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H O S P I TA L I T Y • E N T E R P R I S E • C O M M U N I T Y • P E R S O N A L S E R V I C E S

o Good C mpany MAGAZINE • ISSUE 1

BierhalleNow Open!

We’re Here for the Beer! 319 Victoria St, N., Kitchener See our story Inside


BROWSE AT YOUR LEISURE Paul Wayne welcomes you to an eclectic collection of beautiful furnishings “Some people buy furniture for their house . . . while others buy a home for their furniture.” Allow Paul Wayne to boast a little before he invites you into Charterhall Fine Interiors in Kitchener. Then go ahead, glide your fingertips along a glowing walnut table. Inhale the leather while descending into a sumptuous sofa. “I want you to be surrounded by interesting, beautiful, and unique pieces … at the same time presenting the art and craftsmanship that is still available.” Paul is a furniture aficionado. His 45 years of love for the art and beauty of fine woodworking embrace guests

inside his showroom. It was in 1970 at the Toronto Furniture Show that he was smitten. There, the chairs, sideboards, and dressers seduced him. “It was almost akin to falling in love. It was love at first sight. An instant comfort, and awareness, ‘I’ve always known you’…” It was an affair interrupted. First, there was work in the insulation, industrial packaging, and roofing industries. Then an MBA. Then Chartered Accountancy. And a corporate partnership. By 1989, however, Paul’s first love rekindled. Charterhall is where quality, craftsmanship, and an educated customer reign.

Under the subdued lighting, Paul is delighted as customers explore his carefully curated galleries, where furniture, artwork, and accessories from around the world are on display. Don’t see exactly what you want? Charterhall will help you find it. Charterhall’s interior designer will assist you with style and colour selections. Or arrange for shipping overseas or to your cottage. “We conduct business honestly, openly and with integrity,” Paul says. “Some people just want to browse, and we invite that. While others are looking for something specific. And still others sometimes hear the call of that something special.



fine interiors

519.744.9590 1373 Victoria St. N. #10, Kitchener


HAUTE COUTURE CAN BE YOURS Luxe Touch Designer Consignment is Fixated on Luxury

Cyndee Lavoie’s love affair with sewing and fashion began at an early age, learning the craft at her mother’s knee from the tender age of five.

Over the last 12 years she has created an international network of clients, contacts and other re-sellers, which keep her shelves full and her customers happy.

By the time she was 7, Cyndee was making Hallowe’en costumes for her family. At 13, she was commissioned to create her first original dress.

“I know clothing. I know couture. I know luxury goods. That’s my expertise.” This expertise, coupled with a consistent supply of quality used goods, translated into even greater online demand.

She honed this passion while attending Sheridan College for fashion design, where she was first exposed to haute couture (French for “high sewing”) garments by her instructor, who allowed her class to take apart her own Chanel jackets. “It’s all about the construction of the garment,” says Cyndee. “I respect what goes into a quality piece.” Luxe Touch Designer Consignment was born when passion met opportunity.

… and then April Cornell, a wellloved French-Canadian designer, came along. I had the opportunity to acquire her one-of-a-kinds and overstock and sell them online.” It was after she received a pair of Chanel sunglasses as a gift, however, that she first felt the allure of owning her own couture clothing and accessories. Using her online expertise, Cyndee began seeking out and purchasing gently used luxury brand goods. The first, a Louis Vuitton handbag. And then another … and then one from Chanel. She was hooked.

Cyndee and her daughter Lenore Margolese recently opened their first brick and mortar storefront in downtown Preston. “Consignment lets people afford the authentic piece they’ve always wanted and dreamed of” Cyndee says. “Our area is ready for this. People want luxury goods, but they don’t always want to pay the luxury prices.”

“I had a custom wedding gown business after college … one thing led to another 519.212.6824

640 King St. E., Cambridge

Good Company MAGAZINE


Dear Reader, Thank you for picking up our premier issue of Good Company Magazine. Please take a little time to read about amazing local entrepreneurs featured on these pages. They’re your neighbours. Good Company is our way to share the stories about the good, local people we’d like you to meet. We love the digital, alwaysconnected world, but admit to a bit of an old-fashioned streak. We still like bricks and mortar. We like to meet people in person and shake their hand. Our joy comes from building long-lasting personal relationships, experiencing deep connections with people.

We know the adventure and satisfaction that comes from visiting an entrepreneur who is ready to spend time with us, asking questions, finding out what we really need. Offering us good advice. Making sure we get value for our money. Sounds like a general store to us: A place where people know your name and are ready to help. We hope you enjoy reading Good Company. Please drop us a line to tell us what you think about our locally produced publication. And once you have a budding relationship with one of our partners, go ahead and tell their stories to your friends. The only thing we love more than print is word of mouth!

w e’re C om e in

OPEN COVERING WATERLOO REGION Including: Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Elmira, St. Jacobs, Heidelberg, St. Clements, Conestogo, West Montrose, Listowel, Wellesley, St. Agatha, Plattsville, Baden, New Hamburg, New Dundee, Ayr, Breslau & Maryhill FOUNDERS Jennifer McLellan Greg Crawford SALES AND CREATIVE Nancy Barbosa Jennifer McLellan PHOTOGRAPHY Nancy Barbosa Greg Crawford WRITING Kevin Swayze Aaron Lundrigan GRAPHIC DESIGN Lisa Totzke Nancy Barbosa Greg Crawford For advertising information


R E S TA U R A N T • B B Q • E V E N T S PA C E • C AT E R I N G

THE BEST BUTTS IN TOWN The Lancaster Smokehouse is Cooking Up Southern-Fried Tradition

Amateurs practice until they get it right; professionals practice until they can’t get it wrong. The team at The Lancaster Smokehouse (or just ‘The Lanc’ to locals) know how true this is, especially when serving Southernstyle barbecue where the keys to greatness are flavour, quality and consistency.

