Leeds Grenville
Economic Development eNews | March 13, 2018
Business Profile
Top feature photo: Sarah Gibbons, husband Jeff Haffie and dad Bill Gibbons, at right.

Above photos: Sarah and Bill busy this past week.
It's sweet season at Gibbons Farm
FRANKVILLE  - When the Gibbons name goes on a bottle of maple syrup, it's assured a great tasting product is inside.

"We very much take pride in producing the best quality maple syrup and maple products," says Sarah Gibbons, who enjoys at this time of year labelling each jar with care.

"When our name is on it, it is a maple syrup we know we would buy ourselves and enjoy eating," says Sarah. 

Gibbons Family Farm Maple Sugar House is famous for its Canada Grade A Amber rich syrup collected from its 4,500 taps in Elizabethtown-Kitley Township. Maple sugar candy, maple lollipops and sugar pops, maple and cinnamon butter are all made on site and for sale in the farm's shop. New this year is maple popcorn. 

"We're known for being open year round and as a working sugar house where you can walk in the door and see us in action," says Sarah. 

Well, they're certainly in action right now. The sap is running and the family is filling their store shelves with this year's harvest and gearing up for their "Maple Days" - four special Saturday events at the farm: March 24th, March 31st, April 7th and April 14th. Pancake breakfasts are held each of these Saturdays at the nearby Anglican Parish of Kitley Church Hall in Frankville. 

"We stick to the tradition of using a wood-fired evaporator to keep a steady consistent heat under the pans," says Sarah. You can sample their product when you visit. The maple syrup industry in Ontario sets the minimum Degrees Brix (sugar content) at 66.5 but at Gibbons they do 67 Brix to add a little more sweetness. 

The family ships its product worldwide, with customers as far away as Australia and Japan. A large order of Gibbons 50ml Maple Leaf bottles is about to be shipped as wedding favours in Taiwan. Gibbons is also well connected locally. They sell to many local restaurants, including Rapid Valley Restaurant near Lansdowne and Main Street Restaurant and Patio in Merrickville. They are strong supporters of Local Foods.

A special highlight at the farm this year will be the AOG Art Gallery Open House on April 14th. There is exciting artwork on display both outside and in the gallery. The guest artist will be Frankville metal sculptor Chris Banfalvi, who will perform a live forge demonstration. Learn more on the AOG Gallery website.

Learn more about Gibbons maple syrup, the art gallery, upcoming Maple Days events and more by visiting their website You can email them or give them a call at 613-275-2893. The farm is located at 41 Leacock Road, just a few kilometres east of Frankville.
Lifetime Achievement Award
Sheppard and Associates founder 
earns Lifetime Achievement Award
KEMPTVILLE - Accounting business trailblazer Cathy Sheppard is this year's Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. 

The award was presented at the International Women's Day #PressForProgress - A Celebration of Women Entrepreneurs event on March 8th. Approximately 100 business women from throughout the region attended.

Cathy is the founder of Sheppard and Associates Ltd. , accountants and tax specialists serving the area since 1984. From an early age she was driven to run her own business in what was, at the time, a male dominated sector.

Today, her firm has more than 3,000 corporate and individual clients. She continues to expand her company each year. Her 13-woman team offers bilingual and comprehensive business bookkeeping, accounting and payroll services as well as income tax services. The office is located in Kemptville's Creekside Mall, 2868 County Road 43.

The Lifetime Achievement Award was created to recognize women who have created long-standing businesses and have become business leaders in their Leeds Grenville communities. 

The afternoon trade show, dinner and award ceremony was held at eQuinelle Golf Course and was hosted by the Leeds Grenville Small Business Enterprise Centre. It featured keynote speaker Jodi Wright, RBC Global Asset Management's National Manager, and MC Diana Leeson Fisher, a local author and communications specialist.

