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A Calling Answered catsmedia
A Calling Answered – Green Canoe Outfitters
“As a kid I wanted to join the army. I was almost obsessed with that.”
Who remembers GI Joe? Wasn’t it every kid’s dream to someday follow in the footsteps of their childhood action hero’s footsteps? For Bart Spiewak it was his dream to join the army and serve his Country. “As a kid I wanted to join the army. I was almost obsessed with that.” A far cry from outdoors and adventure store owner, wouldn’t you say? That’s what we thought too! Keep reading – It gets better. The year was 1975. Bart’s parents were looking for a change of scenery and made the choice to relocate their family home from Port Hope to Cobourg. Son of a prominent tire shop owner spent his weekend’s and most of the summer months enjoying the outdoors whether it be camping or canoeing through the waters of Algonquin and the Kawarthas.
“I had this little green canoe.”
After hearing his story, there’s no doubt that Bart was made for this. Having been raised to explore all sides of everything he felt it was his duty to connect to the outdoors and connect he did. After spending nearly 6 years serving his County as a field soldier, he returned home to finish his post secondary education and, like every University student, needed a job to pay his way through. He found himself in Peterborough working for an outdoors store and shortly after finishing school returned to his home town. Bart when on record as saying he “wanted to come back to my hometown, settle down and have kids”. He and his now wife, Mandy, moved back to Cobourg to find their next adventure.
“I want to do what’s good for all of us… I want to be the hub for adventure.”
Almost as if it were calling out to them, the owners of the 15 year old operation, Canyon Mountain, were selling their business and looking for a new lease holder for their 90 King street store front.
Believe it or not Bart wrestled with the thought of buying the business but after some thought decided to jump head first into business ownership. His first order of business was to change the name and establish a name for himself in the community like his Father had done years earlier with Northumberland Tire. Bart and Mandy started brainstorming and kept being lead back to that green canoe he owned as a child. He couldn’t get away from it.