water pump less,” says Samantha. Some of the run-off water from the fodder units is directed in to their duck ponds.
  “It’s like springtime every day,” says Jen. Various types of seed like wheat, barley and oats, are fed into the units on trays. Each unit produces in 4-6 days the same amount of feed as 50 acres of hayfield.
  “Our feed costs have dropped by 50 per cent. It’s feed at $900 a ton versus seed, which is $200 to $400 a ton,” Samantha says.
  They learned of the units from a friend from Saskatchewan, where the Klincks lived before moving to Ontario. It seemed like a good idea to try here, particularly since there have been two droughts in recent years.

Jen removes a tray of fodder that is ready for their animals.

The units come from California. There have been a few glitches dealing with Canada’s cold but overall they’ve been able to refine their operations to suit their needs.
  Funny Duck Farms has between 30-35 Whole Farm CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) clients, providing them with baskets of items ranging from duck and chicken eggs, honey, beeswax salves, maple syrup, herbs, vegetables (more than 40 types over the year), cheese and pasture-raised poultry and meats. It is a sustainable, soybean-free, mixed organic farm.
  “Unlike most traditional CSAs that are predominantly baskets of veggies, we offer a wider range of foods and also offer our members a selection of other organic products, such as flours, beans, dried fruits, rice and sea salt,” says Samantha.
  Learn more about Funny Duck Farms by visiting their Website and Facebook page, where they have a five-star rating, or Instagram. You can also send them an email.



Heifers enjoy a meal. Jen says animals almost stampede to eat the fodder.







Brigadoon owner Cheryl Mackie and her granddaughter Stephanie are passionate about the restaurant.


Special memories made at Brigadoon, an unforgettable Victorian eatery 

Story and Photos courtesy of
Leeds Grenville Economic Development Office 

  OXFORD MILLS – The Brigadoon Restaurant is a delight to the senses with its amazing casual lunch and fine dining menus and unique meeting rooms.
  First, you take in the striking facade at 9 Bridge Street, located just a few minutes from Highway 416 via County Road 44. The 1853 heritage building offers up three floors with a restaurant on the main level and several dining, meeting and party rooms upstairs. The decor is Victorian, right down to the knick knacks and teapots. Going there is a tradition to those who have already discovered it since its opening 28 years ago.
  “We really focus on service and attention to detail,” says Stephanie Mackie, who grew up in the restaurant and now manages it along with her grandmother, Brigadoon founder and owner Cheryl Mackie. Together they strive to make every visit special with fresh and flavourful meals. 

Stephanie in one of the private dining/meeting rooms.

  Cheryl opened the Brigadoon on New Year’s Eve in 1989. To her surprise, 35 people came to dinner that first night even though she didn’t advertise. A short time later, the restaurant was featured on Ottawa’s Regional Contact show and business picked up immediately. It has since become a landmark eatery.
  “It’s about doing something a little different,” says Cheryl, noting all dishes, including their big dessert menu, are made with care on site. Her British upbringing is reflected in the menu. Friday nights feature roast beef and Yorkshire pudding. 

Sous chef Julie LaFreniere in the main dining area.

  “It truly is a destination restaurant with its ambiance and good food,” says Denise McCanna. She and her husband Colin have been loyal customers for 25 years. They live in Manotick but sometimes drive to the Brigadoon up to three times a week. “It’s well worth the trip,” she says.Learn more about the Brigadoon by visiting its Facebook page and website. You can also follow them on Instagram. Contact them via email or call to make a reservation at 613-258-4433.


The signature veranda runs the full length of the restaurant



The main restaurant is an experience in itself with lamps at every table, shelves filled with artifacts and knick knacks and Victorian-era photographs.


One of the many desserts made with care on site by Chef Mark Mahoney.




Dr. Shawn Yakimovich at his clinic in Kemptville.


Naturopathic doctor has new location and longer hours to meet patient need

Story and Photos courtesy of
Leeds Grenville Economic Development Office 

  KEMPTVILLE  – Well-known naturopath Dr. Shawn Yakimovich is extending his office hours to better serve and provide shorter wait times to existing and new patients.
  Owner of the Kemptville Naturopathic Clinic and licensed under the College of Naturopaths of Ontario, Shawn moved his office to a newly renovated larger space at 215 Van Buren Street earlier this year with the goal of expanding his availability to provide alternative and holistic services.
He has been serving the community for more than 7 years with a focus on finding the root of a patient’s health issues then prescribing effective, natural remedies and treatments to improve quality of life.

At a community event raising awareness of how plant medicine works.

“What we do is harness traditional methods of healing. We’re nourishing vitality and stimulating the body’s ability to heal itself,” says Shawn. More and more people are looking at natural plant medicines for conditions such as anxiety, stress, pain management and general medical treatment. There is also a growing concern over antibiotic resistance so people are looking at more natural and preventative treatments.
“Plant medicines can treat viruses and bacteria. For example, elderberry syrup is a proven treatment for influenza,” he says.
Shawn’s services include hydrotherapy, alternating applications of hot and cold water to stimulate healing, acupuncture, herbal and homeopathic medicine. Shawn provides guidance for good nutrition and healthy living. Clients undergo a two-hour assessment to determine their therapeutic and/or medicinal needs.
“Naturopathic therapies such as hydrotherapy and acupuncture enhance the immune system and circulation. Homeopathic medicines stimulate vitality and herbal medicines heal weakened organs and balance hormones,” says Shawn.
  Office hours are Tuesday to Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Fridaymornings and weekends for emergency situations. Online booking and direct insurance billing will be introduced in the new year and Shawn has plans to post informative videos on his website.
  Learn more about Shawn, his services and clinic on the Kemptville Naturopathic Clinic website, visit his Facebookpage where you’ll find his regular “Supplement Spotlight!” posts or call for an appointment at 613-897-1000.


1000 Islands CDC announces new director

Bob Runciman

  Mr. Ron Merkley, Chairman of the 1000 Islands Community Development Corporation, is pleased to announce that Mr. Robert (Bob) Runciman has officially joined the federally supported, non-profit corporation’s Board of Directors. Mr. Runciman is a veteran politician and former leader of the official opposition in the Ontario Legislature. First elected to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario in 1981, he held the seat continuously for the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario for the next 29 years.
  On January 29, 2010 he was appointed to a federal legislative position in the Senate of Canada where he chaired the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee for the final five and a half years of his tenure. Mr. Runciman retired from the Senate of Canada on August 10, 2017.
  Mr. Runciman offered his congratulations to the CDC for the continued success of the corporation. “I have long admired the work done by the 1000 Islands CDC and I’m very much looking forward to being part of the organization.” He added that he is happy to volunteer his time “in support of a program that continues to make a positive difference throughout the 1000 Islands region and beyond.”
  Mr. Merkley expressed his appreciation to Mr. Runciman citing that “Bob continues to be an influential force not only across the immediate area but also across Ontario and all of Canada. We are honoured that he has accepted our invitation to join the 1000 Islands CDC board of directors and we will most certainly enjoy serving with him in the years ahead.”


