Thinking Inside the Box TAKING IT UP A NOTCH
20 Tips for Improving Your Business
2012 $19.95 SUMMER 2014 VOL 1 | ISSUE 3 $4.95 2012 $19.95 VOLUME 1, ISSUE 1, 2014
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PUBLISHER Rev Publishing Inc. PRESIDENT & CEO Daniel Pasco SALES REPRESENTATIVES Madeline Dimperio Alex Mills David Mace Michael Koval David Gibson Dayton Davis John Chiocchio EDITOR Megan Pasche
SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Tina Lanzillotta Lacey McBane GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Tabitha MacDonald Rachel Bertrand Veronika Simmons IT/WEB DEVELOPER Justin Soungie CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Flavio Iammarino, Gabrielle Tieman, Lauren Charley, Lynn Ogryzlo TO ADVERTISE PLEASE CALL 905.356.7283 or 1.877.888.2825 WEBSITE todaymagazine.ca
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Thinking Inside the Box
Stepping Up Your Game
PAPER NUTS l 24
TAKE A LITTLE BRAIN VACATION l 08
Today Magazine is published by Rev Publishing Inc. All opinions expressed in Today Magazine are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the view of Today Magazine, it’s employees or owners. Reasonable care is taken to ensure that the information contained in this magazine is as up-to-date and accurate as possible, as of the time of publication, but no responsibility can be taken by Today Magazine for any errors, omissions or comments made by writers or interviewees that are contained herein. Furthermore, responsibility for any losses, damages or distress resulting from adherence to any information made available through this magazine is not the responsibility of Today Magazine. All unsolicited manuscripts and/or photographs submitted are assumed to be intended for publication or republication in whole or in part. The right to alter, edit or refuse photos and/or manuscripts intended for publication is assumed. All unsolicited material submitted to Today Magazine are submitted at the author’s risk. Manuscripts and or photographs intended to be returned must be accompanied by sufficient postage. Today Magazine does not assume any responsibility for any claims of our advertisers and reserves the right to refuse any advertising.
BEST PRODUCTIVITY APPS l 44 Apps That Save Time
MAKING YOUR WEBSITE WORK FOR YOU l 46
Lifestyle & Culture
Tips to Improve Your Web Presence
Niagara’s Best Courses
Taking Your Business Up a Notch
YOUR NIAGARA, YOUR FUTURE l 10 THINKING ABOUT RETIREMENT l 12 Small Business and Retirement Dreams
IF AT FIRST YOU DON’T SUCCEED... TIE, TIE AGAIN l 13 Cool Ties for Today’s Businessman.
HICKORY STICK GOLF COURSE l 14 A Hole-by-Hole Guide.
DIY: DESK TERRARIUM l 18
20 TIPS FOR IMPROVING YOUR BUSINESS l 50
In Focus SPOTLIGHT ON: REV PUBLISHING l 53
Niagara’s Most Progressive Publisher
Food & Drink
Add a Little Outdoors to Your Workspace
WORK LUNCHES l 56
DEALING WITH DIFFERENT PERSONALITY TYPES l 20
SHARED AGRICULTURE l 58
Keeping the Office Peace todaymagazine.ca
SOCIAL MEDIA FOR BUSINESS l 42
Packing the Perfect Lunch Enjoying a Share of the Bounty
MIND YOUR BUSINESS l 28
MARILYN’S BISTRO l 60
GET OUT THE MAP l 29
THE PERFECT PECAN PIE l 62
Quick Trips Within Driving Distance
Recipe Courtesy of Chef Olivier Jansen Reyhaud
WE ALL WANT TO BE RICH l 63
The Power of Being Positive
BELLA & JOSH PRODUCTS l 31 Stylish Office Products
OFFICE DESIGN l 38
Tips for Making the Most of Your Space
INTERIOR PLANTSCAPING l 40 Enhance Your Indoor Environment
A Unique Dining Experience
Wine Culture in Business
CHEF PROFILE l 65
Chef Angelo Melchorie
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T E A S E YO U R B R A I N
1. What gets wetter and wetter the more it dries? 2. What goes up and down the stairs without moving? 3. I can run but not walk. Wherever I go, thought follows close behind. What am I? 4. What goes around the world, but stays in a corner? 5. The man who invented it, doesn’t want it. The man who bought it, doesn’t need it. The man who needs it, doesn’t know it. What is it? 6. What can run, but never walk, has a mouth, but never talks, has a head, but never weeps, has a bed but never sleeps? 7. I’m light as a feather, yet the strongest man can’t hold me for much more than a minute. What am I? 8. What is so delicate that its name breaks it?
COFFEE BUZZ Coffee is actually a fruit: coffee beans are the pits of berries. It has been called a “bean” due to
R ANDOM FACTS
These are always good to break out during uncomfortable silences or Trivial Pursuit Games.
“Try not to become a man of success, but a man of value.” — ALBERT EINSTEIN
MONTHS THAT BEGIN ON A SUNDAY ALWAYS HAVE A FRIDAY THE 13TH IN THEM.
A “JIFFY” IS THE SCIENTIFIC NAME FOR 1/100TH OF A SECOND.
LIKE FINGERPRINTS, EVERYONE’S TONGUE PRINT IS DIFFERENT.
THE ZIP IN ZIP CODE STANDS FOR ZONE IMPROVEMENT PLAN.
WITHOUT THEIR SHELLS
1. A towel 5. A coffin 8
CASHEWS ARE ALWAYS SOLD
2. A rug 3. A nose 4. A stamp 6. A river 7. Breath 8. Silence
BECAUSE THE SHELL CONTAINS OIL THAT CAN CAUSE A RASH SIMILAR TO POISON IVY.
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit. — ARISTOTLE
EAK LET THE C R E AT I V I T Y F L O W
The Art Gym located in St. Catharines is the perfect place to unwind after work and unleash some creativity! There is complete freedom to get messy and explore all kinds of different art forms. Even if you don’t feel like you are an “artist” per say, it’s still a fun place to go and try something new. All materials are supplied (we’re talking drawing, painting and sculpting supplies), and there are a variety of ways to get involved (day pass, group lessons, memberships, classes). It’s the perfect place to exercise your mind. More info available at theartgym.ca
Legend goes that a goat herder in 9th century Ethiopia discovered coffee by mistake after he saw how crazy the goats acted after consuming the beans. Not sure how bahlievable that is.
COWORK NIAGAR A CoWorking “is a shared space where freelancers, social entrepreneurs and nonprofit groups work, collaborate and make awesome stuff together.” — CoWork Niagara website This group offers those individuals who work from home or own their own business, the chance to work in a shared workspace with other professionals. This gives people the chance to collaborate and connect with other business owners, entrepreneurs, and benefit from the collective knowledge of the group. The group meets up twice a week (Wednesdays from 1pm to 4pm and Fridays 9am to noon) at Maytay Café on St. Paul Street in St. Catharines.
The lethal dose of coffee would be around 100 cups per day.
To learn more check out coworkniagara.com and see if it’s for you!
The world’s first webcam was invented at the University of Cambridge, and its function was to alert people as to whether or not the pot had coffee in it.
“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” — RALPH WALDO EMERSON 9
YOUR NIAGARA, YOUR FUTURE: Niagara College’s Entrepreneurship and small Business management program by: lauren charley
any students dream of one day owning their own business. The idea of being the boss, in charge of operations and delegating tasks to others, is appealing to those who desire the freedom and excitement available by following a career path as an entrepreneur. By setting up your own business, you are able to combine your enthusiasm and interests with your skills and intellect, in order to achieve financial prosperity and personal success. What many of these aspiring young professionals fail to realize, however, is that becoming an accomplished small business owner does not simply happen overnight. It is easy to come up with an idea, but in order to become a professional entrepreneur, it takes a lot of time, dedication, planning, and education in order for all aspects of the business to operate smoothly. The skills and education obtained through taking an ontario College program in “Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management”, are designed to prepare students with the knowledge and practice they will need when surviving in the world of modern business. “The extensive course inventory provides students with a course that will meet their needs, and they can register with any partner college offering the course,” notes Jayne Moffat, the Associate Dean of Continuing Education at Niagara College. Through courses
covering topics such as the fundamentals of business, operations and legal issues, computer and technology basics, marketing, planning, and presentations, students are sure to receive an exceptional education which they can then apply to achieving their dreams for entrepreneurial success in the future.
The Entrepreneurship and small Business management program at Niagara College The Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management Program offers a certificate designed for individuals who seek to expand their knowledge of small business management and advance in their professional careers. The seven course program prepares students with the necessary skills and training to own and run a successful small business. Classes are offered by Niagara College in the spring, fall, and winter terms. It is completed entirely online through ontarioLearn, with the final exam taking place at either the Niagara-on-the-Lake or Welland campus. All participants of the program are able to complete their education on their own time, within five years, to receive the certificate.
Lifestyle & Culture Success Story:
The Niagara College “Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management Program” is a part-time certificate, offered online through the Continuing Education Program.
Compulsory Courses of the Program Small Business Financial Management – ENTR 1012: •
Provides students with an overview of financial management concepts, to learn the terms and operations of small business management from an accounting perspective.
Introduction to Small Business and Entrepreneurship- ENTR 1010: •
Designed to teach students the foundations of entrepreneurial success, in order to develop the skills necessary to own and operate their own small business.
Computer Skills for Business I- CAPL1013: •
Teaches students the basic computer skills essential for assembling their own small business plan.
Computer Skills for Business II- CAPL 1023: •
A continuation of Computer Skills for Business I, this course takes the skills acquired in the prerequisite and advances them to the level of expertise necessary for developing their professional business plan.
Business Plan and Presentations for Small BusinessBUSN 1024: •
Applies the dexterities learned from the Computer Skills for Business courses and applies them directly to working on the final stages of the students’ business plans and PowerPoint presentations.
Small Business Marketing- MKTG 1010: •
Through relevant research, students will learn the tools applicable to designing an effective marketing campaign for their small business.
Small Business Operations & Legal IssuesBUSN 1022: •
Teaches forums of business ownership, licensing requirements, inventory planning, employee selection, and other areas of small business ownership operations.
Cathy Leyenhorst, Assistant Retail Manager at Upper Canada Cheese Company, Jordan Station Cathy Leyenhorst is a graduate of the Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management Program, who attributes a lot of her current career success to the certificate she earned from her education at Niagara College. Like many others who enroll in the program, Cathy says “The business world had long been a source of fascination for me; however, I did not relish the thought of going to work in a large and potentially impersonal corporate environment. I felt that I could make a meaningful contribution to a small business environment if I learned the skills set of an entrepreneur...hence my enrollment in the Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management Program.” After completing her training in just a year, Cathy landed a full time position as the Assistant Retail Manager at Upper Canada Cheese Company in Jordan Station. Already having completed a baking apprenticeship and Dietary Food Service Worker certificate, Cathy was able to combine her education with the new skills she obtained from the small business management courses, and apply them directly to this rewarding career. “The Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management Program was a tremendous asset in helping me bridge the gap from my former employment situation to my new career. I really have used virtually every skill taught in the program in my new workplace, and I understand the dynamics of the business well because I now have an appropriate academic background,” Cathy says proudly.
What sets apart the education received at Niagara College compared to other schools which offer the certificate program?
