Success Stories

YSBEC Success Stories: DeVine Wines Aurora

Wine-making shop builds credibility with 10 international awards Before Karen Phillips and Dave Fellowes opened DeVine Wines Aurora, a wine-making shop in Aurora, they knew their biggest challenge would be getting customers in their door. The sister and brother both lived outside of York Region, so they knew they’d have to build a customer base from scratch. They also had to be

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Husband and wife Dave and Kelly Bell

YSBEC Success Stories: Bell’s Automotive

Small Business Owners Enriching a Community Husband and wife Dave and Kelly Bell were excited about an opportunity to start their own business. Dave, a mechanic for over 18 years, always had a dream of opening his own auto shop.  When a local mechanic wanted to retire from the shop he owned, he offered Dave the opportunity to purchase its

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Cori Doern - Cori's Cafe

YSBEC Success Stories: Cori’s Café

Named Small Business of the Year at York Region’s Business Excellence Awards Cori Doern knows how brutal the restaurant business can be. That’s why she opened Cori’s Café in Sutton after she’d already chalked up some success. It all started in 2007 when this former TV and film executive made some soup as a thank-you gift for her daughter’s pre-school teacher. Word of the liquid

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Jennifer Wilson and Jamielee Smith - Citizen Yoga

YSBEC Success Stories: Citizen Yoga

Jennifer Wilson’s yoga journey began as a dancer in California, continued as a yoga student in India and an instructor in Canada, and eventually lead to being the owner of her own studio, Citizen Yoga, located in York Region. Wilson trained at the highly regarded Himalayan Yoga Valley, learning the intricacies of yoga practice through its teacher-training program. She was successful

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Janice Jiang and Joseph Zhang - The Fresh Tea Shop

YSBEC Success Stories: The Fresh Tea Shop

Most Canadians have never heard of The Fresh Tea Shop unless, of course, they’ve visited Germany, Ukraine or recently, York Region. Last year, Janice Jiang and Joseph Zhang opened the franchise’s seventh—and only North American location—on Main Street South in Newmarket. The smart-looking shop serves up a variety of premium teas and exotic tea blends (such as “Jasmine White” and “Sencha Kyoto

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Chris Waye - The Smokery Kitchen and Bar

YSBEC Success Stories: The Smokery Kitchen & Bar

For anyone starting their own business, the devil is in the details as the old saying goes. When Chris Waye decided to open his restaurant, he realized there were a lot of details he needed to figure out. Should he incorporate first or find a location first? What permits did he need? What taxes applied to opening a business? The

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Michelle Harding and Andy Duquette - Minty's Marine Service

YSBEC Success Stories: Minty’s Marine Service

When Michelle Harding and Andy Duquette launched Minty’s Marine Service, the couple planned to run the Georgian Bay business from their home. Signing a five-year lease on a commercial building shortly after start-up wasn’t on their radar. “That’s when everything took off,” says Harding. They knew that the 4,800-square-foot structure would be a great spot for Duquette, a marine mechanic, to

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Danny Aucoin - On-Call Welding

YSBEC Success Stories: On-Call Welding

On-Call Welding Builds Mobile Business in York Region For many years Danny Aucoin was a company man, working in maintenance and production for various plants. Starting his own business wasn’t necessarily his plan. In 2012 Aucoin and his wife decided that should the industry they both worked in be affected by an economic downturn, it would be more fiscally responsible

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Emily Van Den Oetelaar - Spellcraft Bath

YSBEC Success Stories: Spellcraft Bath

Going Chemical Free Spells Success for Local Business Emily Van Den Oetelaar discovered she had a talent for sales and loved talking to people when she signed up as an independent consultant for a beauty product company. She soon realized that in order to be successful, she would have to differentiate herself from the thousands of others selling the same

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Tiina Lehtola - Clean to the Finnish!

YSBEC Success Stories: Clean to the Finnish!

During a lengthy unemployment Tiina Lehtola began to look for new work opportunities. She soon decided to take ownership for her own employment by using a skill she had been developing since childhood: a meticulous attention to detail when cleaning. So it was that Clean to the Finnish! – named for Lehtola’s Finnish ancestry – came into being. It keeps

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