Blog Archives

Scenic Hay Cove – Your Northern Coffee Experience

Hay Cove is a tiny fishing village on the tip of the Great Northern Peninsula, located just minutes from L’Anse aux Meadows World UNESCO site, where the vikings were the first Europeans to re-discover North America.

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The population is not large, the census notes just 32 residents. However, these are likely not year-round livyers. Yet for a tiny community, there are three Bed & Breakfasts (Marilyn’s Hospitality Home. Viking Nest B&B and Viking Village B&B), walking trails, icebergs and a newly opened coffee-house that offers freshly brewed coffee, espresso and other drinks from flavored beans and at times entertainment. I look forward to getting a fresh cup of coffee when next in Hay Cove.

During my last visit, I was pleasantly surprised by freshly baked cinnamon roles at Mrs. Hedderson’s house when visiting residents. They were delicious.

It is great to see local residents of Hay Cove create small business and expand local opportunities. This region is supported by a strong local independent business community. Let’s build stronger communities and create new opportunities.

Plan you trip to the Great Northern Peninsula today!

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

I finally found my way to King’s Point Pottery, you can too!

It may have taken several years and travel over a bumpy highway, but in 2013 I found myself in King’s Point, NL. It is a community that should be on everyone’s To Do List! There are scenic viewing vistas of both mountains and coastal areas, colourful fishing rooms and wharves, walking trails, rattling brook, humpback whale pavilion, heritage home, cafes, restaurants, accommodations and of course, Newfoundland’s famous King’s Point Pottery.

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In 2002, I became an entrepreneur by starting-up Flower’s Island Museum and was profiled by the Getting the Message Out (GMO) program. In 2006, I ended up working as an Intern promoting that very program at the now Department of Innovation, Business & Rural Development across the province. One of the businesses profiled was King’s Point Pottery.

In 2013, the owner’s, Linda Yates & David Hayashida received the “Outstanding Retailer Award” at the Atlantic Canada Craft and Trade Show gala event in Halifax, Nova Scotia after being nominated by the Craft Council of Newfoundland & Labrador. This is the show’s highest honour.

I had written the owner’s commending them on their accomplishment and noted how I hoped to visit their storefront in the near future. I was greatly impressed when Linda told me how they turned her father’s old service station into their current retail outlet, adding a triangular rooftop. I am a fan of re-purposing local buildings.

Inside, there were all sorts of pottery, ceramics, prints, jewelry, wooden items and even local jams from the Dark Tickle Company of St. Lunaire-Griquet on the Great Northern Peninsula. They support more than 180 artists with a goal of supporting and retailing 365 artists from all over Atlantic Canada.

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The hooked rug style coasters of the iconic clothes lines are quintessentially aspects of rural living. These are unique and show the creativity of our artists. I had a great conversation with one of the students employed that is also gaining experience in the craft and making specialty products.

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I purchase a ceramic cup and saucer, as well as this colourful bowl. After leaving the shop, I visited more attractions, which I will write about in a later post.

There are many opportunities to support our local artists and craft producers. King’s Point Pottery is a 21-year-old success story. We can do more to buy local, help create local jobs and build stronger, vibrant rural communities.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

BUY LOCAL: Why not wake up to local coffee and teas from Dark Tickle Company?

Waking up to local coffee and teas from Dark Tickle Company in St. Lunaire-Griquet is the perfect way to begin your day. This morning I perked some of Dark Tickle’s finest partridgeberry coffee. The pleasant aroma when brewing boasts berry flavour, as it circulated around the room. My locally produced “mummer’s mug” was filled with the wonderful black liquid as I began to think about our local economy.

I am a supporter of this local company that is truly unique. Their bakeapple, blueberry, partridgeberry and crowberry teas a divine. A wonderful gift to give any tea lover as  thank-you, on a special occasion or just every day gesture of kindness. They have an array of products and make jams, jellies, vinaigrette, chocolates and other products directly on-site. You can watch them at work in the small commercial kitchen through a wall of glass windows. Their products can also be purchased on-line at http://www.darktickle.com. They even have Iceberg chocolates! I certainly look forward to tasting those soon.