“This program is administered by one of Canada’s most entrepreneurial colleges and delivered by faculty who are experts in entrepreneurship and small business.” — Jayne Moffat
Start Planning Your Future Today It’s never too late to start a career in entrepreneurship or small business management. Whether you are looking to build upon your previous education and work experience, or start entirely from scratch with a new and exciting vocation, the Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management Program at Niagara College, will provide you with the skills and education necessary to thrive in professional business industries. Registration for courses in the fall semester begin on July 14, 2014, and classes start on September 9, 2014. Those interested in the program are encouraged to visit the Continuing Education website at Niagara College: niagaracollege.ca/ce. 11
Don’t let your small business derail your retirement dreams
ccording to the recent Small Business Banking in Ontario Study released by Meridian, Ontario’s largest credit union, 20 per cent of Ontario small business owners are kept up at night worrying about how they will save for retirement. Business owners who focus on the day-to-day operations and lose sight of their retirement goals are cautioned that they could be at risk of derailing their dream retirement. “Retirement planning is extremely important to everyone but many small business owners can get caught up in the multiple, daily duties required to run their business, putting their retirement plans on the backburner,” says Jeff Brown, Meridian’s Vice President, Delivery Initiatives and Business Integration “But retirement planning is a marathon not a sprint, so it’s important for small business owners, like everyone else, to start saving for retirement as soon as possible.” A trusted financial advisor can coach small business owners on ways to take advantage of opportunities to save for retirement while growing their business, which can help to minimize stress in their personal and professional lives. Choosing a financial institution that takes the time to understand their business can also help owners overcome some of today’s biggest challenges, including saving for retirement, budgeting and cash flow. To help small business owners start saving for their retirement now, Meridian offers the following tips: Create a personalized financial plan: Work with a trusted financial advisor to create a personalized financial plan separate from your business plan. Be honest with your advisor and give them the full picture. Let them help you meet your goals. Make sure to meet with them at least once a
year to re-evaluate your plan and make any adjustments necessary to keep you on track to reaching your financial goals. Invest automatically: Saving for the future today isn’t difficult if you put your savings on auto pilot. Many financial institutions provide pre-authorized contribution plans (PACs) that automatically transfer funds from your chequing account into your savings investments on a regular basis. PACs are a great tool for contributing to Registered Saving Plans or Tax-Free Saving Accounts and if you coordinate the withdrawals to align with your payday the money won’t even be missed. Take advantage of other resources: You can get some great budgeting advice from a variety of sources including software programs that help you track your day-to-day spending. Many financial institutions also offer online tools like budget calculators and educational webinars that will help keep you and your business on track. Meridian’s online Small Business Centre (smallbusiness.meridiancu.ca) is packed full of practical information to help small business owners manage their business, including guides, templates and interactive tools. Get help when you need it: Discuss the areas where you need help with a network of trusted professionals (e.g., financial advisor, accountants, lawyers, etc.) who can help you get the job done right. “And very importantly: resist the temptation to dip into your retirement savings for your business. It is very important to keep your personal and business accounts separate,” adds Brown. For more information, visit meridiancu.ca.
IF AT FIRST YOU DON’T SUCCEED...
Tie, Tie Again
TIES: $48—$98 CAD Caswell’s, Niagara Falls Finest Menswear, Mount Carmel Centre, 3770 Montrose Road, Niagara Falls
MasteriNg a robert treNt JoNes ii MasterpieCe: A Hole-by-Hole Guide to Seneca Hickory Stick Golf Course
eneca Hickory Stick Golf Course in Lewiston, N.Y. is a public course that feels like a private country club and is designed by world-renowned golf course architect Robert Trent Jones II. And while the course can be challenging for those of any skill level, golfers agree that the picturesque course has a layout that keeps them coming back for more. “From the natural hickory stick trees to the view of the Niagara Escarpment, to the fine details such as the heather grass surrounding the bunkers, Hickory Stick has breathtaking views that add to the excitement of play,” said Joe Bock, first assistant golf professional for Seneca Hickory Stick Golf Course. “Fans of Robert Trent Jones II courses really enjoy the flow of Hickory Stick and say that the unique layout makes this a destination course. It has a ‘links’ feel, which allows players to choose from a variety of clubs on their next shots after they tee off.” Although water hazards and the tall bent heather grass can create some difficulty during play, Bock reminds golfers that a number of factors can make the course very playable for any skill level. For starters, each hole has five sets of tee boxes, which can vary the overall distance by as much as 130 yards. “In my opinion, I would say that ball placement is the key to success – and most of our greens are typically elevated on the back end,” Bock said. “But we’ve been noted for having some of the most generous fairways in Western New York for a public course. No
Background: Seneca Hickory Stick Golf Course, Hole 3
matter what your skill level is, you can ask questions of our player assistants throughout the course, and we also have golf pros available at the clubhouse.” A golf outing for all 18 holes typically lasts around four and a half hours, and the team at Hickory Stick will help make every minute worthwhile. Beverage carts travel frequently throughout the course, and each golf cart also includes a cooler with ice to keep drinks cold. Player assistants will clean your clubs after your outing, and will also allow you to rent clubs for play – including the latest styles by reputable brands such as Taylor Made.
4560 Creek road lewiston, NY 14092 1-716-754-2424 senecaHickorystick.com
Hole 1 Par 4 • Yardage: 358 to 444 Bock says: “Aim left, and let it fly. The hole shares a fairway with Hole #9 on that side. A good target for your shot is near the bunker by the 150yard mark. There is a water hazard before the green, but there are plenty of bailout areas around it too.”
Hole 4 Par 3 • Yardage: 130 to 192
Bock says: “There’s a huge lake in front of you, although you do have a bit of fairway to the left. An oversized bunker is around the green, but it helps give you a target area.”
Hole 7 Par 3 • Yardage: 150 to 216 Bock says: “This is a long par 3, and the pin location and wind will help determine how to play it. The green is the most elevated on the entire course, so you have to watch if the ball might roll down into the big bunkers that surround it.”
Hole 2 Par 3 • Yardage: 105 to 162
Bock says: “This shorter hole gives you a breather after Hole #1. There is a 60-foot long, skinny green – but watch the water hazard on the left. The pin location will help determine what club to hit.”
Hole 5 Par 5 • Yardage: 485 to 584
Bock says: “Keep your shot to the right – there are hickory trees to the left that serve as an out-of-bounds area. The green is elevated with a dip in the middle, and it’s one of the largest greens on the course. Hit your shots straight away, and you’ll be in good shape.”
Hole 3 Par 5 • Yardage: 408 to 500
Bock says: “The challenge to this hole is that you have to carry the water in order to get the ball on the green. There’s also a 70-yard bunker on the right, but it guards against some heavy rough further to the right.”
Hole 6 Par 4 • Yardage: 288 to 380
Bock says: “Fans of BuffaloGolfer.com voted this hole as the ‘Favorite Hole #6 in Western New York.’ It’s very picturesque with a creek and heather grass right at the beginning. That creek then runs up through the middle of the hole, splitting the fairway in half. Watch the pin location on the green and be careful not to land the ball too far to the left, as it could roll down into the creek.”
Hole 8 Par 4 • Yardage: 304 to 396
Hole 9 Par 5 • Yardage: 472 to 572
Bock says: “Natural preserves are on the left side of the hole, all the way up to the green – and there are spots of heather grass on the right. Watch for the long, skinny bunker that is hidden on the back side of the green. But overall, this is a short par 4.”
Bock says: “This hole offers a beautiful view of the Niagara Escarpment. There’s a slight dog-leg left – so follow the clubhouse to be safe, and remember that the fairway on the left is shared with Hole #1. Aim at the first flag, as this hole has our signature doublegreen that is shared with Hole #18.”
Hole 10 Par 4 • Yardage: 308 to 410
Hole 11 Par 5 • Yardage: 505 to 630
Hole 12 Par 3 • Yardage: 110 to 208
Bock says: “This hole has an ‘hourglass’ fairway with bunkers near the middle. Don’t go too far to the left when approaching the green, as you could land in the lake or the rough, long grass.”
Bock says: “We call this hole the ‘Mini Green Monster,’ as it is the longest and one of the most challenging on the course. There is a hilly fairway, but it is wide – I recommend playing it right-to-left.”
Bock says: “This is our most challenging par 3, as it has a veryprotected green. Focus on keeping your shot straight and short.”
Hole 13 Par 4 • Yardage: 348 to 440 Bock says: “This hole features a big dog-leg right and an elevated fairway. There also is a twotiered green that slopes from front to back. The pin location will determine what type of shot to take to the green.”
Hole 14 Par 4 • Yardage: 306 to 404
Bock says: “This picturesque hole is currently on the front of our score cards. You’ll see a pond on the left side of the hole that is shared with Hole #16. The green is one of our most sloped greens, sloping into a bowl near the front side of it. This is a shorter Par 4, but the green is what makes the hole challenging.”
Hole 16 Par 4 • Yardage: 258 to 342
Hole 17 Par 5 • Yardage: 472 to 556
Bock says: “This is a very short par 4, but there is a lake along the whole left side – and the green slopes toward it. This one’s what a call a “risk/ reward” hole, as you could potentially reach the green with a long drive.”
Bock says: “You’ll enjoy the overlook of the rest of the course on this hole. Two bunkers in the middle will frame the fairway, and you’re forced to play right due to the natural preserves – although bunkers also guard the right side of the green. With the trees, you normally have to hook your shot to get on the green – and that’s why I say Hole #17 is ‘the hole where bets are decided.”
Hole 15 Par 4 • Yardage: 296 to 428
Bock says: “The green is elevated, and you’ll have to pitch your shot up the hill if you miss to the right. The bunker can help you aim for your drive, and the wind direction on this hole normally helps carry your ball.”
Hole 18 Par 3 • Yardage: 114 to 152 Bock says: “This final hole is ‘The Entertaining Hole,’ as all players have to hit their shots over the large pond. The green is the signature doublegreen with Hole #9, so don’t aim for the flag on the left. You’ll see the clubhouse in the background. Spectators on the patio enjoy seeing if someone can get a holein-one – and it has happened!”
W GR HY N LOC AB OT S AL OM DE E ALS
diy: Build a Terrarium for Your Desk
Even for those among us who donâ€™t have the greenest of thumbs, terrariums are extremely easy to make and maintain. They are the perfect desk accessories because they increase oxygen in the air, and they are great for adding just a little bit of the outdoors to our workspaces.
THINGS YOU WILL NEED: A clear glass or plastic container. you can use anything really: fishbowls, mason jars, apothecary jarsâ€Śwhatever would fit nicely on your desk area. Small stones Potting soil Activated charcoal Cool ornaments (small plastic animals, tiny gnomes, really any miniature thing that you find adorable.) Sphagnum moss Plants (a variety of leaf shapes and colours)
Put about an inch layer of the small stones at the very bottom of the jar, which creates a false drainage system for the plant roots.
Add 1/2 inch of the activated charcoal over the stones; this will help keep the water clean, and prevent mold and bacteria from building.
STEP 3 upkeep:
put your terrarium in moderate to indirect sunlight. You can water it by lightly misting with a spray bottle.
Add a small layer of moss on top, which will help keep the soil from settling into the stones.
Add about 2 inches of potting soil on the top of that.
Add plants and ornaments, and arrange however you desire. 18
THE BEST WAY TO SPEND A DAY, A NIGHT, OR A WEEKEND JUST GOT BETTER. At Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel, you can start your evening with your choice of the best dining and then try your luck at the hottest table games and the newest slots on our fully renovated gaming floor. And just minutes away, in Lewiston, NY, you can try your hand at Seneca Hickory Stick, one of the best public courses in New York according to Golf Magazine. Either way, Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel has fun and games in spadesâ€”inside and out.
