My Muskoka Story – Jess Fraser

My Muskoka Story – Jess Fraser

Hello! My name is Jess, I am an avid line dancer, aspiring artist, nature lover and adventure seeker. I was born in the busy city but raised up north, so it’s safe to say my roots have grown deep within Muskoka!

Where are some of your favourite places to visit in Muskoka?

Our gorgeous provincial parks have always been my favourite places to visit in Muskoka. I love visiting the small towns as well but there is no better place than when I’m out discovering what the surrounding landscapes have to offer.

Canadian Woman standing in front of Banff mountains and lake wearing a black MBW quarter-zip sweater and white jeans

“There are many things to do while outdoors, but what really makes me happy, relaxed and truly feel grounded is when I’m out camping, kayaking and hiking. There’s something therapeutic about breathing in fresh northern air and getting lost in nature.”

Canadian man and woman sitting on a dock wearing Muskoka Bear Wear posing with their dog
Canadian Couple sitting on rock in front of a waterfall wearing a Muskoka Bear Wear quarter zip sweaters

You like to travel a lot – where is the furthest place you’ve been in your Muskoka Bear Wear?

I’ve taken Bear Wear with me from the great Canadian Rockies to the vast Everglades of Florida. I once even wore my classic black quarter-zip while taking a photo with the one and only, Johnny Cash, in Nashville Tennessee. I want to be comfortable when I travel, that’s why Bear Wear always travels with me.

Canadian woman sitting on a rock wearing jeans and a red quarter zip sweater from Muskoka Bear wear. She is sitting in front of a lake with trees and mountain in the background
Canadian girl wearing a heather grey quarter zip Muskoka Bear Wear sweater listening to something with headphones

What’s on your adventure bucket list?

My future adventure bucket list would include the exploration of Iceland, Italy and Australia. A closer destination that I hope to cross off the list sooner would be Yellowstone National Park. I would love to wake up early in the morning, throw on my favourite Muskoka Bear Wear sweater and venture out on a tour to witness a pack of wolves run across the plains of Lumar Valley.

Selfie of a Canadian woman wearing a red quarter zip sweater from Muskoka Bear Wear
My Muskoka Story – Jana

My Muskoka Story – Jana

Hi, I’m Jana Neps.

I’ve been a Registered Optician for the last 13 years. When I’m not working, you can find me on the trails photographing the local scenery & chasing our busy two year old son around the forest!

Canadian Woman taking a selfie in the snow while wearing a Muskoak Bear Wear toque

“I love being outdoors so Muskoka is obviously an ideal place to call home. Having access to & being surrounded by so many great parks, trails, conservation areas, forests, wildlife & lakes is one of my favourite things about Muskoka & something I never take for granted!”

Muskoka Bear Wear coffee cup beside the fire
Toddler wearing a Muskoka Bear Wear hoody and some sunglasses while driving a play car
Toddler sitting in a wagon with two bowls of strawberries wearing a red Muskoka Bear Wear cap

What are you and your family’s favourite things to do outdoors?

My family & I enjoy many outdoor activities such as hiking & canoeing. This year we decided to add a hockey rink to our backyard which made for a lot of great skates & family fun!

Photo of a dad and son walking in the winter forest. Dad is wearing a black muskoka bear wear hoodie

How did you first discover Muskoka Bear Wear?

I first discovered Muskoka Bear Wear at a ‘Midnight Madness’ event in downtown Bracebridge many years ago where I purchased my first hoody & I’ve been loving all things Bear Wear ever since!

What’s your favourite Muskoka Bear Wear item?

I’d have to say my most favourite & most worn item(s) are my quarter zips! They’re cute, cozy & I love the colours! Also, Bear Wear toques are the best!

My Muskoka Story – Kresson Taylor

My Muskoka Story – Kresson Taylor

Hi there! My name is Kresson and I’ve lived in Muskoka all my life. I love hiking, being outside, and exploring the world around me!

What are 3 outdoor adventure essentials you can’t leave the house without?

The three outdoor items I never leave the house without are my backpack (filled with some snacks, a full water bottle, and a change of socks!) a comfy MBW sweater, and something for navigating because I have no sense of direction!

