Miranda Kenney-Pellett credits her mom and Betty Crocker for at least some of her success as a budding celebrity Eastern Ontario cake designer and decorator.
That’s not to say that Kenney-Pellett, the owner of Cardinal’s hugely popular Country Girl Cakes, uses premixed ingredients.
Rather, she decided to start her own business a couple of years ago after her mom gave her the 2008 Betty Crocker Calendar for Christmas.
“I started to become more interested in cake decorating after a few of the cakes from the calendar turned out better than expected,” Kenney-Pellett says.
Three years later, business at Country Girl Cakes (www.countrygirlcakes.org) is booming and Kenney-Pellett is considering hiring an extra set of hands to help with demand for her custom-made cakes and cupcakes.
Part of Kenney-Pellett’s popularity comes from word of mouth, but some of it comes from her new celebrity status as a result of winning some high-profile awards and for appearing on a recent nationally televised wedding cake-making competition.
She was one of three contestants on The Slice Network’s Cakewalk: the Wedding Cake Edition, hosted by actress-comedienne Caroline Rhea, and she has won some big decorating awards.
Kenney-Pellett earned her first national award last year at the Canadian Society of Sugar Artistry sugar art competition in Toronto. The same year, she won the People’s Choice Award at a baking competition in Brockville.
To continually improve her skills, she has taken cake-decorating classes from a number of professional celebrity cake artists who represent the Food Network and The Learning Channel.
In April 2010, Kenney-Pellett attended Ottawa’s 2010 bridal show and received so many wedding cakes orders that she decided she could no longer run her business from her three-bedroom house and bought a 1,400sq.ft. commercial building.
“We are now booking eight to 10 months in advance for wedding cakes and three to four weeks for celebration cakes,” she says.
Deanna Clark, Economic Development Officer for the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville, says continued growth of Country Girl Cakes is expected as awareness of Kenney-Pellett’s special talents grows.
“Miranda has accomplished a lot in short period of time since opening her business,” Clark says. “She has created a unique operation and word is spreading quickly of her cake-making talents.”
It is shaping up to be another banner year for development activity in the City of Cornwall.
The City's Building and Bylaw Division issued 502 building permits with a total building construction value of $148.3 million through the first nine months of 2011. This more than triples the construction value over the same nine months in 2010, when $41,925,432 worth of building permits were issued.
The healthy construction figure includes 61 building permits for new residential units in the city, with a value of over $19 million. Another 71 building permits have been issued for new projects, repairs and additions in the commercial sector, representing some $15.6 million in construction activity.
"There's a sense of optimism and momentum surrounding Cornwall, and those sentiments are reflected in the latest construction activity figures," says Mayor Bob Kilger. "The activity in our business park can be seen from the windows of jets flying overhead at 30,000 feet, but equally important are the dozens of smaller projects that are providing immediate employment in our construction and trades sector."
The most intense activity has been in the industrial sector, where 300 acres are currently under development in the Cornwall Business Park. A building permit has been issued for the new 1.3-million sq. ft. Target distribution centre, which carries a construction value of roughly $95 million. A building permit has also been issued for additional interior work at the Shoppers Drug Mart distribution centre, valued at $15 million.
Economic Development Manager Mark Boileau says he anticipates the strong construction activity to continue through the rest of the year and into 2012.
"We are seeing activity from both outside investors and local small businesses, and the results are quite encouraging," said Mr. Boileau.
Thousands of contractors, real estate agents, and developers searching for development opportunities will be exposed to the benefits of investing in Cornwall at the country’s largest real estate and property management tradeshow this week.
It’s the 20th year that representatives of Cornwall will exhibit at PM Expo at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, which takes place this Wednesday to Friday.
“We will once again be showcasing Cornwall development opportunities to a wide range of attendees that includes developers, real estate professionals and investors,” said Bob Peters, Senior Development Officer for the City of Cornwall. “We typically meet a lot of people who are interested in learning more about the city, including people who are considering relocating.”
Cornwall development opportunities will be exhibited at the show, including brownfield development sites, commercial buildings available for sale or lease, and greenfield development sites in the Cornwall Business Park.
Peters says Cornwall has a number of advantages when it comes to building and
development, not least of which is that the City does not have development charges.
Each year, Cornwall contractors and business professionals attend the show to learn about new products and best practices in their industry. Cornwall Economic Development gives them free passes.
With more than 1,000 exhibits and seminars that feature more than 450 speakers, PM Expo typically attracts about 25,000 attendees.
The importance of university and college cross-collaboration, the benefits of manufacturing supply chains, and the role of community support in competitive positioning and growth of Peterborough-area businesses were the lead topics at a recent local speaker series.
Hosted by the Greater Peterborough Innovation Cluster, the Second Annual Power of Innovation Speaker Series: Industry Advantages brought three insightful and talented presenters to speak to the local business community on Nov. 16.
