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Success Stories

To see the most recent ACOA Business Impact Stories, click here.

A perfect cuppa

AC Dispensing
For regular coffee drinkers, that first pick-me-up cup is often purchased on the morning commute, and the inconsistent addition of cream and sugar can be a real disappointment. Nowadays, a Nova Scotia-based company’s automatic dairy and sweetener dispensers help make for a perfect cup o’ Joe. Read more about AC Dispensing.

The future is green and growing in the Bay of Fundy

Mara Renewables
As a clean alternative to fossil fuels, algal oil – a bio-product derived from algae – might just be our next Great Green Hope. When it comes to tapping these microscopic wells for the biofuel of the future, a small Nova Scotia company is on the cusp of some game-changing innovations. Read more about Mara Renewables.

An appetite for flatbread

Fancy Pokket
In a small market like the Atlantic Canada, businesses require aggressive strategies to become successful exporters. Since 1989, constant innovation has helped one Moncton, New Brunswick company bake up a strategy for success. Read more about Fancy Pokket.

Cream of the crop

Prior to the 1950s, many communities had their own creameries that churned their local farmer’s milk into butter. But once refrigeration became widely available, it brought an explosion of food choice for consumers and a sea of change in the way those foods were produced and distributed. Read more about ADL.

A Critical Breakthrough

Mycodev Group
When a patient experiences critical blood loss – whether from an accident, a medical condition or on the operating table – every second counts. Having the resources and technology to stem the flow quickly and effectively can mean the difference between life and death. Read more about Mycodev Group.

The Sweet Taste of Success

Brian Allaway
As a boy helping his father tap maple trees in Pictou County, Nova Scotia, Brian Allaway never dreamed that thanks to the family hobby, he would one day become the largest purchaser and processor of Nova Scotia maple syrup. Read more about Acadian Maple.

Steely determination

Charlottetown Metal Products
In the competitive world of export manufacturing, if you’re not continually improving, you’re out of business. Nobody understands this better than Charlottetown Metal Products (CMP) in Milton, Prince Edward Island. See the video | Read more about Charlottetown Metal Products.

Forging a new path to success

Thousands of visitors flock to Atlantic Canada’s Bay of Fundy to experience the grandeur of the highest tides in the world. Now, supporters of an eco-tourism site near St. Martin’s, New Brunswick believe they’ve found a way to turn this world heritage site into a world-class attraction. Read more about the Fundy Trail.

A Step Ahead

With millions of on-line transactions occurring every day, pinpointing fraudulent banking activity can be like looking for a needle in a haystack. But one Newfoundland-based tech company is providing the tools to help banks do just that. Read more about Verafin.

Seeing the forest for the trees

Since colonial times, wood from Atlantic Canada’s forests has been harvested for everything from fuel, to building houses and seafaring vessels. With Atlantic Canadian wood products still in demand around the globe, the sustainable use of resources is more critical than ever. Luckily, many companies are rising to the opportunity. Read more about the forestry industry in Atlantic Canada.

Delicious Success

Terra Beata Farms
When David Ernst and his wife Evelyn first contemplated buying some boggy land across the road from their Nova Scotia home, they had no idea how quickly a global business could take root there. Read more about Terra Beata Farms.

Turn up the heat naturally

Therma-Ray Inc.
The ingenious ancient Romans, who warmed their rooms by installing hot air duct systems below their floors, understood the concept that heat transfers from warm objects to cold ones. Now, a Fredericton, New Brunswick heating company is showing that old concepts can have modern results. Read more about Therma-Ray Inc.

Bright ideas

In the quest for pristine water, methods for measuring micro-organisms haven’t changed much for more than a century. It can take anywhere between 24 hours to over a month to receive accurate results…until now. Read more about LuminUltra Technologies Ltd.

Greening the Concrete Jungle

If you’ve found a way to green the concrete jungle, your company’s going to make a lot of Top 10 lists. That’s what Nova Scotia’s CarbonCure Technologies is happily discovering. Read more about CarbonCure Technologies.

Keeping business afloat

Bouctouche Bay Industries
Maritime oysters have long been a favourite treat for global seafood lovers, but the traditional method of growing and harvesting them can be backbreaking work — until now, thanks to a collaborative effort in Bouctouche Bay, NB. Read more about Bouctouche Bay Industries.

Diving into History

Ocean Quest Adventure Resort
Diving enthusiasts can enjoy the underwater world just about anywhere, but not all vacation spots provide a history lesson to boot like they do in Conception Bay. There, visitors experience a neat dive, as well as a special sense of the past. Read more about the Ocean Quest Adventure Resort.

