businessNOW™ is the most comprehensive weekly round-up of business and organizational news and events from Peterborough and across the Kawarthas.
This week, we feature renowned ceramic artist and potter Bill Reddick, who has pivoted during the COVID-19 pandemic to turn his hobby — making his famous gluten-free chocolate cakes — into his livelihood.
We also cover 4th Line Theatre’s plans for a Friday farmers’ market this summer at Winslow Farm in Millbrook, Peterborough’s cleantech leaders being recognized at Water Canada’s Water’s Next Awards, grants available to Selwyn Township businesses adapting to COVID-19, Lakefield’s PKA SoftTouch now raising capital for animal clinical trials of its Micro-Needle, the Ontario government releasing a COVID-19 workplace guide for employers, and Sandra Dueck being appointed to a new vice president role at the Peterborough Chamber of Commerce.
This week’s events include Trent University’s webinar for employers on June 18th, the Innovation Cluster’s virtual open house for start-ups on June 18th, the Innovation Cluster’s online workshop on incorporation on June 23rd, the Bobcaygeon Chamber’s virtual networking event on June 24th, Community Futures Peterborough’s virtual annual general meeting on June 24th, and Venture13 and Northumberland CFDC’s four-part e-commerce webinar series in June and July.
Artist Bill Reddick pivots during the pandemic to turn his famous gluten-free chocolate cake into his livelihood
When the COVID-19 pandemic arrived, renowned ceramic artist and potter Bill Reddick found himself at a crossroads. The Peterborough-based artist realized that all the normal opportunities to generate an income from his art has evaporated, with art galleries closed, craft shows cancelled, and in-person teaching no longer available.
So he has now turned his side hobby — his famous gluten-free chocolate cake — into his livelihood.
“I first began developing the cake making as a small business concept about 18 months ago, but then had to put things on hold because all my time and scarce resources were being fully utilized to make and sell porcelain,” Reddick writes in an email.
“When COVID-19 struck, I saw it as an opportunity to further develop the cake enterprise. I pivoted immediately. My dream is to have a cake-generated income, such that my ceramic pursuits can be more focused on exploration, and less on trying to make a living.”
Reddick first began developing his cake recipe eight years ago, inspired by the memory of a cake with a rich and chocolate fudge icing from his childhood in Toronto. He introduced an earlier version of the cake alongside his porcelain art at the Peterborough Regional Farmers’ Market in 2018, and was encouraged by the positive feedback.
Now, after eight years and more than a thousand cakes, he has perfected the recipe.
Reddick is currently making his cakes at Fresh Urban Plate, located at 372 Water Street in downtown Peterborough, thanks to owner and friend Chef Marc Brunet. Reddick already has 100 cakes ready for delivery, with each cake priced at $50.
Reddick draws some parallels between making his art and making his cakes.
“The cake is a work of art and craft, which evolves over time, driven forward by curiosity, commitment, and passion,” he says. “I experience a sense of fulfillment and gratitude when a cake I have created is enjoyed, as I do when my ceramic work is enjoyed.”
You can find his cakes at the Peterborough Regional Farmers’ Market at Citi Centre Court at 245 Charlotte Street in downtown Peterborough on Saturday morning. He also offers free porch delivery in Peterborough, or porch pick-up at 171 Lock Street in Peterborough.
For people not living in the Peterborough area, Reddick also offers shipping. He freezes and wraps the cakes right after he makes them. When shipped, the frozen cake is surrounded in bubble wrap then enclosed in a rugged shipping box. He charges a flat shipping rate of $15 for up to four cakes to any populated area in Canada.
For those wondering if his gluten-free cake can measure up to a traditional one, Reddick says the popularity of the cake speaks for itself.
“For some, gluten-free may suggest that the taste or quality of a baked good has been compromised,” he says. “Certainly not in this case, as the almond flour creates a delicately exotic flavour and a moist texture. Many have said “This is the best cake I have ever had in my life.”
For more information about Reddick’s cakes and ordering, visit billreddick.com/cake/promo/
4th Line Theatre is planning a Friday farmers’ market this summer at Winslow Farm in Millbrook
4th Line Theatre has decided to offer a farmers’ market for local producers at Winslow Farm in Millbrook this summer.
The outdoor theatre company was forced to postpone its entire 2020 summer season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and has been exploring ways it can safely engage local residents while promoting the community.
The market would run from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. every Friday, beginning July 3rd and running until August 28th.
4th Line Theatre will ensure the market adheres to public health requirements. Vendors will be spread around the farm property, and customers will follow a one-way track with signage, with the first station being a hand-sanitizing station where face masks will be available for customers who do not bring their own.
