[Small Biz Spotlight]

Small Biz Spotlight Fall 2023

left to right: Helen Field, Hf Etiquette; Mike Skratt & Steve Sunday, Skratt’s Tree Service; Tim Porter, Tweed & Company Theatre

What you learn as you’re growing up can resonate years later. These local entrepreneurs have launched businesses on exactly that theme, developing their unique talents to share with the world – and with the people of Watershed country!

Helen Field,
HF Etiquette

Let’s set the record straight on this one: There’s never a good time to be fashionably late, according to etiquette expert Helen Field. You should always be punctual, especially in business; and when it comes to a dinner invitation, never come early, either. “It’s a courtesy to your hosts because they’re preparing the food and they want everything to be ready,” she explains. “Arriving on time is part of being a good guest.”

Simple courtesies and manners are things Field grew up with in England, where she established herself as a consultant for high profile events. Field moved to West Lake in PEC in 2021 to “have a little adventure” and was approached to offer tips on making the most of social interactions. She established HF Etiquette as a result. “It’s all about making people feel comfortable.”

photograph by Tim Forbes

Mike Skratt & Steve Sunday,
Skratt’s Tree Service

Mike Skratt never pictured himself working inside at a desk job. In fact, he’s absolutely fine with extreme heat and cold, poison ivy and the challenges that come with the tree service he runs out of Cobourg. “You need a strong work ethic and a love for manual labour,” he says of the traits he shares with his son, Steve Sunday, his right-hand man at Skratt’s Tree Service.

Skratt studied forestry at college and worked for tree companies while he was a student, then formed his own company more than 25 years ago in Prince Edward County, later moving to Cobourg (he has an off-the-grid house in Waupoos where he goes to fish). He also enjoys passing on knowledge to clients. “There are a lot of interesting tree species out there and there’s so much to appreciate.”

Tim Porter,
Tweed & Company Theatre

“Musical theatre star” is not a typical career goal for a small town kid who grew up on a beef farm near Tweed.

But Tim Porter has done it in a big way, devoting his talent to productions like The Wizard of Oz: The Panto at the King’s Wharf Theatre in November and shows in his own hometown. Porter is the founder and artistic director of Tweed & Company Theatre, launched in 2008 to bring professional theatre to the local community. He’s developed and premiered three original musicals, including the fan-favourite Hastings! The Musical. Next up, Miss Caledonia, which starts September 21.

“I thought I was going to build houses for a living, but I sang in church and my high school drama teacher told me I was going into theatre,” he says. The most rewarding part? “The audiences and the excitement after the shows.”

Story by:
Karen Hawthorne

[Fall 2023 departments]