Part of the team at River West Co. are from left, Elisha Castle, manager Stefanie Chauvin and Staci Sands, shown in the 6,000-square-foot “shops within a shop.”




River West Co. of 1000 Islands Village is a shopping destination

Story and Photos courtesy of
Leeds Grenville Economic Development Office 

MAITLAND – The newly-opened River West Co. is a multiple-boutique experience in the redeveloped 1000 Islands Village.
  Owner Paul Blakney and store manager Stefanie Chauvin have wanted to open a store of this kind for some time where you can cruise through different areas. When the opportunity came up at the Village, a former private college on scenic County Road 2 overlooking the St. Lawrence River, they jumped at the chance. 1000 Islands Village is a hub for shopping, dining and special events.

Stefanie and owner Paul Blakney with their signature sign.

“It’s an experience,” says Paul of the dynamic River West Co. setting. “It’s the whole package, the property is majestic, you can shop and there is the Café Selah. You can sit inside or outside and look at the river.”
  Stefanie’s plan is for the store to be an ever-evolving space where there is always something new to discover. They have plans to introduce artisans and expand the “Made in Canada” selection in Phase 2 in 2018.
  “We call it a ‘Lifestyle Boutique for Mind, Body and Home’. We have a good mix with everything from clothing to home decor. The idea is to bring a variety of items to the area.”
  Both Paul and Stefanie developed the idea when they introduced the “shop within a shop” gift and clothing section at the Brockville Home Hardware Building Centre, where Paul is the owner and Stefanie the manager. They soon realized the gift shop’s popularity. It is a major draw at the Stewart Boulevard store.

Staci with one of the clothing lines at River West Co.

  “River West Co. is our way of expanding on that,” says Paul. So far their strategy is working well. Since opening in September, they’ve had a steady stream of customers. Stefanie realizes this is a good time of year for the business to get off to a healthy start. She also has plans to keep the momentum going throughout what are normally quieter months of the year for retail.
Learn more about the River West Co. and their December hours on their Facebook page or call 613-865-8336. The address is 1120 County Road 2 East.


The store entrance decorated for the holidays.






North Grenville receives EODP funding

Story and Photo courtesy of
Leeds Grenville Economic Development Office 

North Grenville CAO Brian Carré provided an update on the plans for Kemptville Campus at the summit.

Kemptville Campus will receive $84,900 for redevelopment through the Eastern Ontario Development Program’s (EODP) Community Innovation projects stream. The announcement was made by Grenville Community Futures Development Corporation’s Executive Director Heather Lawless at the summit.
  “This investment in the Municipality of North Grenville will assist in repurposing a significant community asset, increasing community capacity for business development and positioning the community for economic diversification activities,” said GCFDC Chair Chris McCorkell.
  The funding is pending completion on the sale of the former Kemptville College Campus to the Municipality of North Grenville from the Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario, a provincial agency of the Ontario government. Once the sale is complete, the money will help to transform Kemptville Campus into a multi-tenant, education and community hub focusing on three pillars: education and training, health and wellness, and economic development.
Learn more about the Kemptville Campus Renewal.





Recipients of this year’s Bill Thake Memorial Award are from left Heather Howard, Gerald Tallman and Wendy Banks.

Economic Development Summit draws sell-out crowd, three award winners

Story and Photos courtesy of
Leeds Grenville Economic Development Office

KEMPTVILLE – For the first time in its history, three area business leaders are honoured recipients of the Bill Thake Memorial Economic Development Leadership Award.
  Wendy Banks, of Wendy’s Country Market, Heather Howard, of FoxRun By-The-River Retirement Residence, and Gerald Tallman, of Tallman Group, each received the Warden’s Award for outstanding leadership in economic development.
  “This is definitely a moment to remember – three impressive community leaders being recognized for making this region a better place to work and live,” said Leeds Grenville Warden Robin Jones.
  Ms. Jones presented the awards with the help of Bill’s widow, Marlene, and first-ever Thake Award recipient Glenn Allen at the 9th annual Leeds Grenville Economic Development Summit on Friday at the North Grenville Municipal Centre.
  The event hosted by the Economic Development Office was sold out with more than 200 business leaders, not-for-profit organizations and government representatives from throughout the area and neighbouring counties in attendance. The theme was ‘Collaborating in a Global Marketplace’.

Keynote speaker Pierre Cléroux and Leeds Grenville Warden Robin Jones.

The keynote speaker was Pierre Cléroux, Vice President and Chief Economist with the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC). Mr. Cléroux said the arrival of the fourth industrial revolution, known as Industry 4.0, allows companies to improve efficiencies and respond quickly to their customers.
  Carey Bidtnes of the Kingston Economic Development Corporation, outlined a major $225-million investment by Feihe International to produce infant formula and the impact it will have on related sectors throughout Eastern Ontario, including Leeds Grenville.
  Robert Nolan, Brockville’s Director of Economic Development, and Ellen Barton, a Human Resource Leader with Procter and Gamble discussed how the company is supporting employees ahead of the plant’s closure in 2020. Presenter David Leonard, of Cardinal Health in Gananoque, said the company is looking to hire another 50 people to keep up with production demand for its defibrillation and ECG electrodes, obstetrics and neonatal devices.

Tom Russell and Heather Lawless of the 1000 Islands and Grenville CFDCs, partners in the event.
P&G HR Resource Leader Ellen Barton with Rob Nolan of the City of Brockville.

Presentations and video coverage of some of the day’s events will be available on our website and YouTube channel

in the coming weeks. See the Counties Media Releases page for more coverage on the event and its speakers.







Seed plant closure puts
Ferguson Forest Centre at risk

  (QUEEN’S PARK) – Leeds-Grenville MPP Steve Clark says plans by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) to close the Ontario Tree Seed Plant in Angus puts the future of the Ferguson Forest Centre in North Grenville along with 13 full-time jobs and the more than $1 million it spends in the local economy every year in jeopardy.
The issue was raised this week during Question Period for the second time by Clark’s colleague and Ontario PC House Leader Simcoe-Grey MPP Jim Wilson, whose riding is home to the seed plant.
“I was pleased MPP Wilson highlighted the fact this short-sighted decision by MNRF will have devastating repercussions across the province, including here in Leeds-Grenville,” said Clark. “That’s why I support MPP Wilson’s call for the ministry to delay closing the plant next September by up to five years to allow for a proper transition.”
Ferguson Forest Centre CEO Ed Patchell wrote to Clark this month to alert him of the threat MNRF’s plans pose to the centre, which began operating in 1946.
In his letter, Patchell stated: If the closure of the Angus Seed Plant goes forward as planned, it will be hard, if not impossible for the Ferguson Forest Centre to continue to provide appropriately seed sourced forest seedlings for eastern Ontario.
  Assuming that the Forest Centre survives the impacts of the seed plant’s closure (currently we employ the equivalent of 13 full time staff and spend over $1 million in the local economy annually), the future production from the Centre will not likely be the most appropriate seedlings for eastern Ontario, impacting reforestation programs and Conservation Authority programs as well as the 50 million provincial tree planting program throughout eastern and central Ontario.
  Clark expressed frustration over the government’s failure to acknowledge the serious concerns being raised and the alternatives proposed by the Ontario Tree Seed Coalition to keep the Seed Plant operational.
“Industry experts weren’t consulted on this and are warning the minister her plan is ‘unreasonable’ and ‘irresponsible.’ It’s time for her to put the closure on hold and work with the industry, including the Ferguson Forest Centre, on alternatives” said Clark. “The cost of closing the seed plant won’t only be measured in lost jobs and economic activity, but the potential loss of important environmental initiatives that keep our forests healthy and sustainable.”


