QuinteALIVE Report on its approval and growth

The QuinteALIVE Blog featuring the people, cities and towns of Quinte ranks high in Canada–and we are glad of it. The area we cover reaches from extreme South of Prince Edward County, extreme North to Marmora, Campbellford, extreme west to Colborne and extreme East to Napanee (added recently.)

Hits: 8,199,000 average per year (2014-15). Yes! 8 million!  On one single day we reached 675,840.

Highest views in one day: 3,520 .

Screen shot 2015-05-28 at 1.24.42 PM

Screen Shot of our analytics – Views in one day

We’ve been growing steadily each year with no decline. Our readers were 99% local; but, increasing readership from everywhere has bumped that to 95%–that’s good for tourism and immigration into Quinte.


We are preparing a few biggies. You may have noticed our site in prep: http://QuinteALIVE.com. After 5 seconds it redirects here–but not for long. QuinteALIVE will be magazine format with multiple stories getting eyeballs in the first scroll. The mag will access this blog while the latter continues as is–why stop a good thing.


We are not interested in crime, accidents and political mud-slinging. We want our readers to find joy and inspiration at QuinteALIVE. Everything we do is driven by the last thing we did that made our readers happy. Our Twitter stream informs us too. Our Pinterest and YouTube accounts are also growing steadily (it is peculiar how YouTube does not count embedded views in WordPress.)

It would astonish to learn the numbers of people who no longer watch television or read the newspapers because, “[they hate the bad news and it serves no purpose.]”. We paraphrase the collective.

It is quite an irony to see Tourism and Economic Development work tirelessly to bring feet and revenue to the area when on first web search, crime and accidents in media are the mainstay. Bless their hearts! But QuinteALIVE is also there making merry.


QuinteALIVE aims to help push back nihilism, depression, loneliness, hate, gossip, boredom with a hefty daily dose of, “Look there’s my friend doing something great!,” and, “Wow! look what that little company is doing!,” and, “That’s a great idea!” Stuff like that. Quinte has plenty to offer.

This writer has yet to meet a Quintonian that does not have a great story to tell. The folks here are good, interesting and often, a barrel of laughs. Stay-tuned for a line-up of Contributing Writers in fruit-bearing subjects, including our illustrious residents.

We plod on at accelerated speed.

2014 Ten Most Fascinating People of Quinte – No. 9 : Jeff and Debbie Evoy

Jeff and Debbie Evoy, a married couple from Belleville, met over 30 years ago at Japan Camera in the Quinte Mall (now located across the street.) Soon thereafter, Jeff Evoy bought the store and married Debbie the same year. They have been a caring provider of photographic products and services to the Quinte area ever since. Over the years another pursuit developed–one which took them to the far reaches of the world. Listen and enjoy!

READ THIS STORY on the Evoys to learn more.

Our last choice is imminent; our 2015 search begins.

Orlena Cain tells what drove her to All Good Things – VIDEO

Also see the full story below.

All Good Things come to those who persevere


Orlena Cain, Founder, All Good Things Home Shop, holds glass creations by Bonnie Doon Glass

“Would you like some water or some tea?” Orlena Cain inquired when I crossed the threshold. It did not take long for this writer to learn that Cain is far more than a media personality; she is indeed a caring individual, attuned to the people around her. I spent over an hour learning about this special soul’s life.


Wall-to-wall handcrafts at All Things Good Home Shop, Belleville – CLICK to enlarge

Relying on her experience as Shopping Channel Host six years ago, Cain opened All Good Things Home Shop –the most recent addition to style-craving, Downtown Belleville. In the mornings, Cain hosts a top-rated radio talk show at Quinte Broadcasting with co-host Sean Kelly–they are good foils for each other. (Kelly is responsible for recruiting Cain bringing her back to Belleville from Toronto.) On the show’s heels, she makes the short trip north to the shop–merchandising, procuring and selling artifacts made mostly from local artists and small businesses. Cain calls the store’s content, “rustic chic.”


Rough hewn wall art by family owned business in B.C., Cedar Mountain Studios – CLICK to enlarge

“Folding laundry is not an exciting way to spend afternoons,” Cain opined. The urge to fill her days with “things that make a home harmonious” was strong. Creations from Bonnie Doon Glass, rustic wall prints from Cedar Mountain Studios and environmentally safe scented soy candles from White Water Candles are just a few treasures that populate shelves.

The shop contains more than unique creations–they are the pieces missing from Cain’s childhood. As a young girl, Cain endured the grip of poverty and a cruel stepfather. “My bedroom was a mattress on the hallway floor,” she confesses.


Soy scented candles in retro metal jars by White Water Candles – CLICK to enlarge

These artifacts can take on deeper meaning; they are signs that life is alright, beautiful. When a child is safe in a loving home, beautiful things are commonplace. It seemed every item Cain showed me filled an unrequited normalcy. I observed this gentle soul, the pain palpable in her eyes as she shared memories–my heart rended. I put down my notebook and listened.

Her gaze would reach into the distance sometimes overlooking the Moira gushing at the rear of the shop, speaking of her “Oma” (German for grandmother) and her aunt–the two women that cobble a sense of belonging. I began to understand why Cain had opened this shop–its contents are anything but trivial and a comfort to many.


All Good Things Home Shop store sign — CLICK to enlarge

So many children suffer under cruel circumstances, unnoticed for too long. Cain became a ward of the Children’s Aid Society in her teen years; but, she has made good of it, as spokesperson for the organization. The healing finds many outlets.

Orlena Cain is a renown treasure to Belleville–success has avenged the dark years. There is no bitterness–just ebullience and energy–and a fun trip to a gift shop that feels like home.

Stay-tuned for the video!


The Orlena Cain Quinte has come to love – CLICK to enlarge


Gourmet Diem Belleville – VIDEO


See the story below for more!

Carpe the Gourmet Diem in Belleville


Jesse deWal, Founder, Gourmet Diem, builds up a foam on a latte

This writer finally made it to Carpe Diem–that is, Gourmet Diem–latin name for Belleville’s newest cafe, “gourmet of the day,” in English. Jesse deWal, Founder, worked in kitchens around Belleville for years while desire rose in him to branch out on his own; so, in December 2014, he opened the cafe and purveyor of fine foods on Front street, Downtown Belleville. The venue is perfectly positioned mid-point on the road–proximity, location is everything.


Gourmet Diem storefront, Belleville, Ontario – CLICK to enlarge

This young husband of Abigail and father of newborn, Charlotte Elizabeth, is evidently a “people person.” Every customer who entered was welcomed and tended to with kindness and aplomb–these are the critical ingredients to business longevity and deWal oozes them. Aunt Juliet deWal operates, Sweet Escapes, at the other end of Front Street; but, the two help each other when necessary.


Gourmet Diem “Tex Mex Grilled-Cheese-of-the-Month”

DeWal served me the “Tex Mex grilled-cheese-of-the-month,” perfection with house-made refried beans, two cheeses from Mapledale, greens onions and side-dips of hot Salsa Verde and Sour Cream. Pairing with a thirst-quenching, rare treat, Boylan’s Birch Beer , made with cane sugar doubled as a liquid dessert!

The sit-down cafe is beautifully appointed and select satellite music quaffes from above. Newspapers and magazines near the coffee service stand completes the experience especially for single visitors. Rich shelving at the rear is covered with delicacies from sauces to biscuits; in fact, the product line-up includes high quality cookware. The cafe doubles as a gift shop for the culinary among us. Mrs. B’s extensive line-up of brittles and nuts, Baco Noir Jelly from Sandbanks Winery and Prince Edward County Hot Sauce are a few items in this treasure trove.


Gourmet Diem, Belleville–shelves flank the cafe with takeaway delicacies – CLICK to enlarge

Procurement is everything in retail–sourcing unique products that elicit desire in customers. DeWal features exceptional quality products from our neck-of-the-woods. Most impressive among offerings, Seed to Sausage,  from Sharbot Lake.

“Their meat is the lowest in nitrites, no fillers and naturally smoked,” qualifies deWal. Surprisingly, these are not pricey and within reach of most budgets. And then, my eyes fell on duck liver pate.

