Windsor-Essex business competition winds up

Ryan Percy
By Ryan Percy March 23, 2018 14:45

Sarah Barrette runs the Cheese Bar and says she is excited to work with Generator Design on a website if she wins Windup. (Photo by Ryan Percy)

By Ryan Percy

Windsorites are voting on which local business will get a marketing makeover.

A popularity contest for Windsor-Essex businesses will see the top three brands win a marketing makeover by Generator Design. The winner will be awarded $15,000 worth of services.

The employees of Generator Design have been serving businesses with creative consultation and graphic design since 1996. The team has changed with the times to now offer more technologically focused options such as social media management and app development.

Alan Crouse is one of the original partners of Generator Design and focuses on web administration, design, client representation and project management. He says the contest originally started as an idea to bring attention to local nonprofits. The team at Generator decided to also highlight local businesses this year.

“From the last three years we started to see a few of the same nonprofits applying,” said Crouse. “We just wanted to mix up the waters a little bit and knowing businesses are just as important as nonprofits. It helps the community, helps our economy and helps bring people into the workforce. We thought this year we would switch it back up and bring it to the businesses.”

The Bean Pod, a business owned and operated solely by Maria LeBlanc, was the first win of the Windup contest when it was just called the Generator Cares Giveaway. The business had focused on handcrafted crochet items. The business was open for three years when it was selected by the community and Generator as the contest winner. However, LeBlanc suffered a wrist injury not long after her win which forced her to slow down production and eventually close her store. She said the suite of services had a great impact on her company’s outward appearance.

“The best aspect of the services was definitely the logo design,” LeBlanc said. “It was perfect and gave my business a very professional edge.”

After LeBlanc’s business won, Generator’s team shifted the Windup contest to focus exclusively on nonprofit organizations in the Windsor-Essex region. After three years the team decided to open it up again to businesses.

The Cheese Bar in Emeryville is located in a garage behind a house on one of the small town’s side streets. Its owner, 33-year-old Sarah Barrette, opened the store in May of 2015 at the Walkerville Night Market. The business eventually moved to its current storefront and has plans to move again to a larger location. The Cheese Bar is in second place of the 23 businesses competing. Of these 23 businesses, the top four are female lead.

Barrette says while she thinks the competition is strong between the businesses she wants voters to make their own decision.

“Vote for somebody you know, somebody who you think is deserving of it and somebody you think can benefit from it,” Barrette said. “Yes I would love it but at the end of the day if I don’t win I’m super stoked for someone who does.”

You can vote for your favourite business at

Ryan Percy
By Ryan Percy March 23, 2018 14:45

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