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DE ALING WI TH
PER SONALI T Y T YPES IN THE WORKPL ACE by Megan Pasche
“Life is 10% what happens to you, and REALIZE THAT EVERYONE IS IN THIS TOGETHER 90% how you react to it.” Different personalities can be great for a workplace beWorking in an office environment (or any type of workplace really) means having to deal with all different kinds of people; and sometimes getting along with all of them can be a bit of a challenge, and when people are hard to deal with, it can lead to slower productivity and missed deadlines. Different people need to be dealt with in different ways and as individuals; you would deal differently with a touchy-feely person, than you would with a no-nonsense type of person. What follows are some tips on how to deal with all different personality types.
FIND OUT HOW OTHER PEOPLE LIKE TO WORK AND ADAPT ACCORDINGLY If someone would rather be emailed than have you stop by his or her office, or vice versa, take note. Do what you can to not interrupt other people’s processes (when it can be avoided) and you will be looked at as a team player. Find out what personality types people have, and adapt your behavior towards them accordingly.
EVERYTHING IS NOT A BATTLE When you make the decision to engage in a workplace conflict, it causes work to get delayed and people to become stressed. You need to decide what your priorities are, and let all the other things go. Not everything has to be a battle, and you need to figure out when you should push something and when you should let it go.
cause it allows there to be many different opinions and ideas. It’s just important to remember that everyone is working towards the same thing: the success of the company. It’s ok for people to be passionate and have opinions about work; it means they care.
BE PREPARED For the most part, people will repeat patterns and behave predictably. If you can prepare yourself with a response to a certain behavior, you’ve won half the battle. Play out the situation in your mind or with a friend, and come up with a solution that will resolve the issue in a mature and rational way.
DON’T TAKE IT TO HEART More often than not, people act the way they do because of something personal that is going on with them. The same thing goes for difficult co-workers. It likely doesn’t have much to do with you, even though it may feel that way. It doesn’t excuse bad behavior, but it can help to explain why it may be happening. Find some common ground somewhere with them, something that will at the very least help you to exist together civilly.
R-E-S-P-E-C-T Above all, most people just want to know they are being heard. People have different areas of expertise, that’s the value of working on a team. One person can’t know it all or do it all, so everyone needs to respect each other’s strengths, ask others for input and work together.
SOME COMMON PROBLEM PERSONALITIES IN THE WORKPLACE
Egomaniacs These people resist direction, they think they always know what is best and they ignore even the nicest of advice or suggestions. Not only do they think they do not need to improve, they think everyone should consider themselves lucky to work with them.
HOW TO DEAL: • Check your own ego at the door; having a head to head with them is usually not worth the time and energy. • Be assertive: don’t let a bully win. • Distance yourself: deal with them in small amounts then walk away.
‘More often than not, people act the way they do because of something personal that is going on with them. The same thing goes for difficult coworkers.’
Gossiper It can be hard to deal with gossiping co-workers, as you can’t really control what people talk about. But gossip is bad for the work environment; it leads to distrust and hurt feelings.
HOW TO DEAL: • If someone comes to you with a juicy bit of info, don’t bite. Lead by example. • Deal with the specific offenders, not the entire office as a whole.
The Grumpy Gus Hearing someone complain day in and day out is exhausting for everyone, and can completely crush office morale.
HOW TO DEAL: • Provide constructive suggestions to their specific complaints. If they are complaining about something in particular, say, “well, we can solve that by…” • Confront them in private to have a discussion about their attitude. Maybe they truly don’t realize they complain so much, or how much it affects everyone else in the office. Whatever the personality types that show up in a workplace, there are always going to be people that don’t get along or individuals that are much harder for everyone to deal with. But by arming yourself with some of these strategies, hopefully dealing with any difficult coworkers becomes just slightly less challenging then before.
BUFFALO NIAGARA The Nearest Faraway Place
A T R AV E L E R R E V I E W
“Just GO – it was brilliant!!!” Reviewed by acrossthepond1, a TripAdvisor traveler » Toronto » August 23, 2013
ALBRIGHT-KNOX ART GALLERY “If you did not know you were in Buffalo you would only expect this level of quality in New York, London or Paris. Just blew us away with the variety.”
Dear Canadians, You’ve tailgated at the Ralph. Caught a flight, found a bargain, been to a game and returned home the same day. You’ve been here, done that. But do you really know Buffalo? Have you seen a Broadway show at Shea’s? Tried the beef-on-weck sushi at Seabar? Quaffed a craft brew at Cole’s? Toured a Frank Lloyd Wright masterpiece? Walked and gawked and windowshopped in the Elmwood Village? Sportsmen’s Tavern? Been to an opening at the Burchfield Penney? Segwayed through Delaware Park? Stopped to smell
Caught an alt-country show at
the flowers at Garden Walk? Taken the kids to the Buffalo Zoo? Had an artisanal cocktail at Vera? Been to a classical concert at Kleinhans? KC KRATT
Kayaked through Elevator Alley? Gone to a food truck rodeo at Larkin Square? Tried your luck at the Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino? No? Then what are you waiting for? That’s 15 things you didn’t know about Buffalo Niagara. Pop over the Peace Bridge and see for yourself. The nearest faraway place is just a short drive away. Sincerely,
Paper Nuts: Thinking Inside the Box
By: Gabrielle Tieman | Photos: AJ Harlond
ndustry standards are continually evolving – companies must always be looking for new and inventive ways to improve their products and services to align with client demands and needs. But today, it is not only sufficient for a company to be innovative, useful and meet the needs of their clients and prospective clients, but their products and packaging must also do their part to preserve the environment and conform to today’s green level standards of business. Unfortunately, the majority of today’s packaging materials are anything but earth friendly; annually filling acres of landfills and oceans with billions of tons of harmful plastic, corn based fillers and Styrofoam products. But finally, companies have a solution to their harmful packaging woes – one that is not only green, but also really works. PaperNut’s loose fill packaging solution takes thinking green inside the box, presenting companies with the first completely earth friendly and biodegradable packaging solution and a new replacement for traditional and harmful packing fillers that have unfortunately remained the industry standard for decades. Continuously working to revolutionize and improve how companies safely transport their products and materials, PaperNuts simultaneously presents a new alternative for companies who wish to protect the environment while continuing to meet stringent industry criteria. Manufactured using 100% recycled paper, PaperNuts are filled in around your boxed products and when shipped, expand and interlock, forming a protective barrier around your shipped
goods, eliminating any migration and damage that can occur during the transportation process. Basing their work around their slogan “If they were any greener, they’d still be growing,” PaperNuts is not only recyclable, but recycled, reusable, compostable, biodegradable and sustainable from renewable resources. Scott MacRae, president of PaperNuts, says he first came across the original model for PaperNuts a few years ago while he was working with the government to locate and bring in new technology to Canada. MacRae says he knew instantly it was a product Canada could not afford to go without, so he brought it in from Europe and began working on perfecting the new machinery and products. Today, PaperNuts has grown and expanded and is considered to be entirely a Canadian product. “I came across PaperNuts a few years ago and loved it and wanted to bring it in,” said MacRae. “We ended up purchasing all of the patents and global rights so yes it is 100% Canadian. We have taken the machines and improved on them. The concept was there and we took it, ran with it and made it what it is today.” Concerned with the fact that only 35% of plastic and Styrofoam products are recycled annually and only a mere 3% of the world actively claim to recycle, MacRae said him and his team wanted to create a product that was not only superior in performance and could be recycled, but would also biodegrade over time and not harm the environment if a company chose to overlook recycling.
“Once people use PaperNuts, they always come back wanting more...”
“If there is a need we can fill it.”
“With PaperNuts, it’s not just biodegradable, but it’s also compostable,” said MacRae. “So when you buy PaperNuts, you don’t have to worry about where they go at the end of the day. With Styrofoam, well they say it’s recyclable but that just means it can be recycled - not that it actually is. Well only 3% of us in the world fully recycle those things, so they are going into landfills and the ocean. But with PaperNuts, if someone throws it out onto the ground or away, it doesn’t matter - they are like leaves; they just go back to nature.” Having first come to Canada in 2010, MacRae said a lot of work had to be put into the product before PaperNuts could make their first sale. Sales later began circulating in 2011 when the company began to sell their packaging material by the bag. Since their first bag of nuts was sold, product demand has yet to slow down. Today, the St. Catharines, Ontario based business continues to sell their PaperNuts by the bag. Featuring two forms of paper packaging filler, PaperNuts is not limited to accommodate industrial size
shipping needs, but has the ability to work with all types of clients that may have smaller, more delicate items to ship. Included in the options are the company’s traditional brown packing nut filler, a dense kraft one ply, four inch product that is ideal for commercial and heavy industrial application. The second, a smaller and lighter white, two ply, two inch static free dense nut, is ideal for delicate applications like transporting computer parts, glass and food grade items. Though both are made from different recycled paper materials, both products work the same way, opening up during transportation, interlocking and expanding to fill the void space around your product in order to eliminate damage from shock and migration. It is also a pleasant surprise for anyone opening a package and expecting a Styrofoam nut mess – with the interlocking application, PaperNuts is removed as a unit, not crumpled into a million pieces on your floor. 25
oanne Secord, Vice-President Distribution of PaperNuts, says that their company is constantly working to improve and revolutionize their products and machinery according to customer and industry demands. Secord said the company’s long term goal is to have enough machines so that they can be placed right on location at their clients’ factories in order for businesses to produce their own packaging material as needed –and PaperNuts would continue to supply them the recycled paper to create the nuts. Today, PaperNuts can sell anywhere from one to a truckload of bags to a company at a time, but it doesn’t matter how many bags are purchased, Secord said every company always comes back for more. “Once people use PaperNuts, they always come back wanting more,” said Secord. “They really love them. Other packaging products shrink and compress and your product will move around, ours protect your product. The great thing is that we don’t only compete against Styrofoam, peanuts and bio-peanuts, we can compete against bubble wrap, air pillows and against any machines that other people already have on site that are shooting out paper to put in the box. We can compete against every packaging material out there.” But in today’s economy, the words eco-friendly and green most often come attached to a high price tag. But PaperNuts is not only a cost-effective alternative to traditional loose fills, but the most affordable option available. And, with
“Nobody else can make a loose fill on site that is 100% green,” said Secord. “We are the only company that can do that.
an average time of two and half minutes required to fill a large orderable bag of PaperNuts, orders can be filled within hours as compared to days, cutting down on costs, labour and delivery times. “You can fill a room really quickly,” said MacRae, demonstrating how the machines cut, twist and spit out the paper nuts into a bag at varying levels of speed. Once the machines become available to be placed on site at manufacturers, PaperNuts will even save companies money as businesses will be able to manufacture their packaging materials on site as needed, dramatically reducing shipping and storage costs of bulky finished products. “Nobody else can make a loose fill on site that is 100% green,” said Secord. “We are the only company that can do that. “If there is a need we can fill it.” But PaperNuts does not only have a commitment to the environment and their own development and company advancement. Both natives of the Niagara Region, Secord and MacRae are committed to expanding their business within St. Catharines in hopes of improving the job market and career growth in the community. “We both love the Niagara Region and we both know that it needs to grow,” said Secord. “There is not enough employment. We want to remain in the region and we want the machines continued to be manufactured in the region and we want to stay based here. More businesses need to be encouraged to stay in St. Catharines and Niagara.” Interested in seeing how their machines operate, investing in PaperNuts or changing how your business stays green? Visit papernuts.ca for contact information, demonstration videos and information on how you can invest in PaperNuts.
