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Economic Development eNews | June 27, 2023

Business Profile

Top feature photo: The Crusty Bakers are owner Jon Levett and Jamie LaBrash, master baker and chef, shown here with some tasty breads.

The Crusty Bakers Inspire With Flavours and Freshness

KEMPTVILLE - Ideas turn into bursts of ever-changing sweet and savoury delights at The Crusty Bakers.

Owner Jon Levett along with master baker and head chef Jamie LeBrash make a point of changing things up on a regular basis to build excitement for new flavour experiences.

"We're known for changing our menu a lot," says Jamie. "We reflect the crazy ideas in our heads and I think that is what makes us special."

It does, indeed, make them stand out. Customers know the baking duo bring in seasonal and local flavours with pizzazz, having monthly themes such as "Fairy Tales" and the "Seven Herbs of Spring."

This is a place to go to get great homemade bread and baguettes, from the buttermilk loaf like grandma made, to red fife and white sourdough, seedy crusted and the scrumptious garlic parmesan. Also front and centre are their various sweets. There are cinnamon buns, tarts, butter bacon tarts, scones and so many things in between all made with a British-Canadian flare to reflect Jon's heritage.

When you enter The Crusty Bakers you'll see the daily specials - including sandwiches made from their breads - along with a showcase of Ontario cheeses, smoked sausages such as double smoked Polish and German Hunter. Don't forget to check out the frozen pies and tourtière; mushroom and stilton, elk, rabbit and duck confit to name just a few.

Jon and Jamie say they have customers from Ottawa to Toronto, including a big fan from New Zealand. "People like to take our products on the plane. All our breads freeze well," says Jamie. They also sell products at markets in Gananoque, Kemptville and Kanata.

They carry Brew Tea Co., Ontario drinks like Hall's Apple Market cider and County Soda, spice blends from Montreal, jams, crackers, ketchups and hot sauces, Forbes Foraging Co. products as well as things like pickled walnuts and chili miso.

Learn more about The Crusty Bakers by visiting their Facebook and Instagram pages. You can call them at 613-215-0347 or send them an email. The shop is located at 16 Prescott Street in Old Town Kemptville, right across from the Kemptville Public Library.

The Crusty Bakers are a part of the newly-launched Fresh Baked Adventures tour. See the related story below.


From left to right: North Grenville Councillor Doreen O’Sullivan, Patti Johnson of Violets on Main Village Bakery, Matthew McShane of Sunflower Bake Shop, Brent Murray of The Village Pantry, North Grenville Councillor Deb Wilson of Grahame’s Bakery, Merrickville-Wolford Mayor Michael Cameron, Westport Mayor Robin Jones, Rick Taylor of Tasty Goodness Bake Shop, Leeds Grenville Warden and North Grenville Mayor Nancy Peckford, North Grenville Deputy Mayor John Barclay, Jeff Day of the Nut-Free Gourmet Bake Shop, Matthew Shapton of Hall's Apple Market and Jon Levett of The Crusty Bakers. The map shows all Adventures locations in Leeds Grenville.

Fresh Baked Adventures Launched!


KEMPTVILLE – A new “Fresh Baked Adventures” culinary tour featuring 12 area bakeries and 7 cafés is off to a very sweet start.


The self-driving Adventures initiative was launched June 21st by the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville Economic Development Office. Area bakers, chefs and business owners made it enticing with signature baked goods and breads for everyone in attendance at the launch to sample.


“This region is known for our breathtaking landscapes, rich history and warm welcome,” Leeds Grenville Warden Nancy Peckford said at the event held at the Kemptville Public Library.


“With the introduction of signature culinary tourism experiences, such as Fresh Baked Adventures, we are adding a new dimension to our tourism offerings, highlighting the tasty treasures that lie within our communities,” Warden Peckford said.