While operating at his first location, Chris was introduced to Tim, a recent chef school grad. Tim began working with Chris, learning not just the secrets of the grill, but how to run a successful business as well.

The team is so determined to get good barbecue to the people that they have even renovated a food truck to provide on-site catering for weddings, corporate events and private parties.

If you ask the crew at The Lanc, they’ll tell you with a smile that, “We’ve got the best butt’s in town.” If they forget to mention it, you’ll still get to see it emblazoned across the staff’s shirts as they move deftly through the saloon-style restaurant. They are, of course, talking about pork butts. “We take pride in making good food and doing it right. Good barbecue isn’t easy,” says Caitie Corrigan, front of house manager and co-owner of The Lanc; along with her father, Chris Corrigan, and corporate chef, Tim Borys. “There’s a science to it.” The trio have strong roots in the barbecue world. In 2007 Chris opened Hog Tails BarBQue in St. Agatha, and later moved the operation to Waterloo in 2009. Met with unbridled demand, Chris decided to purchase the old Lancaster Tavern in 2011 to have the space necessary to serve his insatiable clientele.

That time is not idly spent. In recent years The Lanc has expanded their operations to include event catering, both on-site and off. Upstairs from the main dining room, the restaurant has a rustically charming space that can hold up to 120 guests.

Tim, now an unofficial adoptee of the Corrigan clan, has spent over half his life working in commercial kitchens and nearly his entire adult life living and breathing barbecue. Along with Caitie, the pair sees to the majority of the daily operations at The Lanc.

Never content to rest on their success, this trio of trailblazers doesn’t plan on slowing down anytime time soon. “Right now we’ve got the Smokehouse, the catering and the food truck,” Tim muses, “but in 5 or 10 years who knows what we’ll have?”

“We take the kitchen and the restaurant very seriously,” says Tim. “Our time is spent perfecting the process in the kitchen and growing the business.”

519.743.4331 574 Lancaster St. W., Kitchener


LET US HELP GET YOUR BODY IN MOTION! A Body in Motion Rehabilitation aims to ease musculoskeletal pain & heal injuries in a supportive environment. Fifteen years ago, Keri Martin Vrbanac opened her first clinic at Victoria and Duke Street. Two years ago, her team expanded and she opened a second clinic in The Boardwalk Medical Centre. Martin Vrbanac describes physiotherapy as restoration of movement. “Our mission is to help people heal. Our goal is to create a relationship and work together to get you feeling better.” Managing pain or mending an injury does not always mean taking medicine or undergoing surgery. It also does not have to start with a visit to your doctor. Physicians do refer people to physiotherapists, but anyone may book an appointment for themselves. At A Body In Motion Rehabilitation, you can expect to be treated as an individual in a warm, supportive and friendly atmosphere. A Body In Motion Rehabilitation also offers pelvic health physiotherapy, which is Martin Vrbanac’s focus. She likes to talk bluntly about embarrassing things. Do you pee your pants when you jump? Does it hurt when you have sex?

“You are going to get out of therapy what you put in and we will be here to motivate and encourage you every step of the way.” It’s all about helping clients find their own way back to health. A Body In Motion Rehabilitation’s team will work effortlessly to help alleviate your symptoms while maintaining a close healthcare team relationship. “I encourage people to talk about it,” says the Kitchener/Waterloo physiotherapist. “We have to talk about pelvic health. If we don’t, people will never know that although these conditions are common, they are NOT normal.” While many people think pain after childbirth or incontinence with pelvic conditions is normal, Martin Vrbanac confirms it is not. In an age of hospital infections and complications from surgery, it’s nice to know there is an effective, non-invasive alternative available. Physiotherapy, exercise, and massage can ease or eliminate many problems, including pelvic issues.

It’s time to let go of your pain! “Your active participation determines your destiny. Our promise is to be the people who walk the path to healing with you.”


430 The Boardwalk Waterloo 519.579.3746

70 Victoria St N, Kitchener

E X E R C I S E • E V E N T S PA C E • FA M I LY

NOW, THIS REALLY ROCKS! Have fun -- and get fit -- while climbing the walls at Grand River Rocks

Who knew getting fit could be so much fun? It happens all the time at Grand River Rocks, an enormous indoor rock climbing gym in Kitchener.

The auto belay are great for parents bringing several children at a time. After training, kids under 13 need only be attached by their supervising adult and can climb on their own.

People walk in, give it a try – and they’re hooked on the challenging workout, says co-founder Mike Cieplak.

Birthday parties for children are popular and pizza is included. The team building event is great for corporate groups and teams.

“They just enjoy climbing. The activity itself is what sells people. It’s a super fun activity, but also great for your body.” It’s a “purposeful workout,” where measured, calculated movements take you to your goal of each moment, Cieplak says. “It takes your mind off that repetitive workout mode. You focus more on the fun aspect.” The exciting atmosphere comes from the aweinspiring engineering, and the calm, creative participants. Cieplak first tried indoor climbing in 2002 and never stopped. In 2011, he teamed up with three buddies

– Scotty Hamill, Josh Tuffin, and Christoff LeRoux – and opened Grand River Rocks inside the former Canada Cordage warehouse. There are two types of climbing offered: The first is “bouldering,” where you climb up, over, under, and around a big freestanding structure which is about 14 feet tall. There are no ropes, but the mats below are extra thick for when you lose your grip.

