Every business starts as an idea and grows from there. Take a look at our local success stories and how TBC was able to help them prosper in our region!
Kelsie Munro (pictured left) is the proud owner of The Creator’s Crystals,
she sells hand-picked healing crystals and gemstones. The 24 year old from Nipissing First Nation has a passion for this industry as she is currently attending CTS Canadian Career College studying Business Management. All of the crystals are high quality, ethically sourced and cleansed before they bring enlightenment into the consumer’s life. Kelsie has participated in two markets hosted by the Sturgeon Falls Market. Kelsie plans on attending the Nipissing First Nation Pow Wow in early September as she will be a vendor for the whole weekend. You can purchase your crystals from her online store: https://creatorscrystals.myshopify.com/
Follow Kelsie along her entrepreneurial journey:
Bex and Guy Porlier are the folks behind The Colour Farm.
The Colour Farm is located in Callander, Ontario. While the flowers are primarily Bex’s responsibility, and the bee’s are Guy’s, team work makes dream work as they say and they work together to bring fresh, seasonal flowers, herbs, dyes and honey to their community.
Bex is on a mission to re-root herself and her family in ecological systems. She studied anthropology in University and left a job in media relations to farm in 2010. But not owning a farm, led to a Masters Degree studying farming related activities and a series of farm-adjacent jobs that included a stint in Bhutan with organic farmers, research in Iqaluit on food security, many a farm internship and co-founding the Upper Canada Fibreshed; where she was the Executive Director for two years, working with sheep and alpaca farmers. It was through this work that she found natural dyes and was encouraged to pursue a project with Colleen Lacourse and Michelle Fish – Milkweed Colour Farm. The culmination of all these paths led to starting The Colour Farm in 2020. In 2021, she invested in the Floret Workshop and never looked back. Local flowers fit nicely into rooting deeply where she lives and makes a nice addition to a bio-regional economy – local flowers, local food, local clothing and textiles.
EduCulture helps Canadian higher education institutions boost international student strategies
and increase admissions while dealing with the COVID-19 crisis, as well as effectively overcoming recurring academic and socio-cultural challenges. EduCulture involves preparatory English and Culture courses as a value-added incentive for international students so they quickly adjust to academic and social expectations whether learning face-to-face, or in the Canadian virtual classroom.
EduCulture has fostered some international relationships that have allowed them to facilitate and deliver various webinars and training internationally.
Examples include conference presentations with the Canadian Bureau for International Education, the African Network for International Education and the Canadian Trade Commissioners for UAE, India, Lithuania and Brazil. EduCulture has established themselves as a leader and trainer for Intercultural Development nationally with particular focus on international students and first nations. They are exploring and have developed B2B partnerships with MSM Higher Ed, Grok Global, Apto Global, Mohawk College, U of Windsor, York U, Ont College of Teachers, Beeznests and more.
Karen Strang and Melanie McVeety are the two EduCulture instructors who created the business.
Karen and Melanie have gotten assistance from a variety of programs to help with acquiring the assets needed to run their business. These programs include: The Starter Company Plus program through The Business Centre Nipissing Parry Sound. The PARO Biz Growth Stream, and the NOW Professional Services Funding and Education Funding.
E-commerce has been a vital tool in the growth of Good Glaze.
From day one, it has facilitated ordering from our customers, creating an easier experience for them. With the challenges that COVID has presented in the restaurant industry, our website has been the tool that kept us going. The accessibility of online purchasing has provided the opportunity for customers from all parts of the world to be able to send some of our products to their loved ones in North Bay.
Flowers by Moira offers fresh flowers delivered without the use of plastics.
Moira McKenzie (Owner/Designer) is a retired military veteran who saw the need for environmentally friendly florals in our local area.
She offers a subscription service where she provides fresh florals in a stylish container. When she delivers the next arrangement, she retrieves the used container to be cleaned ready for reuse and the tired florals are composted. No need to store vases nor clean them, leave the mess to Flowers by Moira.
Individual floral arrangements created by Moira may be found at Main St Gift and Variety at the NBRHC. Flowers by Moira also facilitates workshops to spread the news that fresh florals may be expertly arranged without plastic using natural armatures to support arrangements.
"I enrolled in flower design at the Canadian Institute of Floral Design in Toronto and was immediately hooked to my new passion of florals. Since then I have completed many floral design courses and studied under local career florists. I think the passion was always there as my grandparents were master gardeners back in Scotland."
