#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
Website: www.Lilibird.com

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

#MBWShoutOuts Week 36: Old Mill Family Restaurant

#MBWShoutOuts Week 36: Old Mill Family Restaurant


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:

Old Mill Family Restaurant, Gravenhurst
Visit the Old Mill Family Restaurant Facebook Page

Located at 155 Muskoka Road South in downtown Gravenhurst, Old Mill is a family-owned-and-operated restaurant, that first opened in 2015 at the historical building that used to be the home of Sloan’s. Owners Miranda & Alan are preparing to celebrate Old Mill’s 5-Year Anniversary on December 11th. Old Mill focuses on serving breakfast & lunch along with traditional British-style fish & chips. Believing that food is one of the most important ingredients to a happy life, Old Mill takes pride in offering comfort food that is elevated and that homestyle cooking helps to bring back memories of times with loved ones.

Miranda, co-owner of Old Mill, told us about how 2020 has been a challenging year for their family and the restaurant, “With two young children to care for, not only were we facing the fear of how our business would survive, but we were also afraid for our health and well-being.” But Old Mill has strived to make the most of the situation and was able to continue serving the community by offering a curb-side pick-up option at the early onset of the pandemic.

As time went on and the restrictions evolved, Old Mill really stepped up their game and with help from the local Health Unit, introduced several safety procedures that allowed for them to re-open for dine-in service. By reducing the number of tables, limiting the number of guests, hand sanitizer being made available, full PPE for all staff and more, Old Mill is doing everything they can to ensure patrons have a safe experience when visiting the restaurant.

Although COVID-19 gave us a big challenge, we still believe that rainbows come after the rain” Miranda told us. “As an entrepreneur, confidence is the key to keeping us going, staying passionate and staying motivated.” Despite all of these challenges, Old Mill decided to go above and beyond by introducing the community to a completely new offering: Old Mill Corner Café – a dedicated space to explore exciting new beverages, real fruit smoothies, slushies, milkshakes, ice cream & desserts. “We are definitely looking forward to next summer! With the Old Mill Family Restaurant and the Corner Café, we are ready to serve downtown Gravenhurst!

Not only has the Old Mill Family Restaurant been able to continue serving community throughout these challenging times, but they have also expanded their business and launched a new project with the Corner Café. We are blown away by this and would like to acknowledge their hard-work and their vision. It certainly is an inspiration to the rest of us in the business community. Way to go Old Mill!


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 35: Twin Maples Farm

#MBWShoutOuts Week 35: Twin Maples Farm


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:

Twin Maples Farm, Severn Bridge
Visit the Twin Maples Farm Facebook Page

Twin Maples Farm, located in Severn Bridge, Ontario is owned and operated by Christine Jameson and in 2019, celebrated their 20-Year Anniversary. Twin Maples Farm provides horse-drawn wagon rides for all occasions; including private family rides, public events, resorts and parades as well as romantic carriage rides for weddings, anniversaries or date nights. Families can take rides directly at the Farm, or the horses can be brought to the the chosen event site.

In March, when the COVID-19 restrictions began, Twin Maples Farm had a full week of wagon rides booked with local resorts that had to be cancelled. In the days that followed, the Ontario Equestrian Federation laid out restrictions for all barns to close their doors to all but essential staff involved in the upkeep of the horses’ health and safety. As one could imagine, this was a very stressful time for Twin Maples Farm. Not only were they not allowed to offer wagon rides or have the boarders visit their horses, but the Farm still needed to purchase hay and grain to keep the horses fed.

With several winter events that make up a large portion of the revenue required to look after the horses cancelled this year, Twin Maples Farm spent time brainstorming and creating a safe, holiday experience for families to visit on the Farm. After consultation with the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit to ensure all COVID Safety Protocols were being met and that sanitation stations were available throughout the Farm, Twin Maples Farm has proceeded with the launch of their special holiday event.

‘Christmas on the Farm’ is running every Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM until December 20th. This is Twin Maples Farm’s first year hosting this event which includes a wagon ride, pony rides, photos with Santa, letters to Santa drop-off, farm animals, vendors, bonfires, hot drinks, snacks, and a fry truck. The Farm is also booking private family rides for the holidays that are an hour in length.

We can’t imagine how difficult it must have been through the Spring with having to maintain upkeep for the horses and the Farm… let alone not being allowed to have Boarders visit their horses. That’s why we want to acknowledge all the amazing hard work and perseverance of all those involved with the Twin Maples Farm team and operation. We hope things go smoothly and successfully with the Christmas on the Farm event and that it becomes an annual tradition.

Be sure to follow Twin Maples Farms on Facebook and Instagram.


