Town & Country

March 2019

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Editor: Pat St. Germain – Saturday, March 16, 2019 GREEN & CLEAN BIOMASS GENERATES ECO-FRIENDLY HEAT AND ELECTRICITY S T . A D O L P H E PAR EXCELLENCE DISC GOLF GAINING GROUND IN PEMBINA VALLEY W I N K L E R / M O R D E N GROWING BID BY BID AUCTIONEER FOUND HIS CALLING AT AN EARLY AGE W I N K L E R W I N K L E R AWARD IS A SIGN OF PROGRESS FOR RISE ATHELETICS AND WELLNESS PG 2 PG 3 PG 4 PG 6 PG 5 COME OUT TO PLAY REGIONAL THEATRE COMPANY WELCOMES ALL AGES W I N K L E R / M O R D E N Country Town M A N I T O B A & PEMBINA VALLEY EDITION TripleGreenEnergy is a leading North American clean energy solution provider. We manufacture and distribute biomass furnace systems along with our BioRoter compost digestion systems. We are representatives for SCW furnaces manufactured by Sturgeon Creek Welding Ltd. and ElectraTherm ORC generators. Let's work together to reduce the reliance on fossil fuels for a cleaner and greener environment! PHONE: 204-883-2378 EMAIL: Charley B's Classic Grill and Ice Cream Parlour features locally sourced ingredients from all over southern Manitoba and is open seasonally from about mid-March to mid-November. The business is run by Charllotte Guenther (the Charley of Charley B's) and Katelin Letkeman. They started out working together at another local restau- rant in 2004 and, over time, they built up a friend- ship and decided to pursue their dream of owning their own place. Both women are of Mennonite extraction, which influences their cooking just a wee bit, including a Mennonite poutine featuring a traditional cream gravy. "Charllotte and I do a lot of experimentation and come up with a lot of the recipes together, but she definitely bangs them out and perfects them," says Letkeman. "For Charllotte, it was always about the food. She grew up watching her mom cook. She just loves cook- ing — it's her thing." Letkeman was more interested in the hospitality angle. "Making people feel good — even better than when they came — and seeing people smile has al- ways been just really satisfying for me personally," she says. "For both of us, food represents community so a lot of our recipes are unique to our kitchen, unique to our area, and to our culture." While neither of the women took up any spe- cific culinary or business training, they've been avid participants at workshops and conferences, along with a few courses designed to help entrepreneurs on their way. "We purposely go out to network and that defi- nitely gives us a competitive advantage because we are the brand, and we represent our brand outside of our business as well as inside of our business." They do their best to share that desire for skill de- velopment with their employees. "We have one staff person who's been working with us for four years and people just know him as, 'The guy who works at Charley B's' and he really likes that because it gives him a kind of personality in the community, so it's nice to see that kind of thing with our staff and to see them grow in the service industry," says Letkeman. "Operating a business that attracts youth employ- ment gives me great opportunities to do exactly that." She says working as a pair of women business own- ers in a smaller community does have its challenges. "It does drive us both to work hard to set an example for the young girls growing up in a tra- ditional community, to show them that if they set their mind to it, they too can achieve their wildest dreams," she says. "We both believe that great leadership is the key to success and we want to help create future great leaders." Because community is so important to them, Guenther and Letkeman market themselves as a business that uses local partners as suppliers, and they've noticed other restaurants are starting to ad- vertise local ingredients, as well. "We continue to seek out local suppliers because it's one of the ways we feel responsible to our com- munity's sustainability," says Letkeman. "Partnering with our neighbours is extremely important because our contribution has started a momentum for other businesses as well as helping to grow our community and encourage local entre- preneurship." Letkeman has been heavily involved in the Travel Manitoba rebranding project that paved the way for Explore Morden Winkler, which promotes the cities as a regional destination, and she serves as a Winkler Chamber of Commerce board member. Guenther volunteers her time making/manag- ing Co-op's Community Pizzas, which gives back to The Bunker Youth Ministry and Central Station Community Centre. "I also volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters as a mentor and facilitate a girls' group surrounding female empowerment, balanced eating and active living and other issues young girls face in our com- munity," says Letkeman. She says that while Charley B's is a great way for them to make their living, it lets them make a life in the community. "We both truly love our community and see the beauty in it," she says. "Charley B's has allowed us to use our strengths within our community and it's given us an amazing opportunity to change peoples' lives and we want to use that opportunity for the right reasons." Check out Charley B's menu, hours and list of local suppliers at M anitoba's temperatures are climbing slowly upward, bringing the promise of warm weather pleasures. One of those pleasures is found at 850 Main St. in Winkler. " We continue to seek out local suppliers because it's one of the ways we feel responsible to our community's sustainability." – Katelin Letkeman Photos courtesy of Charley B's GRILL OF THEIR DREAMS Restaurateurs serve their customers and their community BY WENDY KING

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