Photo: Ameen Fadel (left), Founder and President of Cedar Valley Selections, along with parents Surria Fadel, who is in charge of Product Development with the business, and Ramsey Fadel, Vice President, are proud to bring Canada its very first bottles of fattoush salad dressing, which is gluten free, preservative free, sugar free, non-GMO and vegan. They also make pita chips using 100 percent natural coconut oil. Photo by Rod Denis.
Honour Thy Father And Thy Mother . . .Entrepreneurial Parents & Children Go Hand-In-Hand
Parents take on many roles, and their most important job in life is raising their children.
Mothers and fathers are there for you when you are young and old. They set you on your path and guide you, and even those working parents who may be business owners somehow find the time to be there for you every step of the way. You may even end up working with them in their business, or they may be the inspiration behind your own business venture and help you make it a reality.
As we honour those working parents this spring — with Mother’s Day on May 12 and Father’s Day on June 16 — it’s a great time to take note of just some of the many businesses across Windsor Essex that are run by mothers and fathers.
Read on to learn that the common bond behind this selection of businesses is founded in one thing — family.
Thai Palace Restaurant & Thai Time Restaurant: Husband And Wife With Small Daughter
A relaxing atmosphere with the greatest tasting and most authentic Thai dishes in town is what you’ll find at husband and wife Renu and Charles Anderson’s restaurants.
Renu states their daughter, Raechel — who is three years old — hasn’t started working yet, of course, but she is their biggest supporter.
“It is a challenging task, and we encounter impossible situations, but we tackle it together,” says Renu about what it’s like to run a business as parents. She says it helps that they have very supportive staff at each location.
Renu points out they serve a variety of appetizers, salads and authentic Thai dishes made with their very own homemade sauces, called Ray’s Original Thai Sauces Ltd.
“The customers can purchase their favourite bottles of sauces and enjoy cooking their own Thai dishes at home,” adds Renu.
Thai Palace earned the Biz X Award for “Thai Cuisine Experts” in 2008, and has won several other local awards as well.
“Work together, support each other and succeed together,” Renu says, offering advice to other moms and dads in the business world. “And remember that no matter what happens, it is all part of the process. Believe that you can make it and do not give up!”RFG Plumbing: Father & Two Sons Plus Extended Family Members
Ralph Franklin Giles (Frank) says as a dad, he doesn’t want to give his kids a free ride — he wants them to work for it.
That’s why he made the decision to make his two sons, Ryan and Brandon, part owners of his business RFG Plumbing. This way, he believes, they could know all the costs involved with running the business at the same time as working for a living.
“It’s a legacy I want to leave behind for my boys,” says Frank, who has nearly 30 years of experience in the trade. “My great grandfather, my uncle, my dad and myself are all plumbers. Now my boys are following in our footsteps, which makes me a proud dad.”
“Meeting with clients, doing estimates and laying jobs out — we’re all committed to working hard and delivering quality service for our customers,” asserts Frank. “We believe in being innovative, providing quality and on-time service, for each of our clients.”
The name of the company derives from the initials of Frank’s dad’s full name, Ralph Franklin Giles, which is also his name. The business began in 2016 with just Frank and his two sons and one van, one pickup truck and a trailer with a bunch of tools. Since then, they’ve grown in size and now have five vehicles and 13 workers.
“We believe in working as a team and we all have a passion for our trade,” Frank says, adding they have the best clients in the world.
There are several other family members who also work for the business, including Frank’s wife, Annette, who is the head of the company safety department along public relations/second administrator, and labourers Adam Wiper, Frank’s step son, and Mark Kempski, Frank’s nephew.
Frank points out they like to get involved with their employees, and this year they collectively decided to go on vacation in the Caribbean.
“The company paid for all the employees and their children to go this year,” states Frank. “We feel the children were losing out since their parents were working hard and they had many hours without them around. We feel it’s important to bond together — better yet on vacation.”
Working with your children can be a blessing, but of course there can be challenges, admits Frank.
“You can’t fret the small stuff,” he advises. “Enjoy each other and build each other up. Remember to always tell them you’re proud of them.”
Frank says his youngest grandson, Rlandon, goes out on jobs occasionally to observe and see exactly what they’re doing.
“Rlandon really enjoys going out and has shown a great interest in the plumbing field,” comments Frank, proudly. “I see him becoming a plumber and running our business one day.”
Cedar Valley Selections: Son With Mom & Dad
At the age of 17, with the loving support of his parents, Ameen Fadel started his own business called Cedar Valley Selections.
Back then, in 2016, the business was initiated with the help of a government program for student entrepreneurs. It has since blossomed to be a storefront location he runs with his parents in Lakeshore, with their products sold across Ontario.
Surria, Ameen’s mother, played a major role in the inspiration for Ameen’s business. He took his mother’s signature recipe for fattoush salad dressing and decided to bottle it, creating what he claims is Canada’s first bottled fattoush salad dressing.
Surria is now in charge of product development for Cedar Valley Selections, and Ameen’s father, Ramsey, is the Vice-President.
“Above all, it’s a lot of fun working side by side with family,” says Ameen. “We all have the same passion and are all invested in the business.”
Aside from their special family recipe salad dressing, they also sell pita chips — both important ingredients for a perfect fattoush salad.
“With products only made from simple and fresh ingredients and without the use of any artificial preservatives, we are proud to bring you great-tasting options to make eating healthy a little easier,” describes Ameen. “We’re creating food the way it should be — all-natural, simple and fresh, yet always delicious.”
Cedar Valley Selections launched their products in retail stores across Windsor Essex in 2017, including: Remark Farms, Fred’s Farm Fresh, Lee & Maria’s, DeMarco’s Fine Foods, New Yasmeen Bakery, and Ted Farron’s Butcher Shop.
“Our products are also sold in various Sobeys and Foodland stores across Ontario, with more retailer partners coming in the near future,” states Ameen, adding new products will be launched this year and soon their line of dressings will be available across Canada.
In early 2018, they opened their storefront location and a commercial kitchen at 25 Amy Croft Drive, Unit 30B, in Lakeshore.
Ameen elaborates how, as family members, they know and understand each other, one another’s interaction style, strengths and flaws — all important aspects to running a business together.
“We genuinely care for one another and all have the same common goal and are willing to make sacrifices for one another to achieve success,” comments Ameen.
Establishing roles and responsibilities right from the start is something Ameen believes is key for families running a business together.
“Always be open with each other and never assume anything,” Ameen adds. “Always support each other and be 100 percent committed to helping the business succeed. And have trust in your family and know that they can get the job done.”
Fadel says his family’s recipes provide people with an experience.
“When people try our products, they will taste the difference in our ingredients and feel good about their healthy choices,” states Fadel. “We have had several customers tell us their children will now eat salads because of our dressings!”
Men In Kilts Windsor: Husband And Wife Team With Toddler
Imagine having your gutters cleaned by a husband-and-wife duo wearing kilts. Lisa Snow and her husband Ben do just that — and more!
The couple are Franchise Owners of Men In Kilts Windsor, a locally owned and operated business specializing in window cleaning (interior and exterior), gutter cleaning, soft washing (exterior siding cleaning), pressure washing (surface cleaning of concrete, driveways, decks, patios, etc.), gutter guard installation and residential snow removal. They also clean interior ceiling fans, chandeliers, fireplaces and any hard to reach surfaces.