In our Fall Blog, we had the opportunity to feature our friends at the Rockton World’s Fair who appreciate mutuality – giving back to the community that supports them. In this month’s blog, Mutuality at Work – PART SIX, we feature our policyholders in Paris and Lynden that focus on making a difference in their communities and beyond. Enjoy reading about Studio50 Living and Shearlea Acres.
772 Governors Rd East, Paris, Ontario N3L3E1
The European ideal of function and intention married with style is the basis for Steve and Kim Prokopowich’s design business, Studio50 Living based in Paris, Ontario. While visiting family in Austria as a teenager, Kim became inspired by the trust and transparency of the mountain village where they lived.
What began as exploring the properties of concrete’s thermal mass with their kids on a summer’s evening, a curiosity of science, art and engineering, has transformed into a thriving business of uniquely-designed functional yet beautiful hand-cast concrete furniture and homewares. Their first design remains a top seller; the Rock Bottom Vessel – a round bottom science flask paired with a concrete base. It is the perfect decanter to chill or warm your beverage of choice at the ideal temperature. They have embraced the functionality and beauty of concrete to create many other products, from furniture to sinks & vanities; from homewares to jewellery. Every piece is carefully and thoughtfully designed and made to last.
Not only do Steve and Kim create, they also teach! They host workshops in their beautifully restored barn’s loft above the retail shop that shares space on their 2 acre property with their workshop and home. Kim and Steve use these workshops as an opportunity to educate their customers about the hand-casting process of concrete with a little glimpse of behind the scenes studio life. Check out their web site, as they have already posted several workshops for 2023. Classes are limited with an airy, relaxed atmosphere, all about slowing down and enjoying the people you are with, while learning something new.
Workshops are just one way Steve and Kim create community. They also support local businesses by sharing knowledge and giving referrals – that’s what good neighbours do. They work together, not against each other. Being good stewards of what has been entrusted to them is equally important – they bring awareness and donate to local organizations by selling the demo pieces they create in their workshops.
We recommend checking out everything Studio50 has to offer this holiday season – their pieces, designed with care and intention, make wonderful gifts that will be treasured by the recipient. And we won’t blame you if that recipient is you!
Shearlea Acres Farm Market
3826 Governors Road, RR #2, Lynden, Ontario L0R 1T0
Sharon and Earl Clugston are as equally passionate about farming as community. In business since 1973, their story began with a roadside stand and stall at the Burlington and Hamilton farmers’ markets. Sharon and Earl took the leap to their own Lynden farm store in 1996. Grass doesn’t grow under their feet – in addition to farming and operating their store, they are still at markets 3 days a week six months of the year and were recently presented a milestone award – 50 Year Market Vendor at the Burlington Centre Lions Farmers’ Market!
90% of the produce sold at the Shearlea Acres farm market is grown by the Clugston family on their farms and the remaining 10% is purchased from other local farms and vendors. Shearlea Acres makes an active effort to team up with other suppliers in the area, producing an extensive variety of product and fun ‘On Farm Events’ throughout the year. Perhaps you enjoyed their “Take and Make Scarecrow Kits” or “Pick Your Own Pumpkins” this fall? Dumfries was thrilled to partner this year with Shearlea Acres to provide free pumpkins to our community. We so appreciate their support of community.
The Clugston’s keep the community engaged both in-person and online, through their Facebook platform, whether they’re sharing community events, crafts, recipes or tips and tricks. The Clugston’s are active members of their community (as well as surrounding communities) and having 9 grandchildren involved in various sports/activities makes sure of that! Sharon is also the treasurer for the Lynden Canada Day celebration. From sponsoring numerous minor hockey teams including the Beverly Bandits and the Cambridge Hawks, to being a partner of the Flamborough Food Bank – Shearlea Acres truly knows the meaning of community. Community involvement is in the genes – you are as likely to find the extended family fundraising for Rockton Elementary School as participating at the Rockton World’s Fair.
Sharon’s perspective on community is that everything – each farm, business, and neighbour—is heavily dependent on one another. She understands the interconnectedness of community and how we all rely on one another.
Shearlea Acres is open year-round from 10:00am to 6:00pm. Keep up-to-date by visiting their Facebook page. Stop in to pick up some local produce for your holiday meal!
A special thank you to our amazing policyholders who share our vision. We wouldn’t be the company that we are without you.