The Township of Stirling-Rawdon is selling their former Public Works Building. The site was also once home to the Township’s police services and administration office.
Perhaps this could be a location for a brewer or some other artisan food and beverage business.
Ontario’s artisan Food and Beverage (FAB) Region is a unique economic development partnership between the counties of Hastings, Prince Edward, Lennox & Addington, and the Frontenac Community Futures Development Corporation.
It is a Great Place to Live and Work
The FAB Region is comprised of four counties, and is located between Toronto and Ottawa. With access to rich farm land, strong economies, as well as picturesque waterfront, the FAB Region possesses a unique landscape.
Amazing Food from Local Producers
Grow and Use Their Own Hops
Many FAB breweries grow and harvest their own hops, but there are also many hop growers located within the region as well!
Support Other Craft Breweries
They Get Involved with Local Events
Many New Breweries Opening
The growth of craft breweries in the FAB Region continues to grow and expand! It is exciting to learn of entrepreneurs who have made the decision to open a brewery in this wonderful region. Thinking of starting a brewery? Click here.
Kathie, Francis, Patrick and Olivia Groenewegen are the owners of Limestone Organic Creamery in Elginburg, Ontario, which has become a leader in on-farm retail operation and home delivery service. The owners have successfully created a traditional and professional look to their marketing and packaging that captures the essence of their products – this includes everything from the reusable glass bottle to the porch box to the home delivery vehicle. Their retail store also conveys that same image and they are known for their excellent and friendly service. Entrepreneur of the Year – Limestone Organic Creamery
Ontario’s Food and Beverage (FAB) Region Ontario’s Food and Beverage (FAB) Region has received a prestigious Community Economic Development Award out of many nominations from across the province at the Annual Conference of the Ontario Association of Community Futures Development Corporations. CED Media Release EN.
If you’re an aspiring brewmaster and working towards opening your own craft brewery, microbrewery, or nanobrewery, you’ll want to check out the iCraftBrew PDF.
The iCraftBrew is a free PDF handbook designed to help you open a craft brewery in the FAB Region (i.e. Hastings County, Lennox & Addington County, Prince Edward County, Frontenac CFDC).
Here are the main topics found within the iCraftBrew PDF:
Preparing For Your Brewery
Before delving into any business venture, it is important to determine the potential market size. In the case of craft beer, the Ontario Craft Brewer’s market share for premium priced brands has more than tripled since 2002, growing from less than 1% to over 3% of the beer volume sold in Ontario and continues to be the fastest growing segment within the LCBO’s beer category. In addition, Ontario is now home to more than 100 craft breweries!
Once you have a grasp on the market, you will begin to develop your idea further. In this phase you will begin to ask many, many, many questions, like:
- What are my objectives for entering the craft brewing industry?
- Where do I want my brewery to be located? (In the FAB Region, of course!)
- How much will it cost to launch my craft brewery?
Finally, you will develop a business plan. A business plan is important as it increases your chances of success by forcing you to consider every aspect of your business. The plan also serves as an on-going benchmark, allowing you to gauge success and plan for growth. The business plan is what investors, including banks, want to see in order to determine whether you and your business are good risks.
Setting-Up Your Brewery
Financing is a big question for many entrepreneurs. Download the app to review available financing –> Apple or Android.
Do you know all the regulations, licences, and permits required to properly operate a craft brewery? The FAB Region can assist you with determining and obtaining the applicable permits and licences in order to legally operate your craft brewery.
Will you rent or purchase the property for your craft brewery? Regardless, there are a number of considerations, including water supply, electrical wiring, square footage, ceiling height, and ventilation. Once you’ve found the perfect location, you will need to source the brewing equipment and supplies you need to brew your beer! The iCraftBrew PDF has a great list of equipment to get started.
Selling Your Craft Beer
It’s entirely possible to effectively market your craft brewery business without spending a fortune on traditional advertising. The iCraftBrew app will provide you with tips and information about marketing your new brewery, including branding, networking, and developing websites.
