New at Fit Bodies, Fit Minds

March 17, 2021

Sault Business Matters recently caught up with the newly hired director of athletics for Fit Bodies. Fit Minds, Daniel Roy to go over some of its new and revised programming.

Daniel and the rest of the team couldn’t be happier to be able to offer more in person programming but also continue with virtual options for those that prefer that option given these times.

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What’s new at Yes! It Fits

March 15, 2021

It is no secret that 2020 was a challenging year for small businesses and that 2021 has also been off to a rocky start.

But the resiliency of a small business owner such as Jodie McNabb of Yes! It Fits is nothing short of inspiring. 

Being able to adapt and make the best of situations has been a big part of why Jodie continues to be successful in a business category that by all intents and purposes would not be expected to do so well in this COVID-19 environment — but succeed she has!

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Pond Hockey Apparel

February 8, 2021

It was back in November when I was the lucky winner of a pretty nice looking shirt via ‘Movember’ promotion and the fine folks at Broers Jansen in the Sault’s downtown.  I am one of the first people to try to support local philanthropic initiatives. In this case, it was for every purchase of Broers Jansen mulled wine, (you really had to twist my arm for this one), you received an entry into a draw for a shirt and they would donate some money to the ‘Movember’ campaign.  When I received the shirt — which was super soft and comfy by the way — I noticed the words Pond Hockey Apparel on the sleeve.

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Hard working, top producing

January 26, 2021

As a defenseman of moderate skill, it was his work ethic and honest, hard-driven approach to the game that led John Glavota to a professional hockey career that included a decade on the international stage.

It is those same traits that have helped to make the 44-year old Glavota the top producing real estate agent in Sault Ste. Marie.

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Eagle on air, everywhere

January 22, 2021

It spins the classic music hits that are endless in time.

With an impressive music library that is without peer, Sault radio station Eagle 95.1 also reaches an on-line audience with a crisp, clear sound via

And the Eagle also has more — besides music — to offer with day long weather updates and a local sports presence.

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Good nation of local radio

January 8, 2021

It came as good news to hear — a mere month after being unceremoniously ousted by Country 104.3 after 30 plus years in the air chair — that good guy Jeff McNeice has a new gig on rival local radio station Country 105.5.

At any rate, the forced, short-lived exile of McNeice brought two things to mind. As in, what was Country 104.3 thinking when it moved on from McNeice and, the restless hands of time have yet to pass by a local radio nation of announcers.

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Searchmont ski snippets

January 3, 2021

Perhaps the best-known ski resort in the Sault area is located in the community of Searchmont.

Over the years the resort has changed ownership many times and has often experienced the threat of closure on a number of occasions.

At any rate, following are a smattering of Searchmont Ski Resort snippets via the Sault public library.

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Feature: Odd Job Jacks

December 29, 2020

Odd Job Jacks owner Kurtis McDermid may not be aware of this but being a pretty actively involved member of our community who volunteers for local causes a fair amount, I have actually been a fan of what he and his business are all about for quite a few years.

You see, a couple of years ago, I took part in the Downtown Association’s annual ‘Spring Clean’ event where volunteers take part in tidying up downtown.

And at the time, a generous company had donated its time, resources and labour to help with this big task — and that company was Odd Job Jacks.

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Angry Joe rocks Reggie’s

December 14, 2020

Angry Joe put on a show. (photo by Mary Desimone)

Joltin’ Joe Della Savia returned to the stage in a big way on the weekend and rocked it at Reggie’s Place Tavern in the Sault’s downtown.

The current rendition of Angry Joe and the Growlers, featuring the always-entertaining Della Savia as lead singer, along with fellow guitarists Ron McLean and Marcel VanLandeghem and drummer Chuck Gassi, stole the show at Reggie’s with an array of well-performed classic hits from the 1960s and 1970s.

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Feature: KC Security Services

December 1, 2020

Daniel Laprade of KC Security Services

I had a chance to connect with the on-the-go owner of KC Security Services, Daniel Laprade, via telephone recently.

And like the owner himself, our conversation was reassuring and friendly, having known each other for years through our other roles in the community and by often seeing him working at many community events. 

For someone so young, Daniel has quickly become a much respected and leader in the local security services scene. 

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Feature: The Whisky Barrel

November 24, 2020

The bar at the Whisky Barrel

A recent Friday the 13th seemed like a good day as any to stop by The Whisky Barrel to have a chat with one half of the duo that owns this welcome addition to downtown Sault Ste. Marie.   