Seize the Day

Owen Fitzgerald and Dan Christmas
Cutting down on costs and improving productivity are two keys to surviving the storms of business. But for two Aboriginal businesses in Atlantic Canada, finding new markets and building on their strengths are their keys to both surviving and thriving. Read more about the Unama’ki Economic Benefits Office and NGC Nunatsiavut Construction Inc.

Spotlight on Taste

Lori and her husband Jim
It was a simple recipe on a box of crushed crumbs that catapulted Lori Kennedy from a home-grown, family-owned seafood harvesting and processing company into the international culinary spotlight. And what a leap it was. Read more about Louisbourg Seafood.

Custom grandeur

The elegance of a gorgeous staircase conjures up images of Hollywood mansions and movies like Gone with the Wind. And since 1989, a small PEI company has been doing its part to add a bit of hand-crafted magnificence to homes all over the world. Read more about Ravenwood Stairways.

Applying super ideas

Ad-Dispatch’s augmented reality technology
Ever wanted to sling webs like Spider-Man or picture yourself next to The Incredible Hulk? Now you can, thanks to the latest mobile applications from one Nova Scotian company. Halifax-based Ad-Dispatch is building the next generation of interactive advertising and promotion for the corporate world with emerging technology known as Augmented Reality. Read more about Ad-Dispatch | See a video interview with Nathan Kroll.

Resourceful ideas

Envirem products
In resource-rich industries like forestry, fishing and agriculture, harvesting and processing leaves behind useful organic waste that is usually relegated to landfill. But these days, a Fredericton-based company is supporting Maritime industry by not only managing waste, but converting it into sustainable green products. Read more about Envirem Organics.

Brain food

Ascenta products
Despite its powerhouse health benefits, fish oil’s reputation for poor taste and smell has kept it out of many Western diets. But since 2003, a Nova Scotia-based company has been working to change all that through global sale of their high-quality fish oil supplements — and all without the “fishy” aftertaste... Read more about Ascenta.

A creative tradition

Samples of crafts at the Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design
From the shelves of top North American retailers to the arms of fashionistas in Hollywood and Cannes, Cape Breton crafts are getting around these days —thanks to a local centre that’s successfully positioning craft as a “must have” product... Read more about the Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design.

Rural power

A battery being assembled
When a nation’s power grids are unstable, having access to cost-effective alternatives like solar or wind energy can mean the difference in accessing basics like safe refrigeration and lighting. And the storage that’s required to ensure a steady flow of power around the globe? No problem, thanks to Canada’s only remaining battery manufacturer... Read more about Surrette Battery Company.


School of char
Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day. Find a better way to raise fish, and he’ll discover the future of aquaculture. And that’s just what Kirk Havercroft and his colleagues at Sustainable Fish Farming are realizing today... Read more about Sustainable Fish Farming.


An enduring tradition

Balmoral Cedar
In recent years, changing economic realities have often challenged New Brunswick’s forestry industry. But a shingle company from Balmoral is defying all economic storms, successfully producing shingles for customers across two continents — and all in an environmentally-sustainable manner... Read more about Balmoral Cedar.

True Celtic Colours

Celtic Colours International Festival
Every autumn, the Cape Breton hills not only blaze into harmonious colour ― they come alive in music and song. And visitors have one more reason to come down home to take in the local sounds, unique beauty and the global celebration of roots and community that is the Celtic Colours International Festival... Read more about the Celtic Colours International Festival.

Cleared for Approach

Approach Navigation Systems
After settling in for a plane ride, few people give much thought to the systems that will guide the aircraft craft safely from departure to destination. But New Brunswick’s Brian Ahern gives such things much thought – good thing for global travellers... Read more about Approach Navigation Systems.

Cultivating Entrepreneurs

Danielle Francis
When Danielle Francis first enrolled in the Adult Learning Program at her local Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) campus, she thought she was taking steps towards a career in practical nursing. But a home renovation dilemma soon catapulted her into a whole new world of entrepreneurship... Read more about entrepreneurship at NSCC.

Cruise in All Seasons

Beth Kelly Hatt
On a good day, Beth Kelly Hatt can see three cruise ships unloading passengers on the pier from her office window at Aquila Tours. It’s a sign of how far things have come for one of the world’s top cruise destinations... Read more about the cruise industry in Atlantic Canada.