“Italian Comfort Food”
289•296•0404 5928 Clark Ave. Niagara Falls www.angelos-trattoria.com
mind your business
By: Flavio Iammarino
The success or failure of any business is determined by a person’s state of mind and how they choose to respond to a given situation. When events occur, whether it is in our personal/family life or in our business/work life, there are two ways a person can choose to handle the situation. Some people “react” to a given circumstance and some people choose to respond in a proactive way.
We have all heard sayings like, “do you look at the glass as half full or half empty,” “a pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity while an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty,” “every cloud has a silver lining,” and “when written in Chinese the word ‘crisis’ is composed of two characters—one represents danger and the other opportunity.” But what kind of truth do these sayings hold? And how much do our thoughts, attitudes, and the way we choose to react to situations affect the outcome?
Many practices that once made their business successful are forgotten and/ or discarded in an effort to improve the bottom line. Often experts or coaches suggest eliminating the expenses and or job positions that cost the company the most money without really examining the long term outcomes caused by doing this. In a poor economy businesses should invest in marketing and advertising just as they would in a normal healthy market, and yet you will see many tightening their purse strings rather than spending when it is needed most. Not to say money should be thrown to the wind… but it is important to research and measure what marketing and advertising works best for your business—disappearing from the consumer’s eye is certainly not to any businesses’ advantage.
In the last few years we have all heard about a troubled global economy. There are fewer job opportunities and many people have lost their jobs and subsequently their homes because they were unable to make ends meet. And yet at the same time we see new companies emerge and new jobs being created. Some people struggle to find new opportunity after a job or business loss, while others seem to flourish in troubled times coming out further ahead of the game. But why are the outcomes often so different?
As a clinical counsellor and mental coach, it is easy for me to recognize what the problem with all of this is— the problem is the “focus” and where the energy is being directed. Too often the focus is on what is not there or what is lacking. The problem may be money that is lacking, and rather than focus on strategies that can create more of it, the focus is put on how to survive with the limited amount. If the mind focused on new and innovative ideas to create new possibilities: new ways to bring in clients, new products to develop, and new ways to create wealth for a business, this energy would deliver all the resources required to accomplish a positive outcome.
During difficult times many businesses choose to become “reactive”— they panic in fear of what is happening around them. They begin to worry and focus on what they may lose instead of what opportunities could be created to gain from the changing times. The worst thing a business can do is change their focus to a state of “survival” instead of becoming more innovative and proactive. In troubled times some companies choose to call in business “experts” or “coaches” to help them to revive their business.
In my personal experience, working in the clinical, sports and business coaching field, I have worked with many different people who faced many different challenges. The ones who succeeded were able to remain focused on the outcome they wanted and had a very proactive way of thinking. Yes, it is important to cut the waste and overspending, but then the focus must be on setting new goals and creating new strategies. This energy will direct a business in a new direction towards success.
Most importantly, you have to believe in possibilities, and then the opportunities will present themselves. Stay focused on your goals. In every economy there are individuals and corporations that seek opportunity and make a lot of money and create great things by staying on their path. If you are innovative, creative, and determined you will succeed. Surround yourself with people who have the same mindset and you will be successful. For those of you who believe in creating new possibility in troubled times, kudos to you! For others who may be living in fear, and worry about the outcome, it is never too late to change this way of thinking. You can start by saying, “I don’t like the situation my business is currently in, and I don’t know how I’m going to change it, but I’m now going to believe that positive change is possible.” By making this simple shift you can begin to change your destiny. If you have questions about this article or need help making change please contact me at 905-684-1717. I can teach you how powerful your mind is and how, if your energy is channeled in the right way, you can be lead on a path to accomplish great things in your life. Opportunity is knocking… make the call! TM
Flavio Iammarino, Ph.D, SW, C.Cht Niagara P.T.S., Anxiety & Stress Management Centre askflavio.com 905-684-1717 firstname.lastname@example.org
GET OUT THE MAP Quick Trips Within Driving Distance by: Megan pasche
sometimes you donâ€™t need to get on a plane to have an adventure; all you need is a car with a full tank of gas and a destination. There are a ton of great places to go that are within a couple hours driving distance of Niagara: the perfect spots to escape to for a weekend.
storybook towns, farmer’s markets, ziplining, beaches & stargazing.
adventure is just a car ride away… Ellicottville, New York
This quaint storybook town is the ultimate ski destination when the snow is still on the ground, but it also offers tons of stuff to do on a year round basis. The drive from Niagara includes fun stops along the way (check out Griffis Sculpture Park located in Ashford hollow. It’s a great place to hike and view cool and somewhat random pieces of art.) When you get to Ellicottville, you can have some highflying fun at the Sky high Adventure Park at holiday valley. There are zip lines, a mountain coaster and a ropes course. More info: holidayvalley.com There are a ton of great hiking trails in Cattaragus County…check out rock City Park in olean (rockcitypark.com) or the Allegany State Park in Salamanca (nyparks.com). There are events happening in Ellicottville throughout the summer months, including the Summer Music Festival on July 4, Ellicottville Jazz & Blues Weekend on July 25, Taste of Ellicottville on August 16, and Fall Festival on october 11. Check out ellicottvilleny.com for a full listing of events and more details.
This is a great place to go for a weekend if you enjoy the outdoors. It is the fourth oldest provincial park in ontario, and has more than 1.5km of sandy beach. In addition to lounging on the beach, you can try out the zip line and canopy tour, which includes eight zip lines, two suspension bridges, 14 platforms and a 40ft rappel. They offer night zipping and daytime zipping. Long Point is also home to the “Long Point observatory”, which offers stargazing tours, as well as lectures and other packages. In addition, you’ll find fishing tours, boat tours, wilderness tours and more. Check out lpfun. ca for more info.
Driving time from Niagara Falls: 1 hour and 20 minutes
Driving time from Niagara Falls: 2 hours, 20 minutes
Driving time from Niagara Falls: 1 hour, 30 minutes This place is well known for being a gathering place for motorcyclists every Friday the 13th, but it is also a great place to go to eat some delicious perch, hang out on the beach and browse some quaint little stores. Check out portdover.ca for more information.
Driving time from Niagara Falls: 2 hours The Finger Lakes area of upstate, New york is a beautiful place to visit, and it is only a short drive from Niagara. There are beautiful lakes, tons of gorgeous waterfalls, cute villages, and lots of outdoor fun. The Finger Lakes is also home to a growing wine region with more than 100 wineries dotted throughout the area. Make sure to check out Watkins Glen State Park with a beautiful path that descends 400 feet past cliffs, 19 waterfalls, and beautiful rock formations. There are also museums, shopping, boat cruises, and tons of great events. The Finger Lakes are made up of 11 different lakes, the two largest being Seneca Lake and Cayuga Lake. There are numerous towns to choose from, so check out fingerlakes.org for more in depth information.
Driving time from Niagara Falls: 1 hour, 40 minutes. St. Jacob’s is “ontario’s favourite rural year round farmers market in Canada,” and it is home to around 4,000 old order Mennonites. The little village is great to wander through, and is home to tons of shops, galleries and craft studios. There are also several historic homes to tour and museums to browse. More info at stjacobs.com 30
Driving time from Niagara Falls: 20 minutes Just over the border sits Lewiston and youngstown, two villages located just down the street from each other. Lewiston is a village full of history as it was burned during the War of 1812, and was also an escape point on the underground railroad. While there, check out amazing bronze sculptures by local artist Susan Geissler. one piece (The Freedom Crossing) depicts slaves making an escape to Canada, and another (the Tuscarora heroes Monument) shows a moment in the War of 1812 where a local native tribe saved residents of Lewiston during an attack. Lewiston is also full of great shops and restaurants, as well as Artpark, a great place to catch a live show a concert (there are outdoor concerts throughout the summer). Check out historiclewiston.org for more info. Just ten minutes down the street, you’ll find youngstown, another small town that is great for wandering. It’s also home to Fort Niagara, which has original 18th century buildings that you can tour, as well as a great visitor centre that details the fort through the years. More information can be found at oldfortniagara.org.
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People consider direct mail to be 3X more trustworthy than social media
Tips and Trends in
Office Design The design and set up of your office may have a bigger impact than you think; the simple office designs of yesteryear, which usually consisted of a nice front lobby, a boardroom, rows of desks, and glassed in rooms for the higher ups, are quickly on the way out. Office designs nowadays are becoming more cutting edge, and are designed in a way that makes employees feel more connected to the company. Regardless of your budget, there are changes you can make to immediately enhance your office environment, and maybe along the way, you will see some side benefits, such as more collaboration between team members, and an increase in employee happiness.
Make workspaces active. The days of sitting at a desk for eight hours are slowly being phased out. Things like sit/stand workstations, break out lounges, treadmill desks and informal seating areas are becoming more and more popular. The term is known as “hot desking”, and it gives employees the opportunity to move around during the workday.
4 Here are some points on tips and trends to incorporate into your office design: 5 1 2 Your office space can essentially become a marketing tool for your business. It shows your clients how the business operates, and it gives a picture of how your team works together and how well they function as a unit.
To attract the best employees, create a workplace that is appealing. Some offices go so far as to incorporate some flashy things such as free food, cafes for lunchtime, ping pong tables, nap areas, and gyms. You want your employees to feel comfortable in their workplace, as it is essentially their home away from home. Nobody wants to spend eight hours a day in a cubicle farm with florescent lighting. Offering all the little extras, helps with employee retention and bonding between co-workers.
Bring in a little bit of the outdoors. Placing plants around the office can make a huge difference in air quality. We go into more detail about this in our article on interior plantscaping (pg 40).
Bright colours and patterns have been shown to boost creativity. Forget drab white and grey. Colours like blue, purple and green fall on the “cool” side of colour spectrum and tend to be soothing, create calm and quiet and promote concentration. Red, orange and yellow are on the “warm” side of the spectrum, and they impart energy and cheerfulness. They are also known to boost social interaction. These colours work best in areas where people are not producing things such as entranceways, hallways and change rooms.
Making some simple changes is one of the things that can help ensure your employees will feel excited about being in the office, and invigorate the entire staff to be more creative, work together more efficiently and increase their productivity.