Chrystal Tabobandung is the owner of RAISE (Recognize, Assist, Include Support, Engage).
This is a business focused on bringing indigenous cultural awareness and support to other businesses, organizations and private individuals. Chrystal participated in The Business Centre Nipissing Parry Sounds Starter Company Plus program a few years ago. She also recently received the Community Spirit Award from the Parry Sound Area Chamber of Commerce.
Originating from Wasauksing First Nation in Ontario, Chrystal is a proud Anishnabekwe, of the Ojibway tribe, having grown up on the Wasauksing reserve and having a strong foundation in her culture.
As an educator, Chrystal shares her knowledge and experience with the community at large and many businesses interested in understanding and reaching indigenous audiences and employees. She was recently featured in the NorthStar for initiating the Orange Ribbon campaign and Call to Action walk on July 1st to recognize the children’s remains found at residential school sites across the country.
As a professional trainer in indigenous awareness, Chrystal conducts online and in-person workshops on self-identity, youth transition to college/university, assimilation and its effects, MMIW (murdered and missing indigenous women), and general cultural awareness for your business or organization. Each course is customized to suit your individual needs and audience.
KTP Racquet Club (formerly KTP Athletics) is a locally owned small business that has a goal of providing quality sport programming throughout the City of North Bay.
Our goal is not only to offer quality programming, but to grow the sports that we love most. Our facility offers a wide range of programs and amenities for all ages and skill levels.
Owner and head coach, Kurt Tempelmans Plat, has spent over a decade playing coaching sports. Kurt is a multi-sport athlete with a passion for proper athlete development, growing the sports he loves and developing competitive athletes. He has played recreational, competitive, and high school level for curling, badminton, tennis, volleyball and x-country skiing. Kurt is an active member in the badminton community; he has been the Northern Ontario Badminton Association (NOBA) President since 2016 and has also been representing NOBA on the Ontario Coaching Committee from 2016-2019. He is now the Director of Coaching for Badminton Ontario and sits on the board of directors. He also volunteers his time at his former high school as the badminton and tennis coach.
Zakary Loney is a sixteen-year-old student, in Grade 11 at Chippewas Secondary School.
When Zak was eleven, he started making games online to share with his friends, family and online community. He realized he had a real talent with computers, and began to learn about website development and design. This summer, Zak applied to Summer Company with an idea to build affordable websites for local businesses.
At the start of the program, Zak was having a difficult time finding clientele. He and the coordinator for the Summer Company Program met and discussed strategies for marketing and growth. In July, Zak created two custom websites for two local businesses, and is underway with a third project (currently unpublished). Here are links to the two sites he completed in July:
Zak was also interviewed and featured in a story by My North Bay Now (The Moose). The article can be found here: https://www.mynorthbaynow.com/84113/local-youth-pr...
Z-Websites offers website hosting and design, graphic design (logos, banners, marketing) and online store hosting (through PrestaShop). Zak is really excelling in the program, and we’re excited to see where his business heads in the future!
"Hello, my name is Asheena, your friendly neighbourhood Reflexologist.
I have been a certified Reflexologist through the Ontario College of Reflexology since May 2019. Humbled by my own pregnancy pain and injuries, I found the relief in reflexology and needed to share with others.
Reflexology is pressure points of the feet, hands, and ears to relieve stress, pain, inflammation, and relax the body. This puts your nervous system and body as a whole into a state of homeostasis. I specialize in foot reflexology. As of September 2020 I am so excited to have launched my business Reflexology by Asheena in the downtown heart of beautiful North Bay, ON. With the help of family, close friends, and business friends I was able to renovate my space and make my dream come to fruition. Offering 30 and 60 minute reflexology sessions to clients, collaborating with other wellness practitioners, educating people on the power of reflexology and the importance of taking care of your nervous system and body as a whole.
Do you suffer from swollen ankles and feet?
Are you pregnant looking for pain relief or ways to make delivery as easy as possible?
Do you suffer from plantar fasciitis?
Are you stressed?
Do you want to treat yourself to some relaxing selfcare?
We can help! Come check us out!"
Facebook: Reflexology By Asheena
Asheena Tilbury 705-498-8249 | [email protected]</span>
Pasta Hostess’ personalized catering services and cooking classes
offer an Authentic Italian Food Experience for home and business events. Linda Nardilli Morrin (Owner) is a woman who loves to cook and eat Italian food, crafting each meal with attention to detail and extreme care.
