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With summer just around the corner, many Canadians are beginning to dream of drifting on the serene blue of a lake, under the hot sun, on their very own pleasure craft. At Xtreme Marine, located at 1978 Westchester Bourne just inside of Nilestown, this dream can become a reality. Owner and founder of Xtreme Marine, Rob Belore, has been helping Middlesex County residents find their ideal fishing and pleasure craft since 2007. “It’s a fun industry,” says Rob, “when the customer comes in they are excited about their purchase. A boat lasts a long time; you get to build that relationship with the customer.”
Since starting as a small boat service shop in 2007, Rob has expanded his business to include a 9000 square foot showroom, four drive through service bays, an accessories shop, a tackle and bait shop, and over 13 full and part time employees. “Sales don’t ever seem to slow down,” Rob says about his booming business.
The store and service bays are open year-round, but Rob says the busiest time for him is from January to May because of the many boat shows he and his expert staff attend across Ontario. At these shows, the customer can view Xtreme Marine’s wide variety of boats and get a feel for which type of boat will serve their needs the best. Xtreme Marine offers new and used boats from Legend, Larson, and Triton, as well as pontoons from Harris Pontoons, and motors from Mercury.
Rob attributes part of his business’ success to his location in Middlesex County. “It’s convenient being close to the people and close to [London],” says Rob, “Nilestown is a great fit because people are comfortable towing their trailers here.” Rob has built his business on the tenant of great customer service. He says being in a small town allows him to interact one on one with the customers better.
For those interested in purchasing a boat, Rob’s advice to new buyers is to watch out for water conditions, get your boat serviced regularly, and most importantly, “buy something that fits your needs.” These needs vary from customer to customer. The most popular selling boats at Xtreme Marine are fishing boats due to Southwestern Ontario’s prime fishing spots, however, recently there has been a surge in popularity for pontoons. Pontoon boats are convenient for families, and are becoming the go to boat for all ages; old and young alike.
In the near future, Rob is hoping to expand his business even further by capitalizing on the growing trend of buying luxury items online. His website (www.xtrememarinelondon.com) – is already impressive but, keep an eye out for Xtreme Marine’s new online store, coming later this year.
For now, Rob and his staff are hard at work getting their boats ship-shape for the rush of spring buyers. As the last of the snow melts, soon the sight of boats being towed up and down the roads of Middlesex County will be a sure sign that summer is here.
Xtreme Marine London
AWARDED LEGEND'S TOP INDEPENDENT CANADIAN DEALER FOR 2015!
1978 Westchester Bourne
London, Ontario, N6M 1H6
519 641 0505
By Marlene Cornelis of Urban Cottage Life
How sweet is it that Canada produces most of the world’s maple syrup? Almost as sweet as knowing Middlesex County is home to numerous sugar bush operations. A trip to a sugar shack to see maple sap transformed into dark amber syrup is a late winter tradition for many in our area.
A recent sunny country drive took me to Fort Rose Maple Company near Parkhill. My mission? To learn more about maple syrup production and stock up on this natural, unrefined and nutritious sweetener. After an interesting tour of the sugar shack, I lingered in the store where maple products ranging from syrup to candies to maple spun sugar are sold. It was hard to ignore the tempting aromas from the pancake side of the house, but I stayed on task and left with an array of maple delights and inspiration for a treat to celebrate sugaring season.
The cupcake I created is deceptively simple. There are no spices, extracts or nuts to distract from the star ingredient, maple in two forms: maple candies I ground into sugar and the rich, flavourful syrup. Topped with a swirl of maple frosting, this cupcake showcases maple syrup in all its premium — and local — glory.
Sugar Shack Maple Cupcakes
Fort Rose Maple Company didn’t have granulated maple sugar available when I visited, so I purchased some maple leaf-shaped pure maple candy (for the pantry, honest!) and ground it into sugar with a small food processor. These maple cupcakes have a delicate maple flavour and slightly crispy top. They’re delicious on their own; adding the sweet maple frosting takes them to the next level of indulgence!
Note: The flour, baking powder and icing sugar are measured using the scoop and level method.
Pre-heat the oven to 350°F and line a muffin tin with 12 large paper baking cups.
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup butter, softened at room temperature
1/4 cup firmly packed maple sugar (I ground 8 maple leaf candies, or 85 g)
1/2 cup maple syrup
For the cupcakes, measure the flour, baking powder and salt into a small bowl. Stir and set aside. Using a mixer, beat the butter a few minutes until light. Add the maple sugar and cream on medium-high speed for about 5 minutes, stopping to scrape the bowl once or twice. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat on medium-low speed until they’re incorporated, scraping the bowl once. The mixture will look somewhat split at this point.