DeWal plans to deliver charcuterie lessons to the public, with cheese and wine pairings in the curriculum. He also plans to extend summer hours beyond 5:00 pm through the dinner and theatre hours. A liquor licence is also on his wish list.


Exceptional wood carving by Del Henshaw – CLICK to enlarge

Gourmet Diem fashions itself four ways with the inclusion of original art–sculptures, canvasses and literature–on shelves, walls and windows. Gourmet Diem could be Gourmet Quattuor (Latin for four)-foodservice, food products, cookware and curator. Canvases by local artist, Al Zaback, inscribed with poetry by John Farquharson and scuplted wood into bowls and forms by Del Henshaw add soulful “swag” to the venue.

Take a peek at the 2015 County Terroir – SHORT VIDEO

The 2015 County Terroir occurred on a record breaking, warm day last May 9, 2015. It was a great event filled with as many smiles as tastings.

The County expects a banner year in 2015 as the region has made the news globally in 2014 as “one of the top places to visit in the world.” The wineries and artisan foodies present were world caliber.

Have a peek at this year’s County Terroir. We could only squeeze in a few exhibitors-although our camera panned. Next year, we’ll attempt to catch them all!

Go to: http://CountyTerroir.ca for a full list of exhibitors and information.

County Terroir : A barrel of laughs


Vicki Emlaw, Founder, Vicki’s Veggies, organic greens and by-products

The 2015 County Terroir served up all manner of artisan goodies; but, the flavor of the day was wit. They say a good, full-bodied wine is “long” (on the palate); but, nothing lasts longer than happy brain chemicals. From one exhibitor to another, the one-liners rolled off their lips. These County folks are good for the soul, a troupe of comedians, well acquainted with each other. As the Terroir wrapped up–the insider show began. This writer observed.


Vicki’s Veggies line-up of Hot Sauces and Plum Sauce

Vicki Emlaw wins the County Terroir Congeniality award. Surely Vicki’s Veggies continued growth over the last decade is as a result of Emlaw’s cheerful countenance–never mind that she wields organic rapini, kale and arugula–and now sauces–like no one else in the region. Most astonishing about Emlaw is her perfect complexion–it is something to witness and testament to the healthy goods she produces, markets and consumes.

“We have two huge walk-in refrigerators now,” Emlaw qualifies as I spoke of our visits to her small roadside operation over a decade ago. Vicki’s Veggies has evidently ballooned; it is a branded force in The County and today, Emlaw is vital Member of Slow Food in The County.


Dan Tweyman, Winemaker, Trail Estates

“You look like a mad scientist,” I dared say. “I am a mad scientist,” Dan Tweyman conceded, “that’s why I’m a winemaker.” Tweyman in true mad form got a good chuckle trying to make me pronounce spatburgunder (“shpapernunger”), German for Pinot–I’ll stick to these five letters, thank you. Septuagenarian owners of Trail Estate Winery, Anton and Hildegard Sproll, run a bakery in Kitchener/Waterloo; so, Tweyman is charged with creation and production and the younger Sprolls run sales, marketing and admin. Tweyman has deep roots in Okanagan, New Zealand and Napa winemaking–he is not to be underestimated. “In ten years, Trail will be the leader,” he preened, tongue ‘n cheek. There may be method to his madness.


Duarte Da-Silva (L) and Sean Kosey (R), Norman Hardie Winery & Vineyard

“We’re cellar rats,” Duarte Da-Silva qualified as I inquired about his role at Norman Hardie Winery & Vineyard. It is apparently a common expression; but, on hearing, it is hilarious. Seems a lot of the sommeliers in the County often refer to themselves in these deprecating terms. It still gets a laugh from this rusty wine lover.

I tasted Norman Hardie’s 2013 County Chardonnay and 2013 Riesling; the latter was my favorite. “It’s very aromatic,” I stated (Da-Silva held back eye-rolls). “It’s the only word I’ve got,” I confessed. “That’s good. You can go far with that word,” he replied, ascerbically . At this point I had tasted so much wine, I yearned for a spittoon and a cold shower to follow the comedy; yet, I hauled my tripod, camera, brochures, wine glass, shoulder bag to the next act. I imagined myself a balancing act from Dr. Seuss.

Stay-tuned for more on the 2015 County Terroir.

County opens season with hottest Terroir


Crystal Palace, Picton, host of 2015 County Terroir. Rear view.

Yesterday was perhaps the most blissful May day in The County–ever. This writer made her way to Picton, traversing Hillier, Wellington and Bloomfield, casting all cares to the wind blowing my hair into a tangled nest–it was a perfect, convertible car day. Indulging in “careoke” was irresistible. The view was simply soul-soaking–busy vineyards, old barns, manicured grounds, Victorian homes, charming town centres and miles of lake water. Locals and visitors tinkered at endless road sales and shops with a visible spring in their steps. The County is blooming with life.

It was an unusually hot and humid day for early May; yet, the 2015 County Terroir at the Crystal Palace in Picton was a well-populated tasting event. On entering the gates, staff arm you with a tulip wine glass stuffed with tasting tickets and a neon green bracelet for access to the venue and its surrounding tents staging the County’s best. Music rising from the tents added to the effervescent (pun intended) atmosphere.


Buffy Cole, “cupcake slayer” was a hit with Pinot Noir infused icing and black cherry compote chocolate cupcakes

“I have 22 weddings booked’, exclaimed Buffy Cole, founder of six year-old, Iced Cupcakery, Quinte West.  Brown and pink confections richly displayed on blingy trays was irresistible eye-candy. Cole blends The Grange‘s Pinot Noir in chocolate cupcake icing and black cherry compote delivering rich yet balanced sweetness. Husband Kevin, “the Trenton arena guy,” lends a hand beaming about his wife’s success. This young woman follows solid doctrine on how to start and sustain a small business (more coming soon).


Sherry Karlo, Karlo Estates, with recently appointed winemaker from Napa Valley, Milan Vujnic.

A County event would not be complete without the Karlo touch. New and acclaimed wines crowded the counter and cooling barrels–the selection was perhaps the broadest at the event. Sherry Karlo’s marketing brilliance astounds–she could single-handedly shift beer-guzzlers into wine-bibbers with the introduction of Karlo’s Doug Gilmour Signature. Visitors were opting for the cooler whites and roses to soothe themselves in 27 degrees–which felt more like 37! Newly minted Karlo winemaker, straight from Napa Valley, Milan Vujnic (“Vunich”) just landed in Canada–QuinteALIVE is hopefully the first media to introduce this affable creative of Croatian origin.


This writer’s energy faded with each hour–the heat and humidity is a drain on the brain and the body; yet, exhibitors did not miss a beat, right up to closing. All were consummate professionals without exception. I suspect their expectations of an extraordinary season, reaping unprecedented profits, were in mind. Recognition and high acclaim of Prince Edward County by global media in 2014 gives impetus to this long awaited dream. It has arrived. Move over Niagara, Napa and hot travel spots–this is the year of PEC! The dress rehearsal is over.

Stay-Tuned for more on The County Terroir event !

Brighton’s “thousand cuts” stings Main Street – again


Sherry Hamilton, Executive Director, Brighton-Cramahe Chamber of Commerce

Brighton City Council “thousand cuts” now decapitates local Economic Development and Tourism by defunding Brighton-Cramahe Chamber of Commerce–motion passed evening of last May 4th.

QuinteALIVE cannot quote many Downtown business owners; but, we can paraphrase.

“[Blankety Blank],” one says. This writer heard expletives again and again. Taken into their confidence, the morale is clearly low.

Businesses and citizens just endured an overstated, “State of Emergency,” for a few weeks with no access to potable water (and corollary rights suspended.)

Prior to that Council 86’d a project Brighton businesses had been developing for a year, a business development centre with a creative theme as its anchor; within seconds the motion to nix it was made at a historic evening meeting and seconded. Council meetings are now replete with finger pointing, threats, scowling and verbal angst–bread and circus. Pull up a chair and bring popcorn. It’s the best show in town.

