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Economic Development eNews | May 30, 2023

Business Profile

Top Feature photo: Powerhouse mom and daughter team Chef Carla, centre, and Nicole Hudson are expanding their food offerings.

Above photos from top: Pastry Chef John Bowman, ice cream lover Jones McFarlane on the patio with bubble gum flavour; and Barista Yulia Rydun.

Katarina's Captures Deliciousness

PRESCOTT - Great flavours and friendly vibes abound at Katarina's Coffee Shop.

New owners Nicole and Carla Hudson are adding delectable new choices and longer hours for you to enjoy this fast-growing eatery. If you remember it as a great little ice cream shop, it still is, only now with amazing specialty coffees and teas, cool drinks, pastries, cakes, bagels, breakfast and lunch.

"It's morphed into something so much more," says Nicole, who purchased the existing business a few years ago. They've kept the name and are expanding on its well-established reputation.

"We're added a few new twists with a goal of turning it into a destination," says Nicole, an energetic hospitality management graduate with resort experience. They joke Nicole has been in the business since birth having been born at a Philippines resort hotel where her parents worked.

Customer traffic has doubled since introducing breakfast and additional lunch and dinner options, from shepherd's pie to vegetarian chili and daily specials. A summer menu is launching soon with items such as Asian-inspired dishes, wraps and salads. They are now open until 8 p.m.

"We've expanded it quite a bit," says Nicole. They took "the plunge" of first leasing the business in the middle of the pandemic when they could only provide take-out items. Despite the restrictions at the time, lineups during the first month of operation convinced them to buy it and introduce exciting new things.

It was a seasonal business but now is open year round. Catering is also a growing part of the business.

Katarina's offers indoor and outdoor patio seating. Inside you can watch Pastry Chef John Bowman in action. Custom cakes and specialty items are available. Adding even more interest to the family-friendly eatery is a small local products section and Chef Carla's frozen meat pies. Local artwork is displayed as well.

Katarina's Coffee Shop is very proud to be named the 2022 Best Bicycle Friendly Business by Regional Tourism Organization 9 (RTO9). They also have high Google and TripAdvisor ratings.

"It's funny how life works," says Nicole of becoming a business owner. Her family was approached about buying the business just when Nicole had moved home to Prescott to help her parents with another food service operation. "I've always wanted to own my own coffee shop. I'm extremely happy with how it is turning out and excited about how much we can still grow."

Learn more about Katarina's by visiting their Facebook and Instagram pages. Check out their reels. Send them an email or give them a call at 613-213-8007. The shop is located at 513 King Street West near Kelly's Beach.


Tourism Strategy Launches

New Adventures Series

The United Counties of Leeds and Grenville completed a Regional Tourism Destination Strategy in 2022 that is now being implemented. 

Leeds Grenville will bring together and reflect its two iconic tourism assets in its visual identity. 1000 Islands Rideau Canal Waterways are recognized as the most effective solution to draw global and domestic attention to the region. Guests will then be encouraged to visit the many hidden gems that lie in and around these beautiful waterway areas. The visual identify for the region is inspired by the natural landscape of the 1000 Islands Rideau Canal Waterways. 

Tourism product experiences - both new and revised - are being created under this brand. 

The Leeds Grenville Economic Development Office will be launching the following tourism products:

Garden Adventures

1000 Islands Rideau Canal Garden Adventures, Monday, June 12

** All Gardens Open on Saturday, June 17th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

View Open Gardens Poster

Fresh Baked Adventures

Wednesday, June 21

Foodie Shop Adventures

Thursday, July 6

Get ready for some exciting Adventures in the 1000 Islands Rideau Canal Waterways! More details to be released in upcoming eNewsletters!

Digital Opportunities

Digital Services- What’s a CRM for Marketing and Why You Need One


A Customer Relationship Management system (CRM) is a suite of features used to track and support client interactions. It helps users create business marketing strategies and manages them from a single platform.


CRMs assist you with operations as simple as maintaining a spreadsheet, to allowing multiple platforms to share data. Based on behaviours, automations efficiently perform repetitive and mundane tasks like data entry, maintaining records, and reporting, and they do it faster. Features include email marketing, campaign management, visitor tracking, social marketing, lead nurturing and more.

Why adopt a CRM?

