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  • ESSEX FREE PRESS

Business Update

• Canadian Tire hosts Jumpstart fundraiser

• Changes taking place in the business landscape of Essex Centre


by Sylene Argent

On Friday, Canadian Tire Essex partnered with Platinum Produce in Blenheim to host a fundraiser for the Jumpstart program, which helps kids overcome financial and accessibility barriers to participate in sport and recreation opportunities.

  As part of the fundraiser, Canadian Tire sold flats of tomatoes from Platinum Produce, with all proceeds going directly to the Essex chapter of Jumpstart, Leslie Ribchester, Office Manager, noted, adding the store typically hosts a fundraiser for Jumpstart every year, but was unable to in 2020, due to the pandemic.

  Rena Pittao-Bortolussi and her husband, Stefan Bortolussi, are the Owners/Dealers of the Essex Canadian Tire. Rena said Jumpstart month is typically held in April, but it will be held in September this year. The duo, however, wanted to host an early fundraiser to support kids in need going into recreational and sport activities this summer, if permitted through Ontario’s COVID-19 reopening plan.

  The idea to partner with Platinum Produce came about when an online post was noticed, that indicated the greenhouse was selling product at a loss, due partly to less restaurant demand because of the pandemic.

  Platinum Produce took to social media to note, “I have to say, I never in my wildest dreams would have imagined the opportunity this could create for some incredible relationships, and incredible acts of charity to benefit so many people. People in Essex and surrounding areas are getting tomatoes for an extremely affordable price, all while contributing back to their local communities and helping children have access to sports. This is an absolute [win]/win for everyone!”

  Even with the cold, rainy weather, the organizers of the fundraiser were impressed with the support received. They hope to host a similar fundraiser in the near future to further support the Essex chapter of Jumpstart.

  They noted monies raised locally for Jumpstart stay local.

  • Mortgage Suite has moved into office space at the plaza located at 105 Talbot Street South.

  • TNT - A Blast from the Past has opened its doors at 56 Talbot Street South, which is the former Studio B Hair Salon. Owner, Ralph Furfaro’s, unique business is offering vintage items, new and custom bicycle sales and repairs.

• For the past seven-years, Blimeys British Store & Gift Shop™ has been located in Harrow, but has outgrown its current space. As of July 2021, Blimeys will be relocating to 71 Talbot Street North in Essex Centre, which is adjacent to the Essex Memorial Spitfire.

  The new location will offer double the space.

  “We have enjoyed great support from our loyal customers over the last seven-years, allowing our business to grow and prosper. We have a great following and wonderful customers that have supported us since we started the store,” its owners noted in a statement.

  • Pizza Hut has moved into storefront space at the 105 Talbot Street South plaza.

• After 31-years of operating in Windsor, Lowes Printing Company is moving operations to the 32 Arthur Avenue plaza, in Essex Centre. The business is owned by Jeff Lowes. His father, Gerry, originally started the commercial printing business.

• Essex Home Hardware has purchased 12-acres on Maidstone Avenue, between Canadian Tire and the Tim Hortons/McDonald’s plaza, to build a new retail establishment and lumber yard.

  Owner/Dealer, Kimberly Seguin, said they are hoping to break ground this fall or early spring, which would hopefully have operations start at the new location by next fall or winter at the latest.

• Out of the Klozet resale/consignment store has sold. When it is able to reopen, it will offer clothes and household items.

• Olde School Deli and Café (located inside the Essex Medical Centre) recently announced that, after much contemplation, it was time “to move on following the events that have changed the world around us.”

  The statement on social media from Olde School noted, “It has been a great joy to serve the residents of Essex and surrounding communities, and I wouldn’t change my decision to open originally had I known the future outcome. I met and worked with some amazing people and made many friends along the way. Thank-you Essex for giving me this opportunity.”

• Edward’s Headboards, which was located at 25 Talbot St N, Essex, has moved out of it’s Essex Centre retail location. Edward Boycott, who has been building high quality custom furniture by hand since the early 1970s is working out of Wheatley and online at: edwardsheadboards.com

  • Originally opened under the name of Valvoline Express Care Essex, in 2013, owners Wes and Dawn Cronheimer now operate their business under the independent name of The Oil Change Place. The business continues to offer professional auto-related services at its 269 Talbot St. North location.