If you need further assistance, or would like to speak to someone in a specific region, please contact us!
Frontenc CFDC: Anne Prichard, firstname.lastname@example.org
Hastings County: Andrew Redden, email@example.com
Lennox & Addington County: Stephen Paul, landafabregion.ca
Prince Edward County: Neil Carbone, firstname.lastname@example.org
What do you do when an idea pans out? Enjoy it. Things are good at Limestone Creamery. As a pilot project for the Ontario dairy industry it has been a singular success that is now being looked at as a potential model for other locations around the province. The idea of building a small dairy processing plant located on a dairy farm, producing milk and cream and butter within sight of the cattle in fields, and selling the products at the same location and offering old-style milk delivery to the countryside and a nearby city can work.
The Groenewegen family, who live and farm on Sydenham Road north of Eginburg in South Frontenac, have made it happen. More importantly they have completed a transition from a traditional dairy farm to the kind of operation that the local food and food sustainability movement has embraced. All without changing the way they operate as a family farm.
Francis Groenewegen’s family had been dairy farmers in Holland and Canada, and own farm property near Harrowsmith. Kathie was raised on the farm where they live and work, which her parents bought in 1967. They decided to make the transition to organic dairy production and started making that transition in the late 1990s. They have now been fully organic for 15 years. They joined a number of other farmers from the surrounding area under the brand of Organic Meadow.
“One part of the change over time has been that we don’t push our milk cows to produce so much. They get some grain but are mostly grass fed. We find they are healthier and we can milk them until they are older; many of our milk cows are in their teens,” said Kathie Groenewegen in explaining how they really have not looked back from making the change.
“And the soil is better than it has ever been. This being the International Year of Soil it is important to mention that. Seeing improvement in the soil is pretty important to us, and since we are lucky enough to have our children working with us, it makes us feel we are building a future on this land, not just taking from it,”said Kathie Groenewegen when interviewed in the porch in front of the Limestone Creamery Farm store.
Daughter Olivia manages the farm store and son Patrick runs the processing equipment, while Kathie and Francis run the farm, but they all pitch in where they have to, and there are also four full-time and six parttime employees working in the business.
With support from OMAFRA (Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs), National Farmers’ Union Local 317, and the Frontenac CFDC, Limestone Creamery started up their full service operation three years ago.
“Our business plan was based on us being able to sell half the milk we produce, and we are now selling just about all of it. We do 360 home deliveries, which is a lot, and through the store we sell products from some very good local farms. It’s been pretty exciting, and very busy,” said Kathie.
One part of the mandate of Limestone Creamery is to participate in the rebuilding of the local food system and the infrastructure that is necessary to support it. The processing plant itself enhances the local food infrastructure. At first it was also used by Organic Meadow to process the milk for the co-op, but Organic Meadow has built their own, so now there are two small local processors where there were none before. In the store, they carry cheese: Glengarry cheese (recent winner of a world cheese award), Gun Hill cheese from Western Ontario, and Bushgarden Cheese from Elgin.
Limestone Creamery has also been going to the Sunday Local market at the Memorial Centre in Kingston and has developed connections with a whole community of young farmers in the area.
“It’s really nice to see all that is going on, all these young farmers coming and working very hard to grow food. We like being a part of it.”
Limestone Creamery sells skim, 1%, 2% and whole milk, and they also carry non-homogenized milk, 3.8% chocolate milk, fresh churned salted and un-salted butter, half and half, whipping cream, and more.
Specialty products include Spring butter, and at Christmas time, Egg Nog, which everyone around loves. In the future they may start making Buttermilk, and perhaps some fresh cheese. The store also carries their own Hereford beef, Whitall baked goods, Freedom Farm and Patchwork Garden vegetables and much more.
Among those who have helped the Groenwegens along the way, the Frontenac CFDC has provided grants for the purchase of specific pieces of equipment through the Eastern Ontario Development Program (EODP), some money through loans, as well as encouragement and advice.