While Grand River Rocks offers one off day-user passes, they also offer monthly memberships for around $60. This allows members access to a weight and cardio workout room and a yoga studio with regular classes to round out the experience this full service fitness facility. There is no age restriction for climbing. They’ve had people ages 3 to 90 on their walls!

The other option is climbing walls up to 36 feet tall, while tied into a rope. You can work with a partner, who controls your safety line or you can use an “auto-belay” and climb solo. Slip, and you’re automatically lowered, slowly, to the mat.

519.742.1389 1- 50 Borden Ave., Kitchener



Murphy’s Law Distillery is the Most Authentic Moonshine this side of Mississippi The old adage goes, “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong,” but burgeoning businessman Ben Murphy hasn’t let those odds trip him up as he’s sought out a spot for Murphy’s Law – Ontario’s first and only moonshine-only micro-distillery – among Waterloo Region’s increasingly refined craft brew crowd. Murphy hit the ground running when he first opened shop in Elmira in 2015, and he hasn’t looked back since. His journey into this unique industry, however, began several years before that, and exactly as you would hope from your friendly neighbourhood ‘shiner. While attending university on a crosscountry scholarship at a school in West Virginia, Murphy was paired with a senior member of his track team for training and orientation. What was immediately explained to him was that the university

was dry – no alcohol was to be served or consumed anywhere on campus. What Murphy came to learn later was that his senior partner and soon-tobe-friend distilled and sold authentic southern-style moonshine. Murphy was able to introduce his new friend and mentor to potential clients, and a partnership was born. For the next 4 years, Murphy would meticulously learn and practice the secrets of distilling moonshine, at one point even operating a still out of his residence bedroom, while obtaining his Bachelor of Science degree. Now, back in Ontario and equipped with all the legal permissions to distil and brew his own unique brand of corn mash liquor, Murphy has continued to build on the quality and quantity of moonshine offerings available, fostering relationships with local ingredient providers such as Martin’s Family Fruit Farm.

Murphy’s Law offers five refined flavours on a full-time basis – Apple Pie, Peach Pie, Sweet Tea, Cherry Bomb and ‘shine classic White Lightnin’. The outfit also offers small-batch and contract distillations to interested parties, and has found success providing unique products for festivals and wineries. Murphy’s experience and commitment to quality has earned his most popular product, Apple Pie, a much-vaunted place on LCBO shelves. Always looking to see where his next step will land, Murphy has big plans for the future. “Our one year anniversary is coming up, and we’re launching three more flavours. You’ll have to come see what they are.”

519.669.2500 90 Earl Martin Dr., Elmira

S PA • R E T R E AT • B E A U T Y


Need a break? Pampering awaits at The Waters - An Urban Spa Retreat in Waterloo You don’t have to travel far to escape the stresses of everyday life. Drop by The Waters - An Urban Spa Retreat in Uptown Waterloo for a five-star experience without the hassles of getting there. “It’s a resort-style spa right in Uptown Waterloo,” says Carly Kuntz, owner and “Chief Relaxation Officer.” Guests are pampered from the moment they walk in the door along Willis Way. They’re offered a complimentary bathrobe and slippers. Then a foot bath with rose petals and essential oils. “It’s all about the little extras,” she says. “We want to delight our guests.” Don’t be afraid to linger afterwards. Pause in the relaxation lounge. Sink into a leather chair in front of a fireplace. Have a snack.

“Guest don’t have to rush to leave right after their treatment. They can relax until they are ready to get back to their day,” Carly says. The Waters has eight treatment rooms, where massages, hand and food care, body treatments and hair removal are offered. Expect constant attention: one staff member is assigned to you for your entire visit.

The Waters also offers “spa parties.” Book up to eight people for a group manicure and pedicure before a wedding, or for a birthday. As part of a girls’ night out. Or a bachelorette party. For Carly and her staff, it’s all about offering an unforgettable visit. “We aim to exceed expectations and provide a truly relaxing and rejuvenating spa experience.”

There are two private areas set up for romantic, relaxing couples experiences. Soak together in a big tub in front of a fireplace. Move to the side-byside massage tables. Then perhaps facial treatments. And there are chocolates and strawberries to munch on.

519.888.7727 75 King St. S., Waterloo

L O C A L B E E R • FA R M - T O - TA B L E • B C O R P • TA S T E O F O N TA R I O T M

WELCOME TO OUR NEIGHBOURHOOD Being the Change, One Bite at a Time Bob Desautels founded The Neighbourhood Group on a simple principle of profound importance: “We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.” This philosophy underpins every action taken by the company. The Neighbourhood Group operates four restaurants in Kitchener and Guelph: Borealis Grille & Bar locations in Kitchener and Guelph, as well as The Woolwich Arrow in Guelph and Miijida Café + Bistro in Guelph. Their eateries are social enterprises: for-profit companies that measure success not by profit alone, but by the amount of positive social and environmental change they can bring about.

Group Leader at The Neighbourhood Group. “It isn’t just how we run our restaurants, it’s a way of life.” In an industry where pay grades are legally allowed to dip below minimum wage, Desautels and The Neighbourhood Group are doing things very differently. All full-time employees at all the restaurants are given health benefits after six months of employment.

