The latest news, events and client highlights from the WindsorEssex Small Business Centre.
Small Business Spotlight
Chubby Chef Co. Among Region's Growing Food Makers

Windsor-Essex's agricultural roots and manufacturing strengths complement each other to create the ideal environment for food processing.

From big producers like Lakeside Packing, Sun Parlour Honey, and InnerSeasonings International, to small start-up food businesses like Little Foot Foods, Brewin' Bros Beverage Co., and Licia Ruby Food Company, there is no local shortage of creative food manufacturers.

Ricardo Amaral, 22, is a Windsor-based food producer who lived in Portugal as a kid, where his father and grandmother owned a bakery. Being immersed in a food environment, and having a love of cheesecake, Amaral was motivated to start his own cheesecake manufacturing business, Chubby Chef Co., about a year ago. He started off making individual cheesecakes in 8oz mason jars for restaurants as a way to make extra money between jobs.

Amaral went from renting commercial kitchen space to renovating his home to accommodate full-time cheesecake production.

 Business & Client News
From Recipe 
to Retail: The Steps to Successful Food Commercialization 

From Recipe to Retail is a seminar designed to assist entrepreneurs to take their food ideas from concept to kitchen to full commercialization. If you are ready to turn your food idea into a business or want to take your food business to the next level, then this seminar is for you.

This seminar will outline the technical information and steps required to increase an entrepreneur's chances of success in commercializing a food product.

Taxman Urges Windsor Businesses to Cash in on Foreign Trade Zone
Doug Schmidt | Windsor Star

Most Windsor businesses that export goods across the border are losing money that Canada's taxman would be only too happy to see them keep.

A mere 15 per cent of local exporting businesses in a survey by the WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation said they were aware of all the money-saving programs designed to help them save on taxes and duties.

The challenge, particularly for small- and medium-sized business operators, is wading through the "big, big mishmash of all kinds of products" that could potentially save those exporters big bucks, said Yvon Pellerin, founder of Drawback Experts Canada, an Ottawa-based consulting firm.

Small Biz Expo 2017 has Record Number of Local Vendors
CTV Windsor

The signature event of the WindsorEssex Small Business Centre was held Wednesday, October 18th, at the Caboto Club in Windsor.

Organizers say it was an overwhelming success with 75 diverse small business vendors participating and over 500 people from across the region attending to shop local and support the region's entrepreneurs.

"Small business is truly the back-bone of the economy in our Region and we need to celebrate and recognize entrepreneurs at every opportunity," said Stephen MacKenzie, CEO of the WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation.

Photo: Jonathan Pinto/CBC
Old Dutch Guys Chocolate Crafting Edible Works of Art in Kingsville
Jonathan Pinto | CBC

These intricately detailed chocolate objects have received attention from Margaret Atwood.

In a world where food is conceived by chefs and food scientists with Instagram in mind, hearing the refrain that something is "too pretty to eat" is common.

As a food journalist, it's not something I usually feel.

But I had a genuine flash of remorse as I took a bite of a chocolate bird from Old Dutch Guys Chocolate in Kingsville. Don't get me wrong, the Belgian chocolate delicious, but destroying a work of art - with my teeth, no less - was guilt inducing.

Photo: Arms Bumanlag/CBC
Amherstburg Teen Draws Her Way to Social Media Success
Arms Bumanlag | CBC

Madison Young's favourite pastime is drawing realistic images. But the 15-year-old never imagined her hobby would lead her to social media fame.

The Amherstburg teen has more than 50,000 followers on her Instagram page, "diamonddraws", where she displays her original art and portrait work.

"I love drawing details and using a variety of different colours that bring the drawing to life," she explained.

Young started sketching when she was four-years-old and her mother immediately noticed her drawings weren't typical doodles.

Photo: WindsorEats
Road Chef Opens Storefront in West Windsor

Mozza Bombs all day every day can now be a thing.

The bright yellow food truck, Road Chef, has officially opened a storefront at 2390 Tecumseh Road West in Windsor's west side. From their Mozza Bombs to their Arancini to their Apple Jack Tacos, they'll be serving up all the classics that made the mobile unit so popular.

Photo: Meg Roberts/CBC
Once-Paralyzed Windsor Man Opens a Gym Away from Wheelchair
Meg Roberts | CBC

Eight years ago, Paul McCrary was told he would never walk again after a high school football game left him paralyzed from the shoulders down. On Sunday, with friends and family standing at his side, he opened his own gym.

"It's amazing, I can't even ... the other day on the way here I just cried," an emotional McCrary said, standing inside the brand new Limitless Training Centre on Walker Road.

He was 17 when the doctors told him he would never walk again. He remembers surgeons and medical specialists sitting in his hospital room discussing his prognosis, a good recovery would mean some mobility in his hands and nothing more.

Photo: Jason Kryk/Windsor Star
Local Grower Adding Hazelnuts to the Mix
Mary Canton | Windsor Star

Local grower Scott Deslippe is trading in his traditional cash crop assortment of corn, wheat and soybeans for something a little nuttier.

Deslippe and his wife, Katie, are in the process of converting most of their 50-acre Amherstburg farm to produce hazelnuts.