Augusta Farms owners Stuart and April Pratt, at left and second from right, are the recipients of this year’s Augusta Township Trail Blazer Award. They are shown with Deputy Mayor Bill Buckler, second from left, and Leeds-Grenville MPP Steve Clark, at right.

Bud the Spud and Augusta Farms win township’s top business awards 

Story and Photo courtesy of
Leeds Grenville Economic Development Office
MAYNARD – Popular eatery Bud the Spud Chip Wagon of Maitland is the 2017 Augusta Township Business of the Year.
  Owner Bernie La Chance received the honour at the Augusta Township Economic Development and Tourism Committee Business of the Year Breakfast at the Grenville Snowmobile Club. Helping present the certificates was Deputy Mayor Bill Buckler, who heads the committee.

Bernie La Chance, right, is owner of the Bud the Spud Chip Wagon on County Road 2 in Maitland.


  Bud the Spud, open from April to late October, prides itself on serving a variety of favourites with quick and friendly service. This season Bud the Spud’s outdoor seating area was expanded and upgraded to improve customer comfort.
  Recipient of the second annual Trail Blazer Award was Augusta Farms, owned by Stuart and April Pratt and their blended family. Augusta Farms is located on Kyle Road.
  The farm started with livestock and has now expanded into fresh local produce, eggs, preserves and pickles. Demand has increased dramatically so a commercial-sized greenhouse has been added. The farm also serves 55 families with its Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) baskets. Products are also available at The Butcher Shop in Brockville.





Brothers Rob and Doug Baker carry on a tradition of customer service first started by their late father, Glenn Baker, in 1959.

Baker brothers carry on a tradition of specialized customer service 

Story and Photo courtesy of
Leeds Grenville Economic Development Office
  FORFAR – Baker’s Feed Store Ltd. and Country Living Centre has the warm feel of a busy, multi-service community hub its many customers have come to rely on.
  On any given day, there is a steady stream of people checking out indoor displays of the various product lines in the 2,400-square-foot retail space. Farm supplies, hardware, footwear, clothing, pet food and bird seed are all available. Customers chat on the wide loading dock while products are loaded.
  Over on the mill side, complete feeds and feed supplements are manufactured for small and large-scale farm operations. Custom milling services are provided along with the company’s complete line of dairy, beef, poultry, swine and horse feeds.
  “We like to be known as people you can talk to,” says Rob Baker, who owns Baker’s with his brother Doug. Clientele rely on their decades of experience and expertise.
  “We like to think we contribute to the success of our customers,” says Doug, who manages the mill side of the business. It is important to the brothers to maintain customer confidence with well-informed, up-to-date advice on their products and services.
  Top-notch customer service started with their father, Glenn, who opened Baker’s nearly 60 years ago. The first year of operation was done with one employee, one small delivery truck with a focus on processing local grain and providing a feed service only. The original mill was completely destroyed by fire in 1974 only to be rebuilt and modified to its current structure.
  Baker’s employs 8-10 people, including two farm consultants who travel throughout the area. There is a fleet of delivery trucks servicing the farming communities of Leeds Grenville, Frontenac and Lanark. The company currently manufactures additional feed on a wholesale basis for two area dealerships and has set up three points of sale to redistribute their feed products from other locations.

A recent letter from a customer reads: “Thank you for always taking such good care of us. You guys and gals are awesome!” That’s what the Baker’s Feed team likes to hear. Learn more about Baker’s by visiting their operation in Forfar, by calling 613-272-2545 or by email at 

Leeds Grenville Economic Development Summit
Advanced agenda is now available

Story and Photo courtesy of
Leeds Grenville Economic Development Office

Register today for the 2017 Leeds Grenville Economic Development Summit – Collaborating in the Global Marketplace. Check out the advanced agenda and this year’s keynote speaker Pierre Cléroux, Vice-President, Research and Chief Economist, BDC.

WHEN: Friday, November 17, 2017. Registration 8:30 a.m., Schedule 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

WHERE: North Grenville Municipal Centre, 285 County Road 44, Kemptville, Ontario.

COST: $27 (includes light breakfast, lunch, snacks) 


REGISTRATION DEADLINE: Friday, November 10, 2017.

Email:  Tel: 613-342-3840 ext. 5362

 The event will highlight the importance of being investment ready, the challenges and opportunities in the global marketplace and the economic trends for the future.

Keynote Speaker: Pierre Cléroux presents Industry 4.0. The next industrial revolution is here, are we ready? Digital technologies are revolutionizing the way we do business. With his 25-year career as an economist, Pierre is helping business owners understand the risks and opportunities presented by this economic environment.

 Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) Vice-President, Research and Chief Economist Pierre Cléroux is the keynote speaker.

Don’t miss this opportunity, register today! Last year, the event sold out.





Standing in front of the grove are, from left, CREWS owner Clayton Jones, Township CAO/Clerk Deb McKinstry, Leeds-Grenville Stewardship Council’s Dave Robertson, South Nation Forestry Technician Cheyene Brunet, Cliff Rogers and Jack Henry (Stewardship Council), Edwardsburgh Cardinal Mayor Pat Sayeau and South Nation representative Lawrence Levere.

Businesses now have a place for Butternuts 

Story and Photo courtesy of
Leeds Grenville Economic Development Office

CARDINAL – A new pilot project is giving developers an option for Butternut tree compensation in Leeds Grenville.

  The Butternut Grove on Blair Road near Cardinal has been created by the Township of Edwardsburgh Cardinal. The Butternut Compensation Project has been planted and sponsored by Canadian Railway Equipment Works and Services (CREWS) in partnership with Leeds-Grenville Stewardship Council and South Nation Conservation Authority. CREWS is a newly located business in Johnstown where Butternuts were found.

  The Butternut is a medium-sized tree from the walnut family. It was already listed as endangered when the Endangered Species Act took effect in 2008. Learn more on the Ontario Species at Risk website.

  The Compensation Project allows developers who come across protected butternut trees to more easily take remediation steps so development is not stalled unnecessarily.