1.   Builds/maintains competitive edge

2.   Eliminates redundancies

3.   Supports growth

4.   Improves customer service

5.   Generates reliable, organized data

6.   Streamlines workflow

Contact our Digital Specialist to explore CRM options and see if you qualify for funding to cover the cost of a CRM for your business. After adopting your CRM, you’ll wonder how you ever managed without one.


To discuss these or any other digital marketing topics, call 613-342-3840 x 5368 or email Cyndy Bolton. Visit the Leeds Grenville webpage or easily book a free consultation. Flexible time slots are available to serve you better. 

Funding Opportunties

Applications now open for 2023-24 EnAbling Change Program

The Ontario government is providing up to $1.5-million this year to not-for-profits and organizations across the province so they can develop tools and educational resources to raise awareness about the value and benefits of accessibility and help make Ontario open to people of all abilities. The EnAbling Change Program provides funding to not-for-profit organizations, industry organizations and professional associations to:

  • educate their stakeholders about the value and benefits of accessibility
  • help support compliance with accessibility laws
  • promote a culture of inclusion

Some examples of projects that could receive funding may involve:

  • customized educational tools and resources about accessibility and inclusion in your sector
  • promoting accessibility in daily living
  • encouraging regulatory compliance
  • public outreach programs and initiatives

The deadline to apply is Thursday, June 29, at 5 p.m. ET.

For general information, contact regional Development Advisor Alain Girouard via email or call 613-246-1294.

Learn more and apply

Energy Cost Savings Grant Available to Local Food & Beverage Processors

The Agri-Food Energy Cost Savings Initiative is designed to support competitiveness, profitability and long-term sustainability of agri-food processors by providing funding to implement technologies and processes to increase energy efficiency in their operations.

This program will help agri-food processors lower their overall operational costs. Funding from this initiative will be used to support projects that prioritize reducing greenhouse gas emissions by investing in new technology, equipment, as well as building or facility modifications to help achieve this goal.

Ontario food and beverage processors are eligible to apply for funding for up to 20 per cent of eligible costs, up to a maximum of $300,000 per project.

Applications will be accepted until next Monday, June 5, 2023. 

For more information, visit the provincial website or contact Magloire Ngnitedem.

Improve Facilities and Spaces with a Capital Grant

You can now apply for a Ontario Trillium Capital Grant to help your non-profit organization facilities. Whether it’s purchasing equipment, building a new space, or completing renovations, retrofits or repairs, Capital Grants support projects that will have a positive impact in your community. The Ontario Trillium Fund supports programs that:

  • Increase use of their facility or space by expanding functionality, square footage, participation rates and/or usable hours.
  • Extend the life of their facility or space through repairs, retrofits or renovations.
  • Make their facility or space accessible.
  • Enhance program and service delivery through the purchase of fixed and non-fixed equipment.

Deadline to apply is June 14, 2023.  More Grant Information 

Learn more

Upcoming Events

Breakfast With The Mayor of Westport

Reserve your seat for this upcoming event with Westport Mayor Robin Jones and guest speaker Ann Weir, Economic Development Manager with the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville. Ms. Weir will be speaking on tourism development and digital support for business.

WHEN: Friday, June 16: Breakfast at 8 a.m. followed by the guest speaker at 8:30 a.m.

WHERE: The Cove Country Inn, Westport.

COST: $12 (Payable at the Cove)

To reserve a seat, call Westport Town Hall at 613-273-2191.

Employer Apprenticeship Breakfast

Learn about resources available to support employers, including the Government of Canada's Canadian Apprenticeship Service (CAS), at the St. Lawrence College Brockville Campus in partnership with the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville and the City of Brockville. The discussion will include how to access funding to support the hiring and retention of new Level One apprentices in 39 Red Seal trades.

Canadian Apprenticeship Forum's CAS is being delivered through a collaboration of industry-leading partners: BuildForce Canada, SkillPlan, ApprenticeSearch.com, Aboriginal Apprentice Board and the Canadian Construction Association. The program will provide a range of supports, in addition to the grant, to the expert trainers of Canada's future skilled trades workforce.

St. Lawrence College Career Services will discuss the various supports and resources that are available in Brockville and the surrounding area. Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program recruiters will be on site to explain the employer benefits of participation in the cooperative education process. This event will also have representatives from the employment services resource centres.