T H E M A N Y B EN EF I T S O F
he benefits of living and working among greenery are plentiful. Plants enhance indoor environments, make them more inviting and in one of nature’s miraculous acts, they help clean the air, something that is incredibly important for those people who spend the majority of their time indoors. The professionals at Element Landscape Services Inc. are experts at incorporating plants into interior environments, be it the family home, the office or the large commercial enterprise. The team at Element Landscape Services Inc. references something called Sick Air Syndrome, a term coined by the World Health Organization in 1986, which is when building occupants end up with various health issues that seem to be linked to time spent in a building with poor indoor air quality. And while the term is not an official clinical diagnosis, it is still used in pop culture when referring to the healthiness of a workplace environment. It happens mainly when buildings are sealed for efficiency, but then the problem becomes that you get better air quality outside than inside. Plants can help with this by: reducing carbon dioxide levels, increasing humidity, reducing levels of benzene
and nitrogen dioxide, reducing airborne dust levels and keeping the temperature down. Not only do plants in the workspace help with air quality, but they also work to reduce stress and generally just make people happier. Plants help offices become quieter, as they have the ability to reduce background noise by absorbing some of the sound. They help employees become more relaxed, and make the office environment more stimulating. Having plants indoors also creates a welcoming environment for anybody visiting your business. They give the impression that a place is warm, inviting and comfortable. Plants in the workplace have also been proven to increase productivity, and decrease the number of sick days taken by employees. When you think of all the benefits being around plants provides, there is really no reason not to have them. David Wanless, owner of Element Landscape Services Inc., notes that, “as an employer, if you invest in plants in your office, it’s a good thing for productivity and the air quality your staff breathes.” The employees at Element Landscape Services Inc. are experts at what they do. They know what plants will work well in which spaces, and how to match each plant to the environment. No space is too big or too small: Wanless
Living and working with plants is better than living and working without them. notes, “we can provide you with a handful of office plants, keeping it very simple, or we can do a full blown atrium, a conservatory or major hotel lobby. If you require a 60foot palm tree, we can deliver.” The team at Element Landscape Services Inc. will take the time to match pot colours and plants as well as make sure the textures of the pots, match the interior and scale of the plants. Wanless goes on to say, “most people like plants, they just don’t like to care for them. How often have you heard people say, ‘I kill every plant that I touch’, so that is where our weekly service comes in. We provide the right amount of watering and fertilizing, but also pruning, grooming and keeping them clean at an extremely affordable price.“ It’s the perfect situation really: people are able to enjoy all the benefits plants provide, while not having to worry about killing them with too much water, or too little light. Element Landscapes Services Inc. knows their plants inside and out; they know how much water each individual plant needs and how much light they demand to survive. They know where to position them in an office setting, so that they don’t interfere with traffic flow, and only serve as an enhancement to the space. They can make sure the plants will thrive, creating an interior environment that in turn, helps the people within the environment to thrive as well. For a no commitment, free consultation, please contact Element Landscape Services Inc. by phoning: 905-3289941, emailing: email@example.com or visiting http://elementlandscapes.com/
In the late 80s, NASA did a study on sealed environments, the air quality within those environments and the plants that help to naturally clean the air inside them. The plants were placed in a sealed, plexiglass chamber, and formaldehyde was introduced. With a 24hour period, the plants (the ones being used were Philodendron, Spider Plant and Golden Pothos) had removed 80% of the formaldehyde molecules from the chamber.
COMMON PLANTS TO HELP CLEAN INDOOR AIR ENGLISH IVY: Known to filter formaldehyde and reduce airborne fecal matter particles. REED PALM: Good for filtering benzene and trichloroethylene. PEACE LILY: This powerful cleanser filters formaldehyde, benzene, trichloroethylene, toluene and xylene. DRACAENA: Great for helping eliminate xylene, trichloroethylene and formaldehyde from the air. CHRYSANTHEMUM: Beautiful flower that helps filter out benzene. ALOE: Helps clear out formaldehyde and benzene. SPIDER PLANT: Great for clearing the air of benzene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and xylene. GERBERA DAISY: Not only a beautiful flower, but helps clear the air of trichloroethylene and benzene. SNAKE PLANT: Great for filtering formaldehyde. GOLDEN POTHOS: This ivy plant is good for filtering formaldehyde. AZALEA: Another beautiful flower that helps combat formaldehyde. All these chemicals are emitted from several common household items. They are byproducts of chemical based cleansers, toilet paper, tissues and other personal care products. They are also found in glues, paints, plastics, detergents, lacquers, varnishes, inks and more. They are emitted from carpeting and furniture. In short, these chemicals permeate almost every part of our lives.
sTe PPing UP Th e
SOCIAL MEDIA GAME Tips for Business
BY: gABrielle TieMAn
oday, social media networking is considered one of the largest voluntary human behaviors next to brushing your teeth. Widely acknowledged as an asset and a blessing to most companies, social media offers a diverse array of benefits to all business owners. No matter the size of your company, years in the business or level of multimedia expertise, it is one of the easiest ways for all businesses to connect directly with their customers on a personal and direct level. Consider the benefits: not only are social media platforms free, user friendly, and carry wide spread global reach, but social media lends businesses a level of accessibility to their market and potential customers that would have never been feasible during the era of word of mouth publicity and traditional hard copy marketing. This form of instant communication can vastly improve customer relations and add increased marketing strategies. Though this expansion of digital marketing is anything but new, the sheer number of tools and platforms available can be daunting. Many businesses are still at a loss at how to harness the power of these digital platforms. What most businesses find the most challenging is striking a fine balance between becoming laser focused on a single social network and spreading themselves too thin over too many platforms. The key to mastering social media and being successful with your marketing goals is to have a full understanding of where your audience is and what they want and need from you in order to grow your company. When used properly, social media can be one of your business' most effective marketing tools and tactics â€“ it is just a matter of understanding your market and uncovering which platforms are worth both your time and money.
The Conversation Starters: Twitter and Facebook Businesses that should Invest: All businesses no matter size, age, products or services
How to make it work for you: Ensure that your profile is consistently up to date, relevant and dynamic. You want to attract followers and applications from LinkedIn talent who are using the network to find great job opportunities and connections.
The Benefits: Twitter and Facebook have become the go-to platforms for conversation and personal expression. Whether it is a status update on the weather or a tweet about a new favourite restaurant, Twitter and Facebook are the first two places almost all individuals go to express themselves, thoughts, concerns and feelings. For a business, these two social platforms are like having a 24/7 direct customer contact line. They are key forums that businesses can visit to research the likes and dislikes of their customers and look into their competitors and what they are doing to attract similar clientele. As well, businesses now have the ability to respond to customer feedback, start conversations and join into existing conversations regarding criticism and positive responses. Why they are effective: Companies can now solve problems and complaints before they become a larger issue, reach a much broader cliental, understand which marketing strategies are working the best and what is making their customers happy.
How to make them work for you: First you need to understand where your customers and potential customers are. What do they look for online, what do they respond to well and most importantly, what drives them away? Once you understand your audience’s wants, you can customize your posts, interactions and frequency according to what will garner a positive response.
The Boardroom: LinkedIn Businesses that should invest: B2B (Business to Business) companies, working professionals, all businesses that rely on networking and expanding their pool of connections for growth
The Benefits: LinkedIn is no longer simply a networking site – it is a lead generation magnet. It allows your company infinite access to a wide range of potential new customers, suppliers, connections and employees that you would not have known existed in the past. With a number of groups and pages available for you to join, businesses can expand their reach further into topic specific areas with like-minded professionals. It can also drastically improve your brand awareness and generate buzz towards any new products and services you may have. And how nice is it to have top potential employees seek you out instead of you having to search for them? Why it is effective: With a new array of customer comment and review sections attached to business pages, LinkedIn is now more effective for attending to customer woes and improving on what they react positively too. And because it is vastly known as a professional platform, you can trust that your LinkedIn will attract the proper cliental and potential employees – as long as your page reflects your business’s stance.
The Visual Stimuli: Pinterest and Instagram Businesses that should invest: Restaurants, specialty stores, clothing chains, any business that has products to promote and can benefit from visual accompaniment
The Benefits: A picture says a thousand words and new social media sites are gripping this theory and running with it. Simply put, videos, images and infographics are easy to consume. They can take a message viral and engage with your audience so much faster than a traditional informative document would in the past. If your business is product oriented, like a store or restaurant, sharing great images of your products can increase interest and intrigue new customers to try it out. Why it is effective: Photos and videos can help bridge the gap between entertainment, information and lead generation. Visiting a Pinterest board of your products can feel like a leisurely activity to most consumers; so even though you are actively engaging them with your products, they feel like they are consuming it upon their own accord, not being pitched to. How to make them work for you: Only share engaging content. Although an image is easier to craft and share with your audience than a well written paragraph, you should never post images just for the sake of filling up your feed with content. By doing so, you will lose your creative edge and your customers will skim over you when searching for content. 43
BEST PRoDuCTiViTy BooSTinG APPS By: Justin Soungie
RescueTime We all get that feeling some days, if not most for quite a few, where we wonder where the day went. Some days that can be a good thing but many times the day is gone and we still have a seemingly full to-do list. Even with the best intentions time just gets the better of us and tasks fall to the wayside. RescueTime is the app to give answers when you are wondering if someone really did tamper with your clocks. It helps users by tracking the time spent on certain website, applications, etc. Where this app shines is after tracking this information it will generate detailed reports on where that time really went. With things like Facebook and Pinterest, our idle time can really get the best of us, RescueTime can set up alerts to warn when you have been social browsing too long, or even block websites altogether.
COST: LITE- FREE | FULL - $9.00/MONTH PLATFORM:
Songza Music is one of the best tools for helping people focus. But in a generation where people skip breakfast and can’t find enough time to even brew a coffee at home before the commute, who really has time to download and put together a playlist? Songza not only has playlists at the touch of a finger, but it has a multitude of genres and even a concierge upon start-up that suggests music lists based on the time of the day. You can get music lists to get you in that optimal state-of-mind or just have something soothing as a mental outlet to let you focus on the task at hand. Found lists that you really love? Save them on your favorites and you can access those same playlists on your desktop or any mobile device.
COST: FREE (AD FREE- $4.00/MONTH) PLATFORM:
Due For those who need the extra aggression from their phone to keep them on task, try Due. It’s an app that forces you to attend to your commitments by constantly nudging you. You can set it to remind you every minute from the time you set the task for, fortunately it does come with a snooze button that you can set which determines the amount of time added. It’s simply the alarm clock of to-do lists.
COST: MOBILE- $4.99 | MAC DESKTOP- $9.99 PLATFORM:
Accelerated Speed Reading Trainer Many apps are made to enhance your phone, making it a better device; this training app works to enhance you, the user. One of the most important productive skills many of us don’t actively work to enhance is how quickly we read. The app creator even claims you will see the results in about 10 days. It has received quite a bit of positive user feedback so far with people backing their claim. It doesn’t require a lot of time invested but the time you will save while reading anything day-to-day will be invaluable.
COST: $39/YEAR PLATFORM:
Ookla Speedtest A simple application with an easy graphical interface that lets you test your devices connectivity to Wi-Fi and cellular service connections. So whether in the basement floor of your office or some coffee shop on the highway in a city you can’t pronounce, Ookla will show you quick answers on your network speed.
COST: FREE PLATFORM:
Any.Do Any.Do is the assistant we all wish we could have. Need someone to help you stick to your to-do list? This app starts the day by prompting you to decide what tasks you will conquer that day and get you to build this list as new things come to you through the day. It even helps you to delegate tasks to others and/ or just push them off until later. Not only does the app help you with what you need to do but it also keeps you connected to the people that it takes to get the tasks done. The app keeps you constantly aware of what it is you have to do instead of waiting for you to go looking for the “notes” you keep somewhere on your phone.
COST: FREE PLATFORM:
Google Now Google has done it again. This app is your own virtual assistant that takes the time to get to know you and what you like. This isn’t through some painstakingly long test with an infinite series of multiple-choice questions but through information cards. Based on your choices of cards, Google Now will find the knowledge most relevant to who you really are. It will recommend what TV shows are on and the ones you may like to watch in your free time, or even where you might like to try eating next time on your night out. Heading out with the family to Cottage Country? Google Now will check the weather there, as well as the traffic conditions.
COST: FREE PLATFORM:
1Password This is your own password vault in your pocket. Not only will it store your passwords securely using authenticated AES 256-encryption, with one master password to login, but it will also help you create strong passwords for every site. This app stays in sync with your device as well as PC or Mac, so not only do you have access to it anywhere but it will also automatically log you so you don’t have to remember all your passwords. If you lose your device or it gets stolen the Auto-Lock protects your vault. In this day and age, one of the biggest downsides of technology is the need for strong passwords and worse, is having to remember them all. You even get the power to separate work passwords from personal and add team or family members you want to have specific passwords, and if you change the password it syncs with their record.