Add half the flour mixture and beat in at low speed, then add half the maple syrup. Repeat. Scrape the bowl and beat on medium speed for about a minute until the batter is smooth. Use a spatula to scrape the bowl and for any final stirring.
Using a small ice cream scoop, portion the batter evenly among the 12 muffin cups. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 25 to 27 minutes, or until the cupcakes are domed and golden. Use a toothpick to test for doneness; if it comes out clean, the cupcakes are ready.
Set the muffin tin on a cooling rack for 5 minutes. Then remove the cupcakes from the tin and place them on the rack to finish cooling.
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 cups icing sugar (also known as confectioners sugar)
5 to 7 tbsp maple syrup
maple spun sugar to garnish (optional)
Use a stand or hand mixer to cream the butter. Turn off the mixer and add the icing sugar. Beat on low speed until the butter and sugar start to come together; it will still look pretty dry. Add 4 tablespoons of maple syrup, then beat on medium speed until the frosting starts to become creamy. Beat in the rest of the maple syrup a tablespoon at a time as required for the frosting to reach a spreadable but somewhat stiff consistency.
Once the cupcakes are completely cool, spread the frosting on with a knife, and, if you like, embellish it further with a flourish of maple spun sugar. Or, apply the frosting using a piping bag fitted with a large decorative tip. My favourite design is a flat rose, made by starting in the centre and working around to the outside.
Credit for recipe and photos: Marlene Cornelis, Urban Cottage Life.com
Middlesex County was awarded first place for its Invest in Middlesex website at the Economic Development Council of Ontario Conference this past week. The awards ceremony, which honours best practice economic development efforts from across the province, was held on Thursday, Feb. 9th at the Toronto Marriott Eaton Centre Hotel.
The County’s Director of Economic Development, Cara Finn and Warden Don Shipway were on hand to accept the award. The website, which showcases the economic diversity and opportunities in Middlesex County, was produced by the municipality in partnership with Giant Goat web design. “With membership of over 1000, EDCO is the country’s largest provincial economic development association and the awards are extremely competitive”, stated Finn. “Winning this award in the Technology and New Media Category: 50K – 250K, is a real honour for a municipality of our size”.
Winning first place in this prestigious competition is especially rewarding for the County as the website has been a key project of the municipality, and is the second EDCO award bestowed to them since they launched their new economic development branding “Invest in Middlesex County….we appreciate your business”.
Last month Middlesex County Economic Development launched a brand new feature for the Invest in Middlesex website. This new “Add a Listing” feature allows for the exclusive opportunity to post commercial properties that are for sale in Middlesex County. Real estate agents or private sellers are encouraged to post their own personalized listing under Available Properties on InvestinMiddlesex.ca. It’s simple, easy, and, did we mention, completely free! This new feature was designed to help businesses expand and invest in the Middlesex area. This feature is part of the larger Middlesex County’s Economic Development Strategy to promote growth and opportunity in Middlesex County by fostering local businesses. If you are selling a property in Middlesex County check out our new listing feature to get free exposure and sell your property quickly.
Good news for residents and visitors of Middlesex County – there is a new and exciting way to promote community events. VisitMiddlesex.ca, the official tourism website for Middlesex County, launched the “Post Your Event” button under the Calendar section of the website last month. This feature allows the general public to post any Middlesex County community events for free! This feature highlights Visit Middlesex’s dedication to community-based, family oriented, and inclusive tourism. Events can include but are not limited to: free public skates, fundraising auctions, Church dinners, and more. Just fill out the information of your event, include a picture, and press submit. That’s all! Attract Middlesex County locals, and visitors, to your event, all in the click of a button.
If you aren’t familiar with Mobilize, it’s a new staffing model that works on a rotational placement basis, supplying tourism, hospitality, resorts, golf courses and food services businesses with a continuous supply of hard-working young employees from across Canada. Mobilizers rotate to different locations seasonally so businesses always have fresh, motivated staff.
Are you short staffed for the upcoming summer season? There isn't much time left to secure staff before your busiest season begins. Contact Mobilize and discover how young Canadians can fill summer labour shortages at your business.
Hurry! Our workers get booked fast.
To get staff for May start, sign up by March 15th.
More than 25 properties have already signed onto the program in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and the Yukon. Check out client testimonials and case studies on our website. Read feedback from properties including Deerhurst Resort, Sawridge Inns, Mount Robson Inn, Mountaineer Lodge, Elmhirst's Resort, Copper Point Resort, Bayview Wildwood Resort and more.