Downtown Business Features
Feature Friday! :
@ 62 King St. West
Laura Phipps and Joey Diotte are the 2 owners and operators of Heather & Crow, the brand new store at 62 King St. West. They hoped to create a spot that is welcoming for all walks of life and every belief system, while offering fair prices.
Laura was born in Stouffville and moved to Brockville when she was 6 years old. She attended BCI in High School. Laura worked in many different industries, always wanting to open up her own store. At one point she worked at Home Hardware and loved it, and ended up working for Rob Thompson, building homes. She woke up on her 40th birthday and realized that if she didn't pull the trigger and open something now, she may never get to it. So she opened Wild Gypsy on Perth St. It was then when she met her now business partner, Joey. Joey was a supplier for Laura, making and selling different items for the store.
Joey was born in Cornwall, but left when she was 17 years old to move to BC. She lived in BC for 18 years and worked different jobs, settling on transportation and logistics.
In 2010, Joey packed up and moved to Montreal, where she continued with transportation and logistics. She became a supervisor for EPL Logistics before they closed.
In 2013 Joey moved to Brockville for the first time, where she had a baby with her boyfriend Jason. Jason and Joey have a family of 7, with 4 kids and their dog, accurately named 7even, for being the 7th member of the family.
Joey's son, Kai, was born quite sensitive to his environment, meaning that the family couldn't use any products that had any chemicals in it due to his sensitivity. With that, Joey began making her own products 1-by-1 from different plants and flowers. Before long everything in their house was homemade and chemical free. She found that it worked wonders for her son and people started asking her to make some for them.
In 2017, Joey was diagnosed with Breast Cancer, she hadn't been making her essential oils as much in the years prior and she began again because she found it to be quite helpful in the past. The diagnoses brought her back to the natural products and re-inspired her to make more products for people looking for natural healing. We're happy to say, Joey is in remission and is clearly a fighter, we wish you all the best and keep trucking on
Last November, Laura was looking for vendors, and they got in contact with one another. They were instantly friends. The friendship turned into Joey using the backroom to make products. Shortly after, Joey was making her products under Laura's store name. It didn't take them long to start running the entire store together
On October 1st, Laura and Joey opened Heather & Crow on King St., where they work together and have a variety of different interesting oddities.
They offer Tarot card reading on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays, done by Richard. Richard has a lot of experience in the field, having previously run an institute of parapsychology. He has written a Tarot Therapy paper at the University of Ottawa and has actually done a reading for Margaret Trudeau. "Tarot Readings are about revealing the true self, finding out talents you thought you didn't have, and bringing hidden truths to the surface."
The store is beautiful, it has old, well preserved wooden shelving and glass that was imported from England in the early 1900's. We are lucky to have such a great business duo in the Downtown and we wish you all the best!
Their Grand Opening will be on October 31st but they are open for business already!
Feature Friday! :
@ 7 King St W, Entrance on Market St. W
Jennifer Mills and Shawn Mills are the owners and operators of The Sweet Life Cafe in Brockville and they are both in normally 6 days a week.
Jennifer grew up in Brockville and attended BCI. After high school, she went to Kemptville College to get her diploma in Food and Nutrition Management. With that, Jennifer worked in long-term care for 17 years in Prescott and Smiths Falls. Jennifer always wanted to open a cafe. She says it has proven to be a lot more work than anticipated, but it doesn't feel like work when you love what you do!
Shawn was born in Pembroke. His father was in the military and he moved to Brockville in 1983 and has been around ever since. He attended grade 9 & 10 at TISS and grade 11-13 at BCI. He was a truck driver for 17 years and has worked a variety of different jobs since he moved to the Brockville area.
Jennifer and Shawn are always running charities and fundraisers through the café. They have a "Pay it Forward" board for customers to have the option of purchasing an additional food or drink item and pinning it up on the board, allowing other customers to eat or drink for free. Last month was "Cookies for Hope" where they sold over 3,000 cookies, this month is "Cupcakes for Cancer". All the money raised goes to Breast Cancer Action Kingston and Mélanie's Way. Their upcoming fundraisers include donations to MS Charities, Charities for Kenyan Kids and often fundraisers for the food bank in Brockville. In 2021 they will be running a charity every other month from January-December!
Tomorrow (Oct 3rd) is Jennifer and Shawn's 2 year anniversary of being open! We thank you for being such an amazing addition to the downtown and for taking the extra time to run these amazing and selfless fundraisers! You two are awesome!
Feature Friday! :
@ 27 King St E Suite #3
Angela Tyo, Rene Tyo and Poncho (mascot) are the wonderful owners of Sun Deck Tanning Studio. Although the business is believed to have been around since 1988, Angela and Rene are new owners, having only owned the business since July 27th, 2019.
Angela is normally there 4-5 days a week, and runs the everyday operations. She is normally accompanied by Poncho, their studio dog (He has a different name to the regular customers however.) Rene works at 3M and fills in anytime Angela has errands to run.