WHEN: Tuesday, June 20, 8-10 a.m.

WHERE: St. Lawrence College Brockville Campus, 2288 Parkedale Avenue

COST: Free (Advance registration is required)

Learn more with these links:

Support for hiring and training

List of Trades

Employer FAQ

Employer Checklist

To register

Summer Company Launch this Week

The United Counties of Leeds and Grenville - Small Business is launching its Summer Company program. This summer, five young entrepreneurs will experience being their own boss. The entrepreneurs will use their creative genius and community support to successfully operate their businesses.


The Summer Company is funded by the Province of Ontario. The program provides hands-on business training and mentoring. The participants will receive: An award of up to $1,500 in early summer to help with business start-up costs, and an additional $1,500 award in the fall upon the successful completion of their Summer Company business and proof of returning to school. They also receive education on all things small business and the opportunity to work with local mentors who will provide support and advice on operating their summer business. 

Come meet the five new entrepreneurs.

WHEN: Thursday, June 1, 5:30 p.m.

WHERE: Employment + Education Centre, 105 Strowger Boulevard, Brockville

For more information on the event contact Jeanette Johnston via email or call 613-342-3840, ext. 5363

Workshops, Seminars and Webinar Library

Introduction to the Food & Beverage Industry

This is the first session of a 5-part series where you can attend any number you wish. It features speaker Nicole Haney and is hosted by the Small Business Advisory Centre (Smiths Falls/Lanark County/north Leeds Grenville). You’ve decided to start a food or beverage business, but what do you do first? The How to Start your Food & Beverage Business session explores the basics of getting your food business started. This session will discuss topics such as defining who your target customer is and how to position your product to attract your ideal customer, as well as outlining some of the first steps you need to take in getting your food or beverage business off the ground. It will help you understand the basics of the food industry and guide you on setting up your business for success. You will leave with a better understanding of how to successfully start your business in the food and beverage industry.

WHEN: Thursday, June 1, 10-11 a.m.

COST: Free

Learn more or register

Merchandising 101

The Retail Duo of Diane Spiridoulias & Karen Kritzer will demonstrate strategies in visual merchandising that will entice customers, activate the senses, and drive sales. The Retail Duo will take a deeper dive into multiple merchandising best practices to spark your creativity. This session, hosted by the Small Business Advisory Centre (north Leeds Grenville, Smiths Falls/Lanark), will leave you feeling inspired and ready to apply these merchandising tips and tricks to your own retail environments!

WHEN: Tuesday, June 6, 9-10 a.m.

COST: Free

Learn more or register

Learn How to Hire Immigrants

Are you struggling to find staff? Do you want to diversify your workforce, or are you interested in making international connections? Then check out this free, practical training series focused on the needs of Leeds Grenville employers and hosted by the St. Lawrence Rideau Immigration Partnership.


The first session will provide a detailed explanation from Recruit Without Borders on work permits and completing a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

WHEN: Tuesday, June 6, 9-10:30 a.m. via Zoom

COST: Free

For more information, contact Lauren via email or call 613-213-4455.

To register

Ransomware Training for Technical Teams

Free cybersecurity resources for Canadian retailers are now available with free webinars.

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.

See also: Brute Force Attacks - July 5th

WHEN: Wednesday, June 7, 3 p.m.

COST: Free

Learn more or register

Packaging and Labelling Your Food Product

This is the 2nd session of a free 5-part series hosted by the Small Small Business Advisory Centre (Smiths Falls/Lanark County/north Leeds Grenville). You can attend one or all sessions.

The speaker is Nicole Haney. Packaging and labelling your food product is where marketing meets regulatory compliance and food safety. You know you want your product to look great on a store shelf, but what are you required to put on the label? How do you choose the right package for your product? For this session, Nicole will guide you through the difference between small scale and commercial packaging, what to consider before you switch to commercial packaging, what to include on your label to meet regulations, and what mistakes to avoid when packaging your food product.

WHEN: Thursday, June 8,10-11 a.m.

COST: Free

Learn more or 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 June 13th edition should be received by Monday, June 5th.
  • Submissions for the June 27th edition should be received by Monday, June 19th.
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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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