Reprinted with the permission of the Tweed News (click below to enlarge):
The Brewer’s Plate is coming up soon on April 18th! This year it’s taking place at Roy Thomson Hall in downtown Toronto and doors open at 6:30pm. We’ll be there with Barley Days Brewery distributing some of their delicious local brews, and we’re pairing it with Wilton Cheese Curd! Stop by and say hello and learn more about our FAB Region!
Here’s a video featuring last year’s event to wet your appetite!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – February 2, 2012
BELLEVILLE – Ontario’s Food and Beverage (FAB) Region was recognized with an award at this week’s Economic Developers Council of Ontario (EDCO) annual conference in Toronto. The award recognizes the iPad App “How to start a Cheese Making Business in Eastern Ontario” as an innovative use of technology and social media. The App was created in partnership with the Counties of Lennox & Addington, Hastings, Prince Edward as well as the Frontenac Community Futures Development Corporation.
“We are thrilled to receive this award”, stated Anne Prichard Executive Director of the Frontenac CFDC. “I am also proud of the way that we continue to work with our neighboring counties to pool resources and funding, and brand ourselves as the place to manufacture artisan food and beverages.”
“With sales of small scale and artisan cheese set to grow by $100 million in Ontario over the next decade, we want to position this region to be at the forefront of this growing industry,” stated Stephen Paul Economic Development Manager for Lennox & Addington County. “Our assessment indicates that there is a need for 25 to 50 new artisan cheese makers across the province and helping prospective cheese makers locate here by providing them with a clearinghouse of information ranging from milk supply, equipment, regulations and financing is just smart business,” added Karin Desveaux Economic Development for Prince Edward County.
“The collaboration between the four counties just made sense and those efforts are paying off. We have already had some serious contacts to follow up with as a result of the iPad App being downloaded more than 600 times. Receiving the award is very gratifying and validates for us that we are on the right track”, said Andrew Redden Economic Development Manager for Hastings County.
The iPad App is a how-to guide for starting your own cheese making business in Eastern Ontario. The App contains over 55 pages of interactive content, guidelines and fundamentals for creating a successful cheese making business from start to finish. Topics include an overview of the cheese making business in Ontario, start-up costs, interviews with current cheese makers, types of farms and animals, and much more.
About FAB Region – www.fabregion.ca
Ontario’s FAB Region consists of four municipal economic development offices, namely Hastings County, Lennox & Addington County, Prince Edward County, and the Frontenac Community Futures Development Corporation. Originally we partnered to market ourselves as Ontario’s Artisan Cheese Region – Invest In Cheese. While we are still keeping that brand, we are now moving forward as Ontario’s Food and Beverage (FAB) Region. This includes investment marketing for craft brewing, wine making, distilling, artisan breads, charcuterie, mustard, condiments…. The list is endless.
EDCO is Canada’s largest provincial economic development association that offers this program as well as professional development opportunities throughout the year. Membership is close to 600 that come from the private and public sector.
We are Ontario’s Artisan Food & Beverage (FAB) Region! Invest here! Perhaps you have a passion to open a craft brewery, a winery or distillery. Perhaps your passion is prepared meat products, or mustards or artisan breads. No matter which one, we offer free and confidential assistance to you if you wish to locate in our East Central Ontario region.
Our FAB Region encompasses the Counties of Frontenac, Hastings, Lennox & Addington and Prince Edward County. Our economic development offices are here to help.
In economic development, we work hard to drum up attention to try and attract the “needle in the haystack” – that entrepreneur who’s out there somewhere wanting to open up a business in our region.
Then that day comes when the “stars align” and we learn the details of an investment decision! That day happened to me a while ago when Sandor Johnson informed me of his dream to open a winery in Hastings County, near the Village of Tweed. What!!!!??? A winery in Tweed!!! You probably thought that was only possible in Niagara Region or Prince Edward County! Well, read on.
Sandor never really went public with his decision to open a winery until this past weekend. At a special Business Forum in Tweed, Sandor described himself and his plans for the Potter Settlement Vineyards and Winery.
After growing up near Tweed, Sandor graduated from university and received a Master’s in Journalism from Carleton University. He landed a job with CNN in Tokyo and started a modeling career. He’s worked with Versace, GQ, Armani and DKNY. He even acted on the American soap opera All My Children.
Despite the excitement of traveling the world, he’s been dreaming of his winery in Hastings County and has invested a great deal of time and money finding the right grapes to grow. He now has 10 acres of grapes which include Frontenac noir, Gris, Blanc, Marquette, Marechel Foch, and Petite Pearl. He describes Hastings County as a “nascent wine region” since other neighbouring property owners are indicating a desire to follow Sandor’s footsteps now knowing that it can be done.
I had the pleasure of enjoying some of the wine that Sandor has made, and it’s some of the best wine I’ve ever had!
Sandor hopes to have a new building constructed on the property soon, and I can’t wait because I look forward to visiting to purchase more of that fantastic Hastings County wine!
If you would like to learn more about our wine region and invest, contact us today!