Since taking ownership, Angela and Rene have done considerable renovations; creating more space and improving the tanning beds. They've also taken it upon themselves to make anyone walking in, feel like they're walking into a relaxing paradise.
Angela was born and raised in Brockville, she attended St. John Bosco and was Brockvilles very first female Altar server.
When Angela was getting ready for high school in the 80's, she was part of the initial fundraiser to open St. Mary Catholic High School. She was one of around 20-30 students that took grade 9 there for the very first time.
Angela later moved away to Belleville to finish high school. She came back to Brockville for a short while before going out to Banff springs to work as a waitress for Canadian Pacific. She was there for 4 years. Later, she went out to New Brunswick to work at St. Andrews by the sea, for a summer.
When Angela moved home, she worked a variety of different jobs until last year, when her and her husband purchased Sun Deck Tanning. They made it their mission to revamp the place and make it welcoming to everyone.
Angela and Rene are both very happy to supply vitamin D to every customer and friend. They want everyone to know that tanning isn't just for bronzing your skin, it is also extremely relaxing! They offer spray tanning, stand up or lay down tanning beds and a variety of lotions and creams.
They have free customer parking around the back of the building that is easy to access from Water St.
Congrats to over a year in business Rene and Angela, we are looking forward to many more!
Feature Friday! :
@ 11 Buell St:
Anna Trakshall owns Manoll's Fish and Chips, and has since September 12th, 2016. (Congrats on 4 years operating!)
Ann's parents immigrated from Greece in 1970 and in 1972 they purchases Manoll's.
Anna was born in Brockville and grew up here. She attended BCI and went on to get her Diploma for Hotel and Restaurant Management at SLC Brockville. For most of her life she worked in restaurants in the area. In 2008 she moved to Kingston and was a server at a restaurant in the city.
In June 2012, Anna came to Brockville to get married. She planned to only stay in Brockville for a year and a half, but ended up taking over Manoll's in the process.
Anna would like to thank the community and tourists for keeping them open! Manoll's has been operating for 86 years and they hope to operate for many more!
They were recently featured on CTV Ottawa for making food for the legion to give to seniors around Brockville:
Thank you for being a staple in the Downtown and we wish you the best of luck in the future!
Loven Pizza @ 191 King St W
Pious Sebastian and Sachin Peter are the owners of Loven Pizza in Brockville. Both are originally from Kerala, India. Pious runs the day to day operations and has a Robotics Engineering degree from Algonquin College in Ottawa. His Mom, Dad and 2 sisters live back home in India. Sachin has a Software Engineering degree from Algonquin as well, and has worked for Nokia in Ottawa for over 15 years now.
Pious played soccer for his province in India and was scouted to play as a backup for Ottawa Fury, but unfortunately tore his ACL shortly after.
Pious has a passion for business and a love for working for himself. He has always wanted to start something, and having worked at pizza places previously, thought to open his own. The recipes for their pizza and food are all homemade. Pious moved to Brockville two years ago and opened just a few weeks ago on August 22. The dough and sauce are made in-house and the veggies are all cut in the kitchen.
The name Loven comes from Love and oven put together and they allow for unlimited toppings on their standard pizza for no added cost. You can pick up a slice for $1 anytime or order at mylovenpizza.ca
Always happy to see new businesses downtown! Welcome!
Kathy Lewis is the owner of Boboli in Brockville, and has been for 28 years. Kathy was originally born in England, where she grew up and later went off to school to be a Nanny.
She travelled around Europe for some time and ended up coming to Toronto for 6 months. After that, she went home for a short while and came back for another "6 months" in 1982, where she met her future husband and ended up staying.
Kathy's husband grew up in Montreal, lived in Toronto, but was born in Brockville. One weekend they came to Brockville to attend a party. It was a miserably rainy weekend and the party was completely washed out. To make the trip worthwhile, they drove around Brockville, looked at scenery and checked out houses for sale to pass the time. They spontaneously put a very low offer on a house in Brockville, assuming they wouldn't hear back. But when the phone rang saying that the offer had been accepted, it became real. For about 6 months after that, Kathy's husband lived in, and renovated the house in Brockville while Kathy worked in Toronto.
When she moved to Brockville, she got a job at the Townhouse Restaurant, working for Stewart Cuthbert. Kathy ended up becoming the catering manager and enjoyed her time working there.
In 1993, Kathy opened Boboli. She had the first cappuccino machine and the first non-smoking restaurant in Brockville. In 2005, she moved to the location she is in now, at 32 King St W. She loves her regulars, commuters that come in from the 401 and loves to make everything in the café from scratch.
Kathy makes all of her soups herself every day, bakes all the pastries, and doesn't have anything processed or pre-made. She buys local fruit when it is in season and supports local whenever possible, 6 days a week.
Congratulations on 28 years in business Kathy. We're so happy to have you as a business in our downtown, thank you for everything!
Elaine Ferguson is the owner and operator of Golden Soles at 46 King St. East. Elaine was born in Brockville and grew up here, attending BCI for high school.