Joyce Cassin, local journalist with quick, accurate fingers Tweets out every incarnation to the universe. Bless her diligent heart–she is the speediest informant. I almost broke water when she reported that one Councillor started reciting Shakespeare at one meeting–must have had some connection to matters at hand; but, eyes apparently “rolled.”

“They just don’t care about us,” is the repeated chorus from business owners.


Painting which hangs in offices now closed features iconic Presqu’ile lighthouse.

Brighton is a beautiful city and its business owners are skilled, creative and hard-working; but, some are losing heart on the heels of the current Council’s actions, under the leadership of Mayor Mark Walas. Several are contemplating closures this year.

The Chamber is vacating its current location on Main Street immediately. The public no longer has access to a tourist information location. The support for Economic Development is no longer available–and there is reportedly no one in this position at the City.

The Chamber will relocate and continue to serve its 100+ Members with no mandate for Tourism or Economic Development. Sherry Hamilton has been a cheerful presence in this town for many years. We wait to see where we can find her in the future.

State of Emergency Love : Brighton Mamas


Arrangement from Blossoms Flower Shop

Unconditional love cannot be wrapped in a box or embellished with a bow. There is nothing that equals your presence with demonstrated affection and hugs; however, we do like our mothers to remember our love long after we celebrate this precious day. Today we feature last minute gems for Brighton area children ages 5 to 75. (CLICK any image to enlarge)


Magnolia Cottage retro and vintage apparel are loved by boomer moms


Purses, necklaces, scarves from Dragonfly will be a hit.


If you know Mom’s shoe size nothing beats Rieker summer sandals for comfort at The Shoe Store.


A bird feeder and seed for any breed from Out on a Limb. Great, unexpected idea that she will love. Brighton is birding!

And there are gifts that delight our members–Mama’s senses matter!


Endless assortments of fine Belgian chocolates made here in Brighton by Mrs. B’s.


Take Mom out for a Chef-prepared lunch at Trade Craft. A drive to the shores of Presqu’ile to follow?


Pampering is pedicure! at Essence Day Spa. Gift certificates work too.


Get Mom ready for her big day out in new ‘do’ at Monacoe’s Day Spa.

Ideas are endless. A walkabout will not leave you empty-handed.

Happy Mother’s Day Brighton Mamas!

By Mary Magdalene, Editor Posted in Quinte

Trent Port Marina is on the move!


Construction of Trent Port Marina as of April 30, 2015

Quinte West is bubbling with excitement at the soon to be complete Trent Port Marina. The City reports it is on schedule with 212 boat slips–already visible from the South docks.


Boat slips await finishing touches at Trent Port Marina

There’s no doubt the Grand Opening will be a major event with a promise of tourism never before experienced in Trenton and neighbouring areas.

Read more at the Trent Port Marina site.

QuinteALIVE 2014 Ten Most Fascinating People of Quinte – No.8 : Jeanette Arsenault

Jeanette Arsenault is one of Quinte’s pearls–polished over the years into a prolific singer and songwriter. She resides in Belleville, Ontario, and formerly, Prince Edward County; yet, she is sought the world over and is often far from us. Arsenault has performed in events of scale including two Canadian Olympics. This interview by QuinteALIVE will make you cry, laugh and sing.

LISTEN : If you are Canadian, the interview closes with a large choir singing Arsenault’s, This is my Canada, an “epic” song also written by her. We hope it becomes a nationally adopted song–a second anthem as America enjoys.

Enjoy the video! Stay-tuned for the written story.

Sad Farewell to Kalay’s in Belleville


Lisa Goudreau with husband, Cpl. Goudreau at Kalays

This writer met Lisa Goudreau on a beautiful summer day in 2012 at her seafood truck parked just South of Trenton on Hwy 33. The van was decked out with elegant graphics and compartments that displayed exotic sea life for discerning palates. It was an impressive extension of her larger operation in Belleville, Kalays Seafood Restaurant. I marveled at how she could juggle hands-on, the restaurant, the mobile version, a retail store, e-commerce business and life itself; Goudreau is a rare, tireless entrepreneur.


Kalays Seafood Restaurant interior. Click to enlarge

We also met Goudreau as military wife at Hangar 1, RCAF Trenton, as she awaited her husband to be recognized at The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee by then 8 Wing Commander, Colonel Sean Friday, for his outstanding service. She was visibly moved and very proud of her husband. It was an event either of us will not soon forget. QuinteALIVE followed the Commander as he pinned the lapel of over 200 recipients in an hour, congratulating them individually.

Sadly, last night, we received this press release from Lisa:

Kalays Seafood Restaurant located in Hilden Square, Belleville, recently announced through a heartfelt message on their facebook page that they will be closing in late May. The three month advance notification was intended to allow time to complete their event commitments, provide customers’ final visits and staff an opportunity to find employment. The closure comes as a planned exit strategy as the owner approaches semi-retirement.

Kalays parent company, Maritime Lobster Express, opened it’s retail store in Hilden Square in 2007 creating a niche market for their Fresh Seafood flown in direct from Nova Scotia. Kalays Seafood Restaurant opened two years later. At the height of its operations , the company operated an e-commerce website, a retail store, restaurant, food truck and seafood delivery truck serving Port Hope to Kingston employing 15 people. The wind up of the company started last Fall with the closure of the retail store and will end with the restaurant closure.

Owner, Lisa Goudreau, is hopeful that a buyer will be found for the restaurant. She is also considering lease options to ensure the space remains as a restaurant in an area where there is a need for local, independent dining options .  When the newly constructed space was leased 6 years ago with no walls or floor, it gave her carte blanche creativity for a dining room reminiscent of her home on the East Coast.  Although not located in a high traffic area, she has created a destination restaurant with the support of  a very loyal following.  After recent forced business closures in the area, Lisa is very grateful to be closing the restaurant on her terms and not as a result of financial crisis. Although this has been a consideration in the past, she attributes perseverance and the support of customers and staff for the restaurant rebounding.

“I certainly didn’t get rich but I earned a living and loved every minute of it and I am leaving feeling accomplished.” The same cannot be said of her previous career as a Professional Chartered Accountant.  As she awaits her husband to finish his military career to travel together, Lisa is planning an extended stay in Nova Scotia this summer making up for lost time with family and friends.

Kalays last day of business will be May 22. There will be a Farewell to Nova Scotia celebration for all customers and staff, past and present with live music from East Coast singer/songwriter Kim Doolittle on May 23; further details will be announced later.


Kalays’ dishes will be missed in the region. Click to enlarge

You can leave comments by clicking the bubble at upper right of this page.

Brighton State of Emergency : Update


Heavy equipment at one of the suspected sites near the water treatment plant.

QuinteALIVE drove up toward the Brighton water treatment plant. Less than a quarter mile South from it, workmen were working off road deep into muddy terrain trying to locate the precise location of the water main’s break. They had not found it yet as of 5:00 pm. The Brighton workmen were so tired working through the night that help came from QuinteWest.


Brighton Water Treatment Plant today

Went to visit the water treatment plant, to see if there was more info. Pretty much the same. So as we turned back South, we ran into another active spot further South and closer to town, where we were told there were three breaks and that they had found and repaired one. One worker was hopeful the water could be back by tomorrow; we do not share his optimism. From what we deduct, if there still is a lot of searching going on it could be much longer. One individual in town who would have some information by his position, suspected it could be up to a week.


Firefighters at West end of Arena are dispensing non-potable water

“This has never happened in Brighton’s history,’ one workman stated. It is indeed a puzzle. Especially when three spots are suspected over a wide area–so far.

Meanwhile we visited on the arena where six portable toilets were located on the East end. On the West end, the Firefighters were filling residents’ containers with grey water for their toilets. They were also giving out bottled water in packs free to residents. They are in place until 8:00 pm tonight. Instructions about tomorrow were not available.

Update: The Firefighters will be in place tomorrow, April 19, from 8am to 8pm with both non-potable and potable water.

All restaurants are closed. The No Frills will remain open since its cooling system is operated by coolants not water; however, the missing mists over produce is showing soggy, leafy vegetables. The staff are using portable toilets and washing with bottled water and soap. The store was well stocked with bottled water and the larger water cooler types.