“They have supported us from the start,” said Kathie, “and still do today.” The next step for Limestone Creamery – and it is one they are already engaged in – is managing growth and capacity. Our goal has always been to run a family farm, and to keep it to a size that is manageable for ourselves and the land that we farm. We won’t grow beyond that.”
Article by Jeff Green, The Frontenac News
(Original article published in the Frontenac CFDC Summer 2015 newsletter)
Do you have an innovative business idea? Think you have what it takes to disrupt your industry and change the game?
The Spin Master Innovation Fund is looking for young innovators to compete for up to $50K in financing!
Futurpreneur Canada and Spin Master Ltd. are partnering for the fifth consecutive year to offer financing, mentoring and expert-led workshops for up to 10 young entrepreneurs who meet our criteria for innovative business ideas.
The Application Deadline is June 19 2015.
Limestone Organic Creamery is dedicated to providing fresh, nutritious organic dairy and whole foods to their customers. As a result of their efforts, Limestone Organic Creamery was recently recognized by the Organic Council of Ontario.
In it’s fifth year of celebrating excellence in Ontario’s organic sector, the Ontario Organic Awards was held on April 24th 2015 in Waterloo, Ontario. The awards recognize and celebrate innovation in organic agriculture in Ontario. Awards are given to individuals and businesses which show consistent pioneering efforts within Ontario’s organic sector.
Congratulations to owners Grancis and Kathie Groenewegen!
View all the awards here.
On October 30 Anne Prichard, Executive Director of the Community Futures Development Corporation (CFDC) and FAB partner, spoke about the FAB Region, including the iCraftBrew website and application at the Municipal Agriculture Economic Forum.
With the headline of There’s an App for That – Using Technology to Support and Grow Businesses in Rural Ontario, Anne spoke about developing resources and apps to support the development of food and beverage (FAB) businesses in East Central Ontario.
Ontario’s artisan Food and Beverage (FAB) Region is a unique economic development partnership between the counties of Hastings, Prince Edward, Lennox & Addington and the Frontenac Community Futures Development Corporation with a goal of helping entrepreneurs ‘live their dream’ of operating an artisan food and beverage business.
Corbyville (just North of Belleville in Hastings County) is infamous for the distillery that once operated there. A few historic structures remain and the new owner is interested in talking to someone who would like to locate a micro-brewery or micro-distillery there.
There are three buildings (see photos below), two of which have an area of about 4,000 sq feet each, while the other stone building is about 2,000 sq feet. What is amazing about these buildings is the character and heritage. They are also situated alongside the Moira River, they are adjacent to the populated urban areas of Belleville and the City of Quinte West, and it takes less than a 5 minute drive to get to the 401 highway.
The interior heights of the buildings are 18 feet. While possibilities are many, it’s been thought that one building may be used for staging product, one for production and another for storage.
To see a slideshow on what once took place in Corbyville, checkout this video on YouTube.
For more information about this exciting opportunity, please contact Richard Courneyea at 613.968.4440 or at his work email email@example.com
- Tour our Region Discover our FAB Region & take the new Discovery Tour
- Bancroft Brewing Company New craft brewery in Bancroft opens
- iCraft Brew Download the start-up handbook
- New Craft Brewery MacKinnon Brothers Brewing opens
- Living their dream Limestone Organic Creamery - Frontenac County
- New Winery for Hastings County Living the winery dream
- Living their dream 66 Gilead Distillery - Prince Edward County
- Living their dream Zia Rita's Gluten Free Bakery - Lennox & Addington County
- Living their dream Seed to Sausage - County of Frontenac
- iPad app Own an iPad? You should download our iPad app informing you how to start a cheesemaking business in Eastern Ontario
- Potter's Settlement Vineyard and Winery Learn more about a new winery opening up in our region!
- FAB Region iPad App Wins Award