[Small Biz Spotlight]

Three Business Owners and Their Formulas for Success

Left to Right: Roger Cheer, Spinnaker Suites; Nikki Fotheringham, The Greenmoxie Refillery; Mike LaCombe and Sarah Nippard, Quinte Plumbing;

These local entrepreneurs appreciate their connection to the outdoors – and spend their well-deserved free time making the most of it.


It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the lovely Spinnaker Suites on Presqu’ile Bay in Brighton have a nautical feel, from the fish ceramics to the views of the water. Roger Cheer, co-owner of the boutique hotel that was renovated in fall 2020, is a world champion sailor. He also trained with the Canadian Olympic kayaking team, and now the Brighton native loves going out on his paddle – board at home on Presqu’ile Bay – when he’s not doing handyman jobs or looking after his guests, even helping them light their fire pits. For Roger, Spinnaker Suites is the perfect combination of business and pleasure. “I’m a water baby,” he says. “Being out on the water is freedom. The Bay is my place.”

The Greenmoxie Refillery

When you spend most of your time outside as a kid, you develop a strong and lasting connection to nature. For Nikki Fotheringham, her passion for the planet took root in her childhood home of South Africa and nurtured her career as a green-living author and owner of the Greenmoxie Refillery home and personal care products. The all-natural soaps, sprays and moisturizers contain lavender, wild rose and cedar that she harvests on her Warkworth farm.

“If you want people to care about the environment, you’ve got to get them to connect,” she says of her efforts to give people outdoors tips (check out her campfire recipes) and eco-friendly options. Her products come in Mason jars that you return for refilling. Her next project? “A cookbook called Taste Buds which is all about cooking with flowers.”

Mike LaCombe and Sarah Nippard,
Quinte Plumbing

The theme that ties Mike LaCombe and Sarah Nippard together? Water.

The couple launched Quinte Plumbing from their Frankford home by the Trent Canal this spring, and at the same time bought and restored a 1983 sailboat to enjoy on the Bay of Quinte. “I used to teach sailing, so I’m going to teach Sarah how to sail,” says Mike. Sarah, who is in charge of business admin, has a knack for learning new skills and occasionally goes out to worksites with Mike. “Lucky for him I’m handy and know the names of most of the tools. He can just ask me to pass him something and I know what he needs,” she says.

Story by:
Karen Hawthorne

[Fall 2022 departments]