Business Buzz: Edgar and Joe’s Cafe expands to second London location inside Innovation Works

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After a successful start at Goodwill Industries on Horton Street, Edgar and Joe’s Cafe has opened a second location at Innovation Works at 201 King St.

A grand opening was held on June 22.

The cafe, which is open to the public, is just inside the front doors of Innovation Works.

A Goodwill Ontario Great Lakes initiative, Edgar and Joe’s is a gathering place and food operation with a social purpose.

It makes fresh, affordable food available, with healthy choices from a variety of foods, made from scratch with locally sourced ingredients whenever possible.

It also employs, trains and apprentices people to work in the food and hospitality industry, while showcasing success stories, with a view to breaking down stigma and eliminating attitudinal barriers for the workers.

“These are typically people who are to develop careers and face barriers in the job market,” said Michelle Quintyn, president and CEO of Goodwill Ontario Great Lakes.

Goodwill operates a six-week hospitality training program for people who want to enter the industry. Quintyn said about 90 per cent of the trainees find a job.

She said Innovation Works was a logical choice for expansion because it is a co-working space for social innovators.

“Innovation Works was looking for a socially innovative food partner, so we fit right in,” she said,

To keep the operation efficient, the kitchen of the cafe at Goodwill Industries will prepare most of the food for the new location, which is about one-quarter the size of the original location.

The Edgar in the cafe’s name is Dr. Edgar J. Helms the social innovator who founded Goodwill in 1902. Joe remains unidentified.

Tepperman’s grows warehouse

Tepperman’s, a family-owned Southwestern Ontario furniture retail chain, is boosting the size of its distribution hub on Wharncliffe Road South by almost 50 per cent.

The Fortis Group has begun the construction of the 4,366-square-metre expansion of Tepperman’s 9,290-square-metre distribution hub. The project should be completed in the fall.

Tepperman’s was founded in Windsor in 1925 by Nate Tepperman and sells home furnishings, appliances, electronics and mattresses.

Andrew Tepperman, grandson of the founder, is now the president and his brother Noah Tepperman is the treasurer.

The retailer operates stores in Windsor, Chatham, Sarnia, Kitchener and London.

Startups make their pitch

London’s TechAlliance recently held its 60-Second Pitch at the offices with 15 startups making a rapid-fire bid for support.

The winners were:

• First place: Katherine Tomaszewski, Clausehound

• Second place: Zach Haven, Miistro

• Third place: Owen Winkelmolen, PlanEasy

• People’s Choice: Patrick Hazzard, SpeedyShop

The three winners will split more than $55,000 in acceleration business resources.

STEM Camps want girls to join

STEM summer camps have expanded the number of locations again this year, offering kids an experience in science, technology, engineering and math.

Launched by Kevin Cougler in 2013, STEM Camps ( is a family-operated non-profit based in Woodstock, which now has 46 locations across the province.

The camps allow children and youth ages five to 13 to participate in engaging science and tech programs that could lead to better employment opportunities in the future.

Cougler said about 20 per cent of the STEM campers are girls and he wants to boost that number. He noted federal Science Minister Kirsty Duncan recently made expressed frustration over the low number of women entering science and technology careers.

“While the last four years have seen close to 4,000 girls attend STEM Camp, as an organization, we’re still falling well short of the parity we’re after. And that’s not OK,” Cougler said.

Marketers polish craft

The annual Influence Event has recruited a real expert this year: Terry O’Reilly of CBC Radio’s Under the Influence.

The event, organized by Susan Regier for business leaders, sales teams, entrepreneurs, and community influencers, will be held Sept. 27 at the Oakwood Resort in Grand Bend.

Proceeds from the half-day event designed will help support Victim Services Huron County.

O’Reilly used his experience in the advertising industry to create a program focusing on trend in the marketing and branding.

This is the third year for the Influence Event. Last year it was held at the London Convention Centre and drew more than 300 people.

Melissa Schenk, owner and founder of MS2 Productions, will be the emcee, introducing a panel of master influencers from the local community.

The Influence Event runs from 8 a.m. to noon and includes a buffet breakfast. Early bird tickets are available until Aug. 15 at $125 each or a group of five tickets for $500.

For more details or to purchase tickets, visit

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