For The Neighbourhood Group, this means being obsessively local about their ingredients, as well as generously committed to their staff and community. “Social enterprises are the wave of the future, says Court Desautels,”

Continuing to break the mould, employees working more than 20 hours a week are considered full-time, and once they hit that six-month mark, those benefits are available retroactively. By the time an employee has been with them for three years, The Neighbourhood Group is paying 100% of their benefit premiums.

“The Neighbourhood Group is Using Business as a Force for Good”

The Woolwich Arrow 176 Woolwich St, Guelph 519.836.2875

Borealis Gille & Gar 1388 Gordon St, Guelph 519.265.9007

The results have only been positive. “When Investors came on board,” Court remembers, “we knew that we had made the right choice.” Despite the doubts of investors, the perceived gamble has paid off, Desautels shares proudly. “Jobs need to fulfill not just our financial needs, but our moral ones as well. By treating them better, the staff are more engaged, happier and more productive.” And it turns out, happy and engaged staff contribute to even greater financial sustainability, not less.

If applicants receive a high enough score on their assessment, they receive their certification. Since their inception, B Labs has assessed over 20,000 enterprises

than one location adhering to the program’s strict standards. Even among a program that recognizes excellence, The Neighbourhood Group’s exceptional practices of sustainability and fairness make them stand out from their peers. “Once you squeeze something until there’s nothing left, you start to ask why you did it this way. Why bleed it dry. If you act with purpose, and the purpose is positive, the results are positive and long lasting.”

On May 2, 2016, a four-year long effort by The Neighbourhood Group came to fruition when all four of their restaurants became a Certified B Corporation. They’re proud of this achievement, and they should be. The certification comes from B Labs, a global not-for-profit organization that helps companies assess and align their social and environmental impact.

Miijidaa Cafe & Bistro, Guelph 37 Quebec St, Guelph 519.821.9271

across the planet. Of those, 1,863 have received their certification, 156 of which are Canadian companies. Across the entire program only 17 restaurants have been certified, and The Neighbourhood Group is the only resturant group to operate more

Borealis Gille & Gar, Kitchener 4336 King St East, Kitchener 519.219.9007

C R A F T B E E R • E V E N T S PA C E • E AT E R Y

SUPERHEROES BREWING IN KW AT DESCENDANTS BEER & BEVERAGE CO its all about truth, justice & brewing great beer

Mild-mannered Robin Molloy assumed a position at a national bank, but yearned to use his considerable powers for greater things.

Before brewing, Molloy ventured afar to become a certified Brewmaster. “We didn’t want to just start. We had to have the right background to do it.”

Driven by an entrepreneurial spirit he sought the perfect opportunity to unleash his potential.

Molloy completed the Concise Course at Siebel in Chicago and completed an intensive Brew Master Training at VLB - a 133-year-old program originating in Berlin, Germany.

In 2010 it was his new bride, Lee Brooks, that urged him to resurrect a business plan from almost a decade past and pursue his passion: beer.

Just as much consideration went into crafting the vision of the microbrewery.

“The first conversation about this started on our honeymoon,” recalls Brooks. “I told him, you keep going back to beer. If that’s your passion, why don’t we just do this?”

“We wanted to be a little different. We’re both Celtic descendants,” explains Brooks, “but we’re all descendant from somewhere. So are our beers.”

Knowing that beer is a powerful product, and with great power comes great responsibility, the couple embarked on what is now a six-year long adventure.

“Each beer stands on it’s own, but collectively they make up something more. We envision our beers like the Knights of the Round Table…or The Avengers.”

A trio of beers dubbed ‘The 3 Amigos’ form the core of the brewery’s super hero group. Along with a selection of wine, spirits and food, you can find The Amigos at the newly opened Bierhalle in Kitchener, where they host live comedy and a buck a shuck oysters on Friday nights. The Beirhalle can host private events such as birthday parties, weddings, networking events and meeting groups with room for up to 95 guests, and comfortably handling events of up to 50 people without requiring rental of the full space, Descendant’s provides a spectacular venue to come together in heroic fashion.

226.241.3700 319 Victoria St N, Kitchener


FAMILY MAN TO THE RESCUE Todd O’Donnell at State Farm has your back

John Lennon famously sang, “Life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans.” Todd O’Donnell at State Farm Insurance, however, wants to make sure you and your family have as many options as possible available when the plan changes. “Sometimes the hardest part of my job is the most meaningful,” Todd tells us. “It’s important to me that when something goes wrong in my client’s lives, I know they’re covered.” Recently Todd helped a large family after an overnight fire destroyed their home just east of Cambridge. Nobody was hurt: smoke alarms alerted everyone early and they escaped. Todd didn’t leave the distraught family to work with an insurance claims adjuster they never met before. Instead, he drove to

meet them the next morning as they ate a meal at a neighbour’s house. He personally arranged for transportation and hotel rooms, before they turn their minds to rebuilding. “We can work with them through the process because they know us,” he says. Todd sees himself as a guide in helping people protect what is most important to them; their home, their car and most importantly their family. “We want to know our customers,” explains Todd, “so we can help tailor a solution to them.” Todd and his team really get to know their client’s lives – where they live, what they do, how large or small their family is. “Our job is challenging people to talk about difficult topics. They don’t want to talk about what happens when they get sick, or what happens

®State Farm and related trademarks and logos are registered trademarks owned by State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, used under license by Certas Home and Auto Insurance Company, and certain of its affiliates.

at the end. But these are the policies that have the greatest impact on our client’s lives.” State Farm offers auto, fire (home, tenant, business) life and health insurance, and investment products such as RRSP’s, RESP’s and mutual funds, and they even offer vehicle financing. Todd says it best, “We’re a one stop shop. We offer a complete portfolio of products.”