Canadian Influencer Kresson wearing a Soft Violet Quarter Zip and matching Soft Violet MBW Camp Pants (sweatpants) is leaning against a tree outside and smiling.
Canadian man and woman sitting on a dock wearing Muskoka Bear Wear posing with their dog
Canadian woman looking off to the side, standing in a forest, wearing a knit toque and Muskoka Bear Wear Ladies Quarter Zip

What do you love most about Muskoka?

It’s so hard to pin down what I love most about Muskoka, but I’d have to say it’s the fact that each season has something new to offer! The fall here is incredible, summer on the lake is unmatched, spring is beautiful, and winter is magical! There’s something for every outdoorsman!

“My favourite spots in Muskoka to explore are probably High Falls, Huckleberry and Arrowhead! There are so many, though, so it’s hard to narrow it down!”

Canadian Woman standing on rock near frozen lake with hands and one leg in the air.
Canadian Influencer Kresson

What is your favourite Muskoka Bear Wear item?

My favourite Muskoka Bear Wear item is the Ladies Quarter Zip! You can never have enough of them! 🙂

Canadian woman standing in winter forest in a knit toque and Muskoka Bear Wear Ladies Quarter Zip Sweater
#MBWShoutouts Week 39: DPB Delivery

#MBWShoutouts Week 39: DPB Delivery

In response to the challenging times that we are experiencing together regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, we wanted to give props to some stellar local businesses who are stepping up to serve our great community.

Featured This Week:

DPB Delivery, Bracebridge
DPB Delivery Facebook Page

Owned and operated by Darren Budd, DPB Delivery has been in business for 7+ years serving Bracebridge and, as of this year, Gravenhurst as well. When they first opened, DPB focused on moving and large item delivery, but within the last 3 years have transitioned more into food, beverage, grocery and parcel service. DPB and their team specialize in providing fast, friendly service.

Things were busy pre-Covid-19, but really ramped up once the pandemic hit. All of the DPB drivers were equipped with facemasks, hand sanitizer and wipes for the debit/credit machines as DPB became a safe alternative for people who wished to have their essentials delivered without having to leave the safety of their home. DPB also offered an e-transfer option, allowing for doorstep drops. As DPB expanded into Gravenhurst this year, things have really expanded for their hard-working team. Darren Budd shared “I am proud of DPB’s growth as we now provide employment for nearly a dozen individuals.”

Looking ahead to the future, DPB says they are here for the long haul. “Even after we kick this virus, people will continue to use our service out of precaution and convenience” Budd said. DPB has also launched a Facebook Page to connect with their followers and offer giveaways in part thanks to the businesses that DPB delivers for, but also as a fun way of giving back to the community.

We know just how challenging this pandemic has been for businesses of all sizes and industries, but we can definitely appreciate and would like to give kudos to those who are right on the front lines serving community and ensuring families have access to the essentials they need – AND – supporting local small businesses to offer a delivery services to their patrons. Thank you DPB for all that you do for our community in allowing it to continue to be a great place to live despite the challenges posed by the pandemic.

To contact DPB Delivery, you can visit their Facebook Page, or call 705-394-5581.

If you know a local business who deserves a shout out, send us a direct message with a photo and why they should be featured.

#StayComfy #StayCozy #MuskokaBearWear

#MBWShoutOuts Week 38: Fresh Kutz Market & Grill

#MBWShoutOuts Week 38: Fresh Kutz Market & Grill

In response to the challenging times that we are experiencing together regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, we wanted to give props to some stellar local businesses who are stepping up to serve our great community.

Featured This Week:

Fresh Kutz Market & Grill, Bracebridge
Fresh Kuts Facebook Page

Located at 195 Wellington Street in Bracebridge, Fresh Kuts Market & Grill first opened in 1991 as a butcher shop and with owner Clarence Boyes’ background as a chef, also added a restaurant four years later. Fresh Kutz only uses fresh ingredients and each of the soups, sauces and even the dressings are all made in-house.

Four years ago Fresh Kutz ventured into catering which has really taken off. They offer full-service catering packages for groups up to 200 people. Clarence told us that “the staff at Fresh Kutz is our strongest point. We employ four chefs who have a wide variety of culinary experience and the wait staff is as equally qualified!

At the restaurant, Fresh Kutz is known for their fish & chips as well as their soups, seafood chowder, burgers and specialty sandwiches. They also offer daily and evening dinner specials along with a daily fresh catch.       

