News – Innovation and Enterprise Centre

The latest information from the St. FX Extension Department’s Innovation and Enterprise Centre in Antigonish, Nova Scotia.

Joy Jars by Cameron

Cameron Bell, a junior high student and participant of the Summer Launch program, has been successfully running his business ‘Joy Jars’ all summer. He is selling jars filled with goodies, ranging from chocolate chip cookie mix, to a sock puppet making kit. Cameron sells his Joy Jars to family and friends, through Facebook, and by going door-to-door.

Cameron was able to purchase all the supplies he needed to get the business up and running by using the Summer Launch start up grant, received by all participants. Cookie mix Joy Jars sell for $10 each, and $6 for the sock puppet kit. $1 from each sale is donated to Cystic Fibrosis. Cameron’s five year old cousin has Cystic Fibrosis, which was his main reason for wanting to focus on this cause. So far, Cameron has over $100 from his summer business to donate to this charity. Donating a portion of your revenue is not a mandatory criteria of the Summer Launch program, so it is very admirable that Cameron, at such a young age, is thinking of others while making sales!

Once this summer comes to a close, Cameron will no longer be making door-to-door sales, but if anyone would like to place an order he would be happy to fulfill your request! To place an order, you can send an email to

Keay Lawn Care

Keay Lawn Care (KLC) is a business started up by Summer Launch participant, Hilus Keay. He got the idea for his business one day when he saw an elderly neighbor outside mowing her lawn. It was a very hot day, and he said it just didn’t seem right that she had to do it herself. Hilus differentiates his business from other lawn care companies by focusing on affordable pricing and customer satisfaction. He has too often heard of businesses overcharging for this service. Keay Lawn Care ensures that the lawn is cut to the customer’s satisfaction – a job is not complete until the client is happy.

“Let KLC give your lawn some TLC”

Hilus and his company have solidified a list of full time customers, however he does still have time for one-time cuts if anyone is planning a vacation and wants to come home to a clean cut lawn, or simply would just like to not have to mow their own lawn for a change! Anyone interested is encouraged to give Hilus a call at (902) 867-1988 or (902) 870-4166. Keay Lawn Care takes great pride in offering affordable services. Prices begin at $10 to $15 for small lawns and around $25 for larger lawns. All prices are based on the size of the lawn.

When Hilus was asked if he will continue his business in the future, he responded that he will be cutting his clients’ lawns this year until they can no longer be cut. He followed this by saying that this may be due to copious amounts of leaves, snow fall, or a nuclear apocalypse, because the weather around here lately has just been so unpredictable! Hilus has been an incredible participant of the 2018 Summer Launch program. His dedication, professionalism, and charming personality shine through all work he completes.


Gaga’s Goodies Galore

Gaga’s Goodies Galore is a bakery business created by Summer Launch participant Jake Breen, to provide customers the opportunity to avoid having to make their own baked goods for events, gatherings, or even just for home. Jake decided to start this business because he has always had a passion for baking. Since a very young age, he has loved to try baking and tasting new recipes. He thought about starting a baking business for a few years, but last year he finally started up so he could share his love for baking with others.

When asked how he came up with the unique business name, Jake told us that it comes from his childhood. His passion for baking really began when he used to visit his grandmother, who they called Gaga, and would help her out in her kitchen. Jake explained that she didn’t bake as often as some, but her entire family would agree with him that she made the most delicious biscuits, Skor bar squares, and cherry cheesecake. Just one year before Jake started his business, his grandmother passed away from cancer. When it came time for him to register a name for his business, he knew it had to incorporate a memory of her somehow. With some help from his sister, they came up with the perfectly fitting name of ‘Gaga’s Goodies Galore’.

Jake can be found at the Antigonish Farmers’ Markets throughout the summer months and he occasionally attends the Mabou Farmers’ Markets as well. Sometimes throughout the fall and winter months he attends holiday markets. He also offers delivery service, but requires a couple days of notice in order to have time to prepare the order. Ordering options can be found on his Facebook page. If you do not have social media, Jake can be contacted via phone call or text at (902) 870-6485 for more information or to place an order. He also accepts orders via email ( but prefers Facebook if at all possible! Gaga’s Goodies Galore is also in the process of becoming an Instagram page (@gagasgoodiesgalore). Jake loves completing orders, so he encourages everyone to send him a message if you are interested!