In 1986 she moved to Nova Scotia where she attended Acadia University; majoring in History and English. While in Nova Scotia, Elaine was a front end training supervisor at a Sobeys, and at one point was the manager of crescent jewellers in the maritimes. She also taught foreign exchange students English and treated them all as her own children while they stayed with her.
Elaine moved back to Brockville in 2008 and attended business school at SLC Brockville. There, she met Ben TeKamp, who was her professor at the time. She will always remember that he told her once that he was proud of the fact that she was back in school to open a business even though they were the same age. In 2017, Elaine was awarded the Ben TeKamp award, which she proudly hangs on her wall behind her desk.
Tomorrow is Elaine's 11th year anniversary of being open. She is proud to say she offers healthy, comfortable, stylish footwear that are orthotic.
Thank you for being in Downtown Brockville for so long and congratulations on your 11th anniversary. We are proud to say Golden Soles is part of the Downtown Brockville family.
Limestone and Ivy:
Dan Sparring owns Limestone and Ivy, Brockville located at 39 King St. West. Dan is originally from Sweden but moved away when he was 13 years old. They moved away so his father "Jan Sparring" could escape the constant paparazzi that followed them wherever they went. Jan Sparring was a very famous singer in Sweden.
Before they initially moved to Brockville, they considered three locations; Brockville, California, or Australia. They ended up moving to Brockville because of their very strong love for hockey. Which is a very Canadian thing to do.
Dan's mother couldn't find a pair of shoes she liked in Brockville when they moved so she opened a shoe store in Brockville in 1974 named "Fancy That". Dan grew up in Brockville and attended BCI. In grade 13 he would often skip Fridays to go to Montreal or fly to New York to make the purchases for his mother's store. His mother continued to open stores and opened up a furniture store while he was still in high school. She opened the store solely due to the fact that she couldn't find Scandinavian furniture. In the next few years she had more than 10 stores open across Ontario selling all different types of things.
In 1982, Dan opened Limestone and Ivy in the 1000 Islands Mall and later moved to King St. about 8 years ago. Today, Dan and his sister Maria co-own 3 stores in Brockville and in Kingston. Maria however, didn't like limestone so she chose to call one of their stores "Roundstone" instead.
Limestone and Ivy experienced a massive shock in March when they needed to close because of COVID-19, much like many businesses. Bills racked up but they are still around and not going anywhere.
In 2012 Dan won business of the year and in 2019 his wife, Cynthia Sparring, won businessperson of the year for her incredible work at Career Services in Brockville.
Limestone and Ivy has a large selection of Blundstones and Birkenstocks and are a large attraction for locals and tourists visiting Brockville.
Thank you for everything you've accomplished Dan! It was amazing hearing your story and we look forward to working with you more in the future!
Jennifer Robinson is the Owner and Operator of Savvy Brockville. Jennifer was born and raised in Brockville, attending BCI for high school. Later, she attended college for Medical Dental.
Savvy has been open for 14 years and Jennifer has been working there for eleven. Six years ago, Jennifer and her husband purchased the business from the previous owner and has happily run it ever since.
Jennifer has been a very active member of the community for many years and has been proud of Downtown Brockville for her entire life. She has been a very involved member of the DBIA and is always looking to be involved in new projects to better our Downtown.
The pandemic was difficult on her as it was on everyone. Jennifer and her husband had planned to open a “Savvy Too” across the road to offer Affordable Family Footwear to Brockville locals. Unfortunately, they’ve had to delay the opening, but are very confident they will have it open within the next two years.
Savvy offers a wide variety of clothing, shoes and apparel. They also have a small selection of children’s shoes and a few non-leather choices for sale.
We are very happy to have you as a business and friend and we can’t wait to work more with you in the future! Thank you for everything you’ve done, it does not go unnoticed
Kinda Electronics Limited:
Kinda Electronics Limited is a small business located between Chase St. and John St. on the northside of King West. It is proudly owned and operated by Ahmad Khadra. Ahmad got his Electronics Engineering Degree in Damascus, Syria where he grew up. He moved to Canada in March of 1995 to Saint-Laurent, Montreal. A few years later he moved to Brockville, and has been a proud Brockvillian ever since.
While in Brockville he commuted to Queens to complete 7 courses necessary for him to become a member of Ontario Engineering. He opened his shop in Downtown Brockville on Valentine’s Day of 1999 and has not looked back since. Ahmad furthered his education by completing an MBA online from the University of Fredericton in 2015 while operating his store at the same time.
Ahmad has received awards, including the L&G annual Immigrant Entrepreneur award and a 20th anniversary award of being open from Steve Clark that he proudly displays in his window.
Ahmad often sells and repairs mopeds and electric scooters but also does general electronic repairs and building as well. He is currently working on a voice activated moped that can take the user different places with vocal commands. Kinda Electronics is a much-valued business in the Downtown and Khadra is never short of new ideas to improve our city.
Thank you for being such an amazing member of the Downtown Brockville community, we wish you many great years ahead.