Since it was a vacation day for me from my “day” job, I even got to treat myself to a drink while we chatted, a rye and coke in case you are wondering.   

When I arrived, the exuberant and personable Dunbar Thompson, co-owner of the Whisky Barrel, was working alone and chatting with a first time visitor. And while I sat at the bar waiting to chat, I was able to witness why people quickly become fans of the vibe offered at the Whisky Barrel. 

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Feature: Marc Capancioni

November 18, 2020

It was during a break in the morning that I spoke to the easy going Marc Capancioni, mortgage agent at the local Centum Mortgage Brokers office here in Sault Ste. Marie. 

Our chat began with a bit of a catch up about his recent new status as a first time Dad to a sweet little girl named Emmie who just turned 10 weeks old. 

Marc said he and his wife are really enjoying being first time parents and have been blessed with a good sleeper who is super cute from the photos I’ve seen.

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Reggie’s revving up karaoke

November 16, 2020

The karaoke machine is returning to Reggie’s Place Tavern in the Sault’s downtown.

Randy Lapossie, who along with his wife Kylie took over operation of Reggie’s Downtown on September 1 of this year, confirmed that karaoke will be a Thursday feature from 7:00 to 11:00 p.m. beginning this week.

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Feature: Arturo Ristorante

November 13, 2020

For the past 35 years, the Comegna family has been bringing incredible Italian cuisine to Sault Ste. Marie — first at their location on Gore Street and since 2002, at their current spot, 515 Queen Street East. 

The founder of Arturo Ristorante, Arturo Comegna, well known in the local food scene, laid a strong foundation for success for his two sons, Thomas and Chris, who took ownership in April of 2011.

Both Thomas and Chris, despite their relative youth, have been involved in the business for the past twenty years, having learned at a young age, from their dad.

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Croatian community history

November 11, 2020

Za nase Hravatske prijatlje:

The Sault’s Croatian community has a long, gritty and vibrant history.

To be sure, the first Croatian immigrants arrived in the Sault area in the early 1900s.

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Feature: Void Vinyl

November 10, 2020

I don’t know about you, but I can tell you that at 18 years old, I was no where near being ready to own my own vinyl records/café/street wear clothing shop — or any business for that matter.

But for Nathan Wilding, his love of vinyl and the opportunity to open a pretty cool spot in the Sault’s downtown was something he felt driven to do. 

Thus, Void Vinyl came into being.

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History, magic of Gros Cap

November 8, 2020

It is somewhat of a hidden treasure on the west side outskirts of the Sault, at the end Prince Township. From the archives of the Sault Ste. Marie Public Library, here is an historic look at Gros Cap.

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Feature: Marcel’s Automotive

October 30, 2020

Marcel, at work

It was a Friday evening when I spoke to the no nonsense, honest, and friendly Marcel Lamoureux via telephone. 

In the background I could hear the sound of a child laughing and after what had been an emotionally challenging week hearing about the loss of a close friend’s son as a result of a car accident, the sound of laughter was a welcome one. 

Advertising sales can be tough at times so it was a nice surprise when I stopped in to Marcel’s Automotive to speak to them about possibly advertising on Sault Business Matters knowing that they were relatively new to their current location at 61 Queen Street East, formerly occupied by Advance Transmission. 

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45 years ago this month …

October 21, 2020

October is a month of significance for me.

I was born in October of 1952 and will soon turn 68.

And in October of 1975 — 45 years ago — I began my media career as a $3 an hour, part time sportscaster at local radio station CKCY.

I was hired in a rather unusual manner. That is, CKCY news and sports director Paul Leonard gave me the job over several glasses of draught beer at the Algoma Hotel, which was located beside Memorial Gardens, across from the radio station, in the Sault’s downtown.

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Feature: Big Lake Cabin

October 19, 2020

It is fair to say that the personable and happy go lucky Jon Young is in many ways a big part of why Big Lake Cabin in just over a year has quickly become a Sault favourite in the local dining scene. 

The friendly, funny, kind, caring and generous Jon is often the face you see welcoming you to what is sure to be a pleasant dining experience. 

Big Lake Cabin opened in August of 2019 and has truly brought a fresh new vibe to the Sault’s downtown dining experience with an innovative and creative menu that is changed up frequently to take advantage of what is in season but also what is seasonally appropriate. 

