Shep Ysselstein, the award-winning cheesemaker and owner of Gunn’s Hill. “Our customers love them.” However, these days it’s not just Tillsonburg and Oxford County folks who’ve taken a shine to Dave’s work; people in Ontario’s biggest city are discovering him as well. “We’ve been selling product at Collected Joy in Toronto for a while now and this fall we’re going to be at the One-of-a-Kind Craft Show,” says Dave. “We’ve also been gener- ating a lot of business through our Facebook and Instagram accounts.” Dave notes that he’s even received inquiries from people in Australia. “It’s crazy how people find me,” he says with a smile. Still, he’s not one to let success go to his head. “I’m not a city boy,” he says. “I never have been. When I lived in London, I couldn’t wait to get back to Tillsonburg. There’s such a strong sense of community here.” At present, Dave and Michelle

live on Michelle’s parents rose farm in Burgessville. However they re- cently bought a farm property just outside of Tillsonburg. “The business has grown to the point that I need more space,” he says. “The new property has an old barn and that’s going to be my shop. It’s got such a great sense of history about it--and of course, lots of wood.” Although the charcuterie craze may not last forever, Dave isn’t wor- ried about his future. “I read somewhere that people are outgrowing lack of character,” he says. “They want to buy things that have meaning, and a story, and are made in a sustainable way. That’s very good news for someone like me--and our planet.” You can purchase Dave’s work locally at Pedlar’s Quay on Ridout Street. Learn more at www.ottercreekwoodworks.com

SIMPLY BATH BOMBS Darwin and Cindy Davies have come up with their own recipe for a sweet smelling startup

Tillsonburg residents Darwin and Cindy Davies have always had an entrepreneurial streak so when they decided to start a new business last year, no one was too surprised. “We own two other businesses, JiffyMaid and SnapPod, so we know what it’s like to be self-employed, but moving into scented products was something completely new for us,” explains Darwin. “We thought about candle making for a while, but when we stumbled upon bath bombs, we saw a lot more potential for success.” And while their company may be

called Simply Bath Bombs, this hus- band and wife duo soon discovered that making the perfect bath bomb was anything but simple. “We did a full year of research and testing before we launched,” says Darwin. “Every time we’d see bath bombs for sale somewhere, we’d buy a few and test them out, mak- ing notes on what we liked. We also started obsessively working on de- veloping our own formulations.” This trial and error process went on for months. Some products stained the tub. Some were too oily or crumbly. Others fizzled out or

didn’t have enough scent or colour. “We made a lot of duds before getting our recipe down,” says Cin- dy, admitting that there were sev- eral times they seriously considered abandoning the whole concept. “There’s so much that can go wrong,” adds Darwin, a self-con- fessed perfectionist. “From the pre- cise mixing time of the ingredients down to the humidity level and temperature of the room. Every- thing has to be just right for a qual- ity product.” In short, it seems making bath bombs is as much art as science. And


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