Since 2016, the Town has annually recognized businesses and families rooted in Georgina for generations through the Mayor and Council's Milestone Awards. This year, the spotlight is on businesses with more than two decades of operation. These businesses serve as dedicated ambassadors for Georgina, intricately woven into the community's fabric, fostering enduring connections and contributing to Georgina's reputation as a thriving business hub.
The families and personnel of these businesses are the cornerstone of our local economy. Beyond offering impactful products and services, they've played a vital role in job creation and financial support for community causes. Learn more about the families behind these businesses, their history and the impact they’ve made.
20971 Dalton Rd., Sutton l 905-722-6561
With a century-long legacy, Schell Lumber's Stouffville location faced a need for expansion due to increasing demand from customers in the north. The family-owned business chose Georgina and has been operating in Sutton since 2001. Managed by Richard Kennedy and now his son, Simon, the business that has provided products and services to homeowners and contractors in Georgina and the surrounding area for more than 20 years is on the brink of expansion.
The business is growing – doubling its yard, enabling it to stock engineered materials essential for custom construction. With 25 employees presently, the expansion aims to double the workforce, ensuring comprehensive support for contractors in the area.
Despite name changes over the years, the business's continuity under the same family ensures a legacy of reliability.
443 The Queensway S., Keswick l 905-476-0575
In 1991, Bev and Bill initiated a family venture, starting Global Pet Foods in Keswick. Their journey unfolded as they acquired the business from former owners, who were once Bev's clients during her role as a sales representative for a food manufacturing company.
Recently expanding to more than 4,000 square feet demonstrates the couple’s commitment to Georgina. Bev and Bill take immense pride in their relationships with customers, employees, and local veterinarians who rely on their expertise and service.
Actively involved in the community, Bev contributes by teaching obedience classes with the Georgina Kennel and Obedience Club, while Bill's efforts at the Military Museum and volunteer recognition for his library reading program underscore their dedication.
With a focus on providing trusted advice and value, Bev and Bill have fostered a welcoming environment that genuinely prioritizes relationships within their business.
After dedicating 11 years to a prominent tree-care service, Dave Stiles recognized a market opportunity in residential projects, leading to the establishment of Stiles Tree Service in 1993. Today, with its eight specialized employees, the business caters to residential and commercial clients across the GTA and as far north as Huntsville.
Stiles Tree Service sets itself apart with its adept team capable of safely removing large trees without causing damage, leveraging decades of experience and specialized equipment. Dave and his crew are proud of their positive customer reactions. The trust forged over the years, coupled with their extensive expertise, has solidified Stiles Tree Service as a reputable name in the industry.
122 High St., Sutton l 289-803-3213
Joseph Agnello, the owner of Georgina Music, was immersed in the city's vibrant music scene during the 60s and 70s, playing a pivotal role in various bands and forging connections with prominent figures in the industry. His freelance endeavours included collaborations with musicians like David Wilcox, and today, he graces the stage with bands like Robbie Lane and the Disciples. He also performs locally at establishments such as the Mansion House in Sutton, among others.
In 1993, Joseph, seeking respite from the city, relocated to a 10-acre property in Pefferlaw, embracing outdoor living with his family. A shift in perspective occurred during a challenging commute from the city, prompting Joseph to choose a career closer to home.
Initiating his local teaching venture in 1995 within the Sutton BIA, Joseph expanded in 2007, adding a studio and retail space. Although he has stepped back from teaching, he proudly acknowledges having imparted musical wisdom to more than 400 students.
A prominent part of Georgina's music scene, Joseph's store attracts customers in search of vintage and specialty instruments, some crafted by his own hands. As a former BIA board member and devoted Georgina resident, Joseph relishes his role in the historic High Street business community.
20846 Dalton Rd., Sutton l 905-722-3274
Forrest & Taylor Funeral Home, with roots dating back to the 1800s, represents more than a business; it is a legacy of service and community bonds.
For decades, Greg, a seasoned funeral director, has been a cornerstone of compassionate service at Forrest & Taylor. Relocating from North Bay to Jackson's Point in the 90s for a directorial role, Greg and his wife Carol assumed full ownership in 2008, following a partnership with Robert Taylor in 2001.
Their commitment to Georgina is evident through community involvement, from the Sutton Masonic Lodge to the Sutton Legion and Greg's chairmanship of the Sutton BIA. Encouraging community engagement, sponsoring teams, and long-standing participation in activities underscore their dedication.
The family-oriented approach extends to their daughter Audrey, who works alongside Greg. Upon his eventual retirement, Greg and Carol plan to volunteer, marking a continuation of service and community connection.
205 The Queensway S., Keswick l 905-989-9909
Established in January 1999, Queensway Marketplace in Keswick stands as a testament to the dreams of Peter and Dora, who envisioned a life and business in Georgina. This family-owned establishment, led by Peter, a third-generation butcher, and Dora, reflects their seizing of an opportunity to bring their vision to life.
With a dedicated team of 27 to 34 employees, the essence of Queensway Marketplace revolves around its people – both customers and staff. The store manager, Mike, who is proud to be part of the journey, alongside the couple's children and other loyal staff, has played a significant role in the store's growth and reputation.
Over time, Queensway Marketplace has thrived, diversifying its offerings to include a bakery and prepared foods. Beyond the counter, its commitment extends to sponsorships and local partnerships, emphasizing support for local vendors entering the retail space.
A previous recipient of a Business Excellence Award, Queensway Marketplace embraces a diverse customer base, blending long-time loyal customers with new residents, shaping its evolving product mix based on customer requests. For Peter and Dora, this venture is more than a job; it's a passion, seamlessly blending personalized service with quality products.
281 Pefferlaw Rd., Pefferlaw l 705-437-2397
Shaw Hardware opened in Keswick in the newly developed Glenwoods Plaza in 1987. Little did founder Brent Shaw know at the time that his business would be a vital part of Georgina’s fabric for decades to come. As Canadian Tire shifted from Sutton to Keswick in the mid-90s, Shaw Hardware strategically moved to Pefferlaw in 1996 to provide service and products to northern Georgina and beyond.
Upon Brent's retirement, his daughter Laura and husband Brandon stepped in, swiftly unveiling Pefferlaw Hardware in September 2021. The positive community response reflects their dedication to upholding tradition while charting a new course, ensuring Pefferlaw Hardware continues to thrive in its commitment to the community.
Are you thinking about starting or expanding your business in the Town of Georgina? Visit choosegeorgina.ca to explore business opportunities or connect with us to learn about local business support, grants and marketing opportunities.