They started planting hazel trees this fall and by the time the last hole is dug, they'll have 5,000 in the ground.

Deslippe says there's one other grower past Chatham but "mine will be the biggest one in Canada."

Upcoming Events
Advance, online registration required for all events.
Please check our calendar for more upcoming events.

Starter Company

This Government of Ontario program provides entrepreneurs with the resources and knowledge needed in order to start and grow their own small business. The program includes one-on-one guidance from the Small Business Centre, mentoring with local professionals, funding of up to $5,000, and access to small business training & workshops.

Start working with an advisor today.

The  Small Business Centre also holds similiar workshops throughout the year. Keep an eye on our newsletter, social media, and  calendar for upcoming events.

Basics of Starting a
Small Business


Do you have an idea and want to start your own  small  business, but you aren't sure where to start? Attend one of these FREE seminars to find out information about:
  • How to register your business
  • Business structure
  • Government support programs
  • Other available services and programs
You will receive a FREE Start-up Package and step-by-step guidance.

Basics of Writing a
Business Plan


A good business plan is your road map to success!  A business plan is also required when applying for any type of small business financing.  Attend one of these FREE seminars to learn how to develop a business plan that will work for you!  This session will cover:
  • Required elements of a business plan
  • Breaking down a business plan into manageable pieces
  • Where to gather relevant information for a business plan
  • How to professionally arrange your ideas and research
  • What to do with the plan when it's completed

The WindsorEssex Small Business Centre is proud to continue to offer workshops, seminars, training, and other events that are relevant to new entrepreneurs and seasoned business owners alike.  In the situation where we may have missed an event in our newsletter, stay up-to-date by following us on  Facebook  or visiting our  website .
 Past Events

Music Windsor-Essex kicked off a successful inaugural networking event for musicians and music industry professionals on October 4 at Craft Heads Brewing Company in downtown Windsor.

Wednesday, October 18, was the VERY SUCCESSFUL, 3rd Annual, Small Biz Expo!  Close to 600 people from across the Windsor-Essex region turned up at the Caboto Club that night to show their amazing support for local small businesses.  Fantastic job to all the small business vendors!  We hope to see you all in 2018!

On October 26, the Small Business Centre, in partnership with Pillar and EPICentre, hosted The Social Enterprise Workshop, covering business topics for social enterprise entrepreneurs.
Special Announcements
Photo: Facebook
Flower Fashions on King is Having an Open House!

Passion and the love for blooms is what fueled the Bailey Family to start "Flower Fashions" in 1975.  Keeping the beauty that they have built, Lisa and Dan Pannunzio have purchased Flower Fashions and have some big bold ideas to keep the Flower Fashions you love and add a little extra.

Join the Pannunzios, at Flower Fashions on King, located at 13 King Street in Kingsville, on  November 18 & 19 , from 9am to 5pm , for their open house.  Refreshments and treats will be served!

Are you LGBTQ, 18-39 years old, and want to start or grow your own business?
- or -
Are you an established LGBTQ or allied business leader and want to help mentor up-and-coming businesses in our community?

The Canadian Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (CGLCC), with support from the Province of Ontario through the Ontario150 program, and in collaboration with partners across the province, launched the Ontario LGBTQ Youth Entrepreneur Program -  #OUTForBusiness - at the 5th Annual LGBT Summit of the Americas in Toronto .

The objective of the  #OUTForBusiness Program is to empower LGBTQ Youth Entrepreneurs, 18-39 years old, by providing them with financial support and tailored guidance to help them establish or grow their own businesses. The annual, one year program is built on four pillars:
  • Networking
  • Access to Funding
  • Building Business Skills
  • Mentoring
Does this sound familiar:
You're unsure of how your business is doing, or how to measure the success of your business? Worried about what taxes you have to file and pay? Working with a shoebox of receipts or a painful accounting syst em? 
We have a solution.

scaleUP Financial is a program that equips entrepreneurs with the resources to tackle their small business bookkeeping. Participants will learn financial management strategies and receive hands-on training to use Xero, a fast-growing cloud-based accounting platform. Xero is perfect for startups and growing businesses of all industries, and scaleUP entrepreneurs receive a one-year discounted Xero subscription! You will learn to:
  • Create efficiencies in your business
  • Use financial data to make wise business decisions
  • Keep on top of paperwork, bookkeeping, and compliance
Join the Small Business Centre's Business Advantage program

The Small Business Centre now offers three levels of membership exclusively to its clients through its Business Advantage Program. Entrepreneurs can access existing programs, training and services, as well as discounts for SBC events and a number of perks from local companies offering support to small businesses. 

Clients who sign up for a GROW membership can take advantage of discounted services and products from local partner businesses.
Small Business & Entrepreneurship in Windsor-Essex, ON Canada

Since 1992, the Small Business Centre (SBC) has provided thousands of entrepreneurs with the training and support necessary to start and grow successful businesses. SBC is a one-stop source - providing guidance and professional advice from concept, through start-up and early growth stages of business.

WindsorEssex Small Business Centre | 519-253-6900 | Email  | Website