  “If they find they have a butternut issue, there is now a solution,” said Edwardsburgh Cardinal CAO/Clerk Deb McKinstry. She noted the grove is available to all developers on a cost recovery basis, including builders in Leeds Grenville and neighbouring counties.

For more information on the project contact the Township at 613-658-3055 or 1-866-848-9099 or

John and Amanda Riemersma with their bloodhounds in the outdoor play area.

Apple Ridge Farm is doggie daycare,
All play time, no cage time for dogs

Story and Photo courtesy of
Leeds Grenville Economic Development Office

CAINTOWN – Amanda Riemersma has taken her love of animals and turned it into a thriving business. 

She’s the owner of Apple Ridge Farm (ARF) and Dog Boarding along with her husband John and daughters, Lillian and Tessa. The business provides an open-concept style of dog boarding throughout the year, along with horse riding lessons, horse birthday and “paint the pony” parties and kids’ riding camps in the warmer months. Soon they will be adding an indoor riding arena to expand their operation. 

“Since we started two years ago, I would say we’ve tripled our business,” says Amanda, adding many of the dogs and horses they board are repeat customers. “We’re basically a resort for dogs. When their owners are on vacation, so are they.” 

The couple has owned the farm at 34 Caintown Road for six years. Creating a lucrative business on the farm was always a dream but one Amanda had put on hold. However, when they both lost their jobs with the closure of Brockville’s Selkirk Canada, she began working on a business plan. 

“That fast forwarded my dream and now my passion is a reality,” says Amanda. She had help, by taking the Second Chances program to learn more and worked with the Thousand Islands Community Futures Development Corporation (TICDC) to build a facility and get her business up and running. 

“I designed and built a one-of-a-kind boarding facility and horse barn, an oasis if you will, that would meet all their needs,” says Amanda. Dogs enjoy an indoor and outdoor exercise area, a living room area with sofas and a TV, human interaction, personal climate-controlled suites with dog cots. The large outdoor park area has play structures and premium pet toys.

Their tag lines are: “All Play Time, No Cage Time,” and “No cages, no runs, no guilt = 100% fun.” Apple Ridge has 5-star ratings for its boarding operations and riding stables. 

Riding lessons and camps are made accessible for children of all ages. Amanda works with various local funding programs, including Making Play Possible, to ensure all children have an opportunity to ride and participate in camps. 

Learn more about Apple Ridge Farm and their services by visiting their website and their Facebook page, email or call them at 613-923-5357. Below photo: The Riemersma family.

Brockville Ontario Speedway (BOS) owners Paul and Cheryl Kirkland with Elizabethtown-Kitley Mayor Jim Pickard, at centre.

Brockville Ontario Speedway is top winner

 Story and Photo courtesy of
Leeds Grenville Economic Development Office
FORTHTON – Brockville Ontario Speedway (BOS) is the 2017 Elizabethtown-Kitley Business of the Year. 

BOS owners Paul and Cheryl Kirkland were honoured at the Elizabethtown-Kitley Council and Economic Development Committee Business of the Year luncheon on October 5th. About 30 people attended the event at the Cedar Valley Golf and Country Club, including Mayor Jim Pickard, Committee Chairman Blake McKim and township staff.
“Thank you for your support, to the fans and staff over the years who have helped make it a success,” Paul said after receiving the award. Cheryl noted it is also thanks to support from neighbouring businesses and race drivers and their crews.
Operating the speedway near Forthton for 24 years, the couple have worked to make the BOS a racing destination. Now the “Bullring” attracts more than 60,000 people a year.
The Speedway is located at 7214 Temperance Lake RoadLearn more about BOS and upcoming racing events on their website or call them at 613-345-6324.
Also honoured at the luncheon were fellow nominees Ravenhorst Motors Ltd., Precision Contracting, McCann Mechanical, City Glass Windows & Doors, and Green Things Garden, Gift and Maintenance Services.

Helping with the ribbon cutting from left, Leeds-Grenville MPP Steve Clark, Leeds-Grenville, 1000 Islands and Rideau Lakes MP Gord Brown, Edwardsburgh Cardinal Mayor Pat Sayeau, Giant Tiger Vice-President and CFO Paul Wood, Lanark -Frontenac-Kingston MP Scott Reid, son of Giant Tiger founder Gordon Reid, Giant Tiger President and COO Thomas Haig and Vice- President of Warehousing and Distribution Mike Quinn, South Edwardsburgh Recreation Association’s Lorne Bender, Councillor Karie Smail and Friendly the Tiger.

Giant Tiger hosts big community event

Story and Photo courtesy of
Leeds Grenville Economic Development Office

JOHNSTOWN – Giant Tiger Stores Ltd. held a Community Welcome event at its massive new facility that attracted more than 3,000 people to the Johnstown Industrial Park.
  An official ribbon cutting was held with company and elected officials before the large crowd on Saturday, September 30th. People were invited to tour the 600,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility and enjoy local entertainment and a Charity BBQ.
  Company Vice-president and Chief Financial Officer Paul Wood said the centre, which is opening in early 2018, is “Giant Tiger’s single largest investment to date.”
  Officials said the event was an opportunity to showcase the site to the Edwardsburgh Cardinal community, Giant Tiger staff and their families.
  Giant Tiger trucks and the train were on site for viewing and rides. Giant Tiger’s partners had their construction vehicles for viewing along with the OPP and fire department, who showcased emergency vehicles and provided community safety information.
  Once opened, the Johnstown Distribution Centre will hold the company’s non-perishable products as well as warehouse support staff.
  Approximately 300 workers will be phased in as the facility ramps up. The building’s unique design features a second-floor gym and a games room. There is an outdoor patio and a newly-planted apple orchard.

Learn more about Giant Tiger or visit the careers page on their website.  You can apply by sending your resume directly to

Leslie Fournier, bottom left corner, has opened the door for 50+ small business owners, including Christine Campbell, second from left, Sue Torrance, centre, Steve Ray and Christa Johnson, shown here in the LUXE Boutiques Tea Room.

LUXE Boutiques is full house of local talent

Story and Photo courtesy of
Leeds Grenville Economic Development Office

  PRESCOTT  – Something special is happening at the historic Fort Town address of 392 Edward Street.
In just under a year, LUXE Boutiques in Prescott has branched out to take over the landmark two-storey stone house with more than 50 artisans, 80% of them local. It has become a great companion to the established LeMar LUXE Spa Studio Inc. in the south wing of the house. Together they are a destination for shopping and pampering.
  “It’s super fun to be surrounded by such creativity,” says owner Leslie Fournier, who along with her husband Mark gutted the former Slater Funeral Home building after purchasing it nearly 10 years ago. In 2012, she took the bold move of relocating her well-established spa and hair salon from Manotick.
  “People said why Prescott, and I said why not Prescott?” says Leslie. “It’s a diamond in the rough.” She said a majority of her Manotick customers followed and new local clientele continues to grow. The salon now employs 10 people.
  Leslie has had the idea of being a small business incubator for some time. Initially she wanted to run a multi-shop destination with her siblings. That didn’t happen but LUXE Boutiques sure has. Once she put the idea out there, people lined up.
  “In August 2016, I put (the idea) on Facebook to see if there was any interest. In one day, I had 25 people. I knew right away it was going to take over the whole house,” says Leslie. 
Artisan numbers have continued to rise throughout the past year. Business has been good too. Sales last Christmas were “mind blowing” she says. People can walk through the house and take in dozens of businesses at once then take a break in the tea room.
Sue Torrance is part of the Boutiques group. She operates Tasty Indulgences. “You can feel the energy in here. We celebrate each other,” says Sue. There is a true feeling of strength in numbers. Someone may come to see another artist and wind up meeting another and seeing his or her work.
“It’s all about exposure,” says photographer Crystal Peer. She has her work on display on two walls and it’s cost-effective. “It’s a great atmosphere. I think it’s brilliant having the spa and shops together.”

