Still Fields Brewery claimed the dragon’s share of more than $20,000 worth of prizes during the 13th Annual Meaford Dragons on Thursday, November 4 – a total of $14,275 in cash and other prizes.
Still Fields Brewery’s historical connection to the community, the energy of the four young partners, and the business venture’s future prospects won the hearts and prize money of the five Meaford Dragons – Marie Catheirne Marsot, Russ Ellis, Tim Fischer, Blair Almond, and Nancy Butchart.
“You are exactly what we need,” said Marsot who committed $500 of the $1,250 allotted to each of the five dragon judges to award to the five contestants, aka slayers, on the merits of their submitted business plans and their presentations on stage at Meaford Hall.
Steven Ormsby, speaking on behalf of his partners Margaret Curtis, Owen Roth and Jaclyn Roth, asked the judges for $8,000 to develop the outdoor winter experience that they plan on-site at the brewery and retail outlet at the intersection of Hwy 26 and the 3rd Line in Meaford.
All four dragons were drawn to the craft brewery’s long-term potential, the spin-offs and ‘knock-on’ effects for local businesses, and the need for business ventures of this kind.
The draw could be international in scope, according to judge Blair Almond.
“You have a chance here to create international draw – not just local, not just regional, but with impact on the economy of the entire area,” he said.
Judge Tim Fischer was drawn to the four partners energy and passion for their venture.
“I started the day talking about what I expected in terms of a production team and back up team,” he said. “What I wanted was maturity in every aspect, but then I listened to you and I saw your passion for what you are doing. So I am giving my whole $1,250 to you.”
Still Fields Brewery is located on a 22-acre plot of land that has been in Ormsby’s family for four generations, since the 1860s. The brewery produces saison beers, that is, seasonal beers produced in a farmhouse tradition characteristic of small European, predominantly French-speaking Belgium breweries, for hundreds of years.
Adam Vaughan pitched a request for funds on behalf of the East Grey Hunters and Anglers Association. He placed second and received $2,775 in cash and other prizes toward renovations of the club’s facility, including an accessible washroom.
Red Seal Chef Christina Sheardown asked for help financing point of sale hardware and system for her proposed business venture, Sheardown Wine Bar. She won the Audience’s Choice Award. Love Me Long Time Boutique owner Hope Farrow requested funds to set up a point of sales system. Registered psychotherapist Amy Tremblay requested financial assistance in setting up a virtual trauma centre.