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Supporting the local economy in rural regions is critical for success. Small businesses, like Dark Tickle Company employ local people, re-invest in their business and also support other ventures, the community and spend dollars as well in the local economy. The more out-shopping we do for goods and services at Big Box Stores, the more  money is funneled out of the local economy.

If we are to keep our communities from becoming “ghost towns” we must spend our money at the corner store,  co-operative and independently owned businesses. Keeping local dollars exchanging as many hands as possible before it is lost from the region is a way to maintain wealth and expand new business opportunities and employment.

Can we produce more locally? Can we buy more locally? I believe we can!

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

Mitchelmore calls for discussion and development in seal industry

NDP Fisheries critic Christopher Mitchelmore (MHA, The Straits – White Bay North) says he and his party fully support the commercial seal hunt and he is excited about the potential for the industry as a whole.

“The sealing industry has always been an important aspect of the rural economy and I believe there is still tremendous untapped opportunity,” said Mitchelmore. “Value added business opportunities exist for rural residents, and indeed we already have successful businesses in the industry.”

Mitchelmore stated that when he meets with residents of his district there are ideas for new products but government will need to work with industry stakeholders to help these ideas develop into reality.

“The people I talk to haven’t given up on the sealing industry, and I haven’t given up on the industry. If we work together innovation is possible and good years will lie ahead for sealers and everyone who wants to make a living in the industry,” he said.

Mitchelmore says that while we must continue to work with the federal government to develop new foreign markets, we must also look to developing local markets. “I would really like to see discussions on developing the local markets. Government assistance is needed to help the industry create a plan to build on our humane and sustainable hunt,” he said. “We have to consider all ideas; for example can we reduce regulations for seal buyers in this province which would allow small scale production for untapped niche markets, such as for canned seal meat and bone fertilizers? Can we make it easier for restaurants to feature seal meat?”

The sealing industry has declined in value from approximately $40 million in 2003 to $1.5 million in 2011, largely due to declining export markets. “If we have strong markets here at home, local businesses will be better situated to develop markets around the world. And the one thing we know is that Newfoundlanders and Labradorians support the seal hunt,” Mitchelmore said.

 

Craft Industry Development Workshop – Take 2

Many local people have ideas and skills to provide unique products and services to be offered and sold on the Great Northern Peninsula and the world. Often what is lacking is knowledge and information about running a successful business. It is essential to provide entrepreneurs, local businesses and hobbyists with opportunities to learn. Government agencies, colleges, non-profits and for-profit businesses all offer courses and seminars. CBDC Nortip has arranged to have seminars run in local communities on a regular basis on topics of customer service, marketing, bookkeeping, business planning, social media and accounting. 

There is an additional opportunity to attend a Craft Industry Development Workshop – Part II. Please see below:

Nordic Economic Development Corporation, in partnership with CBDC Nortip & INTRD, will be hosting a one day Pricing & Etsy Workshop from 10am-3pm on Wednesday, June 15th at the GNP Crafts in Shoal Cove East!

There is an Invitation and Agenda by clicking the following: Pricing Etsy Workshop Invitation 2011 & Pricing Etsy Workshop Agenda

Everyone is welcome, but space is limited, so please confirm attendance by June 13th to confirm a space for you and/or anyone else you may know that is interested in learning
more about selling their unique craftwork.

Please forward to anyone who may be interested!  Have a great day!

 Take care,

Andre Myers
Economic Development Officer
Nordic Economic Development Corporation
Flower’s Cove, NL
P.O. Box 160, A0K 2N0
Ph:(709) 456-2840
Fax: (709) 456-2846
amyers@nf.aibn.com
amyers@nedc.nf.ca

If you are a crafter, hobbyist or interested individual come out and participate in this one day workshop.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher C. Mitchelmore

 

Revitalizing Rural Communities by Being Reasonable

Rural Communities are in dire need of revitalization. It may come in the form of many activities that once fueled the local economy and enabled the household to function.