Some rooms are rented by a single business owner/artisan while other products are in shared spaces. No matter what, there is something to see at every turn, including artwork up the front entrance staircase. There is a variety of furniture, mosaics, felt and baby specialty items, quilts, sculptures, woodworking, etched and stained glass, salt lamps and so much more.
LUXE Boutiques of Prescott continue to evolve as a destination, says Leslie. She hopes many of the artists and craftspeople continue to thrive within the unique environment.
She also sees it as a launch pad for some. “I will love it if some of these businesses get their start and then move on to fill our empty downtown shops,” Leslie says.
  Learn more about LUXE Boutiques by visiting its Facebook page and the LeMar LUXE website and Facebook page.

Le Boat Managing Director Cheryl Brown, centre, and  Base Manager Canada Sandy Crothers cut the ribbon at the new office. They are flanked by the le Boat team for North and Latin America, Europe and Australia.

Le Boat opens its Smiths Falls headquarters

Story and photo courtesy of
Leeds Grenville Economoic Development Office

SMITHS FALLS – Le Boat officially opened its new North American headquarters at the Lockmaster’s House with fanfare on September 20.
  Company officials and local political leaders, along with Parks Canada staff, attended the soft launch of the office opening. Le Boat relocated its North American headquarters from Clearwater, Florida, to the new site on the Rideau Canal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  “We’ve got our team assembled,” said le Boat Managing Director Cheryl Brown, introducing Sandy Crothers, Base Manager Canada, and his team Laurie Hudson-Craig, sales manager for North and Latin America, Lisa McLean, marketing manager for Canada, the U.S. and Latin America, and Edwin Dyer, vacation planner.
Ms. Brown told the gathering of about 50 people her company is investing $16-million to bring self-drive boat tours to the Rideau Canal. She noted eight of the 16 state-of-the-art vessels have already been built with the other half underway. The Horizon fleet boats will be shipped to Canada in time for the grand opening in May 2018.
  Learn more about this new business by visiting their website. There is a new section called Discover Canada. 

Ann Weir is flanked by United Counties of Leeds and Grenville Warden Robin Jones and Counties CAO Andy Brown.

Ann Weir is Economic Developer of the Year

Photo and story courtesy of the
Leeds Grenville Economic Development Office 

KINGSTON  – The Ontario East Economic Development Commission has named Ann Weir the BDC Ontario East Economic Development Officer of the Year.

  Kevin Coleman, of the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), presented Ann Weir, Leeds Grenville Economic Development Manager, with the award at the opening ceremonies of the annual Ontario East Municipal Conference (OEMC) at Kingston’s Ambassador Hotel September 13th. 

  “I’m very honoured to receive this award,” Ms. Weir said. “It’s a team effort and this includes staff Deanna Clark and Joanne Poll, Counties Council and their municipal staff, plus business and community leaders.”

  The BDC Ontario East Economic Developer of the Year Award is presented annually to an economic developer based in eastern Ontario who has provided exceptional performance in his or her community and contributed to the advancement of the economic development profession.

  “Ann has many achievements in economic development and success in facilitating tourism investment, a strategic priority for Eastern Ontario,” said Rita Byvelds, Team Lead with the Ministry of Economic Development & Growth; Research, Innovation and Science. Ms. Byvelds submitted the nomination. She noted Ms. Weir was instrumental in bringing Europe’s le Boat to the Rideau Canal and securing a $16-million investment to the region. 

  Ms. Weir is proud to support and work with many businesses in Leeds Grenville. She looks forward to seeing continued growth and development in a region that offers a phenomenal lifestyle.

Andrew Morin brings thousands of tools right to his client’s door.

Service. Trust. Results.

  Choosing to go into business for yourself can be daunting but thrilling at the same time.
Andrew Morin of Macto Tools made that decision a year ago and has not looked back since.
  Matco Tools is a manufacturer and distributor of quality professional automotive repair tools, diagnostic equipment, and toolboxes. Their product line now numbers more than 13,000 items. Matco Tools also guarantees and services the automotive repair and diagnostic tools that they sell.
  Andrew grew up in North Grenville. He worked as a mechanic for a local garage before deciding to travel to Alberta to work in the oil industry.
  In Alberta he found work as a heavy equipment operator. He was working for his third year in Alberta when a Matco Tools representative asked him if he would be interested in working for them.
  “Matco Tools contacted me to see if I would interested in managing one of their franchises in Ontario,” he said. “They had originally wanted me to take on a franchise in Alberta but there were no routes available. It was something I wanted to try and there were routes available close to home in Ontario. It was a great reason to come back to North Grenville and to my friends and family.”

The distinctive Matco truck.

  Going into a business for yourself was an easy decision for Andrew to make. Making this particular decision easier was the fact that it meant he would still be in familiar territory, the automotive industry and would be in a trade he respected and enjoyed. “I would still be able to work in the automotive industry and be able to experience the shop atmosphere which I enjoyed. I get to be around cars and interact with lots of people. You are not just going to work each day. You are hanging out with your friends.”
  Because of his experience with the automotive industry and the people who make it work he is confident he can bring his own personal experience to it.
   The job requires a fair amount of discipline. “There is a lot to learn about sales, stock, self discipline and financial management,” he explained.

Andrew Morin brings Matco Tools to you.