The Emergency Management Centre in Brighton’s industrial park can be reached for info at 613-475-1162.

IMPORTANT: We hope that Brighton will visit on their neighbors and make sure they have water, especially elderly or those who are alone or unwell.

UPDATE April 19 AM: Taps are open but under boiling advisory–not deemed potable. State of Emergency still in place. County Road 26 still has leaks, breaks to be discovered and repaired. Could mean another shut-off.

UPDATE April 20 PM: No change from April 19 above.

UPDATE April 20 evening Council meeting:

To quote diligent reporter Joyce Cassin on location:  Boil water is still on. Repairs, if all the stars align, could be done this weekend. Boil water could be over early next week.

And there may be another interruption of water service for repairs. We will keep you posted here as soon as we know any developments.

UPDATE April 23

Repairs begin early this Sunday morning. This may require water to be shut off on Sunday. So fill up on grey water Saturday evening–buckets, bath, etc… When repairs are complete it will take 48 to 72 hours for the Health unit to lift the boil advisory. It’s looking like Wednesday might be the first day of “back to normal.”

UPDATE April 27

Yesterday the watermain was repaired–without water interruption. Brighton’s 332 hydrant were flushed through the night and continued today. Boiling advisory remains in effect until the Health Unit can give Brighton a ‘clean bill’ and lift it.

Will keep you informed here.

UPDATE April 30

Boiling Advisory still remains. Press Conference will be held May 1 at 4:00 pm.


Brighton is back! 2 tests from the health unit declare the water is safe AND the State of Emergency has been lifted.

Brighton under State of Emergency : No water

Screen shot 2015-04-18 at 1.21.45 PM

Brighton has been declared a state of emergency by Mayor Mark Walas. The water has been shut-off for safety reasons. The last we heard about water returning to homes and businesses, “48 hours at the soonest”. This is concerning. There are many elderly and of course seriously ill individuals on municipal water in Brighton. We are attending today to report more reliably. It’s not our usual editorial; but, we want to assist.

UPDATE AS AT 2:00 pm today from Councillor Brian Ostrander – alarming!

Thank you Brian for your caring, detailed response.

“last night rumour had 48h… I am anticipating a longer period for system testing”

flush – chlorinate – test. I am anticipating a prolonged outage”

“no timeline given at last press statement. Still waiting on repairs then significant work”

There is to be an emergency meeting tonight in Council as reported by Councillor Stephen Baker .

 “If you require bottled water it is available at south side of KEP Arena Staff and Fire Fighters are there to assist.”

Alert : Explosives detonated in Trenton today are routine


8 Wing public event. Herc in background. Click to enlarge.

The Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) team at 8 Wing will be carrying out old Explosive Ordinance today, between 11:30 and 12:30 p.m., on Department of National Defence (DND) property.

Limited black smoke may be observed, from the detonation, West of Sandercock Road and sound could carry for about a 2 kilometer radius because of weather conditions; however, all safety and precautionary measures will be in place to ensure the security of personnel and public safety for this routine activity.

It is standard practice to advise the community neighbours of particular local activity in our training area. Such activities are not intended to pose a disturbance to the community but seen as an opportunity to inform the local population of our routine activities.

8 Explosive Disposal Flight is part of 8 Air Maintenance Squadron, which is a centralized maintenance organization that is integral to providing multi-fleet second line support to 8 Wing.

East Trenton sprouts new life


East Trenton’s mall now anchored by big Canadian retail brands, Giant Tiger and Bulk Barn

It seemed East Trenton was becoming desolate. Then hope began to dot Highway 2. OffTheHook moved into the Brittania–gutted and cleaned up for its exclusive ladies’ and men’s apparel. The ever-changing Kelsey’s finally settled under the Boston Pizza banner.

We said our goodbyes to formerly Canadian, Zellers, and its staff. Now the large, restored building owned by the Frum family (yes, of Barbra Frum fame) is enjoying two new Canadian anchor tenants, Bulk Barn and Giant Tiger. Parking had always compromised revenue in Giant Tiger’s former location; now, this is behind them. We need to keep these stores healthy–they are after all Canadian.


Second Avondale Flower and Gift shop opens in Trenton East

A surprising new addition is perhaps the finest florist and gift shop in Belleville, Avondale, which opened a second location just across the lot from Off The Hook. Owners Bob Anderson and Greg White bring their creative talents to Trenton–ones they are currently investing in upgrading the storefront.

Meanwhile, digging has begun for the new Marinovich Dental practice, operated by Sue and John Marinovich. This couple has good taste; so, we expect lots of curb appeal.

The net effect is a nice facelift and a powerful magnet for this “over-the-bridge” side of Trenton. Smylie’s Independent and Canadian Tire were alone in pulling the public to this end of town; now the draw is powerful–for the whole region.

Robin Williams brought back to life

Actor Jamie Costa brings Robin Williams back to life in this video. Amazing! A little departure from our usual but a feel good 5-star video.

Belleville photo that took 20 hours to capture

Ash Murrell is one of Quinte’s resident top creatives. His core work is photography; but, he aims to expand into video. He testifies that it is imperative that he trade in Toronto which he frequents on a regular basis.

“People think I am too expensive here”, he states. Truly Quinte businesses need to recognize the value of the talent in their midst or the “bleeding” out of Quinte will continue.

Enjoy this one photograph produced for Bel Con, a leading corporation in Belleville. It took Murell twenty hours to edit the photo. Each person was photographed individually in studio. All were placed together in an airplane hangar–in editing–which he photographed empty. This video is accelerated and very telling about the work we all do in our segment; yet, this one is one of the most elaborate. Enjoy! It is very impressive.

2014 Ten Most Fascinating People of Quinte – 7th : Jeff Camacho & Rayling Lei


Rayling Lei & Jeff Camacho, Founders, Burger Revolution & Trade Craft Good Food Co.


Burger Revolution storefront. Click to enlarge

Last fall, I accepted a last-minute request to cover an evening event in Belleville; but, I knew I wouldn’t last without “fast fuel” in my belly. I had a short window of opportunity to experience a place I had heard of for awhile; so, I followed my instinct. I was astonished as I entered the venue.

Among the mundane experiences delivered to a dining public in small-town Ontario, Burger Revolution is out-of-place. It’s more in-tune with urban palates, spoiled by a cacophony of exotic temptations, a response to the burger’s gradual decline under the hegemony of McDonalds and also-rans. I would eventually learn, this was ostensibly the impetus for “Burger Rev.”

Jeff Camacho and Rayling Lei deemed Belleville well-suited to inherit their years of culinary training in Toronto; but, they opted to stay out of the crowded fine-dining sector. Instead, they invested their talent in a fast-food experience, redefining the category, one that is quickly becoming legendary; hence, a revolution. The Che Guevara-like closed fist symbol in its graphics bears no political meaning–it is simply a tongue-in-cheek mnemonic that serves the brand meaning well.


Post-it Love Notes from customers cover the wall. Click to enlarge. TM 3M

The couple travelled to Chicago, Toronto, Ottawa and New York, to sample “crazy burgers and get inspiration”, Camacho prefaces. And inspiration they got. A global perspective also informed every touch-point in the first store–an experience that is scalable–not just a “local joint”.

Burger Revolution isn’t an inch larger than Weber’s located on highway 400 (Toronto cottagers’ road to the Muskokas); but, the customer line-up is starting to look as long. Yet Webers burgers, renown for their generous portions and secret ingredients, bares little resemblance. Burger Rev’s ingredients are locally sourced (Enright Cattle, Wilton Cheese, Simpson and Grimson potatoes). The meat is ground on location and each burger made to order. It isn’t really a revolution; it’s a rebellion against thin, tasteless, mystery patties covered up with cheap condiments and buns. Then again it’s a food philosophy if you order the Utopia, the vegan version.


Popular Burger Revolution choice. Click to enlarge

“People know that it’s food made with love,” Camacho emotes, “and from scratch,” his spouse Lei adds completing the picture. They finish each others’ sentences as many happily married couples do.

