Heard on the Street – Healthy Mama New Owner

Nicole Hanson of Chlorophyll Vegan Eats
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Heard on the Street – October 2021 Healthy Mama Has New Owner

The Healthy Mama, a vegan restaurant and retail shoppe, situated at 152 Lesperance Road in Tecumseh, has changed hands with new owner Nicole Hanson taking over from Tatjana Roksandic, in September. “I’d been a customer of Tatjana’s since she had a stall at the market about eight years ago,” explains Hanson. “I was selling my own plant-based products as well and when Tatjana heard I was looking for my own space, we started talking and here we are.” Hanson recently retired after 24 years as a paramedic and has jumped into retail with both feet. “I’ve been shadowing Tatjana for a few weeks learning payroll, who the suppliers are, staff scheduling, recipes, you name it,” she says. “I’ve been working 15 to 16 hour days, but I think I’m going to enjoy it.” Hanson plans to merge her company Chlorophyll Vegan Eats with Healthy Mama, “when I come up for air!” She also had to recruit, train and hire new staff members and now has a full complement of 17. The all-vegan menu features bowls, salads, soups, burgers, sandwiches, paninis, a variety of mac and cheese dishes, smoothies, smoothie bowls, side dishes and desserts.

After almost nine years of operating in the heart of downtown Windsor, Nick Puim has sold the Dugout Sports Lounge, at 300 Ouellette Avenue, to an undisclosed Windsor business owner. The new owner prefers to remain anonymous and says he plans no changes in the bar’s operation. “It’s a sports bar and it will stay that way,” assures the new owner. “I’m a local business guy and I’ve always thought that businesses were more important than who owns them.” Puim opened the Dugout in 2013 with business partner Derek Farrugia, who left the business five years ago. “I’ve been operating it on my own for five years and it was time for a change of scenery,” says Puim. However, it is not a change of vocation since Puim hopes to be in Antigua by the end of the year operating a bar. “My brother-in-law lives there and I’ve been a few times so it seems like a great opportunity,” he adds. Puim says his business took a small step backwards when COVID-19 restrictions went into place, but it has bounced back and is busier than ever.

Ottawa Street continues to be one of the busiest and most active commercial areas in the entire city. Ettore Bonato, owner of Salon Ettore Salon & Aesthetics and President of the Uptown Ottawa Street Business Improvement Association, says that since the beginning of the pandemic, the street has lost 12 businesses, but eight new ones have opened. “We’re encouraged by the confidence of these new entrepreneurs who have stepped up and filled in many of the vacancies,” says Bonato. Among the new businesses along the street are a pair of cannabis shops, two cafés, two restaurants, an antique store, and a vintage clothing store. In addition, Bonato says operators of Assante Wealth Management and Biblioasis Press at 1686 Ottawa Street, are in the middle of refurbishing their space at the corner of Ottawa and Windermere Road. “We knew when we bought the building, it would need some work and it’s taken longer than anticipated, but we are definitely staying here,” says Dan Wells, owner of Biblioasis, which also has a bookshop location at 1520 Wyandotte Street East.

Jenna Gelinas is in the process of turning her doughnut-making hobby into a business. After spending the past few months making doughnuts at home, she’s currently scouting out a location on Dougall Avenue in preparation for opening her own store. “It’s a hobby turning into a full time job, hopefully,” says Gelinas who has a math degree and attended teacher’s college. She’s currently working in the manufacturing sector, but finds herself laid off intermittently because of the worldwide shortage of microchips. Her business is called Torus Doughnuts because torus is the mathematical term for the shape of a doughnut. “I’ve been making them for friends and family so far, but looking forward to expanding my customer base once I’m able to open my own place,” she adds. “It’s definitely a work in progress, but I’m excited, and anxious to get started.”

Developers of a new $3.4 million boutique-style accommodation facility, The Grove Motel, in Colchester, hope to begin construction in 2022. “We have all the approvals in place and we’re in discussions with our construction company about a winter or spring start,” explains developer Jim Flynn who, along with Kim Lewis, owns The Grove Hotel in Kingsville. “And right now, I would say it’s going to be a spring start.” Lester Construction has been hired to build the new two-storey 28 unit motel to be located on County Road 50 West, just a short walk from Colchester Beach. It is expected to attract bird-watchers, winery visitors and local residents enjoying a staycation, as well as people visiting the area on business. “It’s been a slow process with some stops and starts but we are happy we can now proceed with development and final design plans,” adds Flynn. The partners also operate The Grove Bike Co. and The Grove Brew House.

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