It’s been said that true business success is attained only when you inspire people. Inspiration in business terms can come in many forms; influencing customers to choose your brand, infusing your employees with the belief in your business so they use their best selves to represent you, spurring those in your community to support you and be your biggest ambassadors, and exerting the passion within yourself in order to sustain and elevate your business vision. What is one of the biggest triggers for inspiration? Love. Today’s champion blog tells the story of how the love of Guysborough Nova Scotia sparked inspiration for one business owner.
The story surrounding the Authentic Seacoast and Mr. Glynn Williams is a remarkable one. A visit to Guysborough impacted Mr. Williams so much that he committed himself to the belief in Nova Scotia and set out to fulfill the potential he saw for the area. With a focus on two of the original export industries, tourism and manufacturing, Mr. Williams has made tremendous strides in revitalizing Guysborough and inviting everyone to share in the treasures found there. Mr. Williams continues to foster his businesses in Nova Scotia by recognizing the importance of investing in people and sustaining communities through improved business practices. This is A Tale of Guysborough ; one man’s journey to help bring the history of the Guysborough area back to life.
A Tale of Guysborough
Written by: Doug Anweiler, Vice President, Marketing, Authentic Seacoast Company
Guysborough is the perfect setting for story telling. Continuously settled since the early 1600s, Guysborough is one of Canada’s oldest communities with epic battles on its harbour, an adventuresome seagoing past and a natural beauty that is unsurpassed.
People often say Guysborough is Nova Scotia’s best-kept secret. We say make it Nova Scotia’s best-told story. And with a commitment to make a difference in rural Nova Scotia, Glynn Williams has been doing just that over the past decade.
Like early explorers before him, Glynn discovered Guysborough cycling up the Nova Scotia seacoast nearly 30 years ago. That adventure led him to purchase a home in the area so he could get away from it all to pursue his passions for fishing, photography, hiking and music.
While Guysborough was the perfect oceanside retreat for a busy Bay Street executive, it was the story of this community that called out to him to be told. When a local microbrewery and pub sat vacant two years after a German businessman developed the property, he stepped up to tell the story of Atlantic Canada’s first commercial brewery.
Next door, the historic Hart Building on the Guysborough Waterfront was also for sale and Glynn stepped up to tell the story of a store where steam ships docked, bringing goods and people to the community. An historic inn also sat vacant and Glynn again stepped up to tell the story of the legendary DesBarres family.
He restored the second floor of the brewery and pub building and reopened it as the Rare Bird Pub & Eatery in 2003. Also that year, DesBarres Manor Inn reopened as an inn and restaurant following a million dollar renovation. The inn has gone on to receive six Wine Spectator Awards of Excellence, Nova Scotia’s Cuisine of the Year, the Canadian Wine Annual’s best places to eat & stay in Atlantic Canada and was on the Toronto Sun’s list of 9 of the most romantic hotels in Canada. The Hart store is now the Skipping Stone Cafe & Store renting sea kayak and canoes, once again being a welcoming door to the Guysborough harbour.
A couple of years later, what was the Belmont Golf Course and Resort was in need of serious investment and Glynn again stepped up, injecting the capital necessary to keep the golf course running and rebranding the scenic course and accommodations as Osprey Shores Golf Resort. Together, these hospitality and tourism businesses emerged as the Authentic Seacoast.
But in a community that has seen its population in decline since 1921, more than hospitality and tourism is needed to bring about sustainable growth. There was a story to be told in the proud trading heritage that made the Guysborough harbour a bustling centre of shipping in the 1800s. To tell this story, Williams has created the Authentic Seacoast Brewing Company, Full Steam Coffee Co., Authentic Seacoast Distilling Co., Glanbùrn Artesian Water, Authentic Seacoast Soap and Harbour Belle Bakery, all with a focus on exporting quality Guysborough products to the world. These products serve as ambassadors for the Authentic Seacoast, a way for people to make a connection with the spirit of our magical place by the sea.
The Authentic Seacoast Brewing Company’s Rare Bird Craft Beer continues Guysborough’s proud brewing heritage begun in Guysborough in 1659 by the enterprising Acadian Nicholas Denys, the oldest commercial brewery in the Maritimes. These craft beers are sold across Nova Scotia with plans to export outside of the Province.
The Full Steam Coffee Co. roasts certified organic, fair trade coffees that are sold in Sobeys stores across Atlantic Canada along with other fine grocers, coffee shops and restaurants. The S.S. Malcolm Cann, the steamship that brought people and goods to the Hart Store on the Guysborough harbour, graces every bag.
The Authentic Seacoast Distilling Co. is building a distillery on the historic Osprey Shores Golf Resort peninsula with premium spirits to be sold in the NSLC in the not too distant future with distinctive brands that capture more of the history and spirit of this special place.
Likewise with Glanbùrn Artesian Water, Authentic Seacoast Soap and the Harbour Belle Bakery, each business is committed to quality products that connect people to our place, our history and our traditions.
The Authentic Seacoast is a story that wants to be told. With Glynn’s patience, vision and a dedicated team of people who share the dream, it’s a story that’s being heard.
Introduction written by : Jennifer Falkenham