A New Menu for Tourism

A New Menu for Tourism
For years, traditional maritime charm and rugged beauty have drawn a bounty of visitors to Atlantic Canada's shores. But these days, an evolution in all things gastronomic is calling global food-minded travelers looking for new action (and brew!) a-brewing down home... Read more about a new menu for tourism.

A Concrete Idea

Polysteel's rope products.
At first glance, the connection between making rope for the fishing industry and leading innovation in concrete reinforcement may not seem that apparent. But it’s a natural creative leap for Polysteel Atlantic which promises to revolutionize construction projects everywhere... Read more about Polysteel.

A Fine Balance

Eileen Paul
In 1995, the Mi’kmaw community of Membertou had low economic prospects and morale. But a powerful wake-up call has since turned it into a modern model of Aboriginal economic development, one that looks to balance integrity and fairness for community and partners alike. Read more about Membertou.

Game Change

Samples of HB Studio's games
The gaming scene was much different when Jeremy Wellard emigrated to Canada in 1999 with an idea to start his own e-entertainment company. Today, with over 35 popular titles to their credit in an ever-hungry game market, HB Studios is not looking back. Read more about HB Studios.

Tracking life at sea

Hand with tracking device and jelly bean
For animals facing the rigours of life in the wild, the cumbersomeness of a tracking tag is something most could do without. Now, thanks to an innovative tracking device no bigger than a jelly bean, they can. See ACOA's video interview with Lotek's Mark Ploughman.

Sweet SupplyBottles of maple syrup

The ancient method of gathering sap from maple trees and boiling it into a thick, sweet syrup has become more than just an artful tradition—it’s an industry with huge potential... read more about Kenneth Maple Farms | see a video interview with Michael Salmon.


Diagnosing Business

Dr. Abdullah Kirumira
When Dr. Abdullah Kirumira left Uganda at age 19, his medical background soon took him all over the world. But it was in Nova Scotia that he created an innovative diagnostic product to help serve the health industry worldwide and save lives... read more about BioMedica Diagnostics.


Mapping Success

Dr. Salem Masry, CARIS President and CEO
Maps are as crucial for waterways as they are for roadways, helping navies plan missions and mariners navigate safely. Thanks to a NB company, ocean surveyors now have the tools they need to better understand global coastlines... read more about CARIS.


A Bounty in Boston

Seafood products
From delicious smoked salmon to our famous PEI mussels, Atlantic Canadian entrepreneurs are showcasing their seafood delicacies to international markets around the world. Check out what some had to say at the International Boston Seafood Show last year… 

Local ideas, global impact  

A hand typing on a keyboard
Some recent rising stars in the business world have two things in common: they’re all high-tech firms and they’re all from Atlantic Canada... read more about information and communication technology.   


Movie magic on the rock

A screenshot from a NIFCO film productionWalking by this quiet corner of downtown St. John’s, few passers-by catch wind of the busy creativity unfolding under the cheerful but modest facades. But make no mistake – there’s nothing modest about the success this one-of-a-kind Film Cooperative is making there these days... read more about the Newfoundland Independent Filmmakers’ Cooperative.


All that glitters Trudy Gallagher, founder of Bejewel

As a girl, when Trudy Gallagher first started hunting for jewelry at garage sales with her grandmother, she had no idea how far her love of all things glittery would later take her as a successful producer of one-of-a-kind jewelry for retailers across North America... read more about Bejewel.


Going Hollywood

A Michique handbag
When Sydney-based sisters Monique Delisle and Michelle Newcombe started turning their leftover drapery fabrics into handbags back in 2005, they had no idea their fun pastime would soon turn into a full-time fine apparel business – leading them straight to success across Canada and Hollywood... read more about Michique.


Power of the tides

Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy.
Twice a day, over 100 billion tonnes of water are forced in and out of Atlantic Canada’s Bay of Fundy. But a challenging environment and a complex seabed have hampered dreams to harness the power of the world’s highest tides for green electricity — until now... read more about  Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy.

Seafaring made safer

VMT’s SurvivalQuestMT lifeboat simulator
Launching lifeboats safely can mean the difference between life and death, but there’s never been a consistent way to safely train workers at sea. Until now — thanks to a Newfoundland company that’s helping seafarers worldwide better prepare for emergencies at sea... read more about Virtual Marine Technology | see a video interview with President & CEO Anthony Patterson.

A regal, 40-foot statue with eagle feathers.

An evolving landmark

When the world comes to visit Nova Scotia, travelers on Highway 102 are greeted by a regal, 40-foot giant with unmistakable eagle feathers — an impressive landmark bidding their arrival into Glooscap country... read more about the Glooscap Heritage Centre and