On behalf of Counties Council, Warden Peckford, who is Mayor of North Grenville, expressed gratitude to the 19 participating businesses for their commitment to making the region “a more delicious place for local citizens and visitors.”

A Counties webpage lists all participants and a map of their locations. Download the full itinerary here and visit https://discover.leedsgrenville.com/freshbakedadventures

“We are so excited to launch a brand new tourism experience that will draw people in and help them explore all corners of the Counties,” said Shelbi McFarlane, Business Development Officer with Leeds Grenville. Each bakery in the Adventures tour offers its own unique flavors and stories, providing a truly authentic experience for our visitors, she said. See the full media release.

At the launch above: Rick Taylor of Westport's Tasty Goodness Bake Shop. Below: Deb Wilson of historic Grahame's Bakery in Kemptville.

The Fresh Baked Adventures announcement is the second of three, with the first being the Garden Adventures announced June 12th. The new Foodie Shop Adventures initiative will be launched on July 6th.

From left to right: Leeds Grenville Economic Development Office team members Shelbi McFarlane and Joanne Poll, Warden Nancy Peckford, Patti Johnson (foreground) Brent Murray, Rick Taylor, Deb Wilson and Jeff Day.

Staff Update

New Team Member Focuses on Tourism

Ronit Mehta has joined the Leeds Grenville Economic Development team for the summer as the Tourism Services Coordinator. Ronit will be working with our team to help implement the inaugural Regional Tourism Destination Strategy and its initiatives through various communication tools, both electronically and in-person.


Ronit will respond to visitor requests and provide information helping visitors find experiences to enjoy during their visit to the region. He is also creating and scheduling tourism content and photography for our newly-launched 1000 Islands Rideau Canal Waterways Facebook page, which will promote current and new experiences across the region. Some of these new items include Garden Adventures, now in its 9th season but with a fresh new look, Fresh Baked Adventures and the Foodie Shop Adventures, which are new this year. The social media page will also feature regional tourism news and events. Be sure to follow and share the page 1000 Islands Rideau Canal Waterways on Facebook.


Ronit will be supporting businesses in the region with business directory updates and providing content for the Tourism and Invest websites. Contact Ronit via email or call 613-342-3840, ext. 5405.

Digital Opportunities

Book Your Visit Today -

Digital Specialist is on the Road Again!

Join the over 240 grant recipients and 1,400 businesses who have already received more than $600,000 in digital grants and free support right here in Leeds Grenville.

Starting in July, our Digital Specialist Cyndy Bolton will be out on the road meeting with and helping small businesses in person. Entrepreneurs like you who are curious about digital adoption and are new to this program, or new to the area, are encouraged to book an info session. This amazing opportunity will bring clarity on available options such as grants, free programs and one-on-one advice to help boost your presence online. 

Book your Tuesday visit when Cyndy is in your community:

July 4 - Athens

July 11 - Elizabethtown-Kitley

July 18 - Rideau Lakes

July 25 - Merrickville-Wolford

Aug. 1 - Front of Yonge

Aug. 8 - Westport

If you don’t see your community on the list, but are interested, email shelbi.mcfarlane@uclg.on.ca to be connected with the Digital Specialist in your area. 

You can also book virtual sessions during our extended hours to suit your schedule. For more information on the program, visit our Digital Services webpage or connect directly with Cyndy via email or phone 613-342-3840, ext. 5368. See you soon!

Economic Development Leadership Award

Nominate a Leader in Your Community

The Leeds Grenville Economic Development Office is asking individuals, municipal councils and economic development committees to nominate candidates for the annual Bill Thake Memorial Award for Economic Development Leadership.

New this year, the award winner will be announced prior to the Economic Development Summit on November 17th and will be officially honoured at the event. Nominees will be recognized at a local municipal presentation by the Warden.

If you have someone in mind within the 10-member municipalities of Leeds Grenville, consider putting their name forward. You can connect with us at econdev@uclg.on.ca or call Deanna Clark at 613-342-3840, ext. 5360. For more information visit our Summit 2023 webpage

Nomination form

The deadline to submit nominations is Friday, September 22, at 4 p.m.