“The three speakers brought insight to our community on successful growth in today’s business environment, which directly speaks to our clients,” says Dan Taylor, President & CEO of GPIC. “Those in attendance at this evening event have gained valuable insight into how to position their businesses for their next phase of growth.”
GPIC is a not-for-profit organization with a mandate to support R&D resulting in commercialization of new technologies/processes that create high paying jobs and drive the Peterborough regions Knowledge-Based Economy. GPIC undertakes the development activity of the Innovation Pillar of the Greater Peterborough Area Economic Development Corporation (GPA EDC) to create new wealth opportunities for the region.
The speakers were as follows:
• Martin Lavoie, Director of Manufacturing Competitiveness & Innovation Policy at Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters
• Angella Hughes, President & CEO of Xogen Technologies Inc.
• Ian Sutcliffe, Independent Director of BluePoint Data and partner at Sutcliffe & Associates, Management Consultants
The Greater Peterborough Area Economic Development Corporation is working with local businesses involved in the area’s nuclear supply chain to develop a local energy cluster and to grow opportunities for businesses development.
With the arrival of the Lilly Lake Solar plant, current and future opportunities with hydro electricity production on the Trent-Severn waterway system, and emerging green energy technologies, it’s believed the area is well positioned to take advantage of growth in the energy sector.
“A significant number of businesses in our area are already creating products that contribute to the nuclear supply chain,” says Dan Taylor, GPA EDC President & CEO. “We’re bringing these businesses together with government support services to look at how industry changes and opportunities will create wealth and jobs for the local companies.”
Indeed, a recent study has revealed that 25 local companies are involved or interested in being involved in the nuclear supply chain.
The energy industry is expanding globally and new opportunities are arising that will open up the Peterborough area’s supply chain to future growth. This work is expected to create investment and new jobs in the Greater Peterborough Area.
More than 20 wood industry representatives and Eastern Ontario economic development officers met with two provincial parliament members last week to argue that the government needs to raise biomass energy project rates.
The industry gathering told Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke MPP John Yakabuski and Prince Edward-Hastings MPP Todd Smith that the province needs to set biomass energy project rates at approximately $0.195/kWh compared to the offered $0.132/kWh.
It’s hoped this change and others will be considered before the next session of provincial parliament. Other concessions include the promotion of a more positive perception of the role the wood industry plays in Ontario’s economy and reconsideration of regulations that have hurt the sustainability and growth of the sector.
Since the Liberal government launched the Green Energy and Green Economy Act and the associated Feed-In-Tariff rates for alternative renewable energy sources, wood biomass has not received equivalent considerations as those provided to wind and solar projects.
The rate the industry presented to both the Ontario Power Authority, and again to the local MPPs, will provide a similar rate of return and a reasonable level of encouragement to investors in a renewable energy, or wood biomass, project.
Given the current FIT rate offered by the Ontario Power Authority, wood biomass projects, even with all of the advantages of renewable fibre supply and the ability to generate a secondary use as a heat generating station, have not attracted any investment in Ontario.
A biomass project would strengthen rural Eastern Ontario’s economy by keeping Ontario’s forestry and logging industry workers employed throughout the year.
The attendees said, contrary to popular belief, wood biomass is not about burning trees for power. In fact, a wood biomass project in Ontario would take all of the wood residual that comes from the manufacturing of lumber that is used in many building and manufacturing processes.
Until recently, the science wasn’t here in Ontario to allow for such a value-added product to be used for power generation.
The industry representatives also said renewable wood fibre is a stable, long-term energy source of Ontarians, produced at home in Ontario and helping to support, sustain and grow a vital, historic economic engine for the province and the forest products sector.
Smith and Yakabuski offered their support to the group and said its concerns would be heard. Smith said he hopes to work with the industry through the Ontario PC Job Creation Taskforce and through his role as the PC critic for Small Business and Red Tape.
Thursday December 8, 2011
8:30 AM to 2:00 PM
GPA EDC Boardroom, 210 Wolfe St., Peterborough
This forum will allow us to gather with the participants and industry-related speakers to explore the business growth opportunities that this sector will provide for the Aerospace/Aviation cluster of companies that we have within our region.
1. Ted Lennox, President, LPS Avia Consulting
2. Rod Jones, President, Ontario Aerospace Council
3. Vincent Bourguet, President, SAFRAN Electronics Canada (to be confirmed)
The speakers will help to set the agenda for the roundtable discussion that will follow in second half of the forum. There will also be a presentation on the marketing of the Peterborough Airport to attract new investment.
We recently held similar sessions for the clean water and nuclear industries that were extremely successful. We now have plans and community support to grow these clusters. We hope to do the same with the Aerospace/Aviation Industry.
Please send in your RSVP via reply email email@example.com, or you can contact Renato Romanin, Director, Business Development at(705) 743-0777 ext. 2138.
We hope to see you there!
President and CEO