“ You have to be able to spot trends and stay on top of new tools and innovative ideas at my end.”
  Andrew has a territory that stretches from Brockville to the south all the way up to Smiths Falls. Each day is an adventure. Despite having to manage and run his Matco Tools franchise by himself he does have help.
  “I have fantastic support from my wife Tracy, who helps out with bookkeeping as well as coming up with creative and innovative ways to help me connect with my clients.” he said.
 “I am enjoying every  single part of the job. It is long hours but at the same time a great deal of fun. Your day does not stop when your last client closes his or her doors for the day.”
  The Matco Tools motto is “Service. Trust. Results.” Andrew believes his products and the great reputation that goes along with them give his clients the satisfaction they expect.
  You can contact Andrew at 613-340-7738 or at:

About Matco Tools

Matco Tools is a manufacturer and distributor of quality professional automotive repair tools, diagnostic equipment, and toolboxes. Their product line now numbers more than 13,000 items. They also guarantee and service the automotive repair and diagnostic tools and equipment they sell.
  Matco Tools is a subsidiary of Fortive Corporation, a Fortune 500 company and key player in several industries, including tools, environmental and industrial process and control markets.
The company began operation in 1946 and, since 1979, has sold their automotive tools and products directly to professional mechanics, enthusiasts, and those who value quality automotive tools through a network of independent franchised mobile distributors.
  Their franchisees are easily recognized in their white trucks bearing the familiar Matco Tools logo. Today, Matco Tools distributors operate in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico.
  Matco Tools is proud of their quality automotive repair and diagnostic tools, toolboxes and other quality products. Their partnerships with their distributors enable them to offer the best buying relationship in the industry.

Celebrating the opening of the new Pet Valu store at Winchester Crossing on June 24 with a ribbon cutting were, left to right:North Dundas Councillor Tony Fraser, store manager Sue Chambers, Kyle St. Croix, Joanne DeCook, Sparky, Amanda Ross and North Dundas Councillor Al Armstrong.

Pet Valu moves to Winchester Crossing

  The recently relocated Foodland grocery store in Winchester has a new neighbour.
Winchester Crossing, the rural marketplace, located at the intersection of County Road 43 and Highway 31, is growing in leaps and bounds.
Pet Valu, a long-time fixture in the North Dundas area has moved across the road from its old location into Winchester Crossing, a much larger location with more to offer.
The store held their grand opening on Saturday, June 24, 2017.

Joanne DeCook, Sparky and Amanda Ross get ready to cut the special cake at the Pet Valu grand reopening.

The original Berrys Pet Food store moved from downtown Winchester in 1998 to the south side of the Highway 31 County Road 43 intersection or 12006 Main St W. The store shared space with the Upper Canada Veterinary Services. In 2008 Pet Valu purchased the Berry franchise.

Brenda Williamson gives Kali a wash at the new washing facilities at Pet Valu.

Over the years the Pet Valu staff and management have steadily grown their clientele and reputation as a great place to get pet supplies of all kinds. The new location features about twice the working space as well as a special opportunity to be able to give your pet a bath easily and safely.

At the back of the store is an area that features a washing area for only $10. The new store is also able to offer frozen foods along with its 3000 sq feet of all kinds of items including pet food, treats, toys and accessories. “We can display a lot more now,” said store manager Sue Chambers, “We can use the top shelves.”
With the move, the store is able to take advantage of the signature Pet Valu look. Chambers said they had been looking for a larger location to move to and when the opening came up at the Winchester Crossing it seemed to be the perfect fit.   The building that now houses Foodland and Pet Valu is getting ready to welcome three more stores to fill the remaining space. The store’s new address is 12015 Main St. W.
Having double the space will make a difference to customers and staff. “It might mean adding staff,” said Chambers, “or a co-op student later in the year.”

Sue Chambers receives a certificate of appreciation from North Dundas Councillor Al Armstrong while Sparky, the store’s special guest for the day watches.

About Pet Valu
  The Pet Valu grand opening featured balloons and a ribbon cutting and cake as well as help from Rocky Road Rescue who gave away snow cones at the entrance of the store and offered pet nail trimming in return for a $10 donation to their cause.
The store hours are: Monday to Friday 9 a.m. To 9 p.m. And Saturday: 9 a.m. To 6 p.m., Sunday: 10 a.m. To 6 p.m.. Their phone number is 613-774-2522 .

Your pet is a part of the family, because we’re pet parents too. At their stores you’ll find a great selection of pet food, treats, toys and accessories, all at competitive prices. You’ll find their stores in local communities across Canada and the north-eastern United States.
Across all their stores, you’ll find friendly Pet Experts trained in pet care and nutrition through the University of California Davis Extension School. They pride ourselves on being Pet Experts and they want to use their knowledge and experience to help you find the right nutrition and other solutions for your pets.
The Pet Valu family of stores includes Pet Valu, Paulmac’s Pet Food and Bosley’s, and together they are one of the largest retail operations in North America dedicated to providing families with food and supplies for dogs, cats, companion birds, wild birds, fish, reptiles and small animals.
In their pet-friendly stores you’ll find over 7,000 products, including holistic and premium brands of pet foods and treats, as well as a wide selection of essential and innovative pet supplies to suit every budget.
Pet Valu’s philosophy is to provide pet owners with the best selection of pet care items at competitive prices, together with friendly customer service from their team of Pet Experts, at convenient, neighbourhood store locations. Many of their stores are locally owned and operated.
All of their stores are dedicated to helping local pets in need, and they partner with local shelters, rescues and charities for adoption events, in-store adoption (select stores only)  and pet food bank programs, as well as through their national donation drives and fundraising campaigns.

Taunya Van Allen, president of Rocky Road Rescue and Lisa McNalty, manager of Winchester Kennels, help out at the opening of the new Pet Valu store at Winchester Crossing.


The Mayor of Old Town Kemptville

John Barclay is the Executive Director of the Old Town Kemptville Business Improvement Area. In this piece he remembers the late Terry Butler and shares what Terry’s fellow merchants, family and friends feel about a wonderful person who dedicated his life to helping his North Grenville community.

Terry Butler- Mayor of Old Town Kemptville

Dear Friends of Downtown:

From 2013 to 2014 I had the privilege of working with Terry as the Program Coordinator for the Old Town Kemptville Business Improvement Area. Terry was who I reported to on a daily basis so I spent a lot of time in his Victorian Pantry – so much so that I believe I was adopted as a junior member of his “cabinet” – a backbencher, if you will.

I’ll always remember Terry for his absolute self-less commitment to encouraging business growth in Old Town; his major role in revitalizing and beautifying the area but also to his passion about building community in Old Town.

Terry understood small business; the importance of providing excellent service and building customer loyalty. It really didn’t matter to Terry who you were when you walked through his front door. Whether you came into the Pantry asking for directions or were there to complain about a pothole, you were met with a cheery greeting by Terry; he was there to help you – and Terry helped many many people, often quietly and without seeking credit for doing so.

Usually if you came in the back door, you already knew Terry and Josie, you got your own coffee and sat quietly until he was finished attending the paying customers. Terry always made time to discuss issues or concerns with citizens. The pantry was where he “held court”; it was the most accessible constituency office any Councillor ever had. Terry always made time to discuss issues or concerns with citizens and was my mentor in dealing with downtown issues amnogst other things.

Terry sat on the Board of Management of the BIA as our Council Representative while he was on Council and was instrumental in transforming the look and feel of Old Town ten years ago. He always referred to this as Phase One. To him it was just setting the stage for future renewal and the revitalization of Old Town. When I saw Terry two weeks ago, I made sure he heard about the progress on the last of the Kemptville Sesquisentennial legacy projects he was responsible for – the Waterfront Trail connecting Anniversary Park in Ferguson Forest to Riverside Park. I was very happy to tell him that tenders were out and that they’d be dumping gravel for the first section of his trail. Terry took ownership of every project he was involved in.