Gaga’s Goodies Galore offers products from baked breads to sweets and squares. He can often be found with different types of the following in his freezer or at his bake table: muffins, cookies, fudge, bread loaves, sweet loaves, squares, dinner rolls, and buns. He says he always features a product made using oatmeal and another with lemon flavor at his table. He is currently working on offering diabetic friendly as well as gluten free options which he is hoping to have available near the end of this Farmers’ Market season.

Jake’s top selling product has always been his homemade dinner rolls. He typically sells out of them an hour before the market is over, depending on the size of the crowd. Jake also takes great pride in his fudge sales. He always produces a large quantity and is almost always sold out by the end of the market. He says that many people appreciate the low price given the amount of fudge they receive in each package. His breads are also in high demand, often selling out!

Jake plans on continuing his business throughout the year when he has the opportunity to make sales. He is planning on being at the markets around Thanksgiving where he will have lots of dinner rolls and sweets for sale, as well as the markets during the Christmas season in which he will have lots of squares for sale. He has not yet decided if he will be participating in the Antigonish Winter Markets this year or not but he will definitely be back the following May. He always takes orders anytime throughout the year for those interested!

Jake would like to thank the Summer Launch program for helping his business get more exposure!

El Gordo Tacos

El Gordo Tacos is a taco food trailer started by Elin Cunningham, a 2018 Summer Launch participant. Elin recently visited Mexico and fell in love with the Mexican cuisine. She thought it would be great to bring this type of food into Antigonish, as the majority of options currently consist of pizza and burgers. When deciding on a name for her business, Elin knew that she needed it to be short and memorable, with a connection to Mexico. El Gordo roughly translates to fat in Spanish, so she thought it would be a unique name for a food truck, along with a personal connection: Elin’s father’s name is Gord.

El Gordo is located on a grass lot on Braemore Avenue in front of the Dr. John Hugh Gillis Regional high school in Antigonish. Their hours are Wednesday to Saturday, 11:30AM to 7PM and Sunday, 1:30 to 6PM. Elin’s plan is to be open during the summer months for now, with the potential to open up during weekends throughout the fall if the demand is present.

The menu consists of three types of tacos (chicken, pork, and refried beans) as well as Mexican rice, Mexican brownies, ice cream, and freezies. For drinks, they offer water, pop, and Gatorade. El Gordo also offers a platter called the ‘El Gordo Plate’ which consists of two tacos of your choice and a scoop of Mexican rice.

Check out their Facebook page for up to date hours, changes in menu, and more!


Canvas Clothing Company

Canvas Clothing Company is a local business started by two grade twelve students, Michael Putnam and Sam Silver. Michael and Sam began their partnership through Summer Launch, a program developed and led by the StFX Extension Innovation and Enterprise Centre. Canvas Clothing is a company working with local artists and organizations to create unique pieces of clothing. The pair started this business to bring exposure to local art and to learn how to run a business, all while having some fun!

When asked how they came up with their idea, the boys said that they have both thought about creating and designing clothes in the past and that it is something that they are both passionate about.  They pointed out the fact that a lot of clothing brands collaborate with other brands so they thought that it would be great if their brand collaborated with local artists and organizations. Michael and Sam say that this will be a great way to support local and bring exposure to this area.

This is what led them to collaborate with the art department within the L’Arche community, Hearts and Hands. 20 percent of their profits made from the shirt sales will go back to Hearts and Hands. They currently have three designs (see picture below); one heather navy featuring Anthony Burns’ art, a gold design with Tommy Landry’s flower art, and last but not least, Kelly Farrell’s harbour piece on a white shirt. The shirts come in sizes extra small to triple extra-large. They will be available for sale at the Antigonish Farmers’ Market on Wednesday, August 1st from 4:00-7:00 PM, located at 30 James Street.

The Summer Launch program finishes up at the end of August but Michael and Sam will continue working on their business throughout the year. They hope to release more collections in the future. For more information and to stay up to date on where they will be selling their product, follow them on Instagram (@canvas.clothingco) or email them at Michael and Sam are very excited to be supporting the L’Arche community during the Special Olympics and are wishing the best of luck to all of the athletes!