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Economic Development eNews | April 4, 2023

Business Profile

Flowers of the Field Owner Offers Spectacular Yield

MAITLAND - Brenda Visser's stunning bouquets are never lost in traffic.

Her vibrant blooms have near zero travel time from greenhouse to local customers because they are grown right in Augusta Township at Brenda's business Flowers of the Field.

"Our flowers are cut and sold immediately from our farm, which means the most enjoyable and longer vase life for you," says Brenda.

"Historically Canadians have relied on flowers from afar, particularly during the colder months, but we can do it right here," says Brenda, who recently built a high-yield passive solar greenhouse to expand her business.

"There is a real need for beauty in our lives and flowers can make a real difference," she says. In the warmer months, Brenda grows thousands of field flowers, from Zinnias to Astilbe, Dahlias and Asters and so much more.

Brenda has experience in customer service, teaching and administration. A former master gardener, she is proud to have a multi-generational gardening and entrepreneurial background spanning back to the Netherlands. Her parents were Dutch immigrants who owned a bakery in Nova Scotia. Brenda grew up selling their baked goods at the Halifax Brewery Market and from a very young age she loved collecting wildflower seeds.

"I enjoy being outside. I love plants and flowers, having my hands in the soil and being in the environment of a greenhouse," says Brenda. She left her "administrative desk life" years after reading the The Flower Farmer by Lynn Byczynski and knowing that was her calling.

"From that point on, I had the desire to do this," she says, adding it started small with her selling flowers on her front porch in Athens. Her family moved to their current location and decided to grow the operation with the greenhouse on Lords Mills Road.

"It just kept growing from word of mouth. Every year has been better than the year before," she says. In 2020, Brenda won the Augusta Township New Business of the Year Award. She is an advocate of eco-friendly production and bio sustainability. Plans to expand her greenhouse and add trails have already begun. For almost 6 years, many of Brenda's customers know her from the Brockville Farmers' Market. She is an occasional vendor at the Lansdowne - Ottawa Farmers' Market.

Flowers of the Field is a registered flower farm offering local and organic fresh cut flowers, seasonal wreaths, arrangements, subscriptions, special event and wedding service and so much more. Subscriptions are a pre-paid service of 4 consecutive weeks of bouquets. They can be delivered to offices, homes or long-term care facilities, picked up onsite or at the market.

Top feature photo: Master gardener Brenda Visser is following her vision to grow an array of flowers in her all-season passive solar greenhouse.

Above photos: Stunning spring Tulips, Peonies and Hyacinth; Brenda in her greenhouse with Ranunculus seedlings.

Learn more about Flowers of the Field and hours of operation on their website, Instagram and Facebook pages. The shop and roadside flower stand are located on Lords Mills Road, Prescott. The greenhouse is not open to the public. Send Brenda an email or call at 613-802-9548.

Biz Bytes

Introducing New eNews Section!

This section is designed to provide quick highlights of Leeds Grenville business achievements. It could be the launch of a new product or innovative technology for your company, celebrations and expansions within your operation, a mention by an influencer or a new video release, to name just a few. If you have an item you'd like to include, contact Deanna Clark via email or call 613-342-3840, ext. 5360. Here are our first two items!

Luke's sauces now at Superstores

ATHENS - Luke's European-style Market has its bottled specialty sauces in four large grocery stores. Brockville's Real Canadian Superstore, and locations in Westboro, Orleans and Kanata, are highlighting 10 of Luke's homemade products on their shelves - BBQ sauce, chutneys, compotes and marmalades.

"We will be featuring our compotes and our Cranberry- Pomegranate Sauce on Wednesday (tomorrow, April 5) at the Brockville store," owner Luke Thomas said. "We need to build our brand recognition so come out and try us!" Learn more about Luke's on their website.

Arbru Solar Brewery featured on Global News

MALLORYTOWN - Global News is featuring a video on Arbru Solar Brewery. It spotlights this region and how owner Phil Audet has created a business out of his two passions: science/solar power and beer.

Arbru Solar, which opened on Quabbin Road last year, is the first destination brewery in Canada operating solely on solar power. Check out the Global News coverage. And in case you missed it, visit our eNews archive page for our full Arbru Business Profile.

Survey Request

Supporting Your Workforce: Identifying Future Child Care Needs

Child care plays an integral part in supporting individuals with the ability to be part of your business workforce, or as an entrepreneur with the ability to work. The United Counties of Leeds and Grenville Children’s Services Department is currently assessing the needs for child care in the region. 

The Child Care and Early Years Service System Plan 2023-2027 is being developed and will see several hundred new licensed child care spaces distributed throughout the region based on identified needs.

The deadline to provide a response is Friday, April 14th. Click the button below to complete the survey (one per household)

Complete survey

Digital Services

Words Have Power: Small Business Copywriting

Sharing your business journey and relevant content with an audience can be simple, with a bit of help from a Digital Expert. As a business owner, you have great ideas and wonderful services to offer. Taking some time to get those thoughts translated into quality content can pay huge dividends when it comes to marketing your business in the digital world. 