In planning events downtown it was obvious Terry had a soft spot for children but it wasn’t just being sentimental.Terry always took the long view about building community downtown. It was important to him that kids had a great experience in Old Town; that when they left Kemptville for education or work in their twenties, they left with a store house of precious memories and would want to return when it was time to settle down and start a family. Terry knew that building community was an essential part of building economic growth.

Often after a particularly stressful conflict-ridden meeting at the Pantry, as I was leaving Terry would quietly sing the 1979 hit by Sister Sledge, “We are Family”. It was a joke we shared but that was Terry – he had a great sense of humour, he wanted people to work together for the greater good, and he built community. Downtown Kemptville could not have had a better friend.

Rest in peace, Terry

John Barclay, Executive Director
Old Town Kemptville Business Improvement Area

On Saturday, June 3, Leslie and Sandy Campbell celebrated their ownership of Brewing Oasis with a grand opening, left to right are: North Grenville Councillor Barb Tobin, Mayor Dave Gordon, Sandy and Leslie Campbell, Dave Valcour, Joel Chrysler, Mike Daoust, Doug Earl, Councillor Donovan Arnaud, Councillor Jim Bertram and Liz Earl.

Brewing Oasis celebrates new owners carrying on a great tradition

   Brewing Oasis, a successful and popular downtown business in Kemptville, continues its success with new owners Leslie and Sandy Campbell.
On Saturday, June 3, the couple along with their staff held a grand opening to celebrate their new business venture.
Brewing Oasis is the first place to visit if you are interested in brewing your own wine. Staff at the brewing shop can help you select a great wine to brew for a special occasion or for your own enjoyment.
Sandy Campbell said he was pleased to see so many community members dropped by for the opening.
Leslie and Sandy had been brewing their wine at Brewed Oasis for several years. They became friends with the owners, Liz and Doug Earl.
Sandy would joke about one day buying Brewed Oasis. “When you run a small business you have to think of eventually having an exit strategy,” said Earl. The couple had started the wine brewery back in 2000 at the Kemptville Mall. They decided it made more sense to relocate in downtown Kemptville on Prescott Street.
When the Earls decided it was time to take a break, Sandy and Leslie were quick to make an offer to continue their successful business.
Leslie worked at the Independent grocery store in customer service. Sandy works as a department manager in the construction industry and knows that he has to be thinking of retirement and the next chapter in his life at some point.
The brewery offers a wide range of wine selections at affordable prices. Their knowledgeable staff of Mike Daoust, Joel Chrysler and Dave Valcour are there to help and make sure you get the results you want from your wine.
Brewing Oasis is located at 210 Prescott St. 613-258-WINE (9463) you can also contact Leslie and Sandy at and on Facebook.

Their business hours are : Closed Sunday and Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursday and Friday 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Hailey, Shelley and Bryanna Mitchell – Massey have a busy day at To Be Continued on Saturday afternoon, June 3, as they celebrate a re-opening event after expanding their store.

To Be Continued expands Kemptville location

  For Shelley Mitchell – Massey and her family, running a small business while enjoying a small town lifestyle is what they wanted to do.
This is the fourteenth year that her business, To Be Continued has offered its unique blend of items to North Grenville consumers.
Mitchell purchased the consignment business in Kemptville because she wanted a small town way of life but also wanted to run a business. The two realities come together at To Be Continued.
On Saturday, June 3, the store located at 207 Sanders St. held a reopening celebration after the store space was expanded to allow for more room for visiting children to play in while families searched for more items. “I have basically doubled my space” said Mitchell.
The consignment store offers toys, quality pre-owned clothing for young and old as well as new gifts and toys. Mitchell said the location of her store is perfect for her being close to downtown and the waterfront area and park. She enjoys the sense of community that is shared by everyone working and living in the downtown Kemptville area.
To Be Continued is located at 207 Sanders St. Across from the B&H parking lot. Their phone number is 613-258-0166. They have a website at:


O’Farrell Financial Services names a new partner

Hugh O’Neill, is a Financial Security Advisor and a Certified Agriculture Financial Advisor with O’Farrell Financial Services Inc. He has more than 20 years of experience in the Agriculture Financial Industry.

By Nicole Millest

Eastern Ontario – O’Farrell Financial Services announces the partnership of Hugh O’Neill, effective May of 2017.

Hugh O’Neill, a resident of North Grenville, is a Financial Security Advisor and a Certified Agriculture Financial Advisor with O’Farrell Financial Services Inc.  With over 20 years of experience in the Agriculture Financial Industry, Hugh works with farms and business owners on Succession Planning.
He is based in the Winchester Office and travels to all four O’Farrell Financial locations to meet with clients. He focuses on agricultural and the ag business sector.

I used to work in a bank,” said O’Neill, “it was a good career.” Working in a bank was a different way for him to see how people looked after the results of all their hard work and their future.

Hugh joins Dermid O’Farrell (Managing Partner), Donna Lee O’Farrell, Matt Felker, Keeley Patterson, Geoff Carter, Daren Givoque and Cynthia Batchelor as Partners at O’Farrell Financial. His wealth of knowledge, combined with his understanding of agriculture, and passion for serving clients is unparalleled and makes him a perfect fit for the Partnership Team.

He believes being able to work as a team utilizing all the different skills and talents of the people he is partnered with, makes all the difference to his clients.

This job has more to do with families and their future,” he said. “I help families plan for their retirement and at the same time set the stage for a stable and sound business for the next generation.”

As a partner with O’Farrell Financial Services, O’Neill has chosen to become involved in an intimate way with his organization. “I have invested in this business and in the future,” he said.

O’Farrell Financial Services provides financial and estate planning services to help their clients live the life they want today, and secure the legacy they want for tomorrow. Founded in 1997, the company has four offices located in Brockville, ON, Cornwall, ON, Kemptville, ON, and Winchester, ON. O’Farrell Financial Services celebrates 20 years of serving Eastern Ontario this year.

Welcome, Hugh O’Neill, to the O’Farrell Financial Services Partnership Team!


Liz’s Hair Design is a dream come true

Liz VanBeilen hairstylist and owner of Liz’s Hair Design.

Finding the balance between work and home can be a challenge.

Liz VanBeilen, owner of Liz’s Hair Design Spa Beauty and Personal Care has managed to conquer the challenges on the way to a balanced life, one at a time.

These days she enjoys a great balance between her successful and popular at-home hair salon located in her home in South Mountain at 2988 Lough Rd. and her growing family.

Liz has two children, Tate who is four years old and Grace who is six years old. Working from home allows her to be able to mesh her family life with her working environment.

Liz attended Seaway district High School in Iroquois.

