Jun 27, 2018

Located on highway 41 near the southern end of Mazinaw Lake, not far from Bon Echo Park, Smart’s Marina has been serving the boating needs of Mazinaw Lake residents and Bon Echo Park visitors for many years.

Now, thanks to the ambitions of Ange Defosse, office manager at the marina, a new business is taking hold in the marina store, Smart’s Mercantile.

The idea for the store came from a visit Ange took to some other cottage areas, including Prince Edward County.

“When I saw that they were offering to visitors, I thought we could start to bring in local food and arts to make our region a better tourist destination,” Ange said.

“Ange had the idea for this. She came to me with it and I said she could go for it. She made it happen. She got in touch with local producers to see if they wanted to sell their products here, and she approached Frontenac County for some leads and followed them up. It’s amazing what she has found and how many people are excited about it,” said Pauline Smart, who owns the marina with her husband Steve.

“Over the winter, we began working, we worked on redoing our convenience store and are very excited about the outcome. We have changed the interior and brought in some new products to focus on local products and small businesses in our area, while still keeping our ice cream bar, convenience grocery items, and camping goods,” Ange added.

Smart’s Mercantile is featuring a wide range of local and regional products including: Arden Pottery, Blue Tick Blacksmithing, Backwoods Honey, T&D Sauces, DFC BBQ Sauce, J.R. Watkins products, County Coffee, Abby’s Gardens Preserves, Hart ‘N Hart Mazinaw themed apparel, Farmacy Bath and Beauty, Ree’s Family maple products, Backwood Country Creations, and the list goes on.

The store started with a soft opening in early June and has already created a buzz in the local community in advance of Sunday’s grand opening/summer kickoff event.

The celebration runs from 11am-4pm on Sunday. The meat for the rib and sausage BBQ is being provided by another new local business, Milligans Meats, which is located in the former Cloyne Home Hardware Store. DFC BBQ sauces will be on hand for taste testing their sauces with the BBQ. Other vendors, including J.R. Watkins, Backwoods Country Creations and T&D Sauces, and others, will also be there.

To celebrate Canada Day, free Sundaes (one per person) will be served, and there is a 10% discount on all local items in the store.

Smart’s Mercantile will be open 8am-7pm Monday to Saturday all summer, 9am-7pm on Sundays.

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