Pointers to get you started with copywriting:

Format: What to Say

  • Introduce typical customer problem
  • Provide solutions with engagement
  • Use key words

Style: How to Say It

  • Be genuine
  • Stay true to your brand
  • Speak their language
  • Add emotion to connect with them
  • Be clear and to the point

Where to Say It

  • Websites
  • Blogs
  • Social media
  • Email marketing
  • Live chat

Another tip is look at what other businesses are doing to spark some ideas of your own. The Leeds Grenville Business Directory is an extensive resource you can use to check out your competition or to find new inspiration. Let us help take your content creation and marketing to the next level, call 613-342-3840 x 5368 or email Cyndy Bolton. Visit the Digital Services webpage or book a free consultation. Flexible time slots are available to serve you better.

Upcoming Events

Front of Yonge Breakfast

The Community Development Committee is honouring local businesses within their municipality. Awards are for New Business of the Year/Entrepreneur and Business of the Year.

WHEN: Wednesday, April 12, 7:30 a.m. registration; 8 a.m. breakfast; 8:30 a.m. Guest speaker and award presentations

WHERE: Mallorytown Legion Branch 484, 13 Quabbin Road, Mallorytown.

COST: $13

To register 

Business Awards for Rideau Lakes

The Economic Development Committee is celebrating local businesses and recognizing their contributions at an upcoming breakfast event.

There will be presentations for Business of the Year, Business Innovation and Young Entrepreneur.

WHEN: Friday, April 14, 7:30 a.m. registration; 8-10 a.m. Breakfast, followed by presentations.

WHERE: Newboro Community Hall, 15 Drummond Street, Newboro.

COST: Free (Advance registration required)

To register

Summer Company

Applications for Summer 2023

Be your own boss! Summer Company provides hands-on business training and mentoring in addition to a grant of $3,000 to help enterprising students (ages 15-29) start-up and run their own summer business.

Students gain insight into business creation and risk taking; practical experience in marketing, financial management, sales and customer service; and attitudes and skills essential for personal success, whatever their chosen career paths are.

Where are you starting your business?

Contact these representatives according to where you live in Leeds Grenville:

Residents of Brockville, Gananoque, Leeds and the Thousand Islands, Front of Yonge, Athens, Frankville and south section of Elizabethtown-Kitley, Prescott, Augusta, Edwardsburgh Cardinal, North Grenville:

Email: [email protected]

Visit the Website

Residents of Merrickville-Wolford, Rideau Lakes, Westport and the upper part of Elizabethtown-Kitley.

Email: [email protected]

Visit the Website
Workshops, Seminars and Webinar Library

Brand Recognition: Branding is More than Just Creating a Logo

Branding goes beyond just a logo or graphic element. Many small businesses neglect to spend necessary time thinking about their brand and the impact it has. In this webinar led by Carey McMaster of TRAICON, you will learn a brand that is consistent and clear and puts the customer at ease because they know exactly what to expect each and every time they experience it. This webinar, hosted by the Small Business Advisory Centre (Smiths Falls/Lanark County/North Leeds Grenville), includes a workbook, brand identity template and will cover:

  • Understanding Brand Purpose
  • Building a Brand Personality
  • Key Points of Visual Identity
  • Messaging
  • Establishing Trust & Authority Through Brand Recognition

WHEN: Thursday, April 13, 9-10:30 a.m.

COST: Free

Visit our Website

Ready, Set, Serve! Workshop Series

CSE Consulting is hosting Safe Food Handlers and Smart Serve on the dates listed below.

The Safe Food Handlers course (April 17) satisfies legislated food handler requirements across Canada and is ideal for staff in restaurants, day cares, camps, long-term care residences, special events and more.

Smart Serve Training (April 24) is Ontario's approved responsible alcohol training program. It is approximately 5 hours of in-class training with an instructor/facilitator. They will guide you through the process of setting up an individual online account with Smart Serve Ontario and provide a token to access the final test online.

WHEN: Monday, April 17, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.;

Monday, April 24, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

WHERE: Locations in Prescott and Kemptville

COST: $44.95

To register, call 613-258-6576 or visit the website.

Social Media Content Planning Power Hour

Local digital marketing consultant Lyndsay Bigley leads this interactive webinar that will help you create a library of social media content ideas to appeal to your target customer and business goals, generate engagement on your profile, and build your online community.

Lyndsay Bigley is a creative and ambitious marketer with 12+ years experience in social media, graphic design, digital marketing and corporate communications. She is based in Brockville and has a passion for helping businesses succeed by finding their voice online.

WHEN: Thursday, April 20, 12-1 p.m.

COST: Free

To register

Defensive Procedures: Free cybersecurity resources for Canadian retailers

Cybercrime is on the rise across the country and could affect the day-to-day operations of your business. Being sensitive to cybersecurity issues means being mindful of various aspects of cybersecurity in the day-to-day management of retail operations. The dangers of browsing the web, processing payments, checking emails, and interacting online are all elements of cybersecurity awareness. As a retail industry leader, it is your responsibility to ensure that all of your employees view cybersecurity as an essential part of their job. Sessions are also being held on June 7th and July 5th.

WHEN: Wednesday, May 3, 1 p.m. (online)

COST: Free

Learn more and to register

Leeds Grenville eNews Deadlines for submitting information:

If you have an upcoming workshop, seminar, or business-related event, please email it to us in advance.

  • Submissions for the April 18th edition should be received by Tuesday, April 11th.
  • Submissions for the May 2nd edition should be received by Monday, April 24th.
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Ann Weir
Economic Development Manager
Deanna Clark
Economic Development Officer
Joanne Poll
Administration / Communications Support
Shelbi McFarlane
Business Development Officer

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