Heard on the Street – January 2020
Where’s Matt? Many have been asking since the 2018 Windsor municipal election and we now have the answer! After being educated at the London School of Economics, Matt Marchand took a 25 year detour through the region’s public sector, including running for City of Windsor Mayor in 2018, before landing at IG Wealth Management six months ago. “Absolutely, it’s come 100 percent full circle,” says Marchand. “I made my first commodities trade at 17 with an account I shared with my dad, so financial planning and investing has always been a major passion.” As President and Chief Executive Officer of the Windsor Essex Region Chamber of Commerce, Marchand recruited Trevor LeDrew, Regional Director of IG, and his firm to join the chamber as Gold Circle members. “I knew about the great work they did in the community and I am very pleased to be a member of the team,” Marchand indicates. LeDrew says it was an easy decision to attempt to recruit Marchand, but adds, “We weren’t the only suitors for his services.” LeDrew believes IG and Marchand are a perfect fit “because of Matt’s background and passion for our community and our industry.” Prior to running for Mayor in the last municipal election, Marchand spent more than six years with the chamber, eight years as Director of Government Affairs for the Continental Rail Gateway and 11 years as Policy Assistant in the office of the City of Windsor Mayor then, Mike Hurst. His educational background also includes the University of Windsor.
Mandaloun, the latest addition to the Erie Street dining scene in Windsor, opened for business serving Lebanese cuisine, at the end of November. Owner Sass Ammar, who also owns Shawarma Express at 300 Tecumseh Road East, has been planning to open a fine dining spot for a number of years and when La Zingara closed at 769 Erie Street East, he jumped at the opportunity to fulfill a dream. “It’s a great location and it fits what we were looking for perfectly,” says Ammar adding the kitchen focuses on Lebanese dishes featuring lamb and shish kabobs. “It’s a challenge, but I just decided to do it and I think we’ll be successful.”
Efforts to attract a small grocery store into the city centre are continuing, according to Brian Yeomans, head of the Downtown Windsor Business Improvement Association. “With the growing number of people working downtown or going to school in the core, our group believes there is a growing need for a grocery store and we are trying to attract one as we speak,” Yeomans states at the time of writing mid December. “We have a large captive audience for a number of different kinds of retail outlets and a grocery store would fit into the mix very well.” A number of new businesses have already opened or are in the process of being launched including: Whiskeyjack Boutique, Maiden Lane Wines and Spirits, The Chelsea Coal Fired Pizza/Ultra Pub, Interrobang Vintage Clothing, Lowend (clothing store), a photography store and a West African restaurant. Yeomans says the DWBIA is encouraging all prospective business owners to complete a business case study with help from the WindsorEssex Small Business Centre. “We want all the new businesses to be successful so that they will remain open on a long-term basis,” comments Yeomans, who is encouraged by the growth. This isn’t to say that there aren’t still many vacant storefronts in the core where Casa Del Habano, the former Ray and Kim’s Convenience Store, BB Branded and Starbucks storefronts remain unoccupied, among others.
After serving Windsor Essex customers for over 30 years, family-owned Windsor Disposal Services (WDS) has been acquired by GFL Environment Inc. WDS owner Vince Moceri has stayed on along with his staff to help make the transition seamless. Taken from a press release, Patrick Dovigi, GFL’s Founder and Chief Executive Officer, is quoted as stating: “For more than 30 years, WDS has been a trusted family-run provider of solid waste management services to its residential, commercial, industrial and municipal customers. We look forward to welcoming WDS’s management team and employees, led by Vince Moceri, to the GFL team, and continuing to provide customers with sustainable environmental solutions.” GFL is the fourth largest diversified environmental services company in North America with operations across Canada and in 23 U.S. states. Moceri was unavailable for comment by press time.
After four years of operating a Windsor daycare and training school for dogs, Kelly French-Mitrevski is moving Animal Antics Behaviour Centre to a new location at 3966 North Service Road East in February. “It’s very visible location, while the same time attracting less street traffic, which will make it easier for our clients,” French-Mitrevski notes. “It’s smaller in terms of square footage, but has less wasted space so it will be a much more efficient location for us,” she adds. French-Mitrevski holds a master’s degree in animal behaviour and opened her business in October 2015 to take advantage of her love of animals and her education. “It’s a perfect fit for me and I love it,” she says. The centre’s previous location at 2465 McDougall Avenue will eventually become a new home for Catholic Central High School.
Jade Chinese Cuisine, a long time downtown restaurant at 157 Wyandotte Street West in Windsor, was up for sale as of mid December 2019. The business is listed for $249,900 by agent Suzy Cui of Jump Realty. It was established in 2002 by Anthony and Carly Ho. Cui notes the current owner simply wants to downsize and doesn’t have enough time to devote to a large 250 seat restaurant.