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Economic Development eNews | May 16, 2023

Business Profile

No Go Coffee Co. - It's Local, Delicious and Eco Friendly

KEMPTVILLE - Within the cozy warmth of Karin Rabuka's shop, the wonderful smell of freshly-roasted coffee beans fills the air.

It's roasting day at No Go Coffee Co. where Karin and her team, including her dad and sister, have poured approximately 300 pounds of organic, fair trade coffee beans into her low emission roaster. Small-batch beans in eco-friendly packaging surround her and are still warm to the touch.

"I started small, really on a whim, to it being this," says Karin of her 12 varieties of roasted coffee beans - from the top-selling signature blend "Gotta Go!" to other fan favourites such as the darker roast "Screaming Rabbit" and "Go'Spresso".

"I am a local business right here in North Grenville. It's a quality product and it is fresh," Karin says.

Since 2010, Karin has gone from roasting in a small North Gower kitchen to supplying her unique blends wholesale to grocery stores and specialty shops throughout the Ottawa Valley. She's also taken her love of "coffee and being social" on the road with her mobile café complete with barista services. You can spot it at upcoming events in Leeds Grenville, including the Kemptville Live music festival July 20-23.

"Today our coffees - and our facilities - have spread farther than North Gower, but we still boast our hometown roots, dedication to our craft, and a darn good bag of beans!" Karin says on her website. Her business moniker comes from a shortened version of the community name (No Go) where it all started. Since 2013, she operates at a much larger roasting barn located just outside of Kemptville off Rideau River Road.

Karin was the recipient of the Leeds Grenville Small Business Entrepreneur of the Year 2022 Award and is a graduate of Starter Company Plus program. She put program funds to good use renovating the Mobile Espresso Bar.

Having a café has always been a dream. Karin also runs a little coffee shop at Southgate Church Tuesdays, Fridays and Sunday mornings. She may have another pop-up cafe in the near future. The mobile unit, which offers coffee, specialty teas, smoothies, iced coffees and teas, baked good from Grahame's Bakery in Kemptville and three other shops, has increased awareness of the business.

"Now I have my café and it has been really neat. It's such a great marketing tool," she says. Karin is also a working artist who continues to paint. A mother of three, Karin's business started very organically with her wishing to open a place to display her artwork while her children were growing up.

Learn more by visiting her website, Facebook and Instagram pages. You can email Karin or give her a call at 613-304-6718 to book the mobile cafe for an event. Check out her products online, including merchandise.

Top feature photo: Karin Rabuka's mega roaster is environmentally friendly. Below: Freshly packaged coffee, the company logo depicting the iconic driveway by the roasting barn and the mobile unit.

Biz Bytes

Canada's Best Managed Companies Gold and Platinum Lists announced

Three Leeds Grenville businesses - Burnbrae Farms, Canarm Ltd. and Kriska Transportation Group Ltd. - are once again at the top Platinum Club level for Canada's Best Managed Companies. These family-owned companies have maintained their status for seven or more consecutive years to be recognized at the Platinum Club level.

A fourth family-owned Leeds Grenville company, Wills Transfer Limited, continues to be honoured in the Gold Standard category for 4-6 consecutive years of maintaining their Best Managed Status. The lists by Deloitte Canada were recently announced and include new companies added this year and those that have maintained their status for two years.


Attention Small Businesses: HGTV Casting Call!

Canadian TV host Bryan Baeumler's brand-new HGTV Canada series is looking to help people who have left their old lives behind to start a unique business in an off-the-beaten path, rural or remote location. Bryan and his team are looking for outgoing, energetic business owners who wish to share their stories and renovations on-camera.


  1. Type of Project: Your project might be tourist-related (small hotel, eco-lodge, "glamp" site, winery, organic farm, brewpub, B&B, etc.) or something completely new. It must contain elements of residential space and areas relating to your new business.
  2. Story: You need Bryan's help because you have hit a significant roadblock in the construction process, have money or family issues, logistical problems, or all of the above.
  3. Location: Your business must be off-the-beaten path in a rural area or small town.
  4. Timing: Episodes will film throughout spring to late fall 2023. Your financing and project/design plans must be complete and construction must be mid-way before they arrive.
Learn more or apply

The show has expertise in design and construction, with some financial resources for your episode.

RTO9 AGM and Call for Board of Directors

Join the RTO9 (Regional Tourism Organization 9) Annual General Meeting and help shape the future of Ontario's tourism industry. The meeting will provide an overview of RTO9's activities, initiatives and accomplishments over the past year, including financial statements, partnerships, future plans, marketing and promotional efforts.

