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Some size….SABRI Mussels are just divine!

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St. Anthony Basin Resources Inc. (SABRI), is a social enterprise formed in 1997 to benefit the residents from Big Brook to Goose Cove East. Their impact has been tremendous, with $15.9M+ invested in infrastructure, hundreds of jobs created and significant community and economic spin-off for the region.

One of their initiatives is a mussel farm that began in 2002 and expanded to three commercial sites in 2004. They employ three seasonal workers and a student at their farm and primary processing plant at St. Lunaire-Griquet & Gunner’s Cove.

Fresh mussels are available for purchase from June to September at Hedderson’s Store, St. Lunaire-Griquet; Burden’s General Store, St. Lunaire-Griquet; Grenfell Memorial Co-op, St. Anthony; Foodland, St. Anthony. These mussels also find their way on menus at many local restaurants. There is further opportunity to tell the story of our locally grown, locally sourced seafood on the tip of the Great Northern Peninsula.

The mussels are excellent quality and it’s evident from a purchase yesterday that they maintain an exceptional meat yield. I encourage you to buy your mussels locally at any of the above locations, 10 lbs are just $15.00. I enjoyed a bag last night and they were some size!

The night prior, the Noddy Bay-Straitsview-Hay Cove-L’anse aux Meadows-Quirpon (NSHLQ) Come Home Year Opening Ceremonies hosted a mussel boil, which served up SABRI mussels.

This economic initiative has also led to Town of St. Lunaire-Griquet to establish an Annual Mussel Festival, which is coming up on August 6-9th. Join us for an amazing opening ceremonies at 8 PM, serving up SABRI’s own mussels.

The economic impact of what a mussel farm does to create and support regional employment, business and special events is quite significant. I only hope more of these types of initiatives can lead to more success for local residents, local business, local municipalities and those who visit our region. Let’s keep buying local, it has so many positive impacts in our communities.

If you have any questions or comments concerning our Mussel Farms please contact SABRI’s Alicia Shears at ashears@nf.aibn.com or call the SABRI office at 454-3484.

Enjoy a fine feed of locally grown and locally sourced mussels when you visit the tip of the Great Northern Peninsula.

Live Rural NL –

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 – GNP Seal skin craft shop has new product

Sealing has been a necessity on the Great Northern Peninsula. It is still practiced today and with it continues traditional seal skin boot making. The Great Northern Peninsula Craft Producers in Shoal Cove East has added more modern garment items to appeal to today’s fashion, while continuing to produce traditional bark tanned sealskin boots.

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During my last visit, I was greatly impressed by the creativity displayed by the inventor of these boot sleeves, which attaches to a woman’s long boot, giving it wide appeal. This product is made for easy cleaning, flexibility to use fur or not, as well as replace the boot when the bottom wears, giving the owner greater return on investment. These boot sleeves are custom-made and retail for $200 + applicable shipping and taxes.

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They will likely be one of the most wanted items for Christmas this season. You can pre-order by calling +1 (709) 456-2123 or visit www.gnpcraft.com.

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I purchased seal skin bow tie ($24 + HST), which I look forward to wearing at functions and work in the near future. This makes a great conversation piece at a dinner or evening event. People may want to place orders for wedding parties. They also make the wide and skinny neck ties.

This local not-for-profit is keeping tradition alive, modernizing its product line and also creating much-needed local employment in the region. They strive to make seal product more affordable to the everyday person. Supporting local business is key to building a stronger and more vibrant local rural economy.

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

GNP Craft Producers Has Unique Offering

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GNP Craft Producers of Shoal Cove East, NL has a unique offering. They are situated just minutes north of the Town of Flower’s Cove in a beautifully maintained yellow building, surrounded by an array of outer buildings, one of which includes a replica fishing room with wharf.

This venture produces 100% locally made traditional crafts, specializing in sealskin product. They sell a line of hats, boots, mittens, vests, coats, slippers and more to local and tourist market. Some former politicians have sported sealskin jackets at public events in the province.

This organization has a workshop, where they have trained artisans to keep the tradition of sealskin boot making alive. They purchase sealskin from local sealers, they have their own tannery and avail of local labour. Once the seal skin is ready they can employ skilled locals to produce quality pieces for retail. They have a selection of other local craft goods for sale in addition to seal skin product.

If you have the opportunity to visit their site, they have a series of panels that depict the process involved with seal skin boot making and a brief history of the sealing industry.

One can visit their store front, or inquire about products by emailing straitsgnpcraft@live.ca or by telephone at 709-456-2122.

GNP Craft Producers is an authentic heritage shop, where the products are not imported from other countries. It is a storefront where you can buy local. Show your support, pass on a rural tradition.

Live Rural NL –

Christopher C. Mitchelmore

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