“Food attracts,” Camacho states, explaining the genesis of their relationship. Rayling giggles. They both giggle a lot. This is clearly the release valve that allows this creative duo to work tirelessly six days a week, seven as the weather heats up. Before they came to Belleville, they lived in Niagara On The Lake for five years, where they met and “fell in love”; both were employed by Hillebrand Estates Winery. They started a family in Belleville seven years ago and now have two small children, 2 and 5.

Nowadays, you won’t see them much at Burger Rev which has a life of its own and a staff that is romancing a happy audience and vice versa. During eating hours, Camacho and Lei are thirty minutes away in Brighton, operating a new, second foodservice brand, Trade Craft Good Food Co. which opened on February 3rd inside the Antique Emporium.


Inside Trade Craft. Click to enlarge.

“We wanted something more”, explains Camacho, “we wanted to grow.” Entrepreneurs are systemically creative; once a business is established, it’s no surprise to see them branch out again. “Being a Chef, Trade Craft has given me a new learning experience, created space inside my head for more than burgers.” All meat is cured and smoked in-house and ingredients are also sourced locally. “It’s the same model as Burger Rev, just sandwiches.”


The “475”. Click to enlarge

The venue is wholly different from Burger Rev. It elicits memories of the 1950s soda fountain bar. Instead of a homeopathic pharmacy on the side, the venue is furnished to the gills with table, chairs and artifacts from the same period. (There is a separate, fully functional antique store.) You can read a genuine 50s Life magazine as you sup. Camacho and Lei served me the “475” sandwich named after Brighton’s telephone exchange–naming menu items is one of their trademarks. The 475 is stuffed with green apple slices (the town’s most celebrated food), ham, pickles and melted spicy cheese.

This is one couple to watch, pacing themselves, deliberate in each move. They are not to be under-estimated or under-appreciated.

Jeff Camacho and Rayling Lei – A short history

Camacho started cooking at 15 years of age. Graduated from George Brown College Culinary Program. Hopped around kitchens in Toronto, Virginia, Philippines and Niagara. Went back to school studying a Niagara on the Lake Culinary Institute. There he learned everything, especially the support of local farmers across Ontario. He previously worked at several restaurants over the years including L’Auberge Du Pommier (one of Toronto’s top restaurants for over 25 years). Before launching Burger Revolution he was Head Chef at Capers in Belleville.

Lei came from China to study Hotel and Restaurant Management in Toronto 13 years ago. She graduated at Niagara on the Lake Institute. Worked at Hillebrand Estates Winery for five years where the couple met. She too worked at Capers as Front of House Manager before founding Burger Revolution.

Enjoy the Gallery below:


Jeff the Barrista . Click to enlarge


Trade Craft Storefront. Click to enlarge


A good foam on the cappuccino. Click to enlarge


Memorabilia take-aways for sale. Click to enlarge.


QuinteALIVE is 3 years old today !

Screen shot 2015-04-12 at 12.24.46 PM

It’s QuinteALIVE’s third birthday and we are thrilled of it.  We have met thousands of people in Quinte and celebrated hundreds upon hundreds among them in our stories, videos and LIVE interviews. As a truly independent media for Quinte, the future is looking bright. Thank you Quinte!

This “Editor-in-Chief” chose a very special person, whom we featured on March 3, 2013, on Front Street, Downtown Belleville, to commemorate this day. She is the personification of everything QuinteALIVE strives for, our values, our readers and viewers. Her name is Jeanette Arsenault. Jeanette is strong, joyful, kind, gentle, positive, talented, honest, brave and a friend to everyone.

Screen shot 2015-04-12 at 11.52.25 AM

Jeanette Arsenault performing on demand. Click for whole story.

YOU can comment by clicking the little bubble upper right !

Have you been dancing with the Queen of Empty Calories?


Cindy King, Exclusive Natural Health Contributor

Written by Cindy King, The Natural Sequence

Sweet, Sinful Sugar and its overwhelming power of seduction. Yes, it tastes good, but what can it do to improve your health? NOTHING! Sugar contains a lot of calories (4 per gram) but provides virtually nothing in terms of vitamins, minerals, or phytonutrients. It’s the very definition of “empty calories.”


Is sugar the new cigarette?

Because sugar causes a large release of dopamine in the brain, it can cause addiction and over-consumption in most people. Refined sugar is far more addictive than cocaine – one of the most addictive and harmful substances currently known. Refined sugars (not from fruit) are stored in the liver and get turned into fat which can then lodge in the liver and cause non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Sugar also messes with the healthy environment of our guts; specifically altering the delicate balance of “good” and “bad” bacteria. Unfriendly gut bacteria love refined sugars, which increases the bad guys, and can also reduce the population of good guys. This condition is called dysbiosis, and it can lead to gas, bloating, cramps, diarrhea, constipation, and inflammatory symptoms like fatigue, body aches, headaches, and joint problems. Sugar tricks your body into gaining weight by fooling your metabolism – it turns off your body’s appetite control system. It does not appropriately stimulate insulin, which in turn does not suppress ghrelin (the “hunger hormone”) and doesn’t stimulate leptin (the “satiety hormone”), which together result in you eating more and developing insulin resistance. This rapidly (in as little as 10 weeks) leads to weight gain and abdominal obesity, decreased HDL, increased LDL, elevated triglycerides, elevated blood sugar, and high blood pressure – classic metabolic syndrome. These are all major risks of heart disease, the number one killer in Canada.

Sugar disrupts your normal hormonal balance, promoting insulin resistance and leptin resistance and all of the negative effects that follow, such as metabolic disorders, diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s, hyperactivity and can even contribute to cancer. Doesn’t sound very sweet, does it?

Alternative Natural Sweeteners

Natural, healthy, sugar alternative options are available commercially. What constitutes “natural”? Naturally derived sweeteners are not produced chemically.


Stevia leaf, plant

Stevia is a plant-based, sweetener that is heat stable, PH stable and non-fermentable. Stevia is suitable for diabetics and individuals looking for a sweetener that will not impact blood sugar levels. Stevia is carbohydrate and calorie free. Sugar Alcohols are another class of alternative, naturally-occurring sweeteners. These sweeteners look and taste like conventional sugar, but with a reduced calorie count and glycemic load. Many sugar alcohols pass through the digestive tract relatively intact and are then eliminated through the bowel. This is the primary reason that they have a relatively low glycemic index, however, this may also be problematic for some individuals as overindulgence can cause bloating, gas and diarrhea.

Xylitol is one of the most popular choices in this category and its antibacterial properties have an added benefit of promoting dental health.

Erythritol is another sugar alcohol option. It is almost calorie-free and it does not affect blood sugar. As with Xylitol, it does not promote tooth decay. The most significant difference between Xylitol and Erythritol is the digestion process. Both are only partially absorbed by the body, but the Erythritol doesn’t go into the lower intestine for elimination. It is primarily excreted in the urine. Because of this it is less likely to cause any gastric upset.

Other natural sweeteners to try are Coconut Nectar Syrup, Agave syrup, Coconut Palm Sugar, Sucanat, Yacon Syrup, Brown Rice Syrup, Date Sugar and Honey. These sweeteners are natural, but will still effect GTF (glucose tolerance factor) so use in moderation. Now you can add other sweeties to your dance card.


Cindy King

Cindy King is the founder and operator of, The Natural Sequence, a natural foods and supplements shop serving the Quinte West community for over 20 years. King has been helping customers make informed decisions on their journey toward optimal health.

King is now a regular contributor on Natural Health for QuinteALIVE. Her stories here are written exclusively for QuinteALIVE.

2014 Ten Most Fascinating People of Quinte – No. 7 : Rayling Lei and Jeff Camacho

Jeff Camacho and Rayling Lei founded the popular destination haunt, Burger Revolution, in Belleville, Ontario, with great acclaim–this interview reveals why. Their brand is known far and wide for its its original fare and locally sourced ingredients. Find out what makes this couple tic and what else the future holds, including new moves in Brighton.

Stay-Tuned for the written story (We are experimenting by posting the video first–a reverse from our usual steps, featuring the written first.)