COST: APP- $17.99 | DESKTOP SINGLE USER- $49.99 PLATFORM:
Abukai Tracking expenses is the least desirable part of spending money, other than having to spend the money in the first place, but both are needed. Abukai won’t save you any of that money but it does make tracking your expenses as easy as taking a picture. Take the pic, hit upload, and the expense report is already created. It emails you expense reports along the way as an excel spreadsheet and even attaches a copy of the receipt as a PDF. Then Abukai gives you a finished report with all relevant information filled out and sent to you as a CSV, QuickBooks file, and a multitude of other types for popular account/finance softwares.
COST: $39/YEAR PLATFORM:
Website Optimizing Tidbits
Know Your Target Audience
Let Your Website Work For You By: Justin Soungie
It is the most dedicated employee longer are people held-back because you will ever hire and works for next they aren’t savvy on the product or serto nothing. Your website is a direct vice they are interested in. Being in the connection to every internet-con- generation living in the internet data sumer passer-by, 24 hours a day and stream, people can learn about anyseven days a week, and your website thing, or at least become familiar. Your can make or break a customer ex- website should not only show what it is perience. Like any employee, lack of you are offering, but it should be helpcompany knowledge and product info ing educate your viewer. can leave your consumer’s confused We have been brought up with the and frustrated. Your website needs common saying, “don’t judge a book to be up-to-date to provide your cur- by it’s cover”, but many times that is all the consumer has rent and prospecto go on when looktive consumers with ing at your website. what they are lookIf the website looks ing for. If they can’t “If they can’t find the dated or has errors, find the information information they are it speaks volumes on they are looking for looking for… they will go the business. Conthat would motivate to a company that does.” sumers likely won’t their buying decilook past the poor sion, they will go to a quality of a website company that does. 91% of people have gone into a store and hope the product or service you because of an online experience*.We are offering will make up for it, nor do live in a day and age where the con- they have the time. Like anything else, sumers have the power of knowledge your website is an investment and at their fingertips. People want to get the first impression most people will a sense for who they will be working get of your company. Make sure it’s a with before they invest their time. No good one.
It isn’t one size fits all. When creating content have the audience you are trying to connect with in mind. This is surprisingly overlooked and leads to either too much or too little information for the visitors that are actually relevant to your message.
Optimizing for search engines SEO practices are constantly changing. If you find you aren’t getting good search placement, seek an SEO professional. Remember, outof-sight– out-of-mind.
Proofreading Just as you would scoff at a published novel having spelling and grammatical errors, the same goes for a website. How can you take the company seriously if they don’t take the time to look over their first delivery to a potential consumer?
Blog It’s a good way to engage your audience and one of the best for search engine optimization. Many companies don’t have the time, which has led to a huge rise in outsourcing options: take advantage of them.
Call-to-Action So you have the visitor on your site, now what? Using your page to make use of this limited time that you have captured the visitor is essential. This could be a different colored or sized button, images in-line with text, or different copy. Always keep simplicity in mind while accomplishing your (goal, purpose, motive) with this visitor.
Put your business in the hands of every tourist & local consumer Reach 12 million tourists that visit Niagara annually 10:20
Save-A-Buck is advertised:
On the all-new WEGO tourist bus transit - Thatâ€™s 16 buses running year round
In every popular hotel in Niagara Falls - From key card holders to in-room television home screens and in-room tent cards - Thatâ€™s more than 20,000 hotel rooms
In 18 targeted lifestyle publications distributed Canada wide - Which pushes loads of traffic to our website
Multiple ways to find what you’re looking for.
Easily access Entertainment, Attractions, Activities, Bars, Services, Transportation, Rentals, Daily Coupons, and Much More!
Find exciting nearby events and locate them on the map.
Save-A-Buck is a free city-guide mobile application, available on 3 platforms—iPhone®, Blackberry® and Android™. People can easily access Entertainment, Attractions, Activities, Bars, Services, Transportation, Rentals, and Daily Coupons. Promote your business using GPS, and identify the business that’s closest to you! 85% of Canadians use their mobile apps for restaurants, bars, and reviews. 48
Save your favourites so they’re only a touch away.
Find the BEST DISCOUNTS in your area.
Detailed Specifications, Menus, Pricing, Rating System, and Much More.
Limited Time Offer | Two Great Ways To Join Our App! | saveabuck.com 49
20 Quick Tips for
by Megan Pasche
Improving Your Business 1
Come up with a filing system, and get rid of all the papers you don’t need, it will make it easier to find important papers later on. Come up with two to-do lists. One should list everything you need to get done soon. It can contain short, medium and longterm projects, and you should be constantly adjusting it. The other to-do list should have things that need to be done on the current day. Take breaks throughout your day-it helps to clear your mind and take off some pressure. Something as easy as getting up and walking to the water cooler. Welcome input from co-workers, employees, and clients; they might be able to offer lots of information for how you can grow.
Be visual…picture how you want your business to be, and work towards that.
Don’t fret over mistakes, learn from them.
Set goals. Setting them and having them in your mind is an essential part of having a successful business.
Keep abreast of trends. Events and changes in the global landscape will have an effect on your business. Join professional associations, go to conferences, etc.
Embrace innovation, and be innovative when solving problems. Research ways to grow your business, and pick the ones that will work for you.
Stand out in the crowd. You need to know what makes you different; embrace it and let people know about it.
Don’t badmouth competitors; just show why you are different.
Use social media. Your company should be active in social media; just make sure it’s the right platform so you aren’t wasting your time.
Always motivate your staff. Read up on what works, and do it. Motivated staff perform better. Don’t take too long to get started in the morning-limit your coffee getting, reading emails, etc., to about 20 minutes. Morning is often the most productive part of the day. Do one thing at a time. Trying to do too many things at once will easily overwhelm you. Do one thing, complete it, and then move on. Make networking something you do on a regular basis; you never know whom you’ll end up getting connected with.Do an assessment of the current market to see how your business measures up. Make sure the professional image you are putting out there is consistent, and reflects your product accurately.
Be sure you know how to delegate. You don’t have to do it all yourself.
Keep your employees happy; they are absolutely your best assets. Love what you do. If you don’t love it, your business is not going to thrive.
TONER CARTRIDGES Starting from $29.99
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JUST ACCESSORIES 7116 McLeod Road, Niagara Falls, 905-358-5878
Publishing inc. Since 2001,
Rev Publishing has been one of North America’s most progressive publishers of niche products. It all started with the Save-ABuck coupon booklet, when company founder Daniel Pasco launched this direct mail piece, which was sent to homes around the Niagara Region. In the year that followed, SaveA-Buck expanded into Southern Ontario and beyond. In 2005, Rev introduced their first in-room magazine, Niagara Today. Rev kept growing after that, with the launches of Niagara Dining Guide in 2006, Seneca Today and On The Boulevard in 2011, Niagara-on-the-Lake magazine and the daily deal and coupon site, GrabJab.com in 2012, the JW Marriott The Rosseau Muskoka in 2013, the Niagara Falls Meeting and Destination Magazine, and the Save a Buck app, Today Magazine Local Editions, Today Magazine: Kingston and 1000 Islands, Today Magazine: Toronto, Today Magazine: Muskoka, and Skylife Magazine in 2014. The company just continues to grow. Rev Publishing continues to be led by Daniel Pasco, who is the Publisher, President and CEO of the company. As a marketing specialist, Daniel’s entrepreneurial expertise and experiential knowledge within the media industry accounts for the soaring success of Rev’s eclectic trademark line of publications. Today, 14 years after its inception, Rev Publishing Inc. produces and distributes 37 magazines and three savings publications, as well as maintains a vast social network reaching a wide audience, which continues to grow every day. For 2014, Pasco has expanded Rev’s vision towards a digital, online platform, establishing a wider reach, moving towards a global market. In an era where print magazines seem to be on the decline, Rev’s portfolio only continues to grow, thanks to Pasco’s expertise within the tourism industry. Each specific publication offers a unique editorial strategy, giving readers information on what to do and where to go in Niagara and beyond, as well as compelling stories from some of Niagara’s best writers. If you stay at a hotel in the Niagara area, chances are you have come across a Rev product. In addition to leadership expertise and producing high quality magazines, there are numerous factors that have contributed to Rev’s success. Rev’s products are aimed towards key targeted consumers; they hold North America’s most well ranged audience. This audience stays
in hotel rooms, reads niche magazines, visits e-commerce websites; all areas Rev has covered. Rev’s readers are those with disposable income, those who are influential decision makers in the household and are loyal and engaged. Over 12 million tourists visit the Niagara area every year, and Rev has found ways to reach almost all of them, be it through in-room magazines, coupon booklets, websites, or apps which help guide visitors through the Region, finding them deals along the way. GrabJab, is Rev’s daily deals site, that helps businesses grow through massive exposure. Rev also offers a culinary specific coupon book in the form of the Niagara Dining Guide, which offers visitors to Niagara discounts at many of Niagara’s top restaurants. Rev also offers advertisers the exclusive opportunity to advertise on WEGO, Niagara Fall’s state of the art bus system that connects visitors to the tourist areas. In addition to these products, Rev also offers high quality, creative services. These include both web development and print design services. At Rev, unique looks and interfaces are created that convey the heart of a business, which sets every business apart from the competition, while still maintaining brand integrity and personality. A company basically has ten seconds until the user decides whether to stay on a website or not: Rev’s creative team will be sure to build a website that will draw users in and keep them clicking. The same goes for the print designs created by the team at Rev: they turn prospects into clients. The team at Rev Publishing are the experts at covering every aspect of the niche tourism market here in the Niagara area, and the company is now expanding beyond the Niagara Region. Rev has recently expanded into other major cities in Ontario including Toronto, Kingston, 1000 Islands and the entire region of Muskoka. Rev has also taken over the contract to produce Skylife Magazine, a high end magazine that is distributed at all of Skyline’s properties including the Cosmopolitian Hotel, Pantages Hotel, Deerhurst Resort and Horseshoe Resort. Along with this massive expansion comes the need for a newer and bigger office, which Rev Publishing will be relocating to in the Summer of 2014. There is no other media company that does what Rev does, and does with such effectiveness. The future of Rev Publishing is looking bigger and brighter every day. 53
THE REV LINEUP Niagara’s Lifestyle Magazines These high-end publications cover the best of what Niagara has to offer. Each issue is aimed at a unique market that provides the perfect opportunity to showcase local products and services. 10,000 copies go directly into the mailboxes of high-income consumers.
Niagara In-Rooms Rev Publishing’s in room magazines are distributed in over 12,000 hotel rooms, and read by over 1.1 million people monthly in the Niagara Region. They cover all the best places to go, what to do and where to eat in the Niagara area.
Culinary Menus and Dining Guide bring to light the best of the best on Niagara’s culinary scene…
TORONTO Today Magazine
QUEEN OF KENNSINGTON Exploring Kennsington Market by wheels or foot
Beyond Niagara Rev has recently expanded into other areas of Ontario with some new and exciting partnerships. Each in room magazine covers the best of what an area has to offer, in a high-end, beautifully design format.
VOL 1 | ISSUE 3
Escape Explore Discover
In-Pulse This just in. New evidence suggest that spontaneity is good for the heart.
Knotty Nauticals Show your stripes on & off the boat.