The market would also be limited to 15 to 20 vendors to ensure proper physical distancing. Participating vendors will be asked to donate a $20 fee to help cover associated costs.
Spaces are limited. Interested vendors should contact Sara Mountenay at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Peterborough’s cleantech leaders recognized at Water Canada’s Water’s Next Awards
Peterborough clean technology (cleantech) leaders were recognized at the Water’s Next Awards during the 11th annual Canadian Water Summit, held virtually from Ottawa last Thursday (June 11). The Water’s Next Awards is a national awards program that honours the achievements and ideas of individuals, projects, and technologies that have made significant contributions to the water industry in Canada.
John Gillis, president of Innovation Cluster Peterborough and the Kawarthas, won the Business Leader award for his work at the Innovation cluster supporting the local cleantech sector.
Local cleantech company and Innovation Cluster alumni Aclarus Ozone won the Projects and Technology (Water Resources) award. Aclarus provides a practical and affordable system for the complete treatment of rain water and green roof run-off water for non-potable reuse without chemicals.
Trent University’s Chris Metcalfe, an internationally recognized expert in water quality, was named a finalist for the Academic Leader award, in recognition of his pioneering research into the effects of chemicals, such as pharmaceuticals, that are flushed into our waterways and become environmental contaminants.
“We are thrilled that Peterborough and the Kawarthas continues to be seen as one of Canada’s rising cleantech and water technology centres thanks to innovative local companies, researchers, and institutions who have helped develop a strong ecosystem here,” says Rhonda Keenan, president and CEO of Peterborough & the Kawarthas Economic Development
Grants available to Selwyn Township businesses adapting to COVID-19
Selwyn Township and Community Futures Peterborough have launched the Selwyn Business Re-opening Program, which provides grants of up to $2,500 to eligible businesses located within Selwyn Township to go towards expenses related to adapting to COVID-19.
The aim of the program is to increase customer confidence in accessing stores by funding expenses such as personal protective equipment, screens, signage, floor markings, sanitizing stations, customer service, changing room adaptations, and implementation or expansion of a business’s online presence, including e-commerce. The grant can be used for eligible expenses going back to March 17th, when the Ontario government first declared a state of emergency, up to August 31st.
Eligible businesses must be physically located in Selwyn Township, must be a registered business, and must have either been closed by one of the Ontario government’s emergency orders or were only able to provide limited services due to COVID-19.
Grants will be available until Monday, August 31st or until available funds last. For more information and to submit an application, visit ommunityfuturespeterborough.ca/home/covid19/ or email Michelle at email@example.com.
Lakefield’s PKA SoftTouch now raising capital for animal clinical trials of its Micro-Needle
Having surpassed its initial equity crowdfunding target of $110,870 by almost $70,000, Lakefield medical startup PKA SoftTouch Corp. is now moving onto its next equity crowdfunding target — raising funds for animal clinical trials.
PKA SoftTouch Corp. produces the Micro-Needle, a device that delivers pain-free injections of medication and vaccines for both people and animals.
The small disposable cylinder-shaped device injects medication directly beneath the skin layer, avoiding the nerves that cause pain. It combines the applicator and drug in one pre-measured dose, which is injected directly into the skin.
Once PKA SoftTouch Corp. meets its next target of $412,000, it will begin animal clinical trials at the Ontario Veterinary College of the University of Guelph. These trials will be followed by human clinical trials.
To date, the company has raised $1,373,338, and will move on to commercialization after clinical trials are completed.
PKA SoftTouch Corp. is using the Vancouver-based equity crowdfunding platform Frontfundr to raise capitaal from small investors. For more information and to invest, visit frontfundr.com/PKASoftTouch.
Ontario government releases COVID-19 workplace guide for employers
The Ontario government is providing employers with a new general workplace guide to help them develop a safety plan to better protect workers, customers, and clients.
The new downloadable toolkit offers tips on how employers can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as they resume business under stage two of the province’s reopening.
The new guide includes information on the use of face coverings, as well as applying controls in the workplace, from most important to least important. It also includes information on what personal protective equipment may be needed for workers.
The guide is accompanied by a template that employers can fill in to develop their own unique COVID-19 safety plan. The materials will help employers identify the risks for transmitting the virus, determine what controls they need to help mitigate risk, create and implement a workplace safety plan with regular reviews and updates, and communicate the actions being taken to protect workers and other people entering the workplace.
The guide is available at ontario.ca/page/develop-your-covid-19-workplace-safety-plan.
