Bill Deslippe

Food truck gets exemption, town to examine bylaw

 

By Ron Giofu

A local food truck operator is getting relief from a licensing bylaw pertaining to refreshment vehicles with the town to further examine that bylaw.

Bill Deslippe, owner of Smashed Apple Gourmet Catering, will be allowed to operate his food truck within 25 metres of other restaurants this year, down from the 200 metres the bylaw states. The town will look at lowering that limit for others, likely on a case-by-case basis, but the full bylaw will come back later this year for review.

Deslippe appeared before town council April 9 asking for relief from the bylaw. He said his intention is to operate his food truck one day per week as the catering end of his business keeps him busy the other days of the week. He is looking for a space, likely on Sandwich St. S., and has had discussions about locating his truck in existing store parking lots.

“We all know 200 metres is pretty far,” he said, referring to the existing bylaw. “I’m just asking for a shorter distance.”

Manager of licensing services Nicole Rubli said a preliminary look at bylaws from other municipalities show anywhere from 25-250 metres as setbacks.

Councillor Jason Lavigne, a former restaurant owner himself, said Smashed Apple is “wildly popular” and that Deslippe is “really well established” within Essex County. Lavigne said that Deslippe has set up shop in places like Toddy Jones Park and he hasn’t heard of one complaint.

Rubli did note she has heard from businesses about food trucks not abiding by setback requirements, however.

Deslippe told council that while he is shutting down his storefront on Sandwich St. S., he will continue catering, operating the food truck and will also launch a YouTube channel to promote the Smashed Apple brand as well as the town. He added that he wants to push local tourism and CAO John Miceli encouraged town council to take a full look at the bylaw so that tourism opportunities could be explored.

Deslippe added that competition is great and drives people to the streets, something Councillor Leo Meloche agreed with.

“Competition is not a bad thing. Competition is a good thing,” said Meloche. “People love options.”

The vote to allow the exemption and to also further study the bylaw passed by a 5-1 recorded vote. Deputy Mayor Bart DiPasquale and councillors Lavigne, Meloche, Rick Fryer and Joan Courtney were in favour while Councillor Diane Pouget was opposed. Mayor Aldo DiCarlo was absent.

Pouget said she wants Deslippe to succeed, but she was concerned about other restaurants, particularly if an exemption was passed on short notice.

“The problem is I don’t want to blindside other restaurants,” she said.

Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce awards feature three Amherstburg finalists

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce will be hosting its 28th annual Business Excellence Awards (BEA) in the spring and Amherstburg will be well represented.

Three Amherstburg businesses have been nominated for awards, with the winners to be announced April 18 at Caesars Windsor.

Dan Gemus, owner/broker with the Dan Gemus Real Estate Team was nominated in the Professional of the Year category. Other nominees include naturopathic doctor Meighan Valero and AM800 radio host Lisa Williams.

Tourism & Hospitality Award finalists include Amherstburg’s Smashed Apple Catering Inc. with other nominees including Food & Beverage (F&B) and the Iron Kettle Bed & Breakfast.

Wolfhead Distillery was nominated in the New Business of the Year category, along with Exodus Escape Rooms and Thrive Benefits Group Inc.

“I’m so honoured to have been nominated. When I received the news a couple months ago that I had been nominated it seemed a little surreal at the time! Being at the news conference (last Wednesday) and hearing my name announced as a finalist was incredible!” said Gemus. “Being nominated along side Dr. Meighan Valero and an old AM800 co-worker and friend Lisa Williams is very humbling. All the nominees are so deserving. It will make for a fun night in April!”

Sue Manherz, co-owner of Wolfhead Distillery with husband Tom, said they were “quite surprised and honoured” to be nominated.

“We are up against a couple great companies and wish them the best of luck as well,” said Manherz. “We have a great team here at Wolfhead and none of this would be possible without everybody’s hard work and passion for what we have created. With the support of not only local residents but out-of-town people, they have helped put Wolfhead on the map and we are excited to see what the future brings us.  Being nominated for New Business of the Year is very humbling and rewarding and we strive to keep things moving in the right direction!”

Bill Deslippe, owner/chef at Smashed Apple, noted it was their second time being nominated for a Windsor-Essex BEA.

“We are hustling out here for Amherstburg. These are our roots and everything we do is a reflection of our amazing town and the people living here. We are proud to represent and hope to take home the win this year,” said Deslippe. “Having said that, we are in the same category as our friends and fellow talented business owners Iron Kettle Bed and Breakfast and F&B Walkerville. We couldn’t have asked for a better compliment than to be placed in the same category as these innovative, talented and skilled business owners. At the risk of sounding ridiculous, being compared to these greats feels like a win already for Smashed Apple, we are doing it right! We are going in proud and humbled for the nomination, but come the night of the awards, we want to take it home!”

Award recipients will be announced during a gourmet dinner and show. Tickets are on sale now at www.windsoressexchamber.org.

