Business and politics do mix
Ed Puddephatt of Paddletale’s Tackle, Shelley Lyall of Mountain Orchards, North Dundas Township Mayor Eric Duncan, Bob Volks and Louise Beckinsale of Gilligallou Bird Inc., and Deputy Mayor Gerry Boyce were a few of the celebrants at the North Dundas Chamber of Commerce 7th Annual Wine and Cheese Networking Event, on Wed. Sept. 20, at the IDP Group plant in Chesterville. A record crowd attended.     Vetter photo

Candice Vetter
Record Staff
CHESTERVILLE – Close to 200 people were estimated to have attended the North Dundas Chamber of Commerce 7th Annual Wine and Cheese Networking Event, making it a runaway success, with a packed room for the entire evening. North Dundas Mayor Eric Duncan speculated that the wine and cheese night on Wed., Sept. 20, probably had record attendance.

Hamed Asl and Mike Dagenais grin for the camera at the North Dundas Chamber of Commerce 7th Annual Wine and Cheese Networking Event, on Wed. Sept. 20, at the IDP Group plant in Chesterville. Vetter photo

Organizers said they had sent out 140 invitations and by 7 p.m. of the 6 – 8 p.m. evening they had added two pages of extra attendees to their list. It was the place to see and be seen, with plenty of representation by local politicians and dignitaries, local businesspersons, service organization members, volunteers, and other area movers and shakers.

Part of the appeal of this event, which continues to catch on more each year, was its location – the IDP Group headquarters at 171 Main St., North, in the Chesterville plant.

The eager and curious were out to see what IDP owners Hamed Asl and Mike Dagenais have done to the building since they took it over a couple of years ago. It was once owned by Nestlé and had not been occupied for many years. The IDP Group purchase was a great relief to area residents who had been worried that the plant would continue to deteriorate the longer it sat unoccupied.

A slide show running throughout the evening showed the facility as it had been, and guests could be seen comparing then and now. The guests were very impressed with the amount of work that has gone into the facility, although owners Asl and Dagenais are still doing more renovations, but are now at a less crucial stage and starting to do some décor changes. Last year they first had to handle some major electrical and plumbing issues to update the building to current codes and make it ready for their business and their business tenants.

The wine and cheese showcased locally produced food and drink, featuring wine from Smokie Ridge Vineyards, cheeses from Parmalat and St. Albert Cheese Factory, breads from BEA Breads, and desserts from The Right Bite. Joy To Share decorated beforehand and of course many volunteer members of the North Dundas Chamber of Commerce helped out.

Each year the event provides an excellent opportunity for businesses and stakeholders to network and learn about other businesses and services available in North Dundas.

Early in the evening speeches were made by Stephen Mann, Economic Development and Communications Officer for North Dundas; North Dundas Mayor Duncan; Hamed Asl, who spoke as both the owner of IDP Group and of the plant itself, and described plans for the facility; then Shauna Baggs the SDG Tourism Coordinator, spoke about SDG County Tourism Information Signage and Grant opportunities.

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