519.651.0496 12 - 900 Jamieson Pkwy, Cambridge 519.830.0996 2-20 Cowan Pl., Guelph

S E PA R AT I O N • D I V O R C E • M E D I AT I O N

SHE CHOSE COURAGE Preserving Relationships

Annie never imagined she’d find herself in this terrible situation – her marriage of 15 years to Ted was ending abruptly, devastated by an affair that they couldn’t work through. How would their three children be affected? How would her part-time career support her responsibilities, especially with their debt-laden financial picture? What would this mean for her future? The one thing both Annie and Ted agreed upon was ‘how’ they were going to move through their divorce. It was going to be different from the horror stories they knew was so often the norm. They were not going to let the hurt and emotions of their separation impact their ability to be good parents, to tarnish their children’s future. They were going to avoid court and find a process that allowed them to keep in control of their decisions, and not hate each other in their co-parenting future. That’s why Ted and Annie sought out Fairway Divorce Solutions. They wanted help to work through the

difficult discussions and decisions; working independently of each other, but always toward a common resolution. Ted needed to be heard, without judgments or blame. Annie needed reassurance, and a goforward plan. Both needed a process to assist in the healing, yet make good decisions for their finances and their family’s future. As owner/mediator at Fairway Divorce, I was able to provide the divorce mediation process they needed, as well as the care and coaching to help them navigate the rough waters. In just four and a half months, Annie and Ted worked through their challenging financial debt load, getting the house sold and freeing up enough monthly income to support two households. With my guidance, they came up with a unique parenting plan that could accommodate Ted’s shift work while ensuring he would still have quality time with the children. I also coached Annie and Ted in developing improved communication skills to help them in parenting

post-divorce. While the discussions were challenging and often tearful, they both stayed committed to working through it with Fairway. As part of the process, upon the last meeting at Fairway, each person was asked to choose a stone with an inspirational word engraved on it. For me, the care and concern for people and children is a cornerstone to my work. I want people to carry this stone with them as a token of good wishes for their future, to help ground them on what they held important through this difficult process and what would remain important in the future. For Annie, courage spoke to their experience so far, as well as their family’s journey ahead.

Colette Fortin


Divorce Solutions®

519.954.6240 25 Young St. E., Waterloo

Throughout this article, I have drawn on examples from working with over 250 families as their divorce mediator. To protect the privacy and confidentiality of my clients, I have changed the names, descriptions and other identifying characteristics. I am grateful to be able to do this work and am honored by their trust in me.

W I N T E R E N T E R TA I N M E N T • T E A M B U I L D I N G • E V E N T S S PA C E


Chicopee Tube Park offers a season of fun times outdoors and indoors Put away your sandals. Watch the leaves turn colour and feel the nip of fall in the cool air.

With vaulted ceilings, awe-inspiring pine beam construction and a balcony overlooking the grandeur of the Chicopee hill, the 9,200 square foot chalet looks as if was transplanted from the Swiss Alps.

Winter is on the way, but snow on the ground is never guaranteed in Kitchener. Chicopee Tube Park, however, has a new, environmentally friendly snow-making system ready if Mother Nature doesn’t co-operate. In 2015, Bob Harris, General Manager at the tube park, spearheaded the design and construction of a water conservation system. Before, city drinking water was purchased to make snow. Now, it’s not needed to keep those epic tube runs open. Harris and his team can create enough snow all winter for the runs by using runoff water captured in a pond at the base of the hill. Not only does the change make the snow-making process a completely renewable operation, the recycled water is better for making

519.895.2322 1600 River Rd E, Kitchener

The rustic main hall features an openconcept construction, making it a unique meeting space for private, public, or corporate gatherings.

snow than water from the tap. That means snow can often be made earlier at Chicopee than at other winter recreation facilities. Hurtling down Chicopee hill on a big rubber tube isn’t the park’s only attraction. A stunning, European-style log chalet welcomes from 150 - 350 guests and visitors at the base.

“We’re a full service event space,” says Mandy Dittmann, Facilities Coordinator. “People are using the space for team meetings, training sessions, weddings, and parties … anything you can think of.” During company events, managers often take their employees out onto the tube runs for some exhilarating fun, Sam Weber says. “Anyone can do it, and it’s great for team building.”


A WELCOME RETREAT From the Hustle & Bustle of the city


meetings with designers, to

Framed and displayed, these

the builder’s quality features,

words represent the Stewart

family’s homebuilding experience over the last two years. The

poster was a gift from a family friend, who watched Linda,

Douglas, and daughter, Brianna, transform their dreams into

reality when they purchased a

new condominium townhome in East Waterloo’s Grey Silo Gate community.

From concept drawings and

regular furniture shopping trips

and the April move-in day, it was

beyond what they expected. And attention to detail, and patient

response to their requests only made the journey easier.

“We wanted to find a home

that was great for us, and would be great for us in the future,” Douglas says.