VIDEO : 2014 Ten Most Fascinating People of Quinte – 6th : Audrey Prenzel PART 1

Enjoy Part 1 of Audrey Prenzel’s Live Interview; stay-tuned for Part 2. This interview (both parts) will be helpful to everyone seeking to improve their career options.

2014 Ten Most Fascinating People of Quinte – 6th : Audrey Prenzel


Audrey Prenzel, Award Winning Career Transition Specialist

“They don’t know how to market themselves”, Audrey Prenzel underscores in our animated discussion about military higher-ups in transition. “They can’t articulate [their value].” Helping senior military personnel transition to the civilian sector is her bread and butter; but, Prenzel’s reach goes far beyond this daily bread.

“I am a boutique level Service Provider,” she qualifies. “I am the leading authority”, she adds referencing her leading share of this market niche. Military personnel from all departments–Army, Navy and the RCAF–account for 60% of her customer base. It’s opportune that Trenton’s largest employer is RCAF. She also serves the civilian sector including Police, Fire, IT, Engineering and all manner of corporate employment.


Honorable Audrey Prenzel, Commissioned as Kentucky Colonel

“Preparing these individuals for the corporate world is no small task. They come to me with a binder full of reports, “atta boys”, and no CV (curriculum vitae/resume),” Prenzel declares. The distillation of inches of documents into a few pages, highlighting soft and hard skills begins–herein is where Prenzel’s widely acclaimed talent comes to life. On the matter of accolades, her shelves and walls are covered with them. She reluctantly let me photograph the prestigious Kentucky Colonel Commission, wherein she is referred to as, “Honorable Audrey Prenzel” (shown here).

Prenzel’s relationships with customers often begin years before a career move and continues long after. “Some clients keep in touch to update their C.V. annually”, she states. “It’s not good when they are already jobless and terrified. They should not let it go this far. You are more marketable when you are confident.”


Audrey’s Vehicle is a moving business generator in Trenton

Economy and precision of words are Prenzel hallmarks–in a bold and energetic frame. I found myself counting to ten in German, a language in which she is fluent, and regaling about Maureen Forrester’s German arias; it seems a part of me wanted to earn an “atta-girl” from this powerful human. Instead, I got a furtive, comical look that seem to say, “let’s stick with the program.” I was curious how she would handle my going off the reservation; she remained ever so courteous, playing along, playfully. I trust Prenzel’s radar is attuned to every human frequency–alpha, delta, beta, theta, gamma–she knows which one you are operating on. After fourteen years meeting with c-suiters and six-figure types all opening up their lives, pursuits and angst to her, it is safe to say she reads people well; printed and LinkedIn pages that will have a better chance at being read, flows from that instinct.


Customers often drop off resumes

“Some people find me abrupt”, she confesses without concern. Prenzel cuts to the chase so she can get to the marrow of every customer–preparing them for the minefield ahead .  “If they’re arrogant, I show them the door. I have done it to one of the highest ranking officers.”

Prenzel calls herself a “trailing spouse”, a term reserved for spouses of military personnel continuously re-posted. Prenzel has been in Trenton for seven years running her practice from impeccable offices, sectioned-off in her home. Her husband, three children and two pugs have settled-in nicely here; thus, she plans to stay put and helicopter-in wherever she is called across Canada and internationally.

She invariably travels for speaking gigs. Just last week University of Toronto engaged her to speak to Grads about their career prospects. “U of T is really progressive”, she exclaims, qualifying, “but most career centres at Colleges and Universities suck.” Prenzel is comfortable on stage, engaging audiences and peppering her talks with humor. (I think I received my own private presentation; so engaging was she that time flew by.) “I had my first speaking engagement in Grade 6 and by the time I was in High School, I was working at the Collingwood and Barrie radio station.”

Audrey Prenzel Career Transition Services

Book Cover – Military To Civvie Street

Now Prenzel adds Author to her own C.V. by publishing her first e-book, Military to Civvie Street : The Complete Job Transition Guide for those leaving the RCAF, Army and Navy. You can view the details at Prenzel’s site.

Helpful Articles by Audrey Prenzel

5 Technical Resume Mistakes by Audrey Prenzel

Add the WOW Factor to Your Resume by Audrey Prenzel




Audrey Prenzel’s Awards from CDI and TORI

Prenzel hails from the Simcoe County area, Collingwood/Wasaga Beach, Ontario, where she was employed as an Elementary and High School, Special Education teacher, for 13 years; in the last years, she launched her solo practice, “Resume Resources”. Within a few years, she made the full switch leaving the teaching world to run her practice full-time. She changed the name a year ago to the current; but, the top level key words and domain on the web guide many to her door.


Audrey Prenzel Excellence and Achievement Awards CDI

As our interview evolved, I began to wonder where her strength came from. Digging deeper, I found a young girl raised in a good family with a stay-at-home mother and a father, also a teacher, who was an encouraging force; there is no driving trauma as history often proves. The family was not economically set to finance Prenzel’s higher education; so, as young as fourteen she began to work, often holding down three jobs, scraping and saving. Prenzel often wrote eulogies on the side–for pay–a unique skill that clearly informed her then fledgling service writing living stories we call, “resumes”. This combination of circumstances are clearly the catalyst in shaping a woman of unusual confidence.

“You need to change your Twitter avatar,” I advised gratuitously to Prenzel, “you are a powerful individual and the current image does not reflect that.” Prenzel was not above my advice and received it in the light it was intended. It seems we found a kinship in our hours together. The biggest challenge in her career would be to guide this writer who has been self-employed all her adult life–a wild one of sorts. That could be her undoing.

Certified Advanced Resume Writer
Canada’s FIRST Certified Employment interview Consultant
Internationally Certified
TORI Toast of the Resume Industry Winner
CDI Expert
Colonel, Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels


When Belleville businesses danced in top hats

A few years ago we created this video with our old film cam, an old spotlight, using stills, music, sound effects, a bit of live footage and…hats. The performers were all small business owners in downtown Belleville and the periphery. Lest we forget, former Mayor Neil Ellis was a good sport.

Getting this production done was not easy–to say the least. Getting people to say ‘yes’ and share a vision took perseverance. At some point, we almost quit; but, that’s just not in our DNA.

We believed that adding the periphery businesses to the story anchors Downtown more deeply in visitors’ and locals minds. In our view Meyer’s Pier area, Coleman and Pinnacle businesses are key to anchoring the Downtown area–they add value and scope. These are in our video too.

We also discovered that Downtown is authentically an entertainment centre; this needed to be communicated. So this was to be our storyline. After all, the area is replete with theatres, art galleries, fine restaurants, cafes, street events. Enjoy a look at The Heart of Belleville not so long ago. We saved the best for last.

Are we set for a redo? Yes, when the revitalization is complete.

West Trenton : Music and stills can bring it !

We produced this video almost three years ago of West Trenton. We had an old Canon film camera with a so-so sensor and an old spotlight; yet, we opted for stills and editing. A couple of the businesses featured are gone; but, it sure feels good to see this again. Try not tapping or wiggling while you watch.

Four quickies featuring Quinte’s best !

QuinteALIVE shot and edited these quick videos of local businesses. Now they have rich content to use for their websites and social media. (And these productions did not break their bank accounts!) Hope you enjoy. We know these business operators and we stand behind their quality and integrity 100%.

I met Royalty in Prince Edward County


Liz and Kimball Lacey, Owners, Lacey Estates

“People think the circles in our logo are grapes; but, they are actually cannon balls,” Liz Lacey reveals. The history of Lacey Estates has legs, dating to Loyalist lore–the Laceys are to-the-ready with tales to regale visitors.

Each year wineries in their respective regions celebrate Wassail, an old tradition celebrating the harvest before the onset of winter. Prince Edward County winemakers vote each year for their King and Queen of Wassail. In 2014, Liz and Kimball Lacey were crowned by their peers. It is a romantic tradition that keeps the wine conversation fermenting right up to the Christmas season.


Kimball and Liz Lacey donning their traditional Wassail crowns, hand-made by a local artist.