She had always been interested in hair styling and the art of learning how to make the most of what nature had started.

After she graduated from Seaway she knew what she wanted to do. Liz went to Ottawa to attend the Marvel Beauty School.

Liz’s Hair Design, 2988 Lough Rd. South Mountain.

“I had always been interested in styling,” she remembers. The art and skill came to her naturally and now, seven years later, sitting in her home salon, she is thrilled with her decision.

“I knew that someday I would want to start a family,” she said.

After working in Kemptville at a hair salon for a while she made her decision to give working from home a try, and she is glad she did.

“At first I was nervous and there was a great deal of learning to do.” Her business Liz’s Hair Design did not take a long time to begin to prove her decision to work from home in South Mountain was the right one.

Looking around her workplace she proudly points out, “I can say that all of this is mine.”

Working from home has one negative side and that is not getting out into the world as much as she would like so Liz volunteers at Nation View School and enjoys the many relationships she has made through her business over the years. As her children get older she has considered extending her hours to compliment the extra time she will have here and there as her children spend more time at school. Relocating or starting up a second hair styling business does not seem to be of much interest to Liz.

She is content with running her business from home. “I had no idea there was so much to learn about running your own business but each year, I would find out more about it and get better at it,” she said. These days Liz will attend the odd business seminar to make sure her business is able to take advantage of the latest entrepreneurial information. She attends hair design seminars to keep abreast of up and coming trends and techniques.

Liz views each of her clients as a welcome challenge. “It is creative and fun.”

She finds the hair colouring aspect of her craft fun as well as challenging. “You do not always know what a client has been using to colour their own hair,” she explained. She has to understand the client’s vision and expectations and marry that up with what she is able to do for them. “Sometimes what a client wants to do cannot be achieved all at once. It may take several sessions to take them to where they want their hair and colour and look to go.”

Liz explained,” as a professional you have to understand your client and be honest with them about expectations. You have to be able to look at the whole picture.”

Another aspect of her business that Liz enjoys is whenever she goes on site at a wedding location to look after beauty and hair needs.

Liz believes that the good relationships she makes with her clients are crucial to her success. “There are many hairstylists out there who want a good relationship with their clients. Here, in my home, people have a really good experience. If they have children they are able to play, if they have a baby they are able to watch it and at the same time give themselves some me time.”

She says sometimes her client’s children are having too much fun to want to go home. They never get bored, she says, there is always something for them to do.

Liz’s Hair Design has grown and matured over the past seven years and Liz is where she wants to be. “I am quite content with the setup I have here. I am able to work and provide a good product while at the same time look after my family.”

For more information about Liz’s hair design please check out her Facebook page at or email; her at or call her at 613-859-6752.

Liz’s Hair Design is a perfect place to get men’s, women’s and children’s haircuts as well as hair colouring using Redken hair colour and products.


Jay Mitchell loves what he does as owner and manager of King’s Pizza in South Mountain.

From King’s Pizza to your table

The modern day pizza can trace its roots back at least 7,000 years.
The pizza has a noble ancestry.
Archaeologists suggest that even that far back in ancient history, people added toppings to their bread to make it more favourable. Historians believe the ancient Greeks had a flat bread that they covered with herbs, onion and garlic. Apparently in the 6th. Century, Persian soldiers used their battle shields to bake flat breads with cheese and dates.
King’s Pizza in South Mountain carries on that delicious tradition of creating a pizza that you cannot forget.
It has been seventeen years since Jay Mitchell, the owner and chef at King’s Pizza, has been using his considerable skills to produce a pizza selection that can compete with anyone.
He has gotten very good at it and his customers have returned his effort with their loyalty.
A pizza from King’s Pizza has become a regular tradition in South Mountain and the surrounding area.
Perfect pizzas at great prices and excellent customer service are a recipe for success.
Getting King’s Pizza to the place it is now took some time and a great deal of hard work.
“I started here in April of 2000,” remembers Jay.
“I knew the people who owned it at the time and they had been going at it for two years.”
Jay was no stranger to the hospitality industry. He worked at the Swan on the Rideau for 12 years and then at the Red Dot in Osgoode.
“I ran into the owners of King’s pizza one day. I was at a part in my life when I felt I was ready to buy a house,” he said. King’s Pizza is the bottom floor of a two story building with an apartment on the second floor so the business and home idea was perfect for Jay. “It worked out perfectly.”


King’s Pizza and Ice Cream 10605 Main Street, South Mountain, Ontario.

He says owning and managing King’s Pizza was a relatively easy transition to make from his past work-life.
It was the perfect time in his life to go off on the kind of adventure that resulted in a successful business.
“I was single and had no children. There was no one depending on me,” he said. Ironically he was never looking for a pizza place . “It found me.”
There were a few changes he wanted to make right away. First, was fixing up the front of the store. He put a deck in and all new siding along the front. Then he started to make changes to his pizza recipes. He created his own sauce and planned his menu. To the menu he added pasta dishes and a great variety of pizzas for just about every pizza lover.
Once he had established his pizzas as the best around he made more changes. The pizza store had a 1954 Blodgett stove. Jay purchased a new pizza oven. Then a new refrigerator. Several years after he bought King’s Pizza, Jay added ice cream to his menu. He uses only the best scooped ice cream from the Kawartha Lakes Dairy.
King’s Pizza is different from most other pizza places. The area it services is too great to be efficiently covered with a delivery service. “It is such a big area out the,” said Jay.
“Instead of that I try to offer a better product at fair prices.”
His customers do not seem to mind stopping by to pick up their pizza and having a chat with Jay at the same time.
King’s Pizza is a focus point for South Mountain. He hires students when he can and over the years he has employed more than 36 students. “They all come back to visit,” he said.
Jay does all of the cooking and that means ten-hour days are fairly normal for him. It’s non-stop working as each day he prepares what he will need for that particular day.
He has made a few concessions. “When I first bought it everything was made by hand. Eventually I had to buy a machine to help out. Jay continued to work on his recipes and brought in gluten free dough fir his pizzas.
Along with changing his sauce recipe he also changes the cheese mixture he uses.
Now he uses Oak Grove brick cheese. He also prepares all of his topping fresh every day. He estimates it takes him around two hours each day to prepare all the food and items he will be using that day.
Because his customers have remained so loyal and love his pizzas he is able to think ahead about what customers will order at any given time. “Sometimes I have to remind customers as to what they normally order on there pizza”.
Pizza is a perfect food for millions. You can have it served up in so many ways.
“I am always looking for new toppings to add,” said Jay.
King’s Pizza is open from Tuesday to Sunday. The hours are from 3 p.m. To 9 p.m. Each day except for Fridays when it is open until 10 p.m..
King’s Pizza and ice cream has a web page as well as a Facebook page. King’s has more than 50 tasty items on its menu from salads, wraps, to pizzas and subs.
Their phone number is 613-989-1293 and they are located at 10605 Main Street, South Mountain. Their wesite is: