Webmaster Aaron Allen

Editor Lee Atwater

Research Director Brent Brown

Director of Creative & Graphic Design Carmen Fitzpatrick

Managing Director Stewart Gregg

Research Sarah Lajoie Alia Morash

Content Director Rod Gregg

Publisher AIDACA Media

Editorial David MacDonald Jamie Barrie

Office Administrator Kyte Carter Operations Manager Samantha Ford

Contributing Writers Janice Buckler

W inter is only a fewdays away and theHoliday Season is now in full swing. It is a time for, year ends and for reflecting on 2016. It was an exciting year that is for sure with most of the headlines relating to the U.S. Presidential Election and all the speculation around President Elect, Donald Trump and the impact that it will have on the U.S. and Canadian Economies as well as globally. Voters were sending a message all around the world this year as we also saw the people of the United Kingdom vote to leave the European Union. It was not all about the vote, for some it was about extending an open hand and looking to develop economic ties as Air Force One carried U.S. President, Barack Obama to Cuba becoming the first Americanpresident to visit Cuba in nearly a century, and the first since a revolution led by Fidel Castro toppled a US-backed strongman in 1959. 2016 was not all about politics as major acquisitions also captured the head- lines with events like when the IT Industry was stunned with the announce- ment in June that Microsoft inked a deal to purchase LinkedIn for $26.2 billion USD. There was the finalization of the Dell’s $62.0 Billion acquisition of EMC. With that deal only to be out done by Anheuser-Busch InBev’s $107 billion USD acquisition of competitor SABMiller this was not a surprise to anyone. There were a few legal business battles with Oracle being ordered to pay Hewlett Package Enterprise $3.0 Billion USD in damages for a long-running battle between the two companies over software support of the HPE Itanium servers and then there was Apple’s legal standoff with the FBI refusing to develop encryption software, maintaining the software would undermine the security of its product and set a dangerous precedent making the headlines. In this issue you will find our most viewed articles of 2016, and we wanted to share them with you again in our “Best of 2016” Issue, just in case you are one of the few that did not get a chance to read them the first time around.

We thank all our feature companies for allowing us to tell your amazing stories and all of our advertisers for your business in 2016. Spotlight on Business Magazine looks forward to influential entrepreneurs, business groups, associations, and all levels of government in the new year, so you can be up to date on the latest business news along with feature articles on companies succeeding in today’s ever changing marketplace and the people behind making it all happen. From new start-ups to established businesses, small towns to major cities we look forward to telling your story and help you connect with people and businesses. From our families to yours, we wish you the very best this Holiday Season and look forward to an amazing 2017.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year


70 Gary Martin Drive, Suite 108, Bedford, Nova Scotia, Canada B4B 0N8 P: 613 699 6672 E:





The top events that captured our attention along with our readers and viewers in 2016. From January 2016 to December 2016, we take a look back at the biggest events in North America and Australia. From Western Canada to the Southern United States and across the world to Queensland, Aus- tralia we covered some of the most talked about events this year. Includ- ing the “Oil and Gas Sumit 2016” in Alberta Canada, “Canadian Internation- al Auto Show” held in Toronto, Ontario, the “IMedia Online Retail Summit “ all the way in Queensland and the “Cavendish Beach Music Festival”, on Prince Edward Island, the biggest Country Music Festival in Eastern Canada. 2016 was a great year of popular events, we are excited to see what 2017 has to offer. Join us as we continue to feature the top event in Business.





Our top ten Innovation articles from the year, including “Transparent Solar Panel has Limitless Potential”, “How do you turn Ocean Plastic into Colorful Construction Bricks?” and “Sometimes there is a lot more to a LIKE on Facebook than you think”.


Our top ten Business articles from the year, including “Advertising Budgets have gone live”, “Retail’s Technology Transformation”, “French’s Ketchup” and “Lulu Looking to make a big stretch”.



Our top ten Industry articles that caught your eye. Some of the articles include “Emotional Shoppers Pay More” and “Dollarama Inc. could be Canada’s Best Retailer”.



A IDACA MEDIA understands that small and medium size enterprises and businesses are key to the successful growth of any economy and just as impor- tant as big businesses to the global economy as a whole. By putting a spotlight on your business, organization or commu- nity with effective and interactive media and advertising we will help you capture the interest of business leaders and potential clients, giving you an opportunity to promote your brand and grow market share through mobile, online, print and social media support, helping your business connect and stay engaged with your customers.



Alternative fuel vehicles are here to stay. They’re not a trend. They’re a solution. They’re a cost solution and an envi- ronmental solution. Do the math. A lightweight and low-power EV (Electric Vehicle) like an electric bike that runs on a lithium ion battery costs less than 0.2¢ per kilometre to operate – with zero emissions. City driving in most late model cars average 12.9¢ per kilometre with emissions in the range of 210 to 400 grams of CO2 for every kilometre travelled.. .



CALGARY INTERNATIONAL AUTO & TRUCK SHOW March 8th – 13th, 2016 BMO Centre, Stampede Grounds – Calgary, Alberta, Canada For more information on this or upcoming events visit

OIL AND GAS SUMMIT 2016 January 11th – 12th, 2016 Sheraton Suites Calgary Eau Claire - Calgary, Alberta, Canada For more information on this or upcoming events visit

HEDNA 2016 WINTER CONFERENCE January 12th – 14th, 2016 Hilton Miami Downtown - Miami, Florida, United States

NATIONAL CONSTRUCTION AND INFRASTRUCTURE LAW CONFERENCE April 1st – 2nd, 2016 Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel - Banff, Alberta, Canada For more information on this or upcoming events visit HARD HAT EXPO April 6th – 7th, 2016 New York State Fairgrounds – New York, New York, USA For more information on this or upcoming events visit THE FRANCHISE & BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES EXPO April 23rd – 24th, 2016 Palais des Congrès de Montréal – Montréal, Quebec, Canada For more information on this or upcoming events visit

For more information on this or upcoming events visit

2016 AAC&U’S ANNUAL MEETING January 20th – 23rd, 2016 Grand Hyatt Washington, Washington, District of Columbia United States For more information on this or upcoming events visit

CANADIAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW (TORONTO) February 11th – 21st, 2016 Metro Toronto Convention Centre – North and South Building – Toronto, Ontario, Canada For more information on this or upcoming events visit



COUNTRY CONCERT 2016 July 7th – 9th, 2016 Hickory Hill Lakes Campground – Fort Loramie, OH, USA For more information on this or upcoming events visit

IMEDIA ONLINE RETAIL SUMMIT May 2nd – 4th, 2016 Sheraton Mirage Resort - Main Beach, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia For more information on this or upcoming events visit

CAVENDISH BEACH MUSIC FESTIVAL July 8th – 10th, 2016 Cavendish Beach Music Festival Grounds – Cavendish, PEI, Canada

RETAIL INNOVATION CONFERENCE May 9th – 11th, 2016 Apella – New York, New York, United States

For more information on this or upcoming events visit

For more information on this or upcoming events visit

THE TOTAL RETAIL & PAYMENT EXPO May 11th – 12th, 2016 Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre – Melbourne, Victoria, Australia For more information on this or upcoming events visit RECON - THE GLOBAL RETAIL REAL ESTATE CONVENTION May 22nd – 25th, 2016 Las Vegas Convention Center & Westgate Las Vegas Hotel - - Las Vegas, Nevada, United States For more information on this or upcoming events visit

DUNEFEST July 27th – 31st, 2016 National Forest Dunes - Winchester Bay, OR, United States For more information on this or upcoming events visit

SUNFEST FESTIVAL July 28th – 31st, 2016 Laketown Ranch Music & Recreation Park – Cowichan Valley, BC, Canada

For more information on this or upcoming events visit

BOOTS AND HEARTS MUSIC FESTIVAL August 4th – 7th, 2016 Burl’s Creek Event Grounds – Oro-Medonte, ON, Canada NATIONAL 4X4 OUTDOORS SHOW, FISHING & BOATING EXPO August 19th – 21st, 2016 Melbourne Showgrounds – Ascot Vale, Victoria, Australia

STORE 2016 - RETAIL COUNCIL OF CANADA May 31st – June 1st, 2016 Toronto Congress Centre – North Building – Toronto, Ontario, Canada For more information on this or upcoming events visit




THE INTERNATIONAL WOODWORKING FAIR 2016 August 24th – 26th, 2016 Georgia World Congress Center – Atlanta, Georgia, United States For more information on this or upcoming events visit

PEPSI GULF COAST JAM September 2nd - 4th, 2016 Frank Brown Park – Panama City Beach, FL, USA. For more information on this or upcoming events visit TARGA NEWFOUNDLAND – IT’S ALL ABOUT THE DRIVE September 8th - 17th, 2016 Newfoundland - St. John’s, NFLD, Canada For more information on this or upcoming events visit


Project: Kitchener, ON, Canada Product Series Featured: NUDURA ICF Series

At NUDURA, shape matters. When you design your walls with NUDURA you can expect to get more out of your building projects. Walls make up the largest surface area of any building envelope; therefore it is extremely important to rely on a building solution that provides maximum design flexibility. NUDURA Insulated Concrete Forms provide superior strength and durablilty to suit any creative design. Visit to learn why shape matters when it comes to offering design flexibility. When versatility with your design is important... SHAPE MATTERS.

THE NOVA SCOTIA FALL IDEAL HOME SHOW September 30th – October 2nd, 2016 Halifax Exhibition Centre – Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada For more information on this or upcoming events visit ideal-home-show-2016/

2016 SEMA SHOW November 1st - 4th, 2016 Las Vegas Convention Center - Las Vegas, NV, United States For more information on this or upcoming events visit

SPOTLIGHT ON BUSINESS • DECEMBER 2016 | 1-866-468-6299 Building Has Evolved TM learn how at


Follow us on:


IHMRS 2016 - INTERNATIONAL HOTEL/MOTEL & RESTAURANT SHOW November 13th – 15th, 2016 Jacob K. Javits Convention Center – New York, New York, USA For more information on this or upcoming events visit 2016 LOS ANGELES AUTO SHOW November 18th - 27th, 2016 Los Angeles Convention Center - Los Angeles, CA, United States For more information on this or upcoming events visit ANNUAL NORTH QUEENSLAND CONCRETE ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY SEMINAR November 25th, 2016 James Cook University, Townsville, QLD, Australia For more information on this or upcoming events visit BANFF CRAFT BEER FESTIVAL November 25th - 26th, 2016 Cave and Basin National Historic Site - Banff, Alberta, Canada CONSTRUCT CANADA 2016 November 30th – December 2nd, 2016 Metro Toronto Convention Centre, South Building – Toronto, Ontario, Canada For more information on this or upcoming events visit IIDEX / NEOCON CANADA November 30th – December 2nd, 2016 Metro Toronto Convention Centre – North Building – Toronto, Ontario, Canada For more information on this or upcoming events visit For more information on this or upcoming events visit



By David MacDonald M aking the move to Ecommerce in early 2011 was another leap in Scott Harper’s life that required a lot of lead-up. His childhood passion for dirt bikes, racing, and all things mechanical prepared him for his post- secondary journey at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Management and an associate’s degree in Aviation Maintenance. His accredited and honed mechanical prowess paved the way for a nine year career with Bombardier in Wichita, Kansas working on the Learjet family of business aircraft. His familiarity with aircraft mechanics, coupled with his need for speed, lead him down a path to become a pilot and experimental aircraft enthusiast with more than 200 hours total flight time – not to mention an accomplished skydiver with over 2,500 jumps across the US.

But there was still something missing in Harper’s life. “During that period, I raced off-and-on,” he explains. “Even then,



“The need for speed” is a misleading expression. Those who really want that extra ‘m’ or ‘km’ per hour are, generally speaking, patient folk. They are not impulsive, off-the-line types. They take their time. They meticulously study their passion. They are motor sports aficionados who spend countless hours perusing literature, experimenting in garages, and visiting trails, tracks, and trade shows before committing to purchasing even the subtlest component. They are akin to Scott Harper, President and CEO of Established in 2006 as Harper Cycle Works, a small motorsports parts dealership and repair shop, has benefitted from Harper’s prudence. He knew that his initial “jack-of-all-trades” approach catered only to an eclectic customer base in an approximate 30 mile radius of his Drexel, Missouri business. He knew that he was selling less over-the- counter parts to walk-in customers because of online competition. He knew when it was time to specialize, go online, and, in his words, “take back what is ours.” Since 2011, this family owned and operated company has realized its motto, “MAX IT OUT,” with a staggering 2,260% four-year growth rate with banner years of nearly US $7 million in 2014 and $10.1 million in 2015.



“I was designing the website while I was turning wrenches. It was a year of work before we actually launched it.” was launched on February 1, 2011 and in its first year tripled Harper’s business. “In November alone of that first year we did US $67 000 online,” he recalls. “Side-by-sides are the fastest growing segment of power sports. The industry is actually split in half: half is utility and half is sport. The sport side of the industry is a life- style similar to the Harley crowd. Customers want to make it unique and custom to them. These are the folks looking for a custom wheel or custom seats. You can get your colors no matter what they are. We sell bump doors, bumpers, har- nesses, lift kits, gnarly tires, audio systems, you name it. Whatever your riding personality is, we have the product to fit it.” On the utility end of things, Harper explains that side-by-sides offer both safety and comfort on the job. “The farmer or construction company that uses a side-by-side looks at the cab as a place to keep warm in winter; they

I wanted to be in the motorsports industry. I wanted to use my Management degree and do what I love. But it’s hard to quit a really good job. Years later, the company moved my position to Dallas, Texas after a reshaping and my wife and I didn’t want to move. So, I took a voluntary layoff and did something I’d always wanted to do: I started my first company, Harper Cycle Works.” In its third year, the business-savvy Harper calculated that Harper Cycle Works was earning its keep – and more. His well-founded business model pushed him beyond the entrepreneur’s annual growth rate bar of 3-4% with an out- standing 40% growth rate. “I was set up to be very efficient,” recalls Harper. “On an average day, we’d have 20 machines in the shop to work on.” “We’re moving forward with this project because it became clear early on that the social side of our industry has the largest impact. It’s a lifestyle so social media has always been a part of it.” Selling parts, however, was proving more difficult than he ever imagined. “To really be successful, I knew we had to sell parts,” recalls Harper. “So basically we went online to take back what is ours. It was a year-long project. Originally, I made all the content – I did all of it, 100%. I mean we had developers do the coding, but I designed it: the content, the product choice. I was designing the website while I was turning wrenches. It was a year of work before we actually launched it.”





Tsunami- a Force oF naTure

IntroducIng the new tsunamI wheel from ItP. A modern tAke on the clAssic, 8-spoke design for AtVs And side-by-sides

Flat black finish with milled accents and window edges.

Two versions: authentic beadlock and simulated beadlock. Features ITP’s proprietary “Rock Armor” wheel lip - provides maximum protection against rocks and debris.

In dealershIPs august 2016

1200 lb. load rating.

14-in. and 15-in. sizes in all popular bolt patterns. The Tsunami is the 3rd wheel in ITP’s Storm Series line, which includes the Hurricane and Tornado designs.

For a free ITP catalog, call 800.869.7387 Tech Questions, call 909.390.1905


SPOTLIGHT ON BUSINESS • DECEMBER 2016 S JUNE 2016 © 2016 The carlstar Group, LLc. All rights reserved

“The farmer or construction company that uses a side-by-side looks at the cab as a place to keep warm in winter; they look at the roof and windshield as a way to keep safe from debris.”

look at the roof and windshield as a way to keep safe from debris.”

With 106 different brand names, customization options, and close to 3000 ready-to-ship after-market parts and accessories, it is no wonder that draws in the motorsports crowd from across North America.

“We had a particularly memorable customer a few years back,” Harper recalls. “He’s a retired gentleman in Canada who rides his RZR every day. Well, he wanted a cab and a heater for those cold winters. We exported his selections to



Canada and just a few days later he sent us an email telling us that he was on the top of a mountain, literally, where it was zero degrees and he was riding around in his t-shirt. He was so happy with his purchase. He could drive his machine around all winter and that was really, really good to hear. We get emails and phone calls all the time. They’ll call in and say, ‘let me speak with so and so who I worked with and they’ll just say, ‘Man, you really helped me out. I’m really happy with the product we got, you answered my questions.’ And so we get a lot of positive feedback. We love when people get excited about this hobby because it’s our hobby too. We know all about making a side-by-side look or drive the way you want it to because that’s what we’re out doing on the weekends.” Hands-on experience, Harper believes, is the best way to learn the alphabet soup of the side-by-side world. “Our staff is super knowledgeable. They need to be. Side-by-side customers ask super technical questions. We have fourteen staff members and each one them specializes in the various brands we carry. Between us, we cover all the bases. And of course that means we’re careful about who we hire. We want everybody to act as one unit. We’re customer ser- vice-oriented because we’re dedicated to our passion. It’s a team environment we’ve fostered here.” Harper also believes that his extended team is a major driving force in the continu- ing success of The 106 different brand names that Harper and his team support and offer online represent large and small manufacturers alike. “Honestly, all our vendors are great,” he boasts. “We have a good relation- ship with all of them. Whether it’s shipping or pricing we want to make sure that it’s a good fit for everybody.” Harper has negotiated a drop shipping partner- ship with his suppliers. “We drop ship the majority of the items that we sell. Our vendors ship directly from their location to the customer,” he explains. Harper’s resilience is unquestionable – and it has to be. “Five years from now, the business won’t look anything like it does today. If we see an opportunity down the road, we’ll just switch gears like we have all along – but we’ll get there first and on top. You have to be willing to change your whole program,” he explains. This is not idle talk. After all, Harper has never been the sit still type. In early 2015, he began development on a separate online venture: Side-by-Side Guru. This app is his next leap. And while its official launch date is TBA, it is current-

ly available at the iTunes Store and Google Play Store – and doing quite well. “We’re moving forward with this project because it became clear early on that the social side of our industry has the largest impact. It’s a lifestyle so social media has always been a part of it,” Harper explains. The app gives side-by-side enthusiasts the inside scoop on events from around the US, a platform to share experiences, photos, videos and routes, an exclusive riding area database, news that impacts the industry as well as local news from vendors about events and riding areas within a 200 mile radius of the user’s location, two-way communication with national vendors, and a forum for swapping stories and parts “I’m not sure where we’ll be in five years, but I’m sure it will be in online retail. It’s exciting, that’s for sure.”







Even they admit that their accent is hard to pinpoint. It is not quite the “Scottish twang” of their emigrant grandmother. They have been mistaken as Irish on more than one occasion. But like their products, they are Nova Scotia made, accent and all. They are Dartmouth brothers Scott and Kevin Saccary, co-founders of New Scotland Clothing Company. You have probably seen their retail line whether you realize it or not. Since debuting in late fall 2014, it has been shipped to six continents. T-shirts, hoodies, and onesies emblazoned with a rampant lion are proudly worn the world over. For some, it is their first tangible connection to Nova Scotia. For others, it is a symbol that connects them with a part of who they are.



By David MacDonald E nthusiasm for New Scotland Clothing Company products is not simply the result of marketing and brand recognition. The image of the rampant lion is embedded in the hearts of all those who love Nova Scotia, which, for you Jeopardy players, is Latin for “New Scotland”. The modern flag of Nova Scotia is more-or-less a banner adapted from a coat of arms granted in 1625 to what was then a Scottish colony. At its centre: the very same rampant lion that adorns the Royal Standard of Scotland as well as the Royal Standard of Canada. It is a symbol folks growing up and living in the peninsular and island Maritime province on Canada’s east coast are accustomed to seeing on diplomas, in the artwork of pub signs, slapped onto the guitar and bagpipe cases of talented buskers who line the Halifax Waterfront each summer, and proudly displayed on the bumpers of east-bound trucks with Alberta license plates. “It’s a bold and powerful figure,” Kevin explains. The brand is popular because it is culturally relevant before it is stylish. “We’ve been at markets and sales events where people come right up to us, pull up their sleeve or show us their back or what have you, and there’s a tattoo of the rampant lion we designed. They usually give us a big thumbs-up – or something – because they recognize what we’re doing,” explains Kevin. “We’ve been at markets and sales events where people come right up to us, pull up their sleeve or show us their back or what have you, and there’s a tattoo of the rampant lion we designed. They

usually give us a big thumbs-up – or something – because they recognize what we’re doing.”

What they are doing is as much a celebration of who the Saccary brothers are as it is entrepreneurship gone right. First and foremost, the brothers are curlers, which, again for you trivia buffs, is a sport of mediaeval Scottish



invention. “We grew up curling at the Dartmouth Curling Club and are still active members,” Kevin boasts. “My grandmother who originally came from Scotland was curling into her 70s. She loves her tea and still loves the sport in her 90s. Originally in their mind’s eye, New Scotland Clothing Company was going to be a line of curling apparel. “We were really trying to design something that exemplified the Scottish pride that so many of us curlers have in Nova Scotia,” Scott recalls. And the Saccarys have had occasion to swell with pride for their province in the world of competitive curling. In 2002 and 2003, the brothers wore Nova Scotia colours alongside their team- mates at the Canadian Junior Cham- pionships. But the pursuit did not end there. “A kid growing up playing



hockey, his dream is to win the Stanley Cup. For me and curlers across Canada it is to win the Provincial Curling Championships and then represent your province at the Stanley Cup of Canadian curling, which is the Brier,” explains Scott. Scott lived his dream this past March in Ottawa, Ontario. Keeping things relevant to who they are and what they represent is more at the heart of the business model and the success at New Scotland Clothing Company than it seems. “Our customers are constantly telling us that they’re happy to see our labels and know that the majority of our clothing is made in Canada. And soon,” Kevin teases, “we will have Nova Scotia made products!” Stanfield’s Limited, a 160-year-old family owned garment manufacturer out of Truro, Nova Scotia whose progeny are amongst the mainstays in Nova Scotia provincial politics and infrastructure – Robert Stanfield, the namesake of the Halifax Stanfield International Airport was the grandson of company founder, Charles Stanfield and the 17th Premier of Nova Scotia as well as the Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada from 1967-1976 – is eager to do business with New Scotland Clothing Company. “It’s quite exciting to be able to say that you are collaborating with a 160-year-old Canadian company,” explains Scott,” but to be able to follow our main goal, staying local and using local content all at the same time, makes it that much better.” “We were really trying to design something that exemplified the Scottish pride that so many of us curlers have in Nova Scotia.” “We’ve had a dialogue dating back to early 2015 with Jon Stanfield, President of Stanfield’s Limited,” Kevin recalls. “Just last year we sat down for lunch together and now we are an authorized retailer of their Truro made products with our private labels printed on. The first t-shirt design will debut later this summer and it’s really exciting, not to mention some speciality underwear and sweaters we have stocked already.” The Saccary name seems to be a good fit alongside the Stanfield name. On May 7 New Scotland Clothing Company launched a kiosk at the Halifax Stanfield Inter- national Airport to great applause. New Scotland Clothing Company products can also be found near the world famous Murphy’s: The Cable Wharf Restaurant on the historic Halifax waterfront from where the iconic Bluenose II schooner departs twice daily. Their standalone shop is located beside Historic Properties and the Gahan House Restaurant on the boardwalk.

These satellite locations are 26 minutes and 9 minutes,



a major role in the vibrant urban renewal taking place just off Halifax Harbour. Joel Plaskett, a Canadian rock musician, recently opened New Scotland Yard Emporium, a three-business partnership that features a record store, a coffee shop, and a hair stylist all surrounding his pro- fessional recording studio on Portland Street. “The music industry is huge around here,” Kevin explains, “and Scott and I play a lot of music together. We love going to see local talent and just being around the bands and the music. Scott is well on his way, actually. He’s in the middle of recording an album and has actually used Joel’s studio to record some of it, and it should be released in the months to come.” Plaskett has also enabled the Saccarys to realize another passion of theirs: giving back. In 2015, Plaskett reached out and asked the brothers to join him along with the “Friends of the Khyber” volunteer group in a fundrais- ing effort to save the registered Historic Property known as The Khyber in Downtown Halifax. “We did t-shirts for them and all of the money went back to save what is now called The Khyber Centre for the Arts,” Kevin says. Scott has been a member of the Canadian Progress Club – Halifax for four years and is no stranger to ambitious charitable events. “Last year I was the chair for one of our

respectively, away from New Scotland Clothing Compa- ny’s home base in Downtown Dartmouth. “We opened our very first location back in May at 20 Wentworth Street – which is just a stone’s throw away from our curling club. We always knew we wanted to be a Dartmouth company located in Dartmouth. We started asking around and came across Kate Hamilton, the owner of Bodega Boutique, who was planning to expand to a larger location downtown. It worked perfectly because we get to be in the middle of the growing and vibrant Downtown Dartmouth Commu- nity,” Kevin explains. “My wife and I are in the process of putting our home up for sale so that we can move downtown and raise our kids there like we were. There are a lot of new, young families doing the same thing – it’s an exciting time.” Scott lives on Lake Banook which is right in the heart of historic Dartmouth, just minutes away from their shop on Wentworth Street. “It’s quite overwhelming to be able to say that you are collaborating with a 160-year- old Canadian company.”

For those unfamiliar with Downtown Dartmouth, Wen- tworth St. intersects with Portland St., which has played



major events, The Big Spring Auction & Gala. We sold out the Cunard Centre downtown and had over 700 people for dinner. We raised over $120,000 – which is huge. I’m very passionate about that kind of thing. We’re constantly giving away products to silent auctions and fundraisers.” “The other organization we’ve committed to working with in December 2016 is the MS Society of Canada – Atlantic Division,” Kevin explains. “We were at the MS Walk in May and realized we could create a hook to donate more. We’re still in the planning stages with them but it might be a special shirt we design and donate money to the Atlantic Division based on its sales. That’s a pretty special one. It’s close to home, I guess. I actually have MS myself. I was diagnosed in 2008, right in the heart of my curling - right when we were kind of at the top of our game. I’m still super competitive, but it slows me down a little bit. The driving force behind this company, for me, has been the fact that I don’t want to slow down; I want to keep going and that’s why I push myself every single day. What we’ve done, I think, in the last year- and-a-half is pretty amazing. Building our web presence. Selling more than 7,500 units. Shipping products to the U.S.,



Europe, New Zealand, Scotland, Thailand, South Africa, to name a few. Working 18-hour days. You’ve got to look back at it and think “You did well.” Despite the MS, it’s quite a bit.” “We opened our very first location back in January at 20 Wentworth Street – which is just a stone’s throw away from our curling club. We always knew we wanted to be a Dartmouth company located in Dartmouth.” The Saccary brothers are also a familiar sight through- out the province during festival season. New Scotland Clothing Company is mobile and becoming a regular at annual events like July’s Antigonish Highland Games. If you have not seen The Saccary brothers or the New Scotland Clothing Company brand we are confident that you will soon.



Those guys behind the glass are used to it. You can point and talk about them amongst yourselves. Laugh – they won’t take it personally. If you wave – and their hands are free – they’ll wave back. Head Brewer, Joe Strickland and Braumeister, Stefan Buhl have been making beer for Marten Brewing Co. on 30th Avenue in Vernon, British Columbia for over two years now and the fact that they perform their craft – please excuse the beer pun – in the centre of a brewpub while customers empty their mugs and plates is just part of the job. And it’s a welcome part. These guys love when they look out from their glassed-in brewery at the centre of the Marten Brewpub & Grill and see tables of co-workers and guests or toasting a fresh-from-the-tap pint of one of their very own creations while they’re putting together those very same recipes. Joe is partial to the Tick Tock Dunkel Bock, which goes great with the Bianca Prawn Linguine, while Stefan recommends the Autumn Spiced Hefe Weizen, a perfect compliment to the 12oz Striploin Steak.



By David MacDonald I ’m sure there’s more than one cerevisaphile – a neologism meaning “An aficionado of beers and ales or one who pursues the very finest in malted beverages” – who recognized the aforementioned German beers brewed by Strickland and Buhl. If you have more than a basic knowledge of the history of beer and brewing, ingredients, draught systems, and styles you know these aren’t the typical IPAs or lagers taken-on by brewers in brewpubs, especially in North America. Well, these two gentlemen are lucky. Well, they’re skilled first, lucky second. They brew for the husband and wife duo who own Marten Brewing Co., Stefan and Pearl Marten. The Martens have a passion for beer – particularly the craft side of it – and hospi- tality. Pearl told me that “Casual sophistication is our style.” Stefan explained that “We focus on quality and drinkability.” These motivations are the components of the formula that made Marten Brewpub & Grill. “Focusing on the product as the main attraction was our thinking from the start, so the brewery is built front and centre so guests can see where their beer is handcrafted while they drink it. We felt that what was missing from the craft beer scene is the pride in show- casing the process. We wanted to open our doors to beer lovers so they can feel like they are part of it all,” Stefan explained. “We painstakingly hand-built, and designed every aspect of the entire brewery, conven- tion area, pub, and the restaurant, Naked Pig BBQ. Beer is casual by nature and we wanted to create a space that enhanced that. Our goal was to develop and build a space for the beer community and the community as a whole, a place to bring friends or family when visiting – and it’s now considered a local hangout.” No, Stefan was not being hyperbolic. He and Pearl are hands-on people. When they found Marten Brew- pub’s home on the corner of Main Street and 30th Avenue in downtown Vernon in 2013, it had a repu- tation: It was cursed. “For years nothing ever survived there. It was boarded-up, off-and-on, and people used to make jokes about it. Restaurants would come and go, and years before one side of it was a nightclub. One local bank even refused to grant us a loan because of the building’s reputation.”

“We focus on quality and drinkability.”

When it was theirs, the Martens went in with hardhats and sledgehammers first and hammers and measur- ing tapes second. “We renovated the whole place ourselves – well we had a couple guys help us out here and there. We didn’t have enough money for tables, light fixtures, that kind



of stuff, so we just built it all. We got the restaurant open in about seven months but we still had to renovate the pub side and install the brewery. There were nights where we were basically putting the pipes together for the brewery, dusting ourselves off and heading back into the restaurant for the dinner rush, serving, bartending, managing.” While a brewpub was something new to downtown Vernon – a thriving district that’s home to more than 550 business- es, 250 retail and service businesses, 52 restaurants and cafes, three art galleries, four parks, eight transit lines, 115 bike racks, and three public parking lots within 46 blocks, according to the Downtown Vernon Association – it was a culmination of every hat worn by the Martens. “Pearl and I both began our careers in hospitality,” Stefan explained. “We worked in a number of pubs, hotels, and restaurants over the years. I started when I was 18. I went to Germany back in 1993 to work in the beer gardens and one of the first things I noticed was the massive difference in beer flavours and styles compared to what we have here at home. Beer in Germany reminded me of milk: any age could buy it; it had an expiry date on the side; it was treated as a fresh product. I remember once I was back home in Canada, I found a can of beer from a fishing trip the year before, I cracked it open and it tasted exactly the same. I thought to myself, ‘What are they putting in this?’ and that really resonated in my mind. It also made my passion for beer and the craft side of it that much stronger. Not long after, I first heard of small breweries doing small-batch brewing with different flavour profiles. That meant that the same freshness I came to appreciate in Germany could be brought anywhere in Canada. That was a huge thing in my mind.” Stefan continued: “As funny as it is, at the time, I was actually more or less getting out of the hospitality world – I was building houses in the Okanagan. That’s when I got a phone call from a friend in my hometown of Williams Lake, B.C. about a start-up opportunity for a food and beverage location at a casino that was opening in town. It was a six month contract and it seemed like a great opportunity. He

also told me that he thought I should meet Pearl, who was bartending at a local pub. She was well-known and liked and I’d actually heard of her several times before. Once we officially met there was no separating us. It turned out we grew up just 10 minutes from one another in the same valley, sharing childhood memories of walking the same train tracks and swimming in the river which passed both our places, but we had never met. We hit it off and when my six month contract was up, we headed back to the Okanagan together. We went right into building together – our first house. And when I say built, I mean every aspect from the ground-up. My father was a carpenter and he taught me a lot, but what we didn’t know, we learned. After that, we started buying-up properties and renovat- ing them as rental units. Pearl has an amazing ability to see potential where others don’t and she’s not afraid to do any part of the renovation including the “drywall”. We did it all on a very small budget but you’d never know because of how amazing she would make these projects look. We started picking up more and more rentals and at one point ended up with 18 units. We were in full-swing rental mode – it was our full-time job. Then the housing crash hit and it really scared us. We realized we had all of our eggs in one basket. It was becoming difficult to rent some of the units and some of the one-bedroom units had up to five people living in them – things were getting as unpredictable as the economy itself. It made us really think about what we were doing.” “So we talked about opening a restaurant or bar. With our hospitality experience it only made sense to go that direction – it was a natural second choice for us. We started looking at properties available to lease or buy for a restaurant and as we shopped we talked about possibly starting a brewpub. I had brewed beer with roommates, but never anything on a large scale. I mentioned to Pearl a really good family friend from Germany, a Braumeister, who learned in Munich, who worked in Kelowna at one of the biggest breweries there – Stefan Buhl. He was our reliable contact in the industry. So after we found the vacant building on 30th Ave. we invited him to tour the space that was to become the brewery hoping that



we could get some direction from him. We all got really excited as we discussed the visions and layout, and Stefan told us he had actually put in his notice at his job and was moving into Sales and consulting for a well known Brewing Equipment provider Prospero, so it was the final part of the puzzle to make it all happen. Stefan discussed with us that a good beer is one that you want to have more than one of. We wanted a beer that wasn’t focused on the next new and experimental recipe. We wanted to develop a following by creating beers you will love throughout all your stages of life and we’ve done that.” And what’s not to love? Marten Brewing Co. uses only four ingredients, adds no preservatives, and sources its hops – the flavour-kick in beer – from local farmers. “Our malt only have a 10 minute commute to work here, actually,” Stefan told me with a chuckle. Not all patrons of Marten Brewpub & Grill will be able to sit on a corner bar stool where every- body knows their name, but they’ll always be able to ask just where the ingredients of any in-house beer comes from, including the Jefe Hefe: “It’s cloudy with a golden hue. It has banana and clove-like flavours and it’s brewed with authen- tic German yeast,” Stefan told me. When the answers are as honest as the brewing process, it’s not surprising that people want more. “We’ve given ourselves ample space to expand with the future in mind,

starting with canning and bottling products – it’s what people want,” he said.

“We’ve given ourselves ample space to expand with the future in mind, starting with canning andbottling products – it’s what people want.” “The Naked Pig BBQ is just under 4,000 square feet, the pub is approximately 5,000 square feet, the convention area is roughly 1,000 square feet, and the brewery is about 1,500 square feet with about 10,000 square feet below to expand. We have a whole garage down below and it’s the same foot length as the building. We store tanks and kegs of beer downstairs but we have more than enough space for canning and bottling our beer.” If it already seemed like the Marten Brewing Co. team was a powerhouse presence in downtown Vernon, there’s more: “When we started, the city of Vernon didn’t allow patios. We applied for the first ever permit, which was all new territory for councillors, and got it. We seat up to 30 people on the patio and it’s brought new energy to the whole area.”

‘Zum Wohl’ (‘To your health’), Marten Brewing Co.!





By David MacDonald W hen Armstrong walked behind the bar to pour me the first 5oz sample – the German-style Festbier they call Coastal Lager – I was imme- diately reminded of my grandfather. He was a school teacher and lobster fisherman in Cape Breton who painted his buoys the blue, red, and white of the Montreal Canadiens. When storms snapped his lines and his buoys crashed to shore, local beachcombers always knew who they belonged to and that my grandfather would pay a modest sum for their return. He’d repaint them, measure new lines, tie them to a new trap and toss them back to the mercy of the waves off Port Morien until they were unable to fulfill their duty any longer. Sitting on its side on the bar with 24oz Tallboy cans of each of Spindrift Brew- ery’s four lagers perched atop – labels faced-out – was a blue, white, and red striped wooden lobster buoy that reminded me of my childhood in Canada’s Ocean Play- ground. It was slightly weathered with a new line attached as if it were recovered the morning after a nor’easter. It was a connection that made the flavours I was about to experience that much more full. “This is an Oktoberfest-style beer. So it is caramel in colour, has a lot of malt-forwardness to it and a nice bitter, hoppy finish to it. It’s quite nice.” As I watched him pull back the first of four custom beer tap handles that resembled in shape and colour the different buoys profiled on each can, I was reminded of our conversation earlier in his office. “Spindrift occurs when a wave crashes. Just imagine a wave crashing. You see a mist come off the back of that wave – that is spindrift. It’s fresh. It’s bold. It happens at an exciting time when the wave finally crashes,” Armstrong said from behind his desk. “It also happens in the winter, with snow drifts. The blowing snow that comes off the top of snow drifts is spindrift again. It’s very much Maritime imagery and that’s what we were going for.” “Do you want to try some?” Usually when I conduct interviews for the magazine, it’s me asking the questions, but this was definitely an occasion where I was hoping to be asked that one question in particular. The man asking was Andy Armstrong, co-owner and managing partner of Spindrift Brewery in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. He was offering me samples of Spindrift Brewery’s four micro brewed lagers and after a tour of the 3,400 square feet state of the art production space where Brewmaster Kellye Robertson puts them all together, I was thirsty.



Knotty Buoy is a Bavarian Pilsner and thus it’s buoy boast the colours of the Bavarian Flag. The newest entry to the line up, Abyss, a German Style Shwarzbier (black lager) boasts a cream colour buoy with a large black dot, symbolizing the tantalizing dark liquid that is Abyss. As he grabbed a fresh sample mug and moved back to the tap, this time reaching for the yellow and azure buoy tap handle to the Bavarian-style Pils they call Knotty Buoy, I had to ask Armstrong a follow-up question that had formed in my mind earlier: “When did it all come together?” I asked him after I finished 5ozs of Knotty Buoy, which did live up to its description as a refreshingly crisp beer with a dry finish.

After I sampled what I can only describe as a delicious tease of sweet malt, spicy rye, and orange flavours, he began to pour me another 5oz mug from the contents of the next tap, Riptide IPL – a northeast-style hoppy lager with subtle tangerine and pine aromas. He told me, “This is Nova Scotia’s first India Pale Lager – we’ve made a lager-version of an IPA. It’s delicious. It’s a north- east-style, Maine- style IPL and nobody’s done it before.” It was delicious. “Spindrift occurs when a wave crashes. Just imagine a wave crashing. You see a mist come off the back of that wave – that is spindrift. It’s fresh. It’s bold.” After Armstrong told me he’d pass along my compliments to chef, as it were, I took this moment to ask him why each can profiled a buoy rather than spin- drift itself. He explained that “When we tried to graphically depict spindrift it was impossible. You can’t do it justice. So Andrew Bell, my business partner, said, “Spindrift is a great name, there’s more than one story behind it, but what is more Maritime and nautical than lobster buoys? Every lobster buoy is individual; they have their own markings so that fisherman knows it’s theirs. So we’ve adopted that. Each buoy in the corporate logo represents the colours of each of the Maritime flags. Each of the Spindrift brews has a buoy with it’s own identity. This buoy is present on the cans and casts down to a replica buoy tap handle for the bars and restaurants. Coastal Lager is Blue and White to pay homage to Nova Scotia colour’s. Rip Tide is yellow with a red angled slash, as evidence when a rip tide occurs a red and yellow flag is placed on the beach.

“We brewed our first beer in August, 2015 but broke ground that February.”

But it wasn’t his first foray into the beverage industry, I learned.

“I own another company calledAtlantic Spirits and Wines and it represents dif- ferent alcohol beverages from around the world. So, I’ve been involved in the beverage and alcohol game for close to 25 years now. I’ve worked directly for Molson and Seagrum.” I was eager to have a sneak-peak sample of Spindrift Brewery’s newest beer, Abyss – a traditional German- style black lager that features a com- bination of malt proole and German Hersbrucker and Magnum hops –



Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 41 Page 42 Page 43 Page 44 Page 45 Page 46 Page 47 Page 48 Page 49 Page 50 Page 51 Page 52 Page 53 Page 54 Page 55 Page 56 Page 57 Page 58 Page 59 Page 60 Page 61 Page 62 Page 63 Page 64 Page 65 Page 66 Page 67 Page 68 Page 69 Page 70 Page 71 Page 72 Page 73 Page 74 Page 75 Page 76 Page 77 Page 78 Page 79 Page 80 Page 81 Page 82 Page 83 Page 84 Page 85 Page 86 Page 87 Page 88 Page 89 Page 90 Page 91 Page 92 Page 93 Page 94 Page 95 Page 96 Page 97 Page 98 Page 99 Page 100 Page 101 Page 102 Page 103 Page 104 Page 105 Page 106 Page 107 Page 108 Page 109 Page 110 Page 111 Page 112 Page 113 Page 114 Page 115 Page 116 Page 117 Page 118 Page 119 Page 120 Page 121 Page 122 Page 123 Page 124 Page 125 Page 126 Page 127 Page 128 Page 129 Page 130

Made with FlippingBook HTML5