Award recipients announced in advance include:

 

Believe Windsor Essex Award

Michael Schlater, CEO, Domino’s Pizza of Canada

 

ATHENA Award

Patricia Soulliere, President & CEO, Soulliere Financial

 

The full list of 2018 BEA Finalists include:

 

Entrepreneur of the Year Award Finalists

Radu Bogdanel, President, Fulger Transport Inc.

Ernie Nesbitt, Owner, Jose’s Bar and Grill

Vince Schiller, Owner, Southwestern Manufacturing

 

Professional of the Year Award Finalists

Dan Gemus, Owner/Broker of Record, Dan Gemus Real Estate Team

Dr. Meighan Valero, Naturopathic Doctor, Meighan Valero Naturopathic Professional Corporation

Lisa Williams, Radio Host – AM800 The Morning Drive, Bell Media / AM800

 

Young Professional of the Year Award Finalists

Dr. Maxwell Abraham, Orthodontist, Owner, Abraham Orthodontics

Dr. Abby Jakob, Optometrist/Owner of EYES Optometry, EYES Optometry

Dr. Jackie Vandereerden, Doctor, South Walkerville Medical Centre

 

Small Company of the Year Award Finalists

Anchor Coffee House Inc.

Forest Glade Tecumseh Veterinary Professional Corporation

Sentry Windows & Doors

 

Mid-Size Company of the Year Finalists

Baron Championship Rings

Flexible Industrial Solutions

Kinder Academy

 

Large Company of the Year Finalists

Aphria

Fortis Group

Highbury Canco Corporation

 

Innovation Award Finalists

Inspire HUB Technologies Inc.

K3D Inc.

Ro-Matt International Inc.

 

Tourism & Hospitality Award Finalists

Food & Beverage (F&B)

The Iron Kettle Bed and Breakfast

Smashed Apple Catering Inc.

 

New Business of the Year Award Finalists

Exodus Escape Rooms

Thrive Benefits Group Inc.

Wolfhead Distillery Inc.

 

Pillars of our Community Award

Assisted Living Southwestern Ontario

Transition to Betterness

Windsor-Essex Children’s Aid Society

 

 

United Way presents first-ever “Battle of the Growers”

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Teams comprised of wineries, growers and chefs from all around Essex County gathered at Pelee Island Winery Friday night to have fun and to raise a few bucks in the process.

“Battle of the Growers” was presented by United Way and several sponsors, including presenting sponsor Libro Credit Union, with six teams competing. Proceeds from the evening will go towards the “On Track” program that United Way sponsors in Leamington.

Local growers, wineries, chefs as well as students in the On Track program will compete in teams to create a delicious small plate appetizer-sized dish for 250 guests. The evening was designed to bring together members of the Ontario greenhouse industry and vegetable growers in a friendly competition. The hook was that the team has to use a vegetable or fruit supplied by the participating grower.

Bill Deslippe from Smashed Apple Gourmet Catering in Amherstburg shows the appetizer he and his team prepared for Battle of the Growers. It ended up being the winning entry. Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery and Highline Growers were also part of the team.

Bill Deslippe from Smashed Apple Gourmet Catering in Amherstburg shows the appetizer he and his team prepared for Battle of the Growers. It ended up being the winning entry. Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery and Highline Growers were also part of the team.

“We put together a group of women from the county and said ‘what can we do that would be different’,” explained Danielle Moldovan, relationship manager, major gifts and planned giving with United Way.

Moldovan noted the “bounty of the county” includes many great restaurants, farms and wineries so they worked to create an event for all of them.

“We decided to pair them together,” said Moldovan.

Judges included Amherstburg Mayor Aldo DiCarlo, Kingsville Mayor Nelson Santos and Councillor Tony Gaffan, Leamington Deputy Mayor Hilda MacDonald, and Tourism Windsor-Essex Pelee Island (TWEPI) vice president Lynnette Bain.

The On Track program has Grade 9 and 10 cohorts in Leamington and assists students who have challenges in their lives and may not be able to succeed as well in high school without the program. Students gain support through the program in both their education and their lives with the program helping to place them on the path to prosperity and a better life. Students can also obtain tuition support for post-secondary education.

Jody Goslin of Oxley Estate Winery pours a glass of wine at Battle of the Growers Friday night. There were six teams of chefs, wineries and growers competing.

Jody Goslin of Oxley Estate Winery pours a glass of wine at Battle of the Growers Friday night. There were six teams of chefs, wineries and growers competing.

Karen Brady, interim vice president of marketing and communications with United Way, said students are identified in Grade 8 for possible enrollment into the On Track program. About 15-20 students per year go through the On Track program in Leamington, with an additional program offered in west Windsor. There is a success coach that helps the students along the way, she noted.

The cost to put a student through the program is $6,500 per year.

