In 2015, Matt and Meg McTaggart started their small family-owned business, Steelhead Food Co., beginning their journey as a humble box-in-box-out wholesaler specializing in selling smoked trout to various establishments such as restaurants, golf courses, and grocery stores. However, their story took a remarkable turn in the summer of 2018 when they seized an incredible opportunity to expand their business. Local rainbow trout producer Cole Munro moved into a larger facility, and Steelhead moved into a fully automated processing facility, setting the stage for their rapid growth.
In 2019, Matt and Meg expanded their product line to include processing perch and pickerel, catering to a broader range of customer preferences. Their commitment to innovation and meeting consumer demands became even more evident in 2020 when they formed a fruitful partnership with Golem Fisheries, opening doors to a new realm of possibilities.
Winter of 2022/2023 brought a turning point for Steelhead as they received an unexpected call from Golem Fisheries in Port Stanley. The call presented an enticing offer to expand their reach and establish a second location in the beautiful fishing village south of St. Thomas. Recognizing the potential for growth and eagerness to provide the community with quality seafood, Steelhead Food Co. jumped at the chance.
Matt and Meg achieved this remarkable growth and success relatively quickly. From a modest wholesaler specializing in smoked trout, they have evolved into a multifaceted business, encompassing retail, wholesale, distribution, processing, and packing. Their commitment to quality, customer satisfaction, and adaptability has driven their flourishing enterprise.
As Steelhead Food Co. continues to grow and innovate, one thing remains certain—their commitment to providing the community with fresh, high-quality fish and seafood will always be at the forefront of their operations.
Drinks often bring people together, uniting folks, despite their differences, in the common interest of enjoying a good brew. While most people pick up some of their favourite refreshments, some like to be more hands-on, interested in how the delicious drinks are brewed and want to play a vital role in their creation. This is where Homebrew Junction comes in.
First opened in October 2020, Homebrew Junction is a haven for those who love everything homebrewed. Homebrewing is a practice in which beers, ciders, wines and kombucha are brewed in small, personal batches within a person's home for personal consumption only. Homebrewing requires unique equipment, supplies and tools often not found easily in retail, especially in St. Thomas. Owner Trevor Hawley soon discovered this, and after needing to find new employment following changes caused by the pandemic, decided, along with his wife Jen, to open up shop in St. Thomas.
In an interview, Trevor explained how great the feeling of connecting with your buyers can be. He describes how he enjoyed helping others get started in the hobby of homebrewing and helping more experienced brewers with any issues. Even just chatting with another homebrewer was an enjoyment. This downtown business opened opportunities for them and their clients to expand their horizons. With all the latest equipment, Homebrew Junction has gained a reputation for customers searching for homebrewing supplies first and foremost.
They offer everything you may need to begin your homebrewing experience, from the sugars to the distillers, and options to match everyone's taste. With over 30+ types of hops, any beer lover will find a new favourite. Homebrew Junction also carries several sweet and fruit-flavoured vodka flavouring, extracts, purees, and more for those with a fruitier palette. They also have a large selection of containers from Brumate, so you can store your self-brewed drinks. For those curious about homebrewing but still need to figure out where to begin, the store has created beer, cider and wine brewing starter kits containing everything a beginner will need. Their expert guidance will help with any questions you may have.
Homebrew Junction is a real treat for any drink connoisseurs looking to up their game and dive into the world of hands-on homebrewing. From their railway-related name to their incredible customer service, this couple-owned business has become a landmark of St. Thomas' downtown culture that will continue to flourish in the Railway City.
Curious about crafts? Are you considering DIYing some Christmas Gifts this year, or do you have a crafty person on your shopping list? Look no further than the Craft Hive! This small family-run shop of surprises first opened in August of 2022, eager to bring all their supplies to St. Thomas. This helped to fill a much-needed vacancy locally, as many local artists and craft enthusiasts had long needed to rely on online shopping or venture to craft stores in London. Now, hard-to-find items from tiny figurine model kits to oil paints can be easily accessed!
From the moment you step in, you’ll be welcomed by the beautiful array of crafts and creations everywhere. From the decorative origami swans to the delightful displays, this store invites every visitor with a plethora of colours and concepts. You’ll be sure to find something to pique your interest.
Maybe you’re curious about a particular medium but unsure how to get involved? The friendly staff is sure to help guide you on the necessary materials, techniques, and tools to bring your vision to life. With books for beginners in embroidery, drawing and more, you can follow step-by-step guides through a new genre of art. The Craft Hive also offers monthly classes and activities, where you can learn step by step about a specific product or work on a craft with a group, a great way to meet other art enthusiasts in the area.
Some of their most unique items include buildable 3D wooden puzzles, which require lots of patience and precision to make an incredible piece, from the Eiffel Tower to a wooden carousel that plays music. Another medium that has emerged in popularity once again is wax seals. While they were more notably used before the 20th century, they have since made a comeback, with more and more artisans trying their hand at the unique art form.
For all things art, from foam sheets to cross-stitching manuals, the Craft Hive is the perfect place to begin your artistic journey and even tick some names off your holiday shopping list...