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  • Thanks for helping me make a go of it

    Today we bid adieu to #businessbuzz. Unfortunately, the management team at The Brandon Sun had to make some difficult decisions for the upcoming year and as such the column that I’ve been writing since April 12, 2014, for the Saturday edition of The Brandon Sun will no longer exist. The Sun has decided to go in a different direction for the Saturday business page. I remember when former Sun editor James O’Connor and I first met to discuss the column. My only trepidation was whether I would be able to come up with enough content for a weekly column. That fear quickly diminished.
  • Karrouze celebrates by expanding

    Pride. I can honestly say that after speaking with more than four dozen business owners this past year, the one thing that stands out is that they are all really proud of their accomplishments and the businesses they’ve created. This is especially true of Mo Karrouze. Karrouze is the proud owner of two businesses —Hairistocracy, a busy hair salon in Brandon, and now the new Tranquility Spa. Even though this entrepreneur could be entertaining the possibility of retirement, he has decided instead to expand his operations.
  • Windsor Plywood in renovation mode

    As you drive along 18th Street North, you might have noticed that Windsor Plywood is in the middle of a renovation. I spoke with general manager Jason Kusnick, and he said the store was due for an update. “We’ve started with a facelift on the front of the store and we’re slowly starting on the inside, with the hope of having everything complete by spring,” Kusnick said.
  • Antique collection inspires new store

    If you build it, they will come. While this isn’t always the case, it certainly is for Crow’s General Store. This unique ice cream and coffee shop has already been dubbed as a great new attraction for Brandon. Owner Don Ditchfield isn’t new to the business world. He had a landscape business for years, a sod farm, a driving range and he opened the first Ski-Doo/Bombardier snowmobile dealership in the city years and years ago. His collection of antiques, however, is what spurred the idea for his latest venture.
  • Foster surprised by Trend's growth

    When entrepreneurs get into business, part of the process is predicting how the business might grow in five or 10 years. As there are many factors that affect growth, things sometimes don’t go according to plan. However, some business owners are pleasantly surprised when they realize that their business has actually grown beyond their expectations. Pamela Foster is one of those entrepreneurs.
  • Serving up coffee with unique home decor

    There’s more good news for downtown Brandon, specifically for the 100 block of 10th Street. Back in April, I shared with you that Pirouette, a dance, swim, skate and gymnastics shop owned by Lorinda Abbey, recently opened a new location at 121 10th St.
  • Renovated Huggy's sports bar sure to be a hit

    Bright lights, parties, sweet treats … before we know it, we’ll be enjoying all the festivities of the Christmas season. For many local businesses in the hospitality industry, this is without a doubt one of the busiest times of the year. While the folks at Thunderbird Bowl, Huggy’s Family Restaurant and Huggy’s Neighbourhood Sports Bar & Grill generally start prepping for the holiday season well in advance, this year they were busy sprucing things up earlier than ever.
  • Signing on for new opportunity

    Sam Mulaw isn’t new to the local business scene. As a graduate of the auto technician program from Red River College, Mulaw opened his own repair shop, ABC Auto Service, in 2011 on Pacific Avenue. Although he really enjoys his chosen career of working on cars and other vehicles, a back injury kept him away from work and left him recovering for months. During his time off, Mulaw started researching other business opportunities that weren’t as physically demanding. That’s when he stumbled across the Fast Signs franchise.
  • 'Store for everybody' opens doors on city's North Hill

    Peavey Mart is a 100 per cent Canadian-owned retailer that has stores in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia. The company recently announced that it had acquired TSC Stores and began the transformation of the location in Brandon from a TSC Store to a Peavey Mart. The TSC Store closed mid-September and, after close to six weeks of transitioning, reopened as a Peavey Mart on Oct. 17.
  • Falloon brings years of experience to Prairie Bliss

    Release tension, get rid of sore muscles, relax into oblivion. Ahhh, the benefits of a good massage. Oct. 23-29 is National Massage Therapy Week, a week dedicated to raising the awareness of the massage therapy profession. We’re fortunate to have many qualified and amazing therapists in Brandon and the surrounding area.
  • Time to celebrate Small Business Week

    Oct. 16-22 is Small Business Week in Canada. If you’re not immersed in the business world, you might not recognize the importance of this week, but it is a great opportunity to take some time to thank the small business owners, entrepreneurs and innovators for the contributions they make to the communities in which they operate, the economic impact and the products and services they provide. Many believe that small businesses are indeed the backbone to the Manitoba and Canadian economy. It’s who we work for, it’s where we take our pets to be cared for, it’s the shop that fixes our computer, the garage that rotates our tires, the eatery where we pick up our coffee every morning, the local farmer who supplies our vegetables or the boutique where we buy a special outfit for an upcoming event.
  • Store owner says response has been Sew Crazy

    Sandra O’Neill is crazy about her business. So much so, her only regret is that she didn’t set up a commercial location years ago. She’s the proud owner of Sew Crazy Services, located at 920 Sixth St. O’Neill has been in the industry for 15 years and realized it was time to branch out and expand her services.
  • Elite Safety Services set for grand opening

    After months of planning, constructing, organizing, moving and settling in to their new facility, the owners and staff of Elite Safety Services Inc. are ready to show off their new digs. The grand opening of their 12,508-square-foot building will be held on Oct. 6 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Local owners Marc Watt and Darren Brick said even though they’ve grown substantially in the last five to eight years, they are still very much a family-run operation.
  • Sell Off Vacations travels across town

    Sell Off Vacations didn’t travel a far distance, but they did make a new home for themselves in Brandon. The company moved from their Eighth Street location (across from the Real Canadian Superstore) to 1300 18th St. in June. Manager Jennifer Murray said the business has been growing, so they were looking for a bit more space.
  • Retreat offers short-term stays with comforts of home

    The Wheat City Retreat is a home away from home. It is also one of Brandon’s newest businesses that launched this past April. This new venture is an executive condominium that is available for rent on a short-term basis with daily, weekly and monthly rates. Manager Michelle Budiwski said the property is perfectly suited to meet the needs of a variety of clients.
  • Dowsett turns focus to unique areas

    “Obviously, I love working and I enjoy my work because I’m still here after 40 years.” Marita Dowsett graduated in 1976 from the University of Manitoba as a physiotherapist. At the time, she was entering a field that wasn’t well known and was solely hospital-based, but a lot has changed since then. In general, people are much more knowledgeable about the benefits of physiotherapy and many of the practices are now private, although services are still offered inhospitalsettings.
  • New space for MCM Architects

    A building that Heritage Brandon has listed on the Significant Building List couldn’t have fallen into better hands. MCM Architects purchased the building at 260 Eighth St. last fall.
  • New ownership for Summit Promotions

    After running his business for 25 years, Darrel Vodden has decided that it’s time to move on to the next chapter of his life, and he found an opportunity to transition his business to a Manitoba-based company that isone ofWestern Canada’s largest suppliers of promotional products. As such, he has sold Summit Promotions to Shippam & Associates. “We are very excited to be a part of this great company, and believe the efforts of our combined teams will bring added value and greater opportunity to our business partners,” Vodden said.
  • Pair of stores go through rebranding

    It’s always exciting when businesses have the opportunity to rebrand themselves. The local Giant Tiger store has done just that in the last few months and store manager Curtis Keber said the changes are exciting for both their employees and their customers.
  • Riverbend crew ready to chart their course

    Be Kind, Be Real, Be Natural. That is the motto for one of Brandon’s newest businesses. Just 10 days ago, Riverbend Naturals Salon & Boutique opened its doors at 1005 13th St., the former location of Pirouette Active Wear. Bryan and Melinda Tannahill, owners and operators of Sunset Creek Flooring, Cabinets & Design, along with manager and licensed stylist Kaleigh Peters, have all been working hard in the last few months to create and open this new shop.
  • Venture moves into new home

    Sometimes it’s hard to imagine where you’ll be in terms of your career in 10, 15 or even 30 years after starting out. But local entrepreneur Garnet McBurney has known for many years what his career goals were. McBurney said he took a leap of faith when he established Venture Accounting Group Ltd. in 2007. He had seen instances where small businesses required assistance with accounting, but there seemed to be a vast shortage of qualified people to fill such roles.
  • Boardgame Empire has winning strategy

    While Pokémon Go may be the hottest video game of the summer, entrepreneur James Ruser knows that there’s a big appetite in Brandon for games in general. And, he’s built a new concept business around attracting gamers of all types. Ruser opened Boardgame Empire at 1150 19th St. back in January. It’s a fully licensed bar and café/restaurant with a fantastic selection of more than 300 board games, an arcade and a super comfy lounge with the latest video game systems.
  • Family serves up taste of El Salvador

    I’m back! It always feels a bit weird after taking a couple of weeks holidays and then looking at the calendar thinking — wow, where did the time go? I hope the first half of July has been good to you. While, many of us take a few vacation days here and there, the majority of businesses are still in full operation and there’s never a shortage of business news to share! If you’ve been in and around Victoria Avenue and 34th Street, you might have noticed a few changes. Of course, The Chilly Chutney moved in to their new space last summer.
  • Eras Antiques and Art reborn on Rosser

    I hope you are enjoying the first long weekend of the summer and that you had a great time celebrating Canada Day. We’re very fortunate to live in such an amazing country. I think that while we sometimes fear hurdles and possibly even some red tape, for the most part starting a business in Canada is fairly easy. We have the freedom to do so if we choose and I often write about excited, new entrepreneurs. Today, I get to share a story about Daryl Hicks and his new shop.
  • Cultural diversity's in fashion at new store

    A good vibe. That’s the feeling you get when you walk through the doors of one of Brandon’s newest businesses. The beach decor, the bright colours and the upbeat surf music takes you away — far, far away to a warm, paradise-like island. The business at 728 18th St. is called Island and creating a unique shopping experience is exactly what owner, Marie Ironstand, wanted to accomplish when she started her new venture.

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