Cathy Sheppard is this year's recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Economic Development Office

Krista George joins Leeds Grenville as its new Business Retention Officer.
Team now includes Business Retention Officer  
The Leeds Grenville Economic Development Office welcomes Krista George to the team to coordinate the Counties Business Retention and Expansion (BR+E) project.

Krista comes to the Counties with extensive municipal and real estate experience. She has supported many municipal economic development committees and sub-committees. A passionate community builder, Krista has collaborated on a business retention and expansion project and has completed the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) BR+E program certificate.

"I look forward to working with our generous volunteers in all  Leeds Grenville communities, learning about the business climate and how we can help entrepreneurs," says Krista. 

"We have excellent leadership, a well-plotted course of action and a strong vision for this region."

More information on the program will be unveiled in the weeks ahead. Krista can be contacted at 613-342-3840, ext. 5368 or send her an email.
Upcoming Events

Plant the Seeds for Success One-day Summit
KEMPTVILLE - The North Grenville Rural Summit is for those interested in starting or growing an agricultural business.

The event is an opportunity to learn, share and network with local farmers, business owners and related industry professionals. There will be workshops, a moderated panel discussion and a catered local foods lunch. You'll walk away with fresh, practical ideas and tools. Topics include: How to Start a Home-based Agri Business, Business Planning, Funding and other Support, Starting a Livestock Operation, Innovations in Small-scale Farming, Increasing Garden Productivity, Multiple Income Streams, and Sharing Resources by Starting a Co-op.

WHEN:  Saturday, April 7, 2018, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
WHERE: Parish Hall, Kemptville Campus, Kemptville
COST: $32.74 for entire day; $22.03 for one session.

Register online. For more about the event and trade show opportunities email angie@itmevents.ca and visit the Rural Summit website.
Workshops and Seminars
Creating Killer Content 
for Your Website

Identify your voice, tone and target audience to develop solid solid web content and sell your business brand from writing your "About" page to creating social media posts. Cathy James is the facilitator. Participants are encouraged to bring laptops.

WHEN: Thursday, March 22, 10 a.m. to 12 noon.
WHERE: Small Business Advisory Centre, 91 Cornelia Street West, Entrance B, Smiths Falls
COST:  $20
Finance 101

Learn how to interpret reports - from income and expense report vs. balance sheet to cash flow vs. statement of change. The session is hosted by the Leeds Grenville Small Business Enterprise Centre.

WHEN: Friday, March 23, 7:30-10:30 a.m.
WHERE: Chateau Brock Restaurant, 803 Chelsea Street, Brockville
COST: $25

How to put a Sales Plan together for your Business

The North Grenville Chamber Breakfast Seminar Series presents guest speaker Stephen Beamish of Launch Lab. Learn how to put a sales plan together, build contacts and turn them into qualified leads.

WHEN: Friday, March 23, 7:30 - 9:30 a.m. 
WHERE: New Rideau Restaurant, 7780 Merlyn Wilson Road, Kemtpville
COST:  $25 for members, $35 for non-members, plus HST.
Facebook Ads for your Business Page

This session presented by Jennifer Baker will guide participants through basic Facebook advertising types, including boosted posts and clicks to your website. An ideal participant is someone who is interested in pursuing paid, targeted advertising on Facebook. You are encouraged to bring your own laptop.

WHEN: Tuesday, March 27, 10 a.m - 12 noon
WHERE: Small Business Advisory Centre, 91 Cornelia Street West, Entrance B, Smiths Falls
COST: $20
Creating Graphics for Social Media

This hands-on workshop led by Jennifer Baker guides participants through the creation of graphics to be used on social media platforms and introduces an online graphic editor as well as appropriate image sources. You are encouraged to bring your own laptop. 

WHEN: Tuesday, March 27, 1-3 p.m.
WHERE: Small Business Advisory Centre, 91 Cornelia Street West, Entrance B, Smiths Falls
COST: $20

Visit our Workshops and Seminars page to learn more about these events.
Workshops and Seminars