“From the sales and construction staff, to the Customer

Coordinators, everyone was good at making sure we were happy

with what we were purchasing.” Grey Silo Gate’s condominium

community was also appealing to the Stewarts, who are now

planning family trips knowing

that their landscaping, exterior

maintenance, and snow removal

will be taken care of while they are away.

“It’s wonderful to be able to lock up and not have to worry about duties at home. You just don’t

have to worry about anything,” Linda says.

The Stewarts praise the

community’s quiet countryside

feel while being located within

she has her space, and we have

find them walking and cycling the

beautiful open-concept kitchen

the city limits. Often, you can

multi-use trails through the RIM Park district or practicing their

swing at the neighboring Grey Silo Golf Course.

ours. Downstairs, we have a

and great room, a secluded main floor master bedroom, and a

bathroom big enough to host a party in,” Linda laughs.

“This area is so calming. It has

Two decades ago, Linda and

country and the amenities of

homes built on Westmeadow

the quiet tranquility of the

the city. You can even hear the

crickets at night,” Brianna says. A Wilfrid Laurier student, Brianna likes having the upstairs loft area to herself. The large bedroom,

bathroom and walk-in closet sure beat a dorm room.

Her parents are just as proud of their new home.

“It’s the perfect arrangement;

Douglas bought one of the first Drive in Kitchener. They watched houses filling in around their home, much like today in

Grey Silo Gate. Linda fondly

remembers how a community of strangers grew closer together as the year’s rolled on.

“We always had street parties. That will happen here too. I

just know we will be a tight-knit community.”

VISIT OUR SALES CENTRE: 243 Grey Silo Rd. Waterloo Monday-Wednesday 4-7 pm Saturday & Sunday 1-5 pm

L A W Y E R S • R E A L E S TAT E • W I L L S & E S TAT E S

LIVING BY HIS ‘PLATINUM RULE’ Always put yourself in your clients’ shoes, says Kitchener lawyer Don Travers

Don Travers has spent a lifetime listening to people and helping solve their problems. The Montreal native has been a lawyer in Kitchener for 42 years. And for a decade of that time, he also sat on Kitchener city and Waterloo Region councils. “I remember one time before I spoke to a group,” Don says, laughing a little. “I am a politician and a lawyer and I hope we can still be friends.” Don is proud of how he works with people, helping them buy their homes. “I think the key thing is that politics made me a much better lawyer,” he says. “To be a good politician, I think what you have to do is put yourself in your

constituents’ shoes. I think I do the same thing as a lawyer.”

When you have been there too long, there are no new ideas.”

For Don, it goes beyond the golden rule of treating people how you want to be treated.

Don formed a law partnership with Barry Paquette in 1981. Today, the firm has grown, with offices in Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Guelph and Milton.

“I have a platinum rule … put yourself in their shoes.” So Don meets clients personally, often in the evening, and encourages questions. Fixed prices are set up front with a money-back satisfaction guarantee. “We are always trying to improve. We survey all our clients after closing.” Don moved from Montreal to Toronto, then Kitchener, in the mid- 1970s. He joined a local law firm, working on land development proposals. That opened his eyes to local politics, and stirred his desire for civic duty. Don was first elected to Kitchener city and regional council in 1979. He kept getting re-elected, but retired after 10 years. “I did it for the right reasons.

Don has taken a young lawyer under his wing, Rinus Pais to assist with real estate work. Don likes golf, downhill skiing, travel, and work. He has no retirement plans, because he loves meeting new people every week.

1-877-744-2281 2C-688 Hespeler Rd. Cambridge 295 Weber Street N. Waterloo 10 Duke St. W., Kitchener


EXPERIENCE THE FLORAL ARTISTRY AT LILIES WHITE Let Dawn and Donna tell your stories Flowers have long been used to share emotions and love for one another. They stir memories and remind us of the natural beauty all around and generally make us feel really good. Perhaps this is why so many clients seek out the creative artistry of Dawn Tomlinson and Donna Swinson, who use a storyteller’s eye to weave beautiful flowers into the tapestry of both every day and special occasions. Reason enough for these 2 floral artists to feel so honored and privileged to be able to help people tell the stories of their lives with flowers, whether for major life events like weddings and funerals or even the regular happenings of our everyday lives. “We are as intentional as they are. First we listen carefully to their story. Then we collaborate. I think we bring exceptionally unique ideas and approaches to design,” Dawn says. Dawn and Donna have spent two decades building a reputation for creating interesting and creative designs with a very modern vibe. 

The business started in their Kitchener homes. It grew and they opened a shop within a couple of years in a Mannheim barn. They think back with pride on the downtown spaces they moved into later, which helped them grow, evolve and stay current with what pleases customers, including recently creating on line ordering service, however, they are particularly at home in their new studio on Guelph Street in Kitchener. While they enjoy the challenge of turning a bride’s dreams into breathtaking reality, they also bring their creative talent to all of life’s everyday events including birthdays, funerals, parties, as well as corporate work and events. “The key to creating memorable, long-lasting floral designs is helping our clients understand what kinds

of flowers and elements work well in any given situation, knowing how they look best, last longest, and perform to the utmost in various situations.” Donna says. Their work evokes gratitude from their clients, so it is really fulfilling when people take time out of their busy lives to tell us how we made a difference. That fills us immensely and gives our work such meaning.

Lilies White Floral Studio has a new address! 519.576.7100 900 Guelph St. Kitchener

S PA • W A X B A R • B E A U T Y

GET IN. GET IT DONE. GET OUT. Leave It to the Experienced Hands at Bare Essentials Waxing

Following trends from Europe, a string of successful, speedy wax bars have begun popping up in major cities across the country, and Waterloo is no exception.