WHEN: Friday, June 9, 9-10 a.m. online

Register for AGM now

RTO 9 is also seeking new members to join its Board of Directors. As a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and developing tourism in South Eastern Ontario, they rely on the expertise and insight of board members to help achieve their goals. If you are passionate about the tourism industry and want to make a positive impact on the region, you are encouraged to apply. Candidates interested in these positions are encouraged to fill out the 2023-2024 RTO 9 Application Form. Learn more and apply.

The deadline to apply is tomorrow, Wednesday, May 17, 4 p.m. Return your application to applications@region9tourism.ca. For more information contact Meg Dabros via email.

Funding Opportunties

Tourism SkillsNet program Offering Wage Subsidies

In collaboration with other tourism partners, Regional Tourism Organization 9 (RTO9) has launched the Tourism SkillsNet program which will be able to identify specific workforce labour gaps in South Eastern Ontario, as well as identify and train 100 potential employees in the region. This will be done via wage subsidies provided to employers who qualify for the program.


RTO9 will work to connect employees hired after April 1st, 2023, and prospective employees with free training provided virtually by project partner OTEC (Ontario Tourism Education Corporation). Additionally, RTO9 will work with employment service providers in South Eastern Ontario to match prospective employees with available job opportunities within South Eastern Ontario’s tourism sector.

For employees hired after April 1st, 2023, while the training is free, qualified employers will be eligible for a 50% wage subsidy for up to 10 employees. This subsidy is capped at:

  • Seasonal employer (new program job seeker/employee): $3,000
  • Seasonal employer or year-round employer (returning Tourism SkillsNet North job seeker/employee): $2,500
  • Year-round employer (new program participant/employee): $5,000

Registrations will be accepted from May 1, 2023, and the program will run until March 29, 2024, pending available funding. Registrations are being accepted from both employers and job seekers/employees with an emphasis on spreading out the funds over the RTO 9 region.

For more information, contact Project Manager Anne Awori via email.

Learn more or register

Energy Cost Savings Grant Available to Local Food & Beverage Processors

The Agri-Food Energy Cost Savings Initiative is designed to support competitiveness, profitability and long-term sustainability of agri-food processors by providing funding to implement technologies and processes to increase energy efficiency in their operations.

This program will help agri-food processors lower their overall operational costs. Funding from this initiative will be used to support projects that prioritize reducing greenhouse gas emissions by investing in new technology, equipment, as well as building or facility modifications to help achieve this goal.

Ontario food and beverage processors are eligible to apply for funding for up to 20 per cent of eligible costs, up to a maximum of $300,000 per project.

Applications will be accepted until June 5, 2023. 

For more information, visit the provincial website or contact Magloire Ngnitedem.

Employers: Get up to $10,000 in government support per person for training costs


The Canada-Ontario Job Grant (COJG) provides opportunities for employers, individually or in groups, to invest in their workforce, with help from the government. This grant provides direct financial support to individual employers or employer consortia who wish to purchase training for their employees. It is available to small, medium and large businesses with a plan to deliver short-term training to existing and new employees. To learn about your eligibility, the application process, and more, contact a representative in your area.

Employment + Education Centre, Brockville: Business Services Manager Teanne Larocque: Email or call 613-498-2111, ext. 365.

ontrac, Smiths Falls: Job Developer Joanne Watson: Email or call 613-283-6978.

KEYS, Gananoque & Elgin: Program Administrator Dana Betournay: Email or call 613-546-5559, ext. 218

CSE Consulting: South Grenville Program Facilitator Rod Palmer: Email or call 613-213-2898; North Grenville Program Facilitator Tracy McDonald: Email or call 613-498-4410.

Employment Opportunity

Tourism Services Coordinator Position Open

The United Counties of Leeds and Grenville's Economic Development Office is hiring a Tourism Services Coordinator - Summer Student /Graduate (Canada Summer Jobs Eligible).

This is a temporary full-time position starting June 5th. The position is 35 hours per week at $18 per hour.

Reporting directly to the Economic Development Manager and accountable to the Economic Development Administrator / Communications Support, the Tourism Services Coordinator will primarily support the implementation of the Inaugural Regional Tourism Destination Strategy and its activities. The individual will be part of the Economic Development Office support team and be part of other economic development initiatives.

Applications are due Friday, May 19, 2023, by 4 p.m.

For job qualifications and how to apply, visit the Leeds Grenville Careers webpage.

Upcoming Events

Prescott Pop-Ups Grand Opening May 19

From this upcoming Victoria Day weekend through to Labour Day, you can shop an assortment of rotating and seasonal vendors and food trucks in Downtown Prescott's RiverWalk District. Prescott Pop-ups opens with four vendors and two food trucks.