Sandra Dueck appointed to new vice president role at Peterborough Chamber of Commerce
Sandra Dueck has been appointed to the new role of Vice President and Director of Government Relations & Communications at the Peterborough Chamber of Commerce.
Previously the Chamber’s policy analyst and communications specialist, Dueck will continue her responsibilities as the Chamber’s government relations lead and overseeing the Chamber’s communications.
Her added responsibilities will include a decision-making role in the absence of Chamber president and CEO Stuart Harrison, assisting with the development of annual strategic plans and work plans, and representing the organization at conferences, meetings, committees and round tables.
“We are very pleased to appoint Sandra to this role,” says Chamber board chair Dawn Hennessey. “Her work on behalf of the entire business community is exemplary. She represents the greater Peterborough region well across multiple levels of government and various organizations. The board recognizes the tremendous work done by Sandra and all the staff at the Peterborough Chamber of Commerce.”
Dueck joined the Peterborough Chamber in 2013 after a career in radio news and journalism. She is currently chair of the Peterborough and the Kawarthas Economic Development Corporation’s board, a member of The Mount Community Centre’s board, co-chair of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce’s policy committee, and co-chair of the Ontario caucus for the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.
Trent University hosts webinar for employers on June 18
Trent University is hosting a webinar called “Careerspace: The Trent Advantage for Employers” from 12 to 1 p.m. on Thursday, June 18th.
The session will cover the experiential learning program at Trent University and ways employers can engage and connect with Trent University students, staff, and faculty.
The webinar will be hosted by student experience coordinator Julianna Louise Stonehouse and Trent Community Based Research coordinator Ryan Sisson.
This free event will be hosted on the Zoom video conferencing platform. To register, visit trentu.zoom.us/webinar/register/6815912840970/WN_A07nvc4xT_qs2Ipeh-8A6A.
Innovation Cluster hosts virtual open house for start-ups on June 18
The Innovation Cluster Peterborough and the Kawarthas is hosting a virtual open house for start-ups from 2 to 3 p.m. on Thursday, June 18th.
The session is an opportunity to meet Innovation Cluster staff, tour the organization’s full-service business incubators, and find out about the services offered by the Innovation Cluster.
Register for this free event at eventbrite.com/e/innovation-cluster-virtual-open-house-for-startups-tickets-105293275020.
Innovation Cluster hosts online workshop on incorporation on June 23
The Innovation Cluster Peterborough and the Kawarthas is hosting “Hands-ON: Everything You Need to Know About Incorporation with LLF Lawyers” from 12 to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, June 23rd.
Facilitated by Le Nguyen of LLF Lawyers LLP, the online workshop will explain when and why you should incorporate, things to consider prior to incorporation, the cost of incorporation and maintenance, and the impact of COVID-19.
This free event will be hosted on the Zoom video conferencing platform. To register, visit eventbrite.com/e/hands-on-everything-you-need-to-know-about-incorporation-with-llf-lawyers-tickets-107598205128.
Bobcaygeon Chamber hosts virtual networking event on June 24
The Bobcaygeon Chamber of Commerce is hosting “Virtual Coffee Connection” at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, June 24th.
This is an opportunity for Chamber members to connect with other business owners and share experiences and ideas about how they have been preparing and managing business through the COVID-19 recovery.
This free event will be hosted on the Zoom video conferencing platform. To register, visit bobcaygeon.org/event-3870753.
Community Futures Peterborough hosts virtual annual general meeting on June 24
Community Futures Peterborough is hosting its 2020 annual general meeting virtually, from 10 to 11 a.m. on Wednesday, June 24th.
The meeting will showcase the work that Community Futures Peterborough does to support local businesses, with a focus on the vision for 2020. Rhonda Keenan, president and CEO for Peterborough and the Kawarthas Economic Development, will be the guest speaker and will talk about the regional economic recovery plan.
This free event will be hosted on the Zoom video conferencing platform. To register, visit eventbrite.ca/e/community-futures-peterborough-agm-tickets-108753530738.
Venture13 and Northumberland CFDC hosts four-part e-commerce webinar series in June and July
Cobourg’s Venture13 and Northumberland Community Futures Development Corporation are hosting “Innovating your Business – From Bricks to Clicks”, a four-part webinar series in June and July.
Session one (Thursday, June 25th) covers marketing, session two (Friday, June 26th) covers websites, session three (Tuesday, July 14th) covers content creation, and session four (Thursday, July 23rd) covers LinkedIn.
The webinars are free. For more details and to register, visit v13calendar.cobourg.ca.
For more business-related events in the Kawarthas, check out our Business Events column.