Here is her story in her own words:
"Pasta Hostess came to life by a number of great events in my life. First and foremost is my Italian-Canadian heritage, as I am second generation Canadian of Italian immigrants. I was blessed to learn the love of cooking in the Italian style from my nonnas (Italian for grandmothers) and my own mother. I was fortunate to be a guest cook at a friend’s cooking studio, and as circumstances happen, I had to rethink how I would offer classes when her home/studio was up for sale. Another friend offered her home as an alternate site, and from that gem of an idea, Pasta Hostess came into full force as a business venture, and it’s been love from first “site”.
Preparing and eating Italian food is second nature to me (probably genetic!). Although my career path was primarily social work and health care management, when I retired in 2011, I made the decision to share my passion of Italian cooking with others. And that’s when the idea for Pasta Hostess was created as a business on April 28, 2012.
I have my Food Handler Certification and my business is based on partnerships with local food growers, co-ops, and businesses in the communities where I travel. Using fresh, local, organic ingredients, and offering vegetarian, vegan, and alternate dietary options ensures my clients enjoy Pasta Hostess classes and catered services.
Pasta Hostess gives people a chance to learn how easy it is to make fresh, homemade pasta and Italian food, and enjoy learning while doing it, in the company of their own friends, family, co-workers, whoever the host / hostess wants to invite. That’s all there is to it: creating at the touch of your own hands or enjoying a catered meal of fresh pasta and other homemade Italian food. It doesn’t get any better than that!"
REVolve Cycle (REV) is North Bay’s premiere boutique spin studio
where riders ride to heavy beat driven music in a dark room fuelled by motivating instructors (REVolutionists).
The atmosphere is encouraging, uplifting, inclusive and high energy.
We opened in November and quickly built a loyal following of REV Riders. While Covid may have closed us down we won’t let that hold us back. We are currently offering online virtual classes to keep people motivated and we can’t wait to welcome everyone back into the studio again!
Dave & Jane
iSparks Solutions has a passion for helping businesses to be successful.
Their services include Photography, Videography, Website Development, Matterport 3D Virtual Tours & Computer Software Training.
iSparks Solutions primary customers are realtors, construction project managers, architects, interior designers, and entrepreneurs. They create videos, websites, capture spectacular images, and educate their clients for greater success.
Sonya Felsman was one of eight founders of Make Technologies Inc., a Vancouver based software solutions ‘start-up’ which sold to Dell in 2012. She subsequently founded iSparks Solutions - a Photography, Videography, Website Development and Matterport 3D VR Tours Marketing Company where she promotes you; iSparks is your solution to being noticed.
Sonya is a Director on three community boards: Chamber of Commerce, West Parry Sound Health Centre Foundation and Georgian Nordic Outdoor Activity Centre. She is a dedicated entrepreneur with over 20 years experience in various roles as a Computer & Business Project Manager, Business and Systems Analyst, Marketing Director, Administrator, Web Developer, Photographer, and Computer Software Instructor. She continues to develop focused online marketing solutions for her clientele.
Her past roles as Project Manager for Dreamweaver, Business/System Analyst for American Bank Systems, and Computer Software Trainer/Instructor at Langara College, University of British Columbia. Princess Cruise & Celebrity Cruise Lines have provided her with exceptional professional corporate experience.
Sonya attended BCIT, Bachelor of Technology Computer Management System and completed an Arts & Science Associate Degree, a Business Administration Diploma, Arts & Science Diploma at Langara College as well as several other Diplomas and Certifications completed with honours. Sonya Felsman is also a graduate and grant recipient of the Starter Company Plus and Women Entrepreneurs from The Business Centre. She strongly believes in continuing education and this has served her very well with her many successes.
Ethan Miller is a local High School student with ambitions of creating a lasting business that will continue to grow with him. He is young, very talented and certainly motivated.
Miller jumped at the opportunity to launch his business idea through The Business Centre's Summer Company program and has been enjoying owning and operating his own business since.
His entrepreneurial spirit and passion for his craft is highlighted in his work and success in this summer's program.
Ethan began Miller MetalWood Creations where he creates custom pieces including furniture, cutting boards, and cottage decor. All of his products are designed and hand made using both wood and metal materials to ensure customers receive a unique piece that meets their needs. His hard-working mentality paired with his friendly demeanor provides him with a solid foundation for success in business.
