Success Stories

YSBEC Success Stories: Timeless Harmony Salon & Spa

It makes perfect sense that Katie Gilligan chose “Time for You” as the tagline for her business, Timeless Harmony Salon & Spa, in Newmarket. After all, her target customers are stressed out, middle-class working women in search of a little R&R and pampering. Gilligan, an esthetician and reiki master, had long dreamed of hanging out her own shingle, but not

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YSBEC Success Stories: Stouffville Yoga Life

YSBEC Helps Wellness Studio to Clarify its Business Vision Isidora Romantini hasn’t had a day off in six months. “I’m okay with that,” says the owner of Stouffville Yoga Life. She’s just happy to be her own boss. A former clothing store manager, Romantini quit retail after about 10 years and returned to school to become a registered massage therapist

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YSBEC Successful Start-Ups Video Series: (Summer Company Alumni)

My name is Joshua Clements and I am the founder of, a robotics and science company promoting STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education for young children and teenagers. We challenge children’s minds and open up a world of infinite possibilities through our courses and online material. Children are the leaders, designers, engineers and scientists of the future. I

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YSBEC Successful Start-Ups Video Series: Gatherings Floral Studio

My name is Danielle Ouimet, owner of Gatherings Floral Studio located in beautiful Newmarket Ontario.  Gatherings has been open for four short months and I’m happy to say it’s doing very well.  Like most budding entrepreneurs the dream of owning my own business had been with me for many years.  Finally in February of last year my husband and I decided that

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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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