This past Spring, Fresh Kutz kept safety in mind and closed their doors for ten weeks, unsure of what to expect. When they first re-opened they offered a limited menu for takeout-only, which the community responded to as they were keen to enjoy their Fresh Kutz favourites once again.

When Fresh Kutz was able to re-open for dine-in service, they reduced the number of tables in the restaurant as to accommodate proper social distancing and worked hard to train their staff on the necessary Covid protocols to ensure a safe, enjoyable experience for their patrons. Clarence told us “through hard work and dedication from our entire team, we are able to keep on serving our community.”

Looking ahead, Clarence tells us that Fresh Kutz is looking forward to when things return to normal and they are able to enjoy the energy and buzz from a busy summer and are looking forward to the weddings that have had to be delayed

We want to commend Clarence and the entire Fresh Kutz team for their dedication to our wonderful community and their willingness to go above and beyond. We know there are many people who are grateful for everything Fresh Kutz has done. Way to go and keep up the awesome work!

Be sure to follow Fresh Kuts Market and Grill on Facebook.

If you know a local business who deserves a shout out, send us a direct message with a photo and why they should be featured.

#StayComfy #StayCozy #MuskokaBearWear

#MBWShoutOuts Week 37: Lilibird

#MBWShoutOuts Week 37: Lilibird

In response to the challenging times that we are experiencing together regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, we wanted to give props to some stellar local businesses who are stepping up to serve our great community.

Featured This Week:

Lilibird, Bracebridge

Owned & operated by Steen & Bev Jensen, Lilibird has been in Muskoka since 2004 when they opened for their first summer in the old stone church at the falls in Bala. They later later opened a second location in Bracebridge in 2009. As the stores grew in popularity, Steen & Bev decided that they both needed to be working in Bracebridge, so in 2015, their son Nick and his partner Eden Bachelder, bought the former Saturday Afternoons building in Bala and moved the store there, establishing their own location called Birchbark. Bev told us that “Nick still comes to Lilibird to ‘save us old folks’ every Christmas when the pace picks up!Lilibird is known for carrying a wide selection of products from bath and baby to Hatley clothing, gifts and garden, candles, home décor, specialty handmade jams, chutneys, Belgian truffles, fraktals and much more! “Our goal is to provide affordable, high-quality products that anyone would be pleased to give as a gift or to buy for themselves. We hear from people every day that they always know they’ll find something in our store when they need a gift” Bev told us.

While it was a difficult time for everyone and a challenging Spring for small retailers in general, it was particularly tough go for Lilibird, as they missed out on several key annual events that help to drive traffic through their store. Unfortunately they had to remain closed through several major events this year, but with that said, since re-opening, Bev tells us that Fall 2020 has seen a strong rebound for Lilibird, “with the snowbirds staying in Ontario this winter, cottagers remaining in their cottages and people refocusing on hearth and home types of activities.

While Lilibird was closed in the Spring, they ran some Facebook Virtual Sidewalk Sales that drew plenty of attention and support from the community. Bev tells us that if they should need to close down again, that they will resume those Virtual Sidewalk Sales.

With eyes looking to the future, Bev tells us that in the New Year they will be looking at introducing an online Shopify platform for Lilibird, as a catalogue that their patrons can browse from the comfort of their home. “For now the focus is still in-store shopping – with online being a backup. It may change, but for now we still enjoy operating Lilibird as it is with face-to-face interactions instead of online and we hope our patrons feel the same.”  Lilibird says that they are always happy to receive feedback though and will continue to listen to their supporters in the coming months. Lilibird has lots of great gift ideas available for Christmas and the holiday season and are offering extended in-store shopping hours; Monday to Friday 10am to 8pm, Saturday 10am to 5pm and Sunday 11-4.  

We would like to commend Bev, Steen and the entire Lilibird family for their hard work, adaptability and dedication to serving our great community. From offering the Virtual Sidewalk Sales to exploring the idea of an online catalogue, it can be daunting to jump into the online retail world and it takes a great deal of courage to make that leap. Great work guys and keep it up!

Be sure to follow Lilibird on Facebook or visit their website for more information.

If you know a local business who deserves a shout out, send us a direct message with a photo and why they should be featured.

#StayComfy #StayCozy #MuskokaBearWear