Jeff Green | Apr 10, 2019
Jim Gilmour tried to retire after closing up his meat shop in Belleville in 2010. But a couple of years later his son Nick approached him to help him when he wanted to open Gilmour’s Meats on Highway 38 in Harrowsmith.
Jim’s been working with his son ever since. They were optimistic that Harrowsmith would be a good location for Gilmour’s, which carries groceries, pre-made meals, local baked goods, and has a popular lunch counter in addition to a full meat shop.
“The rapid growth of the business from the day we opened up, was a surprise to us,” said Nick, when interviewed at the shop last week.
Early last year, the Gilmour’s began working on a new project, a store to be located in a new plaza that will be located on a property they purchased just metres to the north of where Gilmour’s is currently located.
Plans for the new location have developed over time, and Nick says that he is confident that it will be something that “fits well with the local area” as it brings in brand something that will be a step up for food retailing in Frontenac County.
If planning the new location was not enough, a new venture has cropped up for the Gilmour family. In Belleville, where Jim still lives, an opportunity to purchase an existing plaza and open a new location for Gilmour’s presented itself. They jumped on it.
With the new location and the building project on the go, and a busy store getting ready for another summer season, Nick and Jim needed some more help.
That’s where Jordan Gilmour came in. Jordan is Jim’s son and Nick’s older brother. He has been living in Cambridge and working as an engineer for years. He has been involved in project management, among other things, working for a large engineering firm in the golden horseshoe.
“I was ready to move back here and take on a new opportunity,” said Jordan last week, just a few days after moving to Harrowsmith with his wife, Jackie, and their sons Eric and Brock.
Before going to University, Jordan trained in the butcher shop with his dad, and the chance to bring his business and management skills back to the family business, and bring his own family to live in a rural Frontenac setting, was something he could not pass up.
“With the three of us, we can run the two butcher shops and work on the construction project. It gives us the opportunity to build the business as a family, which is the way we have always done things,” said Nick.
“We’ve only been living here for a few days, and we’ve already seen that this is a great community,” said Jordan of the move to Harrowsmith. “The boys started school on Monday and were made very welcome, and through all of the contacts with people that Nick has made through the store, we have been able to connect with all of the services we needed to move in and set up our house.”
“We are going to bring something to Harrowsmith that has never been here before,” said Nick, about the new store project. I don’t want to get into details until everything is finalised, but I can say that it will be a big change for Harrowsmith.”
With all of this happening, it looks like Jim, who just turned 68 last week, won’t be retiring in earnest for a while yet.