Submitted by Anna Radey
Fenelon Falls has always been a unique destination for visitors. Tourists and locals alike are often enamoured with the variety of attractions within the boundaries of our small town. However, at its core, Fenelon is all about the people who make each and every visitor feel special and welcome.
One of the town’s greatest ambassadors is Randy at Grr8 Finds. His store is located in the heart of downtown and has been in operation since February 2009. Given his passion for antiques, it was only natural that he would eventually expand his business to include over 50 vendors and 1900 consignments. His venture has been so successful, that he was one of the first businesses in Fenelon Falls to start practicing standardized hours, (7 days a week, 364 days a year), which has proven to be quite effective. With many small businesses getting their start from being a vendor at Gr88 Finds, Tim Wisener of the Colborne Street Gallery notes that Randy “may be one of the most effective small business incubators within the City.”
Grr8 Finds offers up a visual wonder of unique items for all occasions and tastes. The vendor spaces are stocked with items of all sizes, with enough variety to fit any budget. Randy has a desire to ensure that everyone finds what they are looking for. His store even includes a candy counter for the local children, and those who are young at heart. Randy said his favourite thing about the store is “making memories. From the kids growing up as they come in to get candy, to the customers who purchase something and come back to tell me what they have done with it.”
Along with being a pillar of the business community, Randy is also a staunch ally of the LGBTQ community, and is often the provider of a safe space for teens to come and share their thoughts and perspectives, as well as perhaps gain a little wisdom along the way. Dakota Tilling, a student at Fenelon Falls Secondary School who stops in to see Randy nearly every day, notes that when Randy offers life advice or encouragement, “it’s always been very, very helpful. And he always seems to go out of his way to make sure that everyone else is happy. One thing he offers is a safe place for high school students to go if they’re having a rough time. You just go and sit on the bench at his candy store and you’re good.”
As we celebrate Randy’s 10th anniversary in Fenelon Falls, we wish him continued prosperity, both as an entrepreneur, as well as a supporter of the local community. If you find yourself downtown, be sure to stop in and congratulate Randy. You might even walk out with a little treasure of your own!