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Missing high school hoopla

September 27, 2020

If there is a participation or experience that I miss at this time of year it is being a community volunteer as a basketball coach.

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Feature: Laura DeLuca

September 25, 2020

I recently met up with Laura DeLuca at a local downtown restaurant to chat about her work as a real estate sales representative for locally owned and operated brokerage EXIT Realty Lake Superior. 

I have known Laura for a long time and even though it had been a while since we saw each other in person, it was as though no time had passed at all.

This type of easy and comfortable conversation is what anyone who contacts Laura for their real estate needs can expect.  It doesn’t take long to realize that she has found the perfect fit for her personality and strengths and anyone looking to buy or sell their home is in good hands with Laura. 

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Boosting the downtown

September 14, 2020

Mane St. Cafe’s patio bar

There is collective effort being made to sustain and maintain business.

Any good city needs a thriving downtown and the Sault is no exception.

Issues remain — issues that might be resolved with more police presence at night and more support from local government — but the Sault’s downtown has businesses new and old that are more than doing their part to keep the area going.

…[read more]

Feature: Parlow/Ensurco

September 8, 2020

It is always a nice change to chat with an old friend for the purposes of a “work” story and such was the case when I chatted with Mike Parlow for this article. 

You see, Mike and I go way back.  How far back?  How about some thirty plus years since we went to elementary school together at a great west end learning institution, St. Mary’s.

Michael is still the funny, personable, social, dependable, easy going guy that I remember from my childhood and those very character traits are what has made him so successful in his role with Ensurco Insurance Group as a broker/partner and risk manager. 

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Feature: Norpro Security

September 1, 2020

For the past forty years, Norpro has been an industry leader in security, health and safety, and IT solutions.

And in speaking with the associate vice president of customer experience Allan Watson, it quickly became clear that the key attributes that Norpro prides itself on being synonymous with are responsiveness, approachability, and knowledgeability in all the sectors that it serves.

Norpro is an industry leader with a heart – and makes it its duty to maintain close ties to the communities in which it services.

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The lake, on line, with Eagle

August 26, 2020

My wife and I and our dog just returned from a nice, relaxing, three day, three night excursion to Birchland Cottages in Iron Bridge, about 65 miles east of the Sault.

Besides the well maintained, clean and cozy cottage that we rented on splendid Clear Lake, there were other factors that contributed to the reclining, unwinding, days and nights.

There were daily barbecues, walks on roads of the wooded property, nights at the fire pit, cold beer and … classic hits music with crystal clear reception via the on line version of Sault radio station Eagle 95.1.

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Reggie’s is re-opening

August 22, 2020

Reggie’s Place Tavern is set to soon re-open

An iconic downtown bar is poised to push the re-start button on Sept. 1.

With new operator Randy Lapossie at the helm, Reggie’s Place Tavern — located just past March Street on Queen Street E. in the Sault’s downtown– has a sign on one of its front windows that is signalling the Sept. 1 re-opening.

It will mark a new chapter for the local watering hole which had become a popular gathering place for folks of all ages and many walks of life for well over 25 years under previous operator Reggie Daigle.

…[read more]

The best food winners are …

August 5, 2020

We have the winners from the first-ever, “who has the best food” survey compiled by Sault Business Matters.

We were, simply put, overwhelmed with the response which included more than 750 e-mail responses (we specifically asked for e-mail) and another 17 who opted to post under our original story of August 1.

In fact, we had so many responses that we are recognizing the top four finishers in each category, as opposed to our original thought of top three.

See below for the list of winners … and thank you to all who participated!

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Feature: NTAAA advertising

August 4, 2020

Effective and affordable advertising during these challenging times can be very hard to achieve.

Having said that, Northern Transit & Arena Advertising Agency (NTAAA) feels it offers one of the best options to assist area businesses — including Sault Ste. Marie — with branding and increased sales.

One of the company’s key objectives is to match their client’s interests with outdoor and indoor advertising products and services that will offer a direct link to the client’s consumer interests as well as their locations.

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Feature: Jasmine Ladies Fashions

July 21, 2020

For thirty-seven years, Jasmine Ladies Fashions has been a fixture in women’s clothing at first from its location for many years in the Cambrian Mall and now in its current location in downtown Sault Ste. Marie. 

Owner Linda Caputo tells Sault Business Matters that she began her journey in the retail world as a buyer for the Shoe Corporation of America but always had an interest and love for women’s fashion.

