At a crossroads like many new graduates Erica Wagner and partner Joel Fitzpatrick struggled with the decision “Do we move off Island, continue school or start a business?” Erica, a business graduate, had worked extensively in the food service industry and often ending up focusing on that industry in her assignments. “I always knew that one way or another that I would be involved in this industry.”
In the fall of 2010 her family shared that the Pub in nearby Tyne Valley was up for sale. This casual conversation sparked a 2 month project to write an extensive business plan. Erica offers “I tried to communicate my passion and ideas for the business, what we brought to the table in the plan. A business plan should be something you can use.” The result of those initial efforts was the couple officially opening The Landing Oyster House & Pub on May 14th, 2011.
Before launching this business Erica approached Resources West Inc. to access the Skills PEI Self Employ PEI program which includes; start-up counseling, access to tools and resources, business training and financial support for up to 52 weeks. She completed the RW Small Business Program – workshops introducing entrepreneurs to essential business skills. Erica shares “I really enjoyed the workshops, it was so practical, and everything covered was something I used in one way or another in my business.” To learn more on the Self Employ PEI program contact your local Skills PEI office or Resources West at 853-4555 or online at www.westerndevelopmentsolutions.ca
A successful summer season now in the books saw the operation employ as many as 15 employees in the small community of Tyne Valley. Erica reflects on the first 5 months of operation. “It was a great year for tourist traffic; a lot of people were looking for inside activity with the weather. Locals formed our core in the evenings; we’ve had great support from the community. People come to see familiar faces and meet new people. “
The authentic small town pub is open 7 days a week and the owners are excited to see that the new Sunday morning breakfast offering is just as popular as Thursday night trivia and their Saturday evening live entertainment. With the best selection of draft beer in West Prince and lots of local produce on the menu there is something for everyone. The Landing is welcoming bookings for Christmas parties big and small with capacity of up to 70 featuring some new flavors and a fresh take on the normal holiday menu. Another unique offering for your holiday function is the choice to add personalized trivia unique to your group or business. Planning is also underway for a big New Year’s Bash.
During Small Business Week, Resources West encourages you to support local small businesses like The Landing Oyster House & Pub whom create jobs and make Western PEI a great place to live, work, dine and shop.