SUMMER 2014 $4.95
The right format. The right audience. The right results. 55
packing the perfect lunch all week long Sometimes, trying to think up and new exciting lunches to bring to work everyday can be a little bit trying…so you end up either resigning yourself to purchasing food, which adds up quickly, or else you settle for eating the same old, boring sandwiches. But homemade lunches don’t have to be a bore, there are tons of easy to make, healthy options that will ensure you are counting down the minutes till noon hour!
vegetable lover’s chicken soup Recipe from EatingWell.com
prep 35 minutes | total 40 minutes servings 2, 2 cups each ingredients:
creamy butternut squash soup Recipe from Kraft.com
prep 15 min | total 55 min servings 7, 1 cup each Creamy, delicious, from-scratch butternut squash soup is just an hour away—and it’s so easy, even a beginner cook could make it.
3 Tbsp. olive oil 1 cup chopped onion 2 cloves garlic, minced 2 ½ lb. butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped 2 cans (14-½ oz. each) chicken broth ½ cup sour cream 8 slices bacon, cooked, crumbled
1 2 3
Heat oil in large heavy saucepan on medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook and stir 4 min. or until tender. Add squash and broth. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer 40 min.
Pour soup, in batches, into blender container; cover. Blend until smooth. Ladle soup into 7 individual bowls. Top each serving with sour cream and crumbled bacon. Serve with RITZ Crackers, if desired.
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 8 ounces chicken tenders, cut into bite-size chunks 1 small zucchini, finely diced 1 large shallot, finely chopped ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning blend 1 8 teaspoon salt 2 plum tomatoes, chopped 1 14-ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth ¼ cup dry white wine 2 tablespoons orzo, or other tiny pasta, such as farfelline 1 ½ cups packed baby spinach
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Add zucchini, shallot, Italian seasoning and salt and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are slightly softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add tomatoes, broth, wine and orzo (or other tiny pasta); increase heat to high and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the pasta is tender, about 8 minutes, or according to package directions. Stir in spinach, the cooked chicken and any accumulated juices from the chicken; cook, stirring, until the chicken is heated through, about 2 minutes.
tips & notes make ahead tip: Cover and refrigerate up to 3 days or freeze up to 3 months.
Food & Drink
salad in a jar
Grab a mason jar and layer it up for a great, yummy salad that won’t get soggy before lunchtime. The best part (beside the non soggy bit), is that you can make a weeks worth of salads ahead of time because they last for several days in the fridge. Just bring a bowl with you to work, dump out the jar, and you’ll be all set. layer 1: dressing layer 2: carrots, cucumbers, tomato, broccoli…basically any veggie you want layer 3: seeds, cheese, nuts layer 4: any meat, quinoa, etc layer 5: salad greens This can be changed up in a ton of different ways…maybe one day you want a Mexican themed salad. There are a ton of possibilities!
peanut tofu wrap Recipe from EatingWell.com
1 Tbsp store-bought Thai peanut sauce 1 8-inch whole-wheat flour tortilla 2 oz thinly-sliced, seasoned, baked tofu ¼ cup sliced red bell pepper 8 thinly sliced snow peas
Spread peanut sauce on the tortilla. Place tofu, peppers and snow peas in the center; fold the sides over the filling and roll up.
bean, corn and tortilla salad Recipe from marthastewart.com
creamy avocado & white bean wrap Recipe from EatingWell.com
2 Tbsp cider vinegar 1 Tbsp canola oil 2 tsp finely chopped canned chipotle chili in adobo sauce (see note) ¼ tsp salt 2 cup shredded red cabbage 1 medium carrot, shredded ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro 1 can 15-ounce can white beans, rinsed 1 ripe avocado ½ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese 2 Tbsp minced red onion 4 8- to 10-inch whole-wheat wraps or tortillas
1 2 3
Whisk vinegar, oil, chipotle chile and salt in a medium bowl. Add cabbage, carrot and cilantro; toss to combine. Mash beans and avocado in another medium bowl with a potato masher or fork. Stir in cheese and onion.
To assemble the wraps, spread about ½ cup of the bean-avocado mixture onto a wrap (or tortilla) and top with about 2 3 cup of the cabbage-carrot slaw. Roll up. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Cut the wraps in half to serve, if desired.
tips & notes ingredient note: Chipotle chilies in adobo sauce are
smoked jalapeños packed in a flavorful sauce. Look for the small cans with the Mexican foods in large supermarkets. Once opened, they’ll keep at least 2 weeks in the refrigerator or 6 months in the freezer.
prep 25 mins | servings 4 ingredients:
1 can (15.5 ounces) pinto beans, drained and rinsed 1 package frozen corn kernels (2 cups) ¼ cup prepared tomato salsa 1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced (1 cup) 1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and cubed 3 plum tomatoes, thickly sliced Coarse salt, ground pepper 1 bag romaine hearts, cut into bite sized pieces 3 cups broken, baked tortilla chips ¾ cup coarsely grated pepper jack cheese
In a medium microwave-safe bowl, combine beans, corn, and salsa. Microwave just until warmed through, 1 minute. Stir in scallions, avocado, and tomatoes; season with salt and pepper. Set bean mixture aside. In a large bowl, toss lettuce and chips together. Divide evenly among plates; top with bean mixture and cheese. Serve immediately, topped with additional salsa, if desired.
food for thought bento box
This way of serving food originated in Japan, has been around since the 16th century, and it is perfect for packing a well balanced lunch. Containers are divided up into different sections, so foods don’t mix and portion control is built right in. There are tons of recipes available online and even blogs dedicated specifically to bento box recipes. Check out: justbento.com and aibento.net
Soups are a great thing to bring for lunch: invest in a good thermos, and you’ll have hot soup all ready for you come lunchtime. One big pot of soup on the weekend could net you enough soup for the entire week!
Agriculture Enjoying a share of the bounty By: Lynn Ogryzlo
t wasn’t that long ago we bartered with food: the man who made the sausage traded with his neighbour who grew the wheat. The wheat was milled and paid for with bread, and then bread was traded with the pig farmer and on and on. Everyone knew who had food to trade, the community was tight, they all ate well and they kept the best food circulating among themselves. Today our bartering system has changed and while much of it has been displaced with the almighty dollar, the concept of getting our vegetables from the guy who grows them is still alive and well with Community Shared Agriculture (CSA) programs. With a CSA you pay one fee up front for a constant supply of vegetables all season long. Just imagine it, fresh, garden-picked vegetables filling your kitchen weekly throughout the summer by your own personal farmer dressed in overalls driving his mud splattered field truck. Ok, perhaps the visualization is a bit old fashioned, but a CSA program for consumers is the true meaning of eating off the farm, eating seasonally, buying local and investing in a healthy lifestyle. “If every Monday morning I got fresh eggs, broccoli, a head of lettuce and tomatoes delivered to me, I would look forward to it and use it,” says David Somerville, Certified Financial Planner at Capital Wealth Management in St. Catharines. “But if I had to buy it at the store, I might not. We’re so busy it makes us naturally lazy. CSA’s make life easy.” So how does it work? With CSA you actually agree to buy a portion of the seasons harvest from the farmer up
front, like buying food futures, and the risk is shared. The CSA farmer receives a set amount from each consumer prior to the start of the growing season. If an average price for a CSA is $400 per 20-week season and a farmer has 50 customers, his income for a year is 20,000. If it doesn’t sound like much, it’s because it’s not. “It’s a labour of love,” explains Dave who finds more value for customers in CSA programs than farmers. “There’s a simple bullet point – twenty dollars,” explains Dave. “For $20 a week you and your family can eat the healthiest you can. Is your family’s health and well being worth $20 a week? I think it’s a great investment in a healthy lifestyle. But when you say $400 it’s a little more difficult to swallow.” Thankfully, farmers don’t bank on a CSA program as their main source of revenue; instead, it compliments their existing revenues. CSA is a low risk, high margin option for farmers using existing resources, equipment and land. It’s just enough to compensate the farmer for his land, equipment and time. “It’s our first year doing this,” says an excited Debbie Kinsella of Kinsella’s Simply Organics CSA farm in Welland. A certified organic farm, the Kinsella’s are putting to bed an entire three acres of vegetables this year. The annual CSA fee is $300.00 and in return, members get 16 weeks (June – October) of organic, non-GMO, hand picked, pure vegetables at their peak of ripeness.
For a CSA near you, visit www.ontariocsa.ca
t’s a great investment when you consider they grow tomatoes, cucumbers, hot and sweet peppers, onions, kale, eggplant, carrots, spinach, cauliflower, cabbage, beets, herbs, edible flowers and three different house blends of mixed greens. They grow heritage breeds of vegetables like tomatoes along side modern varieties of white habanero peppers. In fact, the Kinsella’s plan on erecting a large hoop house on the farm so they can offer fresh, mixed lettuces all year long. of course the Kinsellas will sell their wintergreens to anyone who comes to the farm, but rumour has it preference will be given to CSA members. Now that’s the value of knowing your farmer! Think of joining a CSA as the same as hiring your own personal farmer. Also known as Community Supported Agriculture, joining a CSA means you get to meet the farmer and talk to him/her on a regular bases about how the weather has affected the crops, what’s ripening faster than expected and what insects are presenting a challenge. you get to be nosy with your personal farmer and ask about farming practices to ensure your food is the best quality it can possibly be. After all, isn’t getting the best why you’d hire your own personal farmer? That’s a big reason why the Bounty Box includes a recipe of the week and posts a complete list of harvested foods on their website each week. They encourage you to get the most out of your CSA baskets by planning your meals around your CSA ingredients. A unique CSA, Bounty Box is a partnership between an organic greenhouse grower and a traditional field grower. Greenhouse growers vivek rajakumar and Alex hlinyanszky of victory organics in St. Catharines start their CSA earlier in the spring with produce growing inside their greenhouses and they are able to continue much later into the fall, almost until Christmas. But greenhouses cannot grow everything so victory organics have partnered with Jordan Fowler of For World Farm in Jordan who relies on Mother Nature to grow field watermelon, canning tomatoes, soybeans and popping corn. Bounty Box contributes the vegetables including lettuce mixes, cucumbers, radishes, Chinese cabbage, parsley, cilantro, dill, kale, beets, cucumbers and lots more. Bounty Box has a unique starter program that allows newcomers to try the CSA concept to begin with very little investment upfront. But beware, once your kitchen starts to fill with fresh, farm picked produce, you’ll be hooked on the amazing flavours, freshness and little waste. “I don’t see why more people don’t do it,” shares David. “If you look at what a fruit tray is worth at a grocery store, it’s expensive.” If you’re not sold on a CSA yet, Dave advises to compare a CSA with other food items you buy. “And you don’t know where the fruit in the tray comes from, what pesticides are on there and how green the fruit was when it was picked.” Comparing what you can buy for $20 a week is a good thing to do because chances are, you do much better with freshness, quality and flavour with a CSA. The best part of local food is that “the prices don’t rise when the Canadian dollar falls,” says Somerville. After many years of running a CSA program, Arden vaughn of Lake Land Meats will no longer offer her program, pity. But she will be a drop-off point for Bounty Box. This means when you’re picking up our CSA vegetables at Lake Land Meats, you can also pick up some amazing, all natural meats, poultry and fish. Lake Land is a virtual col-
lection of the best artisan meat producers throughout ontario under one roof. Each CSA has terms, fees, amounts, delivery systems and vegetable varieties that are different and unique to the their circumstances so each deserve consideration when shopping around for a CSA. Some even go beyond vegetables and may include honey, farm fresh eggs, fruit from a neighbouring farm, jams, meat and other local ingredients. A CSA is also about buying local, and buying local makes sense for many reasons. First it’s the exceptional freshness and flavour. Local food isn’t picked before it’s ripe, shipped, gassed and manhandled. It’s just hand picked, the earth shaken from it and laid in a basket – your basket, now that’s fresh and healthy.