Right from the start, she developed a loyal clientele and she, along with her long-time and friendly staff of Nancy, the store manager, and other long-time staff members Chris, Mary, and Ida, all enjoy helping women find the perfect outfit for occasions of all kinds.

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Feature: Sault Tree Experts

July 13, 2020

Working as a writer for Sault Business Matters, you can certainly learn all about the different facets involved in various industries.

And in this case it was some lessons in the art of working with trees! 

You see, for over thirty-five years, Glen Chiblow, who is the owner of Sault Tree Experts, has expertly guided his business to become one of the best arborist companies in the region which takes great pride in the service they provide.

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CKCY: My first media job

July 6, 2020

It was circa 1975 and between beers at the Purple Lantern, I studied Journalism at Sault College.

Classmates included David Gazer and Joe Petrolo and I mention them because all three of us managed to land part-time jobs at CKCY Radio while still “studying” at Sault College.

Gazer and Petrolo, with their booming, CKLW-Windsor-style voices, worked as late night newscasters at CKCY while I was the weekend sportscaster.

Thus began my media career, which is now at 45 years and counting.

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Feature: Healthgear Medical

July 3, 2020

It has been a locally owned and operated business for almost 30 years.

Since September of 1992, Healthgear Medical & Safety Inc. has been proudly serving the Algoma District providing reliable, knowledgeable service in home health care.  

From the very beginning, owner Jim (James) Mills has aimed to offer the best prices compared to the competitors in what is arguably a competitive market. 

Speaking with Mills recently, I learned that at first because his father was in the restaurant business, having owned five restaurants, he in a way felt he should try and follow in his footsteps.

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Downtown patio bars aplenty

June 26, 2020

It is patio bar season.

And as we head towards the end of June and are poised to welcome July, the weather outlook is for plenty of warmth and sunshine.

As for the patio bars, there are many to choose from, particularly in the Sault’s downtown.

Making our rounds on Thursday of this week, Mane St. Cafe was a popular spot at its Queen Street E. location, between East and Brock streets.

A feature of Mane St. Cafe is the roll-up canopy that overhangs the neat and tidy patio bar.

…[read more]

Feature: Rivercity Motorsports

June 24, 2020

It was a recent Saturday that I stopped in to speak with general manager Jason Goodine of Rivercity Motorsports & Trailers about what can only be described as a real playground for the outdoor enthusiast.

While I waited for Jason to open the door at Rivercity Motorsports & Trailers I had a chance to look at some of the “toys” on display outside and wow, what a wide variety of fun looking machines! 

Goodine tells Sault Business Matters that he has served as GM for the last three years and absolutely loves being able to make people’s dreams come true in helping them get their dream powersport machine, be it an ATV, UTV, XTV, snowmobile, motorcycle, dirt bike, personal watercraft, pontoon boat, boat, tractor, trailer, and other power equipment.

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Feature: Vintage Games

June 17, 2020

I recently met with Mike Turcotte, one half of the dynamic duo, who along with his wife Beth Davison, owns and operates a real treasure in downtown Sault Ste. Marie affectionately titled Vintage Games N Junque.

One of the first things you will notice about Mike is his quick wit and a real gift for friendly conversation which is sure to make your shopping experience a fun one. 

The store itself is a virtual treasure trove of interesting finds and collectibles, which lends itself completely to a lengthy visit and you can be sure that you won’t feel pressured to buy something — but in all likelihood you will find something that tickles your fancy. 

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Cheers to local beers

June 12, 2020

I like beer.

In fact, it has been a preferred liquid refreshment of mine since, um, I was in Grade 12 at venerable Sir James Dunn Collegiate in the Sault.

The brands of beer on my select list are not as numerous as they once were.

And now, as I support local more than ever before, the products of Northern Superior Brewing and OutSpoken Brewing are my top choices, where available.

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Feature: Bennardo Jewellers

June 8, 2020

If there is one story that I am proud to write, this one would definitely rank near the top.  You see, I have known the Bennardo family pretty much most of my life — for many years they lived across the street from me.

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Whoa, oh listen to the Eagle

May 28, 2020

” … what the people need is a way to make them smile … it ain’t so hard to do if you know how … gotta get a message, get it on through … woah, oh listen to the music …” — from the 1970s classic hit ‘Listen to the Music’ by the Doobie Brothers.

…[read more]