“Waxing is something I’m just good at,” Laurie says confidently. “You put your head down and just do it. I want to make sure my clients get it done quickly.”

“We’re not a spa where we’re going to offer you a robe, or a tea,” Laurie Hannoush, owner and head aesthetician says. “It’s a wax bar. It’s an express service. You can come in at lunch, get your stuff done, and get out.”

Her social media savvy combined with her expertise, affordable prices and focus on speedy service soon lead to an overwhelming demand for her waxing talents, particularly Brazilians.

Laurie didn’t always think she would have a career in professional hair removal. After graduating from school for graphic design and operating her own custom wedding invitation business, Laurie started waxing to supplement her income at home. To her pleasant surprise, her waxing clientele grew quicker than her invitation business.

Bare Essentials offers more than just waxing, also offering threading, electrolysis and laser hair removal, as well as skin treatments and spray tans. Because you have better things to do with your time than sit around waiting to get rid of unwanted hair, Bare Essentials staff of 6 aestheticians will leave you feeling your best. All you need to do is text them or go online to book your appointment and you are on your way, no matter which service you choose.

Many of the same waxing and laser services available for women are there for the guys too, but with some unfamiliar names. Whether you’re interested in back, chest, cheek and neck hair removal, or the more interestingly named “deep speedo” or “Brozilian” the wax bar, Bare Essentials can take care of it. A Brazilian wax is not a do-it-yourself projectTM. Leave your sensitive areas in the expert hands of the team at Bare Essentials.

519.884.8660 95 King St N #102, Waterloo

H O M E I M P R O V E M E N T • R E N O VAT I O N S • B AT H R O O M

CALL IT RUDI’S BATHROOM OBSESSION Schweitzer’s Plumbing turns renovation dreams into jaw-dropping reality

Rudi Schweitzer dreams about building stunning bathrooms. “You might say we are kind of obsessed with bathrooms,” says the owner of Schweitzer’s in St. Agatha. “I love designing big showers with lots of water spraying around, tall glass, no sills, large format tiles, unique shapes.” Schweitzer plumbing was founded in 1975, by Rudi’s parents. Adi and Elli worked out of their garage, installing bathrooms in new homes and taking plumbing repairs calls. In 1986, Rudi’s mom realized people were eager for bathroom renovations using all the new fixtures becoming available. It was also the time Rudi joined the family business. Within a few years, Rudi was owner and plenty busy with bathroom work.

Today, all Schweitzer’s does is plumbing service and renovations: mostly bathrooms, as well as some kitchen and basement refinishing work mixed in. Rudi has design specialists to bring a homeowner’s dreams to reality. All the work on a job – from tear out to tile work to painting — is done by his skilled crews. No contractors are called in. Big, built-in, corner tubs are passé in bathroom makeovers these days, Rudi says. Free-standing soaker tubs still have some buyers, but today it’s all about big, walk-in showers with no sills to trip over. The drain runs along a gently sloped floor, creating an elegant and easily accessible space for anyone with mobility challenges.

Most people call Rudi complaining that their bathroom is dysfunctional, ugly or leaking – or all of the above. While Rudi loves the challenge of creating jaw-dropping makeovers, he often has to talk people down from dreams fuelled by television home renovation shows. He helps them understand what can fit in the space available. And that a bathroom renovation can take weeks to complete and rock a family’s daily routine. “I am glad to do a lot of hand holding,” Rudi says.

Schweitzer’s PLUMBING CENTRE 519.747.1819 1768 Erbs Rd, St. Agatha

S O C I A L E N T E R P R I S E • C S A • L O C A L LY G R O W N F O O D

HACIENDA MARKET GARDEN GROWS COMMUNITY Teaching garden beside Kitchener landmark helps people bloom while working the soil Take a stroll through the Hacienda Market Garden and watch people grow. Some are there on internships, learning skills to help them find jobs. Others are there for the simple fun of digging in the dirt. “The magic of the garden is that it brings people together with a common goal of growing,” says Adam Kramer, the chief farmer watching over the space beside the Hacienda Sarria. Four years ago, owner Ron Doyle donated two acres of reclaimed land for the Working Centre to transform it into a teaching garden. Create something, let people take ownership, get out of their way, and self-sufficiency will blossom, says Ron. It’s the kind of community-building effort The Working Centre encourages, says director Joe Mancini. It offers education and tools to help people help themselves and their neighbours. “The food is grown with love,” Mancini says.

Other produce is purchased by restaurants, including The Berlin in Kitchener. Chef Jonathan Gushue focuses on serving top-quality local seasonal food. He has a standing weekly order. One week he received five varieties of eggplants and served them all in one preparation.

Four or five people a year are accepted for paid internships. Another 100 or so volunteers join in, learning how to grow a range of food and floral, from heritage tomatoes to salad greens. “Nobody will do weeding these days unless there’s meaning to it,” Mancini says. The garden is a non-profit community enterprise, selling upwards of 10,000 pounds of produce a year. Most is sold through CSA food boxes. Families pay in spring for fresh food delivered weekly through the summer and fall. They also have a winter CSA.

Produce is also sold at local stores including the Public Market, Central Fresh Market, Healthy Foods & More, Vincenzo’s, and Legacy Greens. Running a market garden isn’t simple, Kramer says. It’s an art to produce the most, highest value food from the smallest area at the lowest cost and effort. Drip irrigation saved the crop this year, he says.“I think despite the drought we did incredibly well. Every year is better than the last and we are always learning.”