Pop-ups Include:

Once@426 Pop-up - Boutique and Market

River Vibes Picnics

Mystical Katarina - Clairvoyant and Clairaudient Tarot

Forwarder's Antiques

For the Love of Gelato

Judy's Wooden Spoon

WHEN: Grand Opening this Friday, May 19, 5-8 p.m.

Interested vendors are invited to come and check it out. Short-term vendors will be located in Prescott's Retail Cottage area with roofed accommodations and will receive marketing and promotional support. The site is highly visible both to those walking through RiverWalk Park and the Heritage River Trail as well as travellers on Highway 2.

Visit the Prescott Pop-ups Facebook page.

Learn more

North Grenville Chamber hosting Annual Mayor's Address event

The North Grenville Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Municipality of North Grenville, is hosting the annual Mayor’s Address in-person event with Mayor Nancy Peckford.


WHEN: Thursday, May 25, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Interested participants are required to pre-register.

WHERE: North Grenville Municipal Centre, 285 County Road 44, Suite A, Kemptville.


This event will provide a spotlight on issues of key importance to the North Grenville community, such as job creation and growth, affordable housing, rural broadband, and rebuilding the local economy. As a new feature to the event, select businesses will be recognized for their milestone anniversaries.


For more information contact Chamber Executive Director Terri-Lyn McEvoy via email.

Learn more or register

Workshops, Seminars and Webinar Library

Webinar Series on Expanding your Business into the United States

The NETSUS (New Exporters of Technologies and Services to the U.S.) webinar is a practical, hands-on introduction to the basics of exporting to the United States. The final webinar is on the Do's and Don'ts of border crossing. Presentations from industry experts will provide Ontario manufacturers and service firms with up-to-date information on topics such as:

  • U.S. immigration and business visa requirements.
  • federal and state tax liability issues.
  • corporate and legal considerations; and U.S. Customs clearance documentation requirements.

To register for one or both of the remaining webinars, click on the links below:

  1. New Exporters of Technologies and Services to the US (NETSUS) - Wednesday, May 17, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
  2. Do's and Don'ts when Crossing the U.S. Border - Wednesday, May 24, 10-11 a.m.

COST: Free

Making Tech Better for Businesses

Hosted by Brockville & District Chamber of Commerce, hear from speaker Steady Notion Ltd. on how to

become better organized using technology. The workshop will help people overcome their fears and concerns with using technology and give them strategies to be more productive, potentially involving many of the activities that they do day-to-day. 

By attending this workshop, participants will:

  • Discover a few ways to view technology through a different lens.
  • Learn how to better leverage technology in their business.
  • Achieve positive results to overcome adversity.
  • Achieve stability, continuity, and consistency in their businesses.
  • Realize increased competitive advantage and strengthened branding.

A Digital Mindset can also help maximize resources, foster growth as well as put businesses on the path to achieving that coveted ‘wow factor’.

WHEN: Tomorrow, Wednesday, May 17, 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. Lunch and Learn workshop.

WHERE: Comfort Inn, 7777 Kent Boulevard, Brockville

COST: Non-Member $30 / Members $20

Learn more or register

Introduction to the Food & Beverage Industry

This is the first session of a 5-part series where you can attend any number you wish. It features speaker Nicole Haney and is hosted by the Small Business Advisory Centre (Smiths Falls/Lanark County/north Leeds Grenville). You’ve decided to start a food or beverage business, but what do you do first? The How to Start your Food & Beverage Business session explores the basics of getting your food business started. This session will discuss topics such as defining who your target customer is and how to position your product to attract your ideal customer, as well as outlining some of the first steps you need to take in getting your food or beverage business off the ground. It will help you understand the basics of the food industry and guide you on setting up your business for success. You will leave with a better understanding of how to successfully start your business in the food and beverage industry. The next session is June 8th with information appearing in the next edition.

WHEN: Thursday, June 1, 10-11 a.m.

COST: Free

Learn more or register

Merchandising 101

The Retail Duo of Diane Spiridoulias & Karen Kritzer will demonstrate strategies in visual merchandising that will entice customers, activate the senses, and drive sales. The Retail Duo will take a deeper dive into multiple merchandising best practices to spark your creativity. This session, hosted by the Small Business Advisory Centre (north Leeds Grenville, Smiths Falls/Lanark), will leave you feeling inspired and ready to apply these merchandising tips and tricks to your own retail environments!

WHEN: Tuesday, June 6, 10-11 a.m.

COST: Free

Learn more or register

Learn more or register

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 May 30th edition should be received by this Friday, May 19th.
  • Submissions for the June 13th edition should be received by Monday, June 5th.
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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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