This author was greeted by King and Queen Lacey a few weeks ago. The sun beamed through the windows of their sparkling winery where I was able to view the Lacey vineyards. These acres are the progenitors of an excellent, aromatic Gewurztreminner and a velvety, Pinot Noir (shown above). I had the pleasure of tasting them Lacey-style. Kimball taught me how to aerate the wine, extracting the fullness of its bouquet–we sniffed, gurgled and swished.


Handmade quilt by Liz Lacey, Lacey Estates. CLICK TO ENLARGE

The winery’s tasting room is replete with Liz’s extensive creative talents. Walls are covered with quilts she has stitched with her own hands; they are beautiful in composition and exquisite detail. The sideboard where crowds lean during a wine tasting event is another creation which houses thousands of Lacey corks under glass.

King and Queen Lacey are consummate hosts, graceful as royalty would be. A visit leaves nothing to be desired of a wine tasting experience. I recommend!

Lacey Estates
804 Closson Road
Hillier, Ontario
(Prince Edward County)

QuinteALIVE : 2014’s Ten Most Fascinating People of Quinte (VIDEO)

At the “barely ripe” age of 25, Erin Keats purchased a long-established business in Trenton, Ontario. Learn of her methods, her talents and maturity in making such a big leap in this video. Make no mistake, Keats is wise beyond her years. (There is another person in the picture.) Entrepreneurs should be inspired!

Quick Fun Survey about People in Quinte

2014’s Ten Most Fascinating People of Quinte – 5th : Erin Keats


Erin Keats, New Co-Owner of Established, Trenton Specialties and Delicatessen PHOTO BY QuinteALIVE

She turns 25 tomorrow; yet, Erin Keats exhibits maturity uncharacteristic of a person so young. Keats was born in Belleville and moved to Brighton with her family as a young girl. She attended Quinte Christian High School, graduating in 2008. A Small Medium Enterprise Management program that develops young entrepreneurs at Algonquin College gave Keats the impetus to make a bold step into a promising venture.


Current storefront, Trenton Deli. PHOTO BY QuinteALIVE

Keats had spent months deliberating about the purchase of Trenton Specialties and Delicatessen, previously owned and operated for 34 years by Trenton’s European food purveyors, Rika and Bert Mouw. Bert had such deep roots and friendships in the community that when he passed away four years ago, friends gathered to plant a tree nearby in his memory. Keats has big shoes to fill; but, she has the wisdom to know it. This writer observed Keats serve customers with aplomb and intuitive warmth.


Current store interior, before Keats’ alterations. PHOTO BY QuinteALIVE

In her due diligence, Keats worked at the deli under Rika Mouw’s direction for several months, learning the ropes and assessing the opportunity–keeping her intentions hidden from the public.

“Erin has bought my business,” bristled Mouw, as she prepared my take-out lunch. I was awestruck by the news; I knew we had found one our “ten most fascinating people in Quinte” in Keats.

I had met Keats often as she managed two different retail shops over the years–one in Belleville and one in Trenton. I knew the Mouws’ legacy would live on in her. Rika Mouw still clocks of few days a week serving patrons; but, Keats is now in charge.


Erin and Adam Keats

In my preparation for our live interview, I discovered the wind beneath Keats’ wings, Adam Keats, her husband of three years and business partner behind-the-scenes. He maintains work during the day elsewhere; but, he is very present in the business assisting on store upgrades. The love and respect these two share for each other is touching and clearly strengthens their resolve to succeed.

“I met Adam in Ottawa he’s a phenomenal man, and has always encouraged me to follow my dreams. He is very talented. He’s an excellent salesman, great merchandiser and has great business sense. I couldn’t do this without him. I’m the face behind the counter, working with the customers. Adam does a lot of behind the scenes work. We are successful as a partnership. Adam and I have always had the goal to be business owners together. “


Imported chocolate is a staple in Trenton Deli. PHOTO BY QuinteALIVE

“It’s Trenton Deli now,” Keats exclaims. The official name was a little long; but, it was most often referred to by customers as, “the Trenton Deli”. Re-branding was a natural first step.

“I asked Rika for European music and she pulled out all of these CDs,” Keats explains on my remarking the European music playing overhead. Keats understands the meaning of a retail experience–in this case, an authentic European one.


A wide variety of meats keep customers coming to Trenton Deli. PHOTO BY QuinteALIVE

“I didn’t enjoy it, but I was good at it,” Keats opines about her studies in Graphic Design at Algonquin, prior to completing her business program.  Little did she know these skills would serve her well. She looks at the Trenton Deli with a trained eye. New blackboards await the store’s offerings which will be inscribed by her own hands. Objects that compete with an authentic European market have not escaped her eyes; they will be cast away or concealed. The transformation will be subtle but surgical.

“As a young child, I always wanted to own my own business. Parents and grandparents are business owners; entrepreneurship is in the blood,” Keats sums up.

Enjoy the gallery below.

Erin Keats at the service counter, Trenton Deli. PHOTO BY QuinteALIVE


Unique, cultural imports bring European customers back, Trenton Deli . PHOTO BY QuinteALIVE


A large variety of cheeses at Trenton Deli. PHOTO BY QuinteALIVE


Current decor at Trenton Deli is distinctively European. PHOTO BY QuinteALIVE

STAY-TUNED for the live interview at our show, Up Close at QuinteALIVE

O! it’s Hugging Time Again in Quinte

We shot the great Rachel Comeau hugging the public in Quinte West last Valentine’s Day. We thought it would be a comedy; but seems everyone needs a hug. Hold till the end (4 mins in)–there is a little drama! http://youtu.be/AUK1hRpEY6c

Quinte is a hugging place!

All You Need is Love

All You Need Is Love 1

All You Need is Love band PHOTO BY Bob House

All You Need Is Love–the bandresonates with this writer. The first 45 I purchased as a teenager was The Beatles’, “She loves you.” I played this vinyl wonder on Dad’s turntable over and over when my parents went out for the evening–a nice break from Tchaikovsky, Mozart and Schubert. I never got caught–so I believe.

All You Need Is Love logoThe chance to experience The Beatles’ music with this extraordinary band is upon us this Valentine’s evening in PEC. This event is near and dear to us boomers who lived through Beatlemania, love beads, flower power and John and Yoko’s “Bed-in”. All You need is Love  features Andy Forgie (lead vocals), Mark Rashotte (lead guitar and vocals), Steve Smith (drums and vocals), Al Haring (guitar and vocals), Paul Lockyer (keyboard and vocals) and Vitas Slapkauskas (bass guitar). While the group is known to us here in Quinte, its performances have reached far into Europe and USA over many years.

The goal is to help PEC Memorial Hospital acquire equipment desperately needed by its doctors and nurses–the government does not fund equipment. There’s nothing like unselfish love–one that gives expecting nothing back. Nevertheless, the pleasure you get in knowing you could be helping a very ill stranger to heal is exhilirating. All You Need is Love  opens with a Silent Auction and moves to the concert an hour later.

Screen shot 2015-02-11 at 4.12.52 PM

Cover of Abbey Road.

Many corporate Sponsors are sponsoring the event including Huff Estates Winery and Inn (Platinum Sponsor), Royal LePage ProAlliance and RBC Wealth Management Dominion Securities.

You too can be a Sponsor by purchasing one or more tickets to the concert at $50 each–you can still purchase seats.

QuinteALIVE has donated art to the silent auction. Many businesses including Beams Lighting, Vivacious and Wish, Trenton, and, individuals have donated precious items. You may still be able to donate; but, you certainly can put in bids.

For a romantic dinner you may wish to make reservations at Wellington’s:

Or in Bloomfield:

Screen shot 2015-02-11 at 4.22.58 PM

John Lennon and Yoko Ono at their Peace Bed or “Bed-in”.


We can’t imagine a better Valentine’s evening in Quinte! Can you? Gentlemen, this will impress the lady in your heart.

When: February 14th. The auction opens at 7:00 pm; the concert kicks-off at 8:00 pm.

Location: Wellington Community Centre’s, Highline Hall,  Wellington

TO GET TICKETS NOW: Go to http://pecmhf.ca to get info on tickets. Or call 613.476.1008, ext. 4503 or 4425.

