Leeds Grenville
Economic Development eNews | July 28, 2015
Business Profile
Kudrinko's focus on service, sustainability and community
Kudrinko's Ltd. independent grocery store in downtown Westport is a busy spot. The business with the motto "Kudos to Good Food!" nearly triples during the summer months. It keeps owners Neil and Martha Kudrinko and their staff very busy. At peak season, the store employs 28 people

The Kudrinko family has been operating a grocery store here since 1990 and they've been an independent since 2007. The family celebrated their 25th anniversary in May. It's also a banner year for another reason - Kudrinko's is the first food store in Canada to earn a Grocery Stewardship Certification for sustainability. The certification is through the U.S.-based Manomet Centre for Conservation Services. Independent business operators must achieve 100 points for certification. Kudrinko's nearly doubled this with 198 points. 

They reduced carbon emissions and electricity consumption, added more energy-efficient dairy and meat cases and LED lighting, have recycling and food waste programs and have installed off-grid solar parking lot lighting and incorporated ground water bioswales for the treatment of storm water from the roof and parking lot. It's no surprise Kudrinko's in 2014 received the Greatness in Green, Outstanding Independent award from Progressive Grocer and Neil earned the Generation Next Award from Canadian Grocer at the Food Industry Association of Canada's Golden Pencil Awards.

"I think sustainability is important if we are to compete with other markets," said Neil. "It's not just about the environment. It's about being a responsible manager of your business." 

The store was also given points for its work in the community. Kudrinko's offers food education tours for local schools, is a funding partner with the Foley Mountain Outdoor Education Centre and is a consultant for the Two Rivers Food Hub (see related story). To learn more about this thriving Westport business and the award visit their website.

Top feature photo: Martha and Neil Kudrinko in their produce department. Above photo the Westport storefront at 22 Main Street. 

Martha with Noreen Sullivan at the Kudrinko's second business Rosie Yumski's Fine Foods at 24 Church Street in the village. Learn more about their products on their Facebook page.

From left to right: In the kitchen with Food Hub General Manager Bruce Enloe, Weekly Food Box program worker Ashley Spence and coordinator Sarah Mackenzie. The kitchen can be rented by individuals and local food producers.
Two Rivers Food Hub taking shape
The Two Rivers Food Hub opened in March at the Gallipeau Centre in Smiths Falls. The not-for-profit, incorporated organization serves the local food system in the catchment area of Lanark and Leeds and Grenville Counties.

Leeds Grenville Counties Council last week approved a one-time investment of $10,000 from the Economic Development budget to the Food Hub to support start-up resources and administration costs.

The five core services provided by the Food Hub are: a Commercial-approved kitchen, appliance and packaging machine rentals for farmers and food businesses using local food: Aggregation and wholesales services; a Weekly Food Box program; Agricultural storage, packaging and processing; and Information services. 

Learn more about the Two Rivers Food Hub.
Garden Trail set to expand
Members of the newly-launched 1000 Islands and Rideau Canal Garden Trail are enjoying visits from hikers, bikers, cyclists and those arriving by car or bus. Garden enthusiasts have come from as far away as Poland, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, as well as parts of Ontario and Quebec, including Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa and Prince Edward County. Hundreds of guests have been impressed and site hosts are receiving positive comments with word-of-mouth spreading the news fast. Guests are enjoying the region's garden experience and then dining in places such as the Red George Pub and Maplehurst Manor, to name just a few. 

The Garden Trail is poised to expand with a goal of three additional sites in 2016. The garden selection committee is interested in hearing from any Leeds Grenville sites, public or private, by August 10, 2015. Each site must meet the criterion to ensure guests leave saying their garden tourism experience was amazing. Gardens should be beautiful, unique, well designed and educational. Any garden site interested in becoming part of the trail can find more information on the Leeds Grenville website's Garden page.

Dave Cybulski, Garden Trail Co-chair/Maitland Garden of Hope, believes "it's about meeting people from diverse cultures and showing all that we have to offer, our simple beauty." Ed and Laurie Wight from Chillane Gardens enjoy being part of the trail and say "this format gives us a chance to answer questions and hear about their gardens too."

You can take a stroll along the bank of the St. Lawrence River while enjoying the Shakespearean Gardens on Prescott's waterfront. Today is the media day  and helping make the day even more special are the Shakespeare Festival Barbershop Quartet and horticulturalist Phil Burton.

The award recognizes Leeds Grenville residents who, through volunteerism, have helped improve the region's economy.
Bill Thake Memorial Award nominations
being sought, deadline is September 25
The Leeds Grenville Economic Development Office is seeking nominations for the Bill Thake Memorial Award for Economic Development Leadership. The deadline for submissions is Friday, September 25.

Each year the award is presented to an individual volunteer who has shown outstanding commitment to economic development resulting in the growth and vitality of the Leeds Grenville region.

The Bill Thake Memorial Award was first introduced in 2011. The winner will be announced at the Leeds Grenville Economic Development Summit on Friday, November 20 at the North Grenville Municipal Centre.

Nomination forms will be available online in August. For more information contact Deanna Clark at 613-342-3840, ext. 5360.