Reasonables, Kinsale, Ireland

There is an abundance of small business opportunity in Rural Newfoundland & Labrador, including the Great Northern Peninsula. We just have to be Reasonable as the small business from Kinsale suggests.

The Town of Kinsale has 5,000 people, yet has an abundance of small business. Beyond the influx of tourists, the residents support their local entrepreneur. Today on CBC Radio‘s Morning Show restaurant owners were discussing the difficulty of obtaining quality product locally. They discussed the importance of buying local and trying to establish a network to bulk purchase the goods they need, so that each business can benefit. Although, they offer food services, they are not competitors when it comes to obtaining the basic need, as all have the same request for high quality product. Without it, they may all fail.

There are benefits to establishing stronger networks with current businesses. Co-operation can help reduce ever rising transportation costs and increase the quality of the product. As well, current business can extend services themselves or work with upcoming entrepreneurs. They may wish to lease space at their storefront that could be better utilized to create more in-store traffic.  This reduces the operating and start-up costs of both. There are creative ways to increase sales and new technologies to help facilitate this process. It would be wonderful for more communities of the Great Northern Peninsula to get access to Broadband Internet.

Some of these opportunities would be ideal for part-time workers, even those semi-/retired or a senior wishing to earn a subsistence income to combat rising living costs on a fixed income. They may include facilitating workshops by passing on traditional skills to locals and tourists, training a team to create unique products. The creation of bulk products could establish small cottage industries that can sell enough volume into a global niche marketplace, gaining higher yeild for product.

We are surrounded by a pool of entrepreneurs, from fishers, farmers, foresters, crafters and hobbyists. There is a vast skill set that exists with those who live on the Great Northern Peninsula and those who are not residents. We are able to create new businesses based on these opportunities, thus in turn, would be able to support others and buy local – because the opportunity now exists.

A Reasonable idea has the potential to start Rural Revitalization. Let us consider our current offering, evaluate the opportunity and take action today!

Live Rural NL -

Christopher C. Mitchelmore

 

The Loss of the General Store

 

John Reeves Ltd., a family run enterprise may have closed its post in the Town of Conche many years ago, but there is still a place for the General Store in many of our Rural  communities. These businesses thrive to supply the local consumer with all their essential wares from dry goods, hardware, fresh produce to rubber boots. Without their presence, many goods would be more difficult to obtain.

 

John Reeves Ltd., Conche

My community like many others see the loss of the general store.  There were five small businesses that aimed to fill that  market, pre-1992 cod moratorium. Green Island Cove at that time only boasted  a population of 209 people (according to Stats Canada, 1991 census) today we have only one General Store with a population of 164 people. It currently is all that the community can support.

 
Today the General Store faces many more challenges than just concern for the local competitor. Transportation networks have made local consumer’s more mobile. Currently consumer’s demand lower prices and greater variety which places pressure on the local small business. Additionally, the small business is faced with the added cost of transportation for shipping goods (fuel surcharges), credit card/debit fees, minimum wage of $10.00 per hour, increasing electricity rates and high-levels of taxation. Beyond these factors, the local General Store now competes with on-line retailers, sometimes in an unfair climate – as they do not have access to Broadband Internet. Investment in Tele-communications and Broadband Internet is required to enable communities to advance the current business community and serve the people.
 
I commend those who endeavor to operate a General Store in a rural setting. One of the reasons the General Store has been successful, is their ability to provide a high-level of customer service. They listen to their customers and bring items in upon their request. Another service offered is grocery delivery to local customers. This simple idea is a benefit of shopping local, as you would never get this from a Big Box Store. There are innovative ways to continue to sell in Rural Newfoundland & Labrador.
 
Live Rural NL -
Christopher C. Mitchelmore
 
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