Downtown Trenton Blooming Before Spring


Nicolas Servel, Manager, l’ Auberge de France, Trenton, takes a pause for QuinteALIVE

New growth continues in Trenton unabated. The blush is not off the rose. Downtown is quickly becoming the flower on its lapel–where a decade ago, the city had no lapel.


Patisserie at L’Auberge de France may have special meaning.

A new and exciting tenant, LAuberge de France, opens its second location on Front Street, a tributary to its long-established downtown Belleville restaurant. Founder, Jean-Marc Salvagno, a famed French Chef in the region, increases production to meet the demand by local palates seeking new and indulgent fare. Nicolas Servel runs the bistro juggling the frothing of cappuccinos, patisserie and “sandweech”. In the four seated sections, guests can experience “la belle vie”, French chansonniers, Aznavour, Piaff and Trenet quaffing from above.

Two formerly “connected at the hips” shops have moved into two locations, across the street and around the corner with different offerings. Wish etc… took over Rosehips, the florist, adding accessories and items to serve the events market. Wish, the home design shop, has expanded on Elgin street in a larger location, surprising everyone on entry with its scale, aesthetic decor and expanded selection.


Andrew Josey, Founder, Sox It To Me, poses for QuinteALIVE

Now to really sock it to us, a rare treat for our feet opened in September on Dundas. Sox it to Me founded by Andrew Josey is chock-full of socks, stockings, hats, gloves, PJs, scarves for men, women and children. Zero Point is the big brand in the store. Josey has a long history in the socks business originating in Trenton; he works the week heading a leading sock corporation in Toronto, supplying retailers everywhere. There is nary a sock store in the greater region; you could say this shop is a destination location.


Angela Wildish, Owner, Vivacious, framed by bridal moms dresses. CREDIT QuinteALIVE

Sox It To Me’s neighbour, Vivacious, was purchased by Angela Wildish from Hope Stone last June. Wildish has rebranded the apparel store’s graphics beautifully and added her touch on a new, expanded line-up of merchandise serving all sizes and ages 30 and up–70% is Canadian made. A new spa, Vivacious Day Spa, anchors the store at the rear, offering pedicures, manicures, facials, waxing and massages.


Trenton Specialties & Delicatessen storefront

Vivacious’ neighbour, Trenton Specialties & Delicatessen, has changed hands after 34 years. Former owners Rika and Bert Mouw, built a solid clientele of regulars looking for high quality Europeean foods–Dutch and German are currently the staples. It is now under the control of Erin Keats, a bright 24-year old. Keats aims to add imports from several other Europeean countries thus expanding its customer base. Who does not yearn for foods from whence you hail?

Giant Tiger is due to vacate to its new digs on the East end of Trenton; we await to see who will house this empty spot. The tenant will have to live up to a new standard–an upwardly mobile downtown Trenton, ready to serve travellers docking at its sparkling new marina this summer and locals looking beyond the big boxes.

Can Downtown Trenton* now take its earned place as a “hub of style”?

* Also known as Quinte West

VIDEO: 2014 Ten Most Fascinating People in Quinte – No. 4 : Katie Uhlmann

Enjoy the promised live interview of Katie Uhlmann in Trenton, Ontario, at the delightful Thai Sushi. Katie is shifting her role on red carpets around the globe–learn how so. Enjoy!

NOTE: Also read the story below this post on Katie Uhlmann.

2014 Ten Most Fascinating People in Quinte – 4th : Katie Uhlmann


Katie Uhlmann interviewing George Stroumboulopoulos, “Strombo”

I chuckle at the idea that I interviewed an interviewer who in turn, interviews interviewers; hence, our prefacing with Canada’s own, Strombo. In her blooming 20s , Katie Uhlmann has clocked 3,000 interviews of celebrities in the entertainment industry. In 2009, she graduated in Drama at Queen’s U. While at Queen’s she performed in community theatre and was also an on-campus reporter for the university’s local TV show. Two years later, she launched “Katie Chats”, a communication brand she boot-strapped, foisting herself into the entertainment community with a microphone.


Katie Uhlmann, Actress, Entertainment Reporter, Writer, Director

I could not help wonder from where this confidence and boldness arose in such an affable young woman (there is an Mentor revealed in her live interview). “Katie Chats” was a smart entry-point bringing Katie into contact with powerful background and on-screen players. QuinteALIVE has watched her career progress for awhile (she is an avid Tweeter.) This Trenton born and raised young woman is now well-known by many across Canada’s growing entertainment industry; but, she is also acquainted with movers and shakers South of our border.

Katie is the daughter of highly respected Optometrist, Dr. Bernard Uhlmann, Trenton. Her mother, Joanne Uhlmann, spent years developing “Spy Moms”, short, comedic video-spoofs produced here in Trenton and posted on YouTube; clearly, she was an inspiration to Katie.

Rarely do I witness a more patient, well-bred guest from my own domain. As our sound battery died out, a new take was required. And another. Our spotlight broke off our film camera and catapulted into a sea of chairs; Katie remained calm and helpful with each “slapstick” moment. She reminded me of the Queen, who reportedly spilled her tea to make her clumsy guest feel comfortable. This empathy and patience is surely a key ingredient in her quick rise and successful exploits.

Screen shot 2014-11-29 at 11.20.04 PM

Katie Uhlmann in leading role as Cassie in “Pyramid Scream,” to be released this Spring 2015.

We watch as Katie is now in post-production on a short, dark comedy, “Pyramid Scream”–Writer, Co-Director and Lead Actor. The storyline is brilliant in this 8 minute film seeking to be programmed at TIFF, Cannes and Sundance–the big three. She called in favors and built a crew of 20; but, who could turn this delightful creative down. “I will owe many beers,” she quipps in her live interview.

Katie continues on as Entertainment Reporter; but, her attention and time are now aimed at developing her acting career. She refers to herself as, “all-round goofball”–how fitting since comedy is the genre she favors. She has been in countless television shows, indie films and commercials priming her career in acting.


On set as Rachel O’Hara in feature film, “Kingdom Come.”

On December 2nd, “Kingdom Come,” a feature film where Katie plays disturbed teenager Rachel O’Hara, was released across Canada (it’s available online, retail and on Rogers on Demand.)
Katie was also cast in feature-length, “Recall” (coming out soon), with lead actors and directors, Michael James Regan and Andy Sechi  .


Soon, we may not see her holding a microphone on red carpets around the world as much; but, on the other side, speaking into one, well prepared to answer questions she has spent years forming.


NOTE: Thai Sushi, Downtown Trenton, hosted our live interview in their beautiful restaurant–there is no staged studio in Trenton, yet. Thank you Ken and staff!

STAY-TUNED for the live interview.

Enjoy the gallery below of Katie with other stellar guests:


Katie Uhlmann interviews Canadian Director, David Cronenberg, about “Maps to the stars”, his latest film heading for Cannes Film Festival


Katie Uhlmann interviews Canadian Comedian and Winner, Rick Mercer, at Canadian Screen Awards


Katie Uhlmann interviews Academy Award Winning Actress, Juliette Binoche


Marina in Trenton speeding toward launch date

Peeked in at the land designated along the Trent River, Trenton, for a look at our sparkling new Trent Port Marina. Despite the biting cold and frozen ground, it is advancing at a good clip. Here is a photo shot last Friday, January 23rd. Framing is up, including a tall architectural tower.


Trent Port Marina progress, late January 2015.


Architectural drawing of the main building.

The new marina is due for opening Spring 2015. It looks timely for boaters to make plans for one of 370 slips. Downtown Trenton’s beautification has been progressing at an unrelenting pace over the last few years. The city is ready to serve the most discerning visitors with new and refurbished bistros, cafes, shops and stylists.

It seems slips and hence, boats and yachts, will be visible from the seats in the swanky Quinte West library. It will make an already glorious view a little more interesting–making seats at its own windows and outdoor tables prime reading real estate. Mark our words, the Trent Port Marina will be a boon for Trenton–and the whole region.


We produced the short video below at (shot at 24fps) when we just launched in Spring 2012. It features our tiny marina which is rumoured to be closed. Enjoy the memory here. Or visit while you still can.