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 34: Full Paw’Tential Pet Grooming

#MBWShoutOuts Week 34: Full Paw’Tential Pet Grooming


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:

Full Paw’Tential Pet Grooming, Gravenhurst
Website: www.FullPawtential.ca

Full Paw’tential Pet Grooming, located at 114 Muskoka Road South in Gravenhurst, just celebrated their 6th anniversary of being in business! They have grown from a part-time, one-woman grooming salon to an 1,800 square-foot, modern salon with food, retail and grooming supplies for the public. Full Paw’tential has four compassionate and skilled employees with complementing personalities. They are super excited because one of their staff is excelling in her training and will be attending a prestigious grooming school in January.

Like all businesses, the arrival of Covid-19 forced Full Paw’tential to take a step back and re-evaluate how they could continue to serve the community. After being closed for 8 weeks, Full Paw’tential bounced back and discovered a renewed appreciation for their clients and the community at large. They implemented a wide range of safety measures and were able to resume their much-needed pet services. Full Paw’tential tells us that the are feeling the love and feeling needed with each and every day and they are so pleased to be providing their services again.

Looking ahead, Full Paw’tential told us that they have Treat & Toy Christmas deals coming in the weeks leading up to the holidays and will be hosting their first-ever Seniors Day on December 1st. Additionally, their walk-in nail trim Thursdays, which have become a huge hit, and they will be continuing as well.

As pet lovers ourselves, we know just how important it is to take care of our furry friends and it is a testament to the Full Paw’tential team’s love of animals and our community that they have endured these challenging times with such gusto and care. We want to acknowledge all of their hard work and thank them for the work they are doing to support our great community. Well done to all involved! That’s worth of a high-paw for sure!

Be sure to follow Full Paw’tential on Facebook & Instagram!


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

7 Ways to Spread Kindness for World Kindness Day!

7 Ways to Spread Kindness for World Kindness Day!

November 13th is World Kindness Day so we turned to RandomActsofKindness.org for some ideas on how you can spread some love and kindness to those around you. In fact, they have a list of 7 ways you can make kindness part of your normal daily routine, so let’s dive in!


#1 Send an uplifting text to a friend or family member.

You can make someone’s day just by sending them a quick message to let them know you’re thinking of them. Maybe you’re thanking them for something that did for you recently or just saying how much you appreciate them.


#2 If you drive, let someone merge in front of you, or let someone else go first at a stop and do it with a wave and a smile.

We’re all in a hurry to get somewhere, which means it can really have a big impact to let someone go ahead of you when out on the road. Maybe it’s letting someone have that prime parking spot, or pull ahead of you at the drive-thru, but certainly don’t underestimate the impact of such a gesture when driving.


#3 Include intentional moments of laughter and delight in your daily routine.

Is there any better medicine than laughter? If you find it, let us know! In the mean time, we highly recommend a good ‘ole belly laugh at least once a day. Whether you pull up something funny to watch on YouTube, or you can find humour in the world around you, be good to yourself and let yourself have some fun each and every day.


#4 Go slightly outside of your comfort zone once a day to make someone smile.

Alright, you don’t need to hang up-side-down from a tree to pull this one off! The sentiment here is that we all might be missing a chance to show kindness because we’re too shy to seize the moment. Well, we say go for it. If that means being a bit silly, or being the butt-end of a joke, it’s all fun if it helps someone smile.


#5 Share an appropriate compliment with a co-worker or friend.

We can all agree that sometimes being at work isn’t the number one place you’d choose to be at any given time, so why not offer a pick-me-up to those around you by sharing a compliment with one of your co-workers. Tell them that they handled an interaction with a customer well, or that you appreciate their work and you can have an huge impact on someone!


#6 Reach out to a friend or family member of you haven’t spoken to in a while.

It’s natural to want to feel included and thought-of by those we care about, so instead of waiting for that extended family member to reach out, why not be the first to say hello. A thoughtfully-written letter, e-mail or text will go a long way at not only nurturing that relationship, but spreading kindness and joy in all you do.


#7 Gift someone to a small treat – maybe it’s a friend, a stranger, or even yourself!

This one is our favourite because it’s something you can do for a stranger, a loved one or even for YOURSELF! Yes, YOU! We all deserve kindness, so why not pay yourself some kindness by treating yourself to a little something-something. Maybe it’s a delicious snack, or just going for a cruise with the tunes up, be kind to yourself and you will see an immediate impact on your well-being.


How many things from this list have you done today? What about this week? Well, with World Kindness Day on November 13th, we’re reminding you to be kind to those around you, your friends, your family and to yourself.