Feel-Good Business Growth in Downtown Bowmanville During COVID-19

Author profile photo of Brent Colmer Brent Colmer

"It is encouraging to see all the business growth in downtown Bowmanville as it demonstrates the strength of a supportive, close-knit community..."

Looking back at the past year, it’s exciting to see the local businesses in and around downtown Bowmanville that have endeavoured to expand their businesses during a time of such uncertainty. While new businesses opened, others have chosen to expand or move their established operations. Either way, it is encouraging to see all the business growth in downtown Bowmanville as it demonstrates the strength of a supportive, close-knit community.

If you’ve walked or driven along King Street—the heart of downtown Bowmanville—there is a good chance you’ve seen many of these thriving small businesses. Downtown Bowmanville has a rich history and many of these businesses have been a part of its downtown for decades. In contrast, others have only popped up in the last few months. From yoga studios to tattoo shops, we’ve seen a number of businesses pick downtown Bowmanville as the place to start, continue or expand their business despite the restrictions in place due to COVID-19. As a community, we value shopping local and supporting our small businesses, and will continue to do so this year.

Evolve Yoga & Wellness

Located at the corner of King Street and Old Scugog Road, Evolve Yoga and Wellness recently opened its doors in November 2020. Co-owners Krystle Simms and Amanda Pye wanted to take on a new challenge after opening a successful massage therapy and wellness center, also located in Bowmanville. Evolve Yoga & Wellness is a space for yoga, meditation, fitness, group circles and more. This is a space for people to find their power, flow and inner peace. Krystle and Amanda have created a spot for people to nourish their soul, body and mind through yoga and wellness.

The Toasted Walnut

The Toasted Walnut, previously at the corner of King Street and Division Street, has moved to a location on King Street. The new space is larger with a second level allowing ample space to expand their dining room and allow for events (once safe to do so). The Toasted Walnut is a cafe that offers baked goods and fresh homemade meals, and offers takeout and catering. The lunch menu includes soups, salads, sandwiches, wraps and more. They are open for breakfast with a large selection of hot drinks, including cappuccinos, lattes and hot chocolate. If you are looking for baked goods, you’re in luck! They have a wide variety of baked goods, including squares, tarts, scones, brownies and cookies on display.

The Nook Realty Inc. Brokerage

The Nook delivers a fresh and modern approach to real estate. In April, Kelly Squires debuted the new location for her real estate brokerage. It’s located just footsteps from King Street on Church Street. In 2018, Kelly opened her own boutique-style brokerage, and for the last few years, the brokerage was located inside the trendy Bowmanville Factory; a hub for business growth in downtown Bowmanville. Kelly is an award-winning realtor with over 10 years experience in real estate. Real estate brokers like Kelly have embraced a more modern and fun way to buy and sell real estate by offering a customized concierge service level.

Kemp Travel Group

After more than twenty years in business providing exceptional travel experiences to residents throughout the community, Kemp Travel recently acquired Lakeshore Tours. These two local businesses are now located in a newly renovated and gorgeous space in downtown Bowmanville. This family business, started by Sheila Kemp when she was just 23, has grown to employ more than thirty employees across Durham. Her daughter Erin joined the company ten years ago and continues to manage the family-run operation to this day.

Endivine Grill & Bar

Endivine Grill & Bar opened up in downtown Bowmanville at the start of 2020. Endivine offers a mix of comfort food, including poutine, sandwiches, wraps, pasta and risotto, savoury pies, pizza, wings, and so much more. There are so many choices for your breakfast, lunch, or dinner dining. Within weeks of opening, they had to pivot to offering takeout and delivery only. Their food is absolutely delicious and I wholeheartedly recommend giving them a try.

The English Rose Tattoo Club

Nathan Draper, owner and tattoo artist at The English Rose Tattoo Club, opened the doors to his shop in early November 2020. Nathan knew he could make something special in downtown Bowmanville, and this beautiful space connects to the creative atmosphere of the downtown. Knowing Bowmanville’s strong sense of community, the shop was opened underneath his fiancé Kara’s business, Mae Salon, when the space became available.

Petit Nordique Boutique

Andrée Linnell, owner of Petit Nordique Boutique has long had a special place in her heart for downtown Bowmanville. Not only is Andrée a resident, but she has always loved the atmosphere and other neighbouring shops. She had dreams of owning a store in the historic downtown before opening up her shop. Andrée and her husband Brodie had already began running their shop in downtown Bowmanville, and the storefront was ready for expansion. The couple started the process, but right when they got the approvals and inspections done, COVID-19 hit. Since then, Petit Nordique Boutique has ramped up its online and curbside shopping. They carry ethically made, and high-quality products from mama-operated small businesses. From nursery decor to booties and bonnets, you can find the cutest items for the little one in your life!

An Uncommon Year for Business Growth in Downtown Bowmanville

We realize that the past year has been challenging and hasn’t been purely about business growth in downtown Bowmanville. It’s important to respect that not everyone has been in a position to grow their business during the trying times of the past year and, sadly, some have even had to close their doors. Having said that, it’s also important to celebrate and support the businesses within downtown Bowmanville that have pushed through it all, and even thrived.

NOTE: At the time of publishing, Durham Region is in a province-wide shutdown with extensive measures in place to stop the spread of COVID-19. Residents are encouraged to stay at home except for essential trips, wash hands frequently, wear a mask and physically distance from others.

We continue to publish these stories to encourage you to explore these businesses and communities online and through social media. When possible, please order for safe curbside pick-up if offered, and prepare to explore these areas once they can safely reopen.