Reptile Adventure is a “Mobile Live Animal Program” (MLAP)
which conducts interactive and educational programs using live exotic reptiles in the North Bay and surrounding area. Reptile Adventure runs programs at schools, day cares, retirement homes, long term care facilities, festivals, corporate functions, libraries, birthday parties and more. Reptile Adventure is a mobile business which provides presentations that are fully customizable to cater to the interests of the participants, or to the curriculum of the organizations. From junior kindergarten to university classes Reptile Adventure’s programs can make your event come to life!
Reptile Adventure’s programs range from touch tables, to 30-minute shows, to 1-hour presentations, to full day workshops. Reptile Adventure has a small portable display for full day events. Reptile Adventure programs are all designed to be interactive bringing participants closer to nature in a safe and secure atmosphere.
The need for animal education has been prominent in Ontario for a number of reasons, and includes lack of laws for private ownership of some exotic animals. The number of exotic pets needing to be rehomed is one of the key factors. Conducting programs gives Reptile Adventure the means to continue to provide homes for animals that are rescued. Programs such as Reptile Adventure will always focus on educating the general public on responsible pet ownership, with the goal that communities will make more educated choices for family pets in the future, providing life long homes and care!
Steve Featherstone, owner of Reptile Adventure has been conducting live animal demonstrations and programs successfully for over 20 years. He has been lucky to be able to combine two of his lifelong passions and turn them into a career. Working with children, and working with animals has always been high on a priority list for Steve.
Steve started his animal educations career at Jungle Cat World Wildlife Park in Orono, Ontario. Focusing his outreach presentations on large cats made him fall in love with this educational type of entertainment. In 1994, Steve moved back to Hamilton Ontario and was hired part time at The Reptile Store (later named Reptile Store.ca) conducting birthday parties on the weekends. Steve Featherstone created new educational shows following in line with Ontario’s School curriculum allowing him the opportunity to approach schools with a service that could fit their needs. Steve Featherstone’s programs were highly tractable and successful changing his part time weekend job to full time in a short amount of time. The Reptile Store continued to book more outreach programs year after year up to 2013. In 2013 Steve Featherstone left Reptile Store.ca to open a franchise location of Little Rays Reptile Zoo. This was an important step for Steve to leave a retail-based setting to a more professional, educational based platform, allowing him to focus all of his efforts on programs and presentations.
In 2018 Steve and his family moved from Hamilton to Bonfield where he continued to operate a not for profit program known as “Reptile Camp” which he started in Hamilton in 2003. Reptile Camp was predominately a summer camp program, after school program and other similar registration-based programs for kids. Educational shows were booked through “Reptile Camp” until Steve started a sole proprietorship company “Reptile Adventure” in December 2018 which will focus on outreach programs, while “Reptile Camp” will continue to serve as a summer camp program. Reptile Adventure will continue offering educational experiences with live exotic animals for schools, day cares, birthday parties, festivals and more.
Lori Burns has been providing Equine-Assisted Activities and Therapies (EAAT) services since 2015 through Horse Ability.
While managing her facility planning business and projects in Metro Toronto and North Bay, Lori discovered Equine-Assisted Learning as a career. Lori has been involved with horses most of her life and had found her dream career; working with horses and assisting people in their journey to wellness. She obtained certification, established Horse Ability and started providing EAAT and leadership development services in the Nipissing area in June 2015, offering programs whereby a person learns and strengthens essential life skills through working with a qualified facilitator and horses as teachers.
After participating in the Starter Company Plus program through the Business Centre, Lori has focused on providing EAAT programs to people challenged with the effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Injuries, addictions, trauma, abuse, behavioral issues and developmental delays. Horses are incredible teachers!
In the summer of 2019, Lori obtained certification in the Eagala model of EAAT, enlarging the scope of services provided by Horse Ability. This global organization is a distinct approach to professional mental health and personal development services designed to empower clients through personal and physical experiences by working with a qualified facilitation team consisting of a Mental Health Professional and an Equine Specialist.
A firm believer in ethics and continuing education, Lori has completed additional courses in EAL and Mental Health, EAL/EAP and PTSD, Intro to Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy, Trauma Training through the Domestic Violence Coalition, Intimate Partner Violence Workshops, as well as other workshops offered through Eagala.
