Retail is the process of selling consumer goods and/or services to customers through multiple channels of distribution, and includes customer service and delivery of products. Shops may be on residential streets, streets with few or no houses, or in a shopping mall or designated shopping area. Online retailing and mail order are forms of non-shop retailing.
Husband and wife team, Cheryl McMenemy and Alex Yuen, opened the doors of The Collingwood Olive Oil Company in May of 2014. Alex, a native of Collingwood, is best known for managing the original Bamboo Terrace Restaurant, his dedication to the community and his astute business acumen. Cheryl has decades of experiences in media and marketing, and can be remembered as a former publisher of the Enterprise Bulletin. Creatively renovating a tired heritage home, they crafted a beautiful location where they could dispense the freshest extra virgin oils from around the world and an impressive selection of all natural, gluten-free balsamic vinegars.
The pair adopted two key beliefs into their business concept: That a customer should be able to taste everything before they take it home, and that education is critical for recurring business. This combination lead to one of the finest and most enjoyable features of their store: The Tasting Tour. Every customer that walks though the door is greeted by a friendly and highly trained employee, who guides them through olive oil chemistry, handling and health properties. Additionally, customers are encouraged to taste anything of interest! It is not surprising that in just two years, the combination of Cheryl’s marketing strength and Alex’s exceptionally discerning taste as a chef with over 25 years in the industry, Collingwood Olive Oil Company boasts numerous awards. These include Small Business Owners of the Year, Innovative Business of the Year, Metroland Readers Choice – Favourite New Business, #1 Shopping in Collingwood – Trip Advisor, and a growing registered customer loyalty membership in excess of 3800.
Both Alex and Cheryl prefer the small town feel, and both are foodies who delight in patronizing the extraordinarily high number of ‘independently’ owned (not chain stores) restaurants and cafes serviced by entrepreneurial chefs using local products. Their own unique products were seen as a perfect fit for Collingwood’s growing food movement, and of course, the lifestyle they enjoy in this community is hard to match!
Looking to the Future
Together, they pride themselves on actively participating in growing the continued success of Collingwood through Cheryl’s participation as a Board member of the Georgian Triangle Tourism Association, and Alex’s standing on the Board of Management for the Collingwood BIA. Supporting many local charities, fundraising and not-for-profit groups keeps them connected to the community. As to the future of the Collingwood Olive Oil Company, Cheryl says the key is to be consistent and they plan to keep growing and expanding on what they have already shown is a successful recipe! To find out more visit www.collingwoodoliveoil.ca
The Early Days
“When I moved to Collingwood in 2010 with my mom who was relocating to the area, I saw a town full of opportunity,” says owner of OneLove, Carolina D’Andrea. “My dream for many years was to start a retail business dedicated to fair trade and sustainably/ethically sourced products.
OneLove: Global Local Eco is inspired by the belief that shopping ethically can also be stylish, affordable and fun! The boutique is a warm and friendly place with the finest in eco-fashion and fairly traded accessories that are people and planet friendly. From festival fashion to comfortable basics, boho styles to urban chic, and an extensive gift range to top it off, Carolina has created a unique boutique with something for everyone.
“I had come to a realization that I did not want to pursue a life in the city and felt like Collingwood represented a “land of opportunity” for a creative young person looking to get established. The housing market was affordable and there was lots of gaps in terms of businesses where I felt like I could fill a niche for funky, fairly traded imports and casual clothing and accessories. Fortunately I was right in following my intuition here as I have never once looked back!”
Carolina’s business is thriving here. A friendly and open business community who she felt genuinely wanted to encourage and support new start-ups like OneLove, impressed her. “ I have always felt it to be more about cooperation than fierce competition amongst many of the businesses here.”
A vibrant downtown- Downtown Collingwood has to be one of the best in Ontario in terms of eclectic, independent shops and restaurants. “I love being surrounded by so many independent businesses, many of which are women owned/run. I also feel like there is a very conscious vibe here in terms of healthy living and ethical practices which make a shop like mine feel very ‘at home’, says Caroline.
“I was delighted to discover that Collingwood had excellent services for entrepreneurs and I took advantage of the numerous workshops and one-on-one free appointments to guide me through the start-up process” shares Carolina. In 2013, the result of hard work, business support and passion led to the launch of Caroline’s first boutique in the heart of downtown Collingwood.
Sourcing products from cooperatives and communities in places like India, Nepal, Thailand, Mexico and Guatemala, as well as Canada and the US., many of the clothes are made with sustainable materials like GOTS certified organic cotton, bamboo, hemp, merino wool and even upcycled fabrics from used saris.
Carolina is proud to be able to tell her clients that her clothes are NOT made in sweatshops and that the companies she purchases from support small businesses and artisans from around the world!
Carolina has also added a refreshing selection of natural products for the body and home, including soy candles, beeswax, handmade soaps and quality incense. All these products are non-toxic and made with essential oils and natural substances, in keeping with the mantra of OneLove.
“The Downtown Collingwood has a tremendously supportive business community, and the local residents keep us busy year round! “
Looking to the Future
In July 2015 OneLove joined the Barn Cooperative in Meaford, giving Meaford/Thornbury access to their products. They have also secured there place at the thriving Collingwood Market which see a tremendous number of locals and tourists shopping every Saturday! For more details visit www.shoponelove.ca
The Early Days
Ever wondered how an entrepreneur comes up with an idea? We had the pleasure of talking to one of the founders of Tin Shack, Canada’s exclusive distributor for Blundstone, Glerups and Ten Points footwear. After wearing a pair of Blundstone boots, he loved their comfort, quality and durability and decided, along with partners, to start importing them into Canada. This was in 1993 when he decided to pursue the possibility of starting a business that distributed the Blundstone range and he contacted Head Office in Australia.
It started with a retail store in Toronto in 1994, and then a second store in Vancouver in 1996 – both called Australian Boot Company. Twenty plus years later and 95% of their sales are still Blundstone boots.
In 1998, Blundstone Canada was opened in Vancouver. The business grew from distributing to only 7 stores in the first two years, to a hundred stores in 2001. As a young man growing up in Toronto, the founder had friends that had ski chalets here in Collingwood, so he had the pleasure of spending many holidays here in beautiful Collingwood. He never imagined then that one day his favourite place to visit on the weekend would become the place he would raise his family and grow a business.
Deciding to move away from big city life meant moving the business too. Collingwood with its diverse and active lifestyle – the hiking, biking and skiing trails, the natural beauty of Georgian Bay, would certainly appeal to a family. From a business perspective, the close proximity to Pearson International Airport (he travels a lot), and the fact that Collingwood was only one day away by courier for delivery to some of their major markets which include Ontario and Quebec, was very attractive.
In 2001 Tin Shack, formerly Blundstone Canada opened on Sanford Fleming Drive in Collingwood, and ten years later, they needed new premises to expand the exploding business which now ships Blundstone boots to over 700 stores and Glerups to over 200 stores across Canada– and they now have 25 employees!
Looking to the Future
As a distributor of 3 major brands, Tin Shack continues to grow its network of outlets and the founder says 2017 will see further expansion of their warehouse on Stewart Road in Collingwood.