Lynn Ogryzlo is a food, wine and travel writer, international award winning author and regular contributor to REV Publications. She can be reached for questions or comments at www.lynnogryzlo.com.
TODAY NIAGARA’S CSA DIRECTORY BOUNTY BOX
Vivek or Alex from Victory Organics 111 Fourth Avenue, St. Catharines | 905-359-9700
CHEZ NOUS FARMS
Rick or Shirley 2192 Stevensville Rd, Stevensville | 905-382-1556
CREEK SHORE FARMS
Amanda Thiessen 1167 Lakeshore Rd West St. Catharines | 289-228-0697
Leslie Thomas 5449 Michener Rd. Sherkston | 905-894-6178
KINSELLA’S SIMPLY ORGANICS
Debbie Kinsella 11323 Montrose Rd, Welland | 289-696-7178
SEXSMITH FARM CO-OP
Debbie Sexsmith 2778 Dominion Road, Ridgeway | 905-894-4690
TREE AND TWIG HEIRLOOM VEGETABLE FARM
Linda Crago 74038 Regional Road #45, Wellandport | 905-386-7388
Marilyn’s Bistro A Unique Dining Experience By: Megan Pasche | Photo by: David Haskell
erched high up on the 25th floor of Niagara Falls Tower Hotel, sits Fallsview Blvd’s newest restaurant with a view: Marilyn’s Bistro and Lounge. Created with the memory of Marilyn Monroe in mind, this 75-seat restaurant offers a unique dining experience in Niagara Falls. Owner Veronica Rudan notes, “it’s an iconic tower, so we thought we needed something iconic for the restaurant. And since Marilyn Monroe filmed a movie in Niagara in 1952, we thought we would name the restaurant Marilyn’s. We wanted to keep her energy alive in the area and since she’s an iconic figure and this is an iconic building, we thought it would be a nice marriage together.” And indeed it is. The sleek and sexy restaurant was designed by Veronica herself, and she describes the décor as “urban elegance.” One wall is filled with a giant photo of Marilyn Monroe and depending where you are in the restaurant, you will have a great view of either the American or Canadian falls. It is a great place to go and relax and enjoy some good food after work. The prices are reasonable too. Veronica shares, “it’s a place you can go all the time if you are a local. And with the complimentary valet, I think it’s a really good deal for locals to come down to the Fallsview area.” Ambiance is one thing, and Marilyn’s does have a ton of it, but it has to be paired with good food, and thankfully (for our taste buds), Marilyn’s has that aspect covered as well. The menu was created by Chef Olivier Jansen Reynaud, who is Veronica’s husband. Chef Olivier is from France, and is well known for his skills in creating French pastries (though he is an equally impressive chef of savory items). He is the owner of Clafouti Patisserie et Café, which is located on Queen Street West in Toronto. Chef Olivier is actually quite famous for a contribution he made to the world of hybrid desserts:
He is the inventor of the Crookie, a light and flaky croissant, stuffed with double stuffed Oreos. In fact, news of the creation of this tasty treat went viral all the way to Australia. Chef Olivier and his creation were featured in numerous media, including CTV News, Perez Hilton, Toronto Life, TIME, Live With Kelly and Michael, Fox News and more. Chef Olivier is also a regular on the Food Network. In creating the menu for Marilyn’s, Veronica explains that Olivier came up with a classic Mediterranean menu, but with a bit of a twist. She notes two of her favourite items on the menu are, “the Marilyn Pasta, which combines seafood (lobster and shrimp), with homemade pasta.” She also says she enjoys the Marilyn cocktail, one of the restaurants signature drinks. The menu is set up with Marilyn’s movie Niagara in mind: items under “opening scene” are the appetizers, the “main actors” are the entrees, and the “best supporting roles” are the side dishes. Niagara was filmed in 1953 and starred Marilyn Monroe, Joseph Cotton and Jean Peters. This was the film that shot Marilyn Monroe into her legendary sex symbol status. Marilyn’s has a regular rotation of live music acts, varying from the smooth sounds of Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack, to more jazzy and bluesy bands. It all depends on the night. It’s well worth heading down to the tourist area to check out this new and exciting restaurant. The parking is free, the view is unparalleled and the food is great. Veronica notes, “so far, since we’ve opened up, we haven’t had any returns. All the plates always come back clean.” And there is no higher praise of a restaurant than that. Marilyn’s Bistro and Lounge is open every night at 5pm. For more information, visit the website niagaratower.com
“ it’s an iconic tower, so
we thought we needed something iconic for the restaurant. And since Marilyn Monroe filmed a movie in Niagara in 1952, we thought we would name the restaurant Marilyn’s...”
The Perfect PECAN PIE INGREDIENTS:
1 cup light brown sugar 1/4 cup sugar 1/2 cup butter 2 eg gs 1 tablespoon f lour 1 tablespoon vanilla 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 400°F (205°C). In a large bowl, beat eggs until foamy, and stir in melted butter. Stir in the brown sugar, white sugar and the flour; mix well. Last add the milk, vanilla and nuts. Pour into an unbaked 9-in pie shell. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes at 400 degrees, then reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until done.
Recipe courtesy of Chef Olivier Jansen Reynaud
One 9” pie
WE ALL WANT TO BE RICH
By: Angela Aiello
‘UNDERSTANDING WINE AND WINE CULTURE CAN MAKE YOU LOOK PROFESSIONAL, SAVVY AND INTRIGUING.’
Angela Aiello is the Founder of iYellow Wine Club home to over 10,000 members who build wine confidence through discovery through events, classes and tours. To learn more, join the wine club for free at iYellowWineClub.com or AngelaAiello.ca
iving a rich life is about having the currency to live big – to experience all that life has to offer and feel fulfilled. This currency can come in many forms, and the majority of it resides outside of your bank account. You may not realize it, but social currency has as much weight (if not more) than the cash in your pocket. Social currency is knowledge based and something you can leverage in your circles at work, with friends and out in the world. They say if you want to be rich then hang out where the rich people are – and well, the rich certainly do like wine. Understanding wine and wine culture can make you look professional, savvy and intriguing. Being comfortable with wine lists, knowing what to order and when to order it, and opening a bottle of wine with ease can give you access into otherwise closed and social circles. Speaking the wine language with confidence also helps. The richness lies in not being a snob about wine either – having humility and being open to discussion is where conversation can begin and bonds can start to build. Wine is also key for developing relationships. It is a great conversation starter while networking, a topic everyone has an opinion on, and a conversation people want to contribute to. Wine is a great tool to use to get to know someone, as well as show your gratitude for their friendship. Nothing says “I en-
joyed our time together” or “we’ll work well together” quite like a bottle of wine. If you’re in the world of sales (or simply trying to make a good impression), you can meet people over a glass of wine. Everyone wants to celebrate and relax after a long day at the office with a rewarding glass of wine and good conversation. When you’re thinking about where to meet a potential date, business partner or client or even a colleague, make sure you consider the environment, the time of year and food and wine style when making plans. Understanding wine culture, being able to name the grapes and regions (and some fun facts about each one) is good currency to have when you’re looking to connect with others on any level and in any relationship. Once you start integrating wine into your life, you’ll attract cool people, unique experiences, and fluid conversation – not to mention better food choices and adventures filled with wine. You will start to hang out with people who have and want to travel, who enrich their lives with culture, experiences and enjoy the finer things. Isn’t it time you added some richness to your life? Attend a wine event, go to a wine school class and ask for the sommelier at the restaurant. It’s all about learning and tasting and meeting great bottles and friends along the way!
Alistair Harlond PHOTOGRAPHY
Weddings • Families Fashion • CommerCial alistairharlond.com
Niagara Falls 5546 Robinson Street 289-296-7272
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ANGELO MELCHORIE ANGELO’S TRATTORIA WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO BECOME A CHEF? “I’ve always enjoyed watching people create in the kitchen, especially watching my mother, and when I was really young and was in Italy, I saw my grandmother making things, so I was always intrigued watching things being created from scratch. I always had a knack in the kitchen and I decided to pursue it, and the passion grew stronger and stronger, and I decided this is what I needed to be, a chef.”
CAN YOU TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR BACKGROUND AND HOW YOU GOT THE POINT OF OPENING YOUR OWN RESTAURANT? “I started my apprenticeship in 1985, and I worked under a lot of really great, creative chefs, and they taught me a lot, such as how to respect the kitchen and take care of the customers. I got my Red Seal in 1988, and from there I worked at different small restaurants and hotels. Then from there, my first big job was at Liuna Gardens Banquet and Conference Centre and I worked with some really talented people there. I had the opportunity to design some special menus for some dignitaries and a few prime ministers. After that I decided I wanted to do my own catering and I decided it was time to go on my own, and now, here I am.”
DO YOU HAVE A COOKING PHILOSOPHY?
“I just keep it simple, I don’t try to mask or hide any food, and just let the natural flavours of the food come out.”
IS THERE SOMEONE IN YOUR CAREER THAT STANDS OUT AS A MENTOR?
“My mentor as a chef would probably be John Ports, he was an Austrian chef, and I actually trained with him at the Old Stone Inn, he was really good, he taught me a lot, and he was the one who put me on the path to becoming a good chef.”
HOW DO YOU STAY EDUCATED ON NEW FOOD TRENDS? “I try and keep in touch with a lot of young chefs, and a lot of the local chefs, and I think going on the Internet helps as well. But I think trial and error; and experimenting and getting the customer opinion on it; if they like it, then we put it on the menu.”
DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE INGREDIENT TO USE? “Not particularly. I like to work with seafood because it’s so versatile and it doesn’t take much to cook it. A lot of people try to overcook it and you shouldn’t. You can be very creative with fish and seafood. I like using a lot of fresh herbs, I don’t like buying dried herbs. Fresh herbs just help bring out the natural flavours in foods.”
WHAT KIND OF MEALS DO YOU LIKE TO COOK AT HOME?
“We love to entertain and things like that. We do a lot of
barbequing, and even though I’m here all the time, we still do a lot of rustic Italian cooking at home, things that I maybe can’t do here, like stuffed artichokes. We like to keep our roots; what our grandparents taught us.”
IS THERE A MUST TRY DISH ON THE MENU HERE? “The grilled octopus. Even though people cringe and stuff when they hear it, it’s to die for. When you are eating it, you would never think it’s octopus. It’s so tender, and the seasoning we use on it gives it a great flavour.”
WHAT WOULD BE ON THE MENU AT YOUR LAST SUPPER? “If I had to choose, you know what, it would be a feast, because I love so many different foods, I love different Asian cuisines, I love Italian/Mediterranean cuisine, it would be one grand buffet, let’s just put it that way.
IF YOU WANT TO TRY OUT THE DELICIOUS, RUSTIC ITALIAN FOOD MADE BY CHEF ANGELO, YOU CAN VISIT ANGELO’S TRATTORIA LOCATED AT 5928 CLARK AVE IN NIAGARA FALLS OR VISIT THE WEBSITE AT ANGELOS-TRATTORIA.COM
Breathtaking view… FALLSVIEW DINING 525 FEET ABOVE THE FALLS
THE TOWER HOTEL
Marilyn’s Bistro & Lounge at the Tower Hotel rises 525 feet above Niagara and provides an elegant yet casual atmosphere. Awaken and delight your taste buds with a classic twist on Mediterranean Dining while enjoying an unparalleled view of the magnificent falls.
6732 FALLSVIEW BOULEVARD | NIAGARA FALLS | 905.356.1501 | NIAGARATOWER.COM
W H AT I F YO U R F L O O R M A D E T H E A I R M O R E P U R E ?
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