Lori facilitates EAAT programs to individuals, semi-private sessions and to groups. Enriching workshops are offered throughout the year, in all seasons. Lori also participates in facilitating leadership workshops.
If you are confronted with one of life’s many challenges, would like to pursue personal and leadership development, or would just like to spend time with majestic, intuitive horses, Horse Ability provides a safe, supportive environment in which to learn, grow and thrive!
It all started with a drink at a bar in Victoria, BC,
with a couple of tourists asking the bartender for recommendations of places that were more 'off the beaten track.’ The bartender excitedly began to draw maps on the backs of napkins directing them to the hidden gems of Vancouver Island. That bartender was Emma Jones. It wasn’t too long before she had a business plan ready and became the ambassador of adventure herself. 'Off the Beaten Track, Victoria' was launched, - a business idea that was born at that bar.
Two years later, when the lure of family and the opportunities awaiting in Northern Ontario enticed her back to her native province, ‘Off the Beaten Track, Northern Ontario' became a reality. After participating in the Starter Company program through the North Bay Business Centre, Emma eagerly planned new pursuits as she visited several beauty spots and began enlisting the help of various local businesses. Now tourists to North Bay are able to participate in these unique tours - just watch for her van around town - you can’t miss it!
Whether they choose to sample local brews on the trails n' ales, experience local cuisine, or enjoy a chocolate fondue specially prepared by Emma as they are enjoying the outdoor beauty, 'Off the Beaten Track, Northern Ontario' will not disappoint.
If you are planning an event, or just wanting to try an amazing new discovery, Emma is the one to call. She’ll have you back feeling refreshed and energized.
Remember your first love?
Meg’s was a camera received as a gift in elementary school. She quickly discovered it was a way for her to tell her story as well as others’ stories, and she’s been hooked on photographic storytelling ever since. Adventurous by nature, she loves meeting new people, learning new things and playing in the great outdoors.
Meg Wallace Photography was founded in 2011 and specializes in wedding and portrait photography. The business quickly grew, and in 2015 she quit her teaching job to run Meg Wallace Photography full time. In 2018, she opened up a full-time studio and launched Georgian Bay Boudoir. Meg’s openness, sense of humour and photography expertise facilitates incredible experiences for her clients that keep them coming back.
Boudoir photography helps women of all shapes, sizes, and colours see how beautiful they truly are, inside and out. Boudoir sessions not only show women their beauty; it’s also an incredibly fun and empowering experience that leads to improved body-positivity and confidence. Meg feels grateful to be able to provide such powerful experiences for women.
To learn more, visit georgianbayboudoir.com. Those who identify as female are welcomed and invited to join her private Facebook group 'Georgian Bay Boudoir VIPs'. This online community of over 1600 women focuses on body positivity, empowerment and confidence.
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Bailey is the owner of Elliot + Olivia Bridal Boutique in North Bay.
She graduated from Nipissing University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and is an Accredited Family Mediator. She has worked within the family court system for over 10 years and for the last few years commuted to Sudbury 3 times per week. While stuck in Sudbury overnight due to a snowstorm, Bailey made up her mind that she needed a change. She decided to take the risk and pursue her dream of becoming an entrepreneur and opening up a Bridal Boutique. She chose to name the boutique after her younger siblings; Joey Elliot and Charley Olivia.
From writing her business plan, completing reno’s and everything in between, she could not have opened Elliot + Olivia without the support of her family and friends who helped in so many different ways. She also would recommend The Business Centre and Futurpreneur to anyone wanting guidance or resources on becoming an entrepreneur. She would like to give a special thank you to Jennifer Nickerson, Manager of the Business Center for her mentorship and support during throughout the entire process.
Elliot + Olivia is located in a beautiful loft space in downtown North Bay and is home to a wide variety of modern and romantic wedding gowns as well as bridesmaid gowns, accessories and gifts. Offering brides and their family and friends an intimate, special and unique experience while searching for the dress of their dreams is of the utmost importance to Bailey. She loves nothing more than welcoming brides and their guests into the boutique and that special moment when a bride finds “the one”.
In her spare time Bailey enjoys hanging out with her dog, Ari, practicing yoga, enjoying a good glass (or two ;)) of wine and spending time with her family and friends. She is so grateful for the supportive community of North Bay and cannot wait to see what the future holds for Elliot + Olivia.
Please visit www.elliotandolivia.com for more
information or to book an appointment!