Hacienda Sarria Market Garden



OLD WORLD ELEGANCE At Hacienda Sarria, guests are treated like family

Built as part of a sugar beet refinery in 1902, today’s Hacienda Sarria was created by Ron Doyle. He was inspired by the century old walk in Northern Spain, the Road to Santiago de Compostela. Hacienda Sarria emulates dreams of European-style living combined with the simpcity of a pastoral life. Walk in the door and you’re treated with warmth at Hacienda Sarria. We look after all the details, big or small. Everyone here is ready to make your event carefree and memorable. When people come to Hacienda, they feel like it’s their home for the day, says president Nadine Day. Think: rustic castle. The fountain along the driveway out front? It was created for a biggerthan-life personality who changed his mind and it

instead landed along Union Street in Kitchener. Gardens, ponds, and statues entice guests to stroll, talk, and unwind. Inside, it’s like walking a European village square, with sunlight falling through skylights illumining the architecture and works of art commissioned and handcrafted by artisans and local craftspeople. Upstairs, rooms overlook the courtyard where brides and grooms prepare for their big day – or guest speakers get ready for a corporate event.“It’s so striking and yet serene,” says Leah Mackie, sales and marketing manager.

Two event planners are supported by a team of hospitality specialists to turn dreams into reality. When you reserve your event at Hacienda, the entire facility is yours – no other event runs at the same time. “We like to take care of every detail at all of our events, so our clients feel relaxed and can enjoy the celebration as well. We execute the client’s vision to create memories that last a lifetime.” Nadine says.

519.585.1681 1254 Union St, Kitchener

R E A L E S TAT E • C O M M U N I T Y • L E N D I N G • M O R T G A G E S

YOUR RECIPE FOR HOME BUYING SUCCESS Alison Lopes and Ian Inglis work hard to make your dreams a reality Now this couple really cooks.

too… In work ethic, we’re both cut from the same cloth.”

Alison Lopes and Ian Inglis help people buy homes, but their real joy is building relationships with family, friends, and pretty well anyone across the Kitchener-Waterloo community. He’s a broker with Re/Max Solid Gold Realty. She’s a mortgage broker, with Dominion Lending Centres Premier Mortgages. They’re also a bit, well, goal driven. Watch them jockey for space in their home kitchen making meals, or playing cards. “We are very competitive,” Alison says.“It’s not about winning. It’s about beating Ian,” she says, turning to shoot her husband a loving grin. They’ve been married 10 years and they have 6 children and 1 grandson.

Both are immigrants to Canada: Alison from Portugal, Ian from the United Kingdom. They share the experience of being uprooted from home, arriving in a place where they knew few people, and the challenge of building life anew.

They may seem alike, but it’s not always been that way. “We had totally different upbringings,” Ian says. “She’s one of seven children. I am an only child. There is a lot of big differences between us. But there is a lot of similarities,

Alison arrived in Canada at age 8, from “very rural, very poor” Sao Miguel Island in The Azores. Her father, a bricklayer, came to Waterloo Region first. Three years later his wife and family followed, leaving behind a home without indoor plumbing. “I understand coming to Canada gives you the opportunity to improve your way of life.” she says. Alison remembers walking into a bank, looking for a job. She was hired and learned the ins and outs of loans and mortgages, before she became her own boss.

519.888.7110 180 Weber St S, Waterloo

Ian Inglis Broker

RE/MAX Solid Gold Realty (II) Ltd., Brokerage

“I have a high work ethic which was instilled in me from being part of a large family. Everyone had to contribute. I enjoy meeting people from all walks of life and helping them achieve one of life’s major goals, home ownership. Being an integral part of this milestone is so rewarding.”

Heriot-Watt University, just before he emigrated to Canada. Ian uses a Bond theme to thank his clients. Every time there’s a new

Alison serves food at Ray of Hope. She’s a member of 100 Women Who Care, and also Bikes for Kids, which last year raised money to donate 25 bicycles to needy children.

Ian arrived in Kitchener-Waterloo in 1981, at age 23, with his parents. “I started basically from scratch, not knowing anybody,” Ian says. His business degree wasn’t much help to find a job in an economic recession. A friend suggested real estate. After starting in 1982, Ian hasn’t looked back. “I don’t see myself retiring any time soon, because I love what I do,” he says. “It’s sort of like a real estate family. It’s all about building long-lasting relationships.” You could say Ian’s real estate career got a boost from James Bond. Ok, Bond actor Sean Connery, who presented Ian his B.A. in Business at

519.897.1608 59 Erb St E, Waterloo

Ian is a Kiwanis club member, raises money with 100 Men who Give a Damn, and serves breakfast to children on Fridays, as part of Nutrition for Learning. He donates part of his sales commissions to Lutherwood.

“We give back to the community as much as we can,” Alison says.

Bond movie, he dresses up in a tuxedo to host a private screening party. Before graduating, Ian worked a variety of jobs. Cleaning aircraft. Security guard at a whiskey distillery. He fed lions and tigers – and helped a giraffe give birth – at a safari park in Scotland.

Alison Lopes Mortgage Broker

“We work and play and contribute in our own community.” Alison sums up their love for Canada like this: “There’s so much opportunity: you just have to go out, work hard, and go get it!

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Good Company Magazine issue 1  
Good Company Magazine issue 1