Funding Opportunties

Applications now open for 2023-24 EnAbling Change Program

The Ontario government is providing up to $1.5-million this year to not-for-profits and organizations across the province so they can develop tools and educational resources to raise awareness about the value and benefits of accessibility and help make Ontario open to people of all abilities. The EnAbling Change Program provides funding to not-for-profit organizations, industry organizations and professional associations to:

  • Educate their stakeholders about the value and benefits of accessibility
  • Help support compliance with accessibility laws
  • Promote a culture of inclusion

Some examples of projects that could receive funding may involve:

  • Customized educational tools and resources about accessibility and inclusion in your sector
  • Promoting accessibility in daily living
  • Encouraging regulatory compliance
  • Public outreach programs and initiatives

The deadline to apply is this Thursday, June 29, at 5 p.m.

Contact Regional Development Advisor Alain Girouard via email or by calling 613-246-1294 for general information.

Learn more and apply

RTO 9 Partnership Fund Information Session

Join Meg Dabros from the RTO 9 as she goes through the 2023/2024 Partnership Fund application guidelines and eligibility requirements for the second in-take period. This information session will help you determine whether your project or organization / business is eligible to apply, how the program works, and what expenses can be incurred under the project. There will also be time at the end of the presentation to ask questions about the program. This is your opportunity to get familiar with the program before applying. 

Applications for the Partnership Fund open July 3rd and close July 21, 2023

WHEN: Thursday, July 6, 10-11 a.m.

COST: Free

For more information contact Meg Dabros via email or call 613-983-5215.

To register

Workshops, Seminars and Webinar Library

Supporting In-Store Sales and Scaling Your Food Business

This is the 5th session in the 5-part series hosted by the Small Business Advisory Centre (Smiths Falls/Lanark County/north Leeds Grenville). The presenter is Nicole Haney who will talk about how getting listed is half the battle. Once you have your product in stores, you might think the work is done. But your product won’t jump off store shelves on its own, and there are very specific things you need to do to get it moving. In this session, Nicole guides you through the steps you need to take once you get your product into a store, when it makes sense to work with distributors, and how to start approaching grocery store chains.

WHEN: Thursday, June 29, 10-11 a.m.

COST: Free webinar

Learn more or register

Brute Force Attacks - Free cybersecurity resources for Canadian retailers now available

Cybercrime is on the rise across the country and could affect the day-to-day operations of your business. Being sensitive to cybersecurity issues means being mindful of various aspects of cybersecurity in the day-to-day management of retail operations. The dangers of browsing the web, processing payments, checking emails, and interacting online are all elements of cybersecurity awareness. As a retailer, it is your responsibility to ensure that all of your employees view cybersecurity as an essential part of their job.

WHEN: Wednesday, July 5, 1 p.m. online webinar

COST: Free

Learn more

Setting Boundaries: Nurturing Well-being in Business and Home

Learn to set boundaries and achieve balance at work and at home. This important session is brought to you by Heather Lynne Coaching and hosted by the 1000 Islands Gananoque Chamber of Commerce.

WHEN: Tuesday, July 11, 12-1:30 p.m. via Zoom

COST: $30

Register by emailing 1000islandsgananoque@gmail.com

Leeds Grenville eNews Deadlines for submitting information:

If you have an upcoming workshop, seminar, or business-related event, please email it to us in advance.

  • Submissions for the July 11th edition should be received by Tuesday, July 4th.
  • Submissions for the July 25th edition should be received by Monday, July 17th.
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Ann Weir
Economic Development Manager
Deanna Clark
Economic Development Officer
Joanne Poll
Administration / Communications Support
Shelbi McFarlane
Business Development Officer

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613-342-3840 | 1-800-770-2170 | econdev@uclg.on.ca