Lorraine Goddard, CEO at United Way Windsor-Essex County, said those who grow up in economically disadvantaged families face numerous challenges but the program helps students with self-esteem and puts them on a path to success.

United Way held its “Battle of the Growers” Friday night at Pelee Island Winery. Judges fro the event included (from left): Leamington Deputy Mayor Hilda MacDonald, Amherstburg Mayor Aldo DiCarlo, Kingsville Mayor Nelson Santos, Kingsville councillor Tony Gaffan and TWEPI vice president Lynnette Bain.

United Way held its “Battle of the Growers” Friday night at Pelee Island Winery. Judges fro the event included (from left): Leamington Deputy Mayor Hilda MacDonald, Amherstburg Mayor Aldo DiCarlo, Kingsville Mayor Nelson Santos, Kingsville councillor Tony Gaffan and TWEPI vice president Lynnette Bain.

“This event is going to help kids in our community change the odds,” she said, adding they will be able to return to the community after getting an education, get jobs and help build the communities they live in.

The winning team included two Amherstburg businesses – Smashed Apple Gourmet Catering and Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery. They teamed with Highline Mushrooms from Kingsville.

Bill Deslippe, chef at Smashed Apple, said they were very busy on the night but was happy to be there.

“It’s all for a good cause,” he said.

Jody Goslin, master taster at Oxley Estate Winery, said they were approached by Pelee Island Winery about helping out United Way and its On Track program.

“It’s a lot of fun,” said Goslin. “We’re all in this together.”

Battle of the Growers to showcase county gems

 

 

By Jolene Perron

 

The county is coming together to put on the first annual Battle of the Growers event, geared towards showcasing local chefs, foods and wines in an effort to raise money for Leamington’s On Track for Success Program.

“We’ve had a relationship with the local wineries for a number of years, they support us in a variety of ways, so when our committee reached out it really wasn’t a difficult request and they were really happy to support us,” explained United Way CEO Lorraine Goddard. “Then we went to local restaurants and asked if they would be willing to donate their time to make a dish utilizing local wine and food, and honestly we have such a generous community … Everything that we are going to be presenting is all local. The local produce, the local wines, the local chefs, local talent … We’re really proud of that, that we can really highlight the county. And as a county resident, I live in Kingsville, I know how fabulous and how blessed we are to have access to all of those great things.”

The money raised at the June 16th event to will go towards the On Track for Success program, which is focused on increasing high school graduation rates and attendance at post-secondary, whether it’s college or university, or the trades, for young people who have fallen behind in school and are at risk of not graduating. The program is beginning it’s third year, and some of the students that are in the program will be attending and helping serve the food at the event.

“We have a number students who actually moved to the academic track from the general track, which means they are in line to actually be able to go to university, and these are young people who just never thought it was even possible for them to even consider going to college or university,” said Goddard. “Many of them will be the first people in their family to actually ever attend a post-secondary institution and they’re going to come back to the community and they’re going to contribute back to their neighborhoods and help build a stronger, thriving community for everyone.”

Battle of the GrowersWEB

United Way has brought together a number of local chefs, wineries and growers to support the event, and paired them together to create something uniquely special. Smashed Apple owner and chef, Bill Deslippe is excited not only to battle against county chefs, but also to spend some time with students from the On Track for Success program.

“I’ve competed the last three years in a row against the Windsor chefs and won all three events. I’m not really sure what I’m up against, but you never really know,” said Deslippe. “I’m excited for a good time, to mentor some students and to share whatever knowledge I can with young minds who are looking to become chefs. I’m also excited to be able to showcase something that grows locally here and give it some justice, and also to work with Sprucewood, a winery that I work closely with a lot. It’s fun, it’s for charity, it’s a good cause and it’s always good to get out there and meet potentially new customers and friends alike.”

Goddard explained their committee, which is affiliated with local growers, wineries and restaurants, has been working on the event for over a year. She said these kinds of events, particularly new ones, are incredibly involved. Coming up with a concept, bringing partners on board, and getting vendors organized, all while making sure it’s done right to ensure success is important. She said Pelee Island Winery, who is hosting the event, and Cooper’s Hawk Vineyard have been “instrumental” in helping United Way plan the event.

“We not only get to showcase our wines and amazing foods but also Pure Flavor Vegetables and the best part is helping out the United Way,” said Mike O’Brien, Outside Sales at Cooper’s Hawk Vineyards. “The main goal is to help the United Way in their fundraisings. But also to show people the amazing wines, food and local produce that is right in our backyard. Not only are we providing the wine we are also showcasing our Chef and The Vine’s Restaurant. So we are paired with Pure Flavor Growers, in which we will prepare a dish with local vegetables paired with our award winning wines.”

The event is nearly sold out. Goddard said Pelee Island Winery’s new event room can hold up to 250 people. For their first event, she said they are incredibly excited about how successful it’s been so far and she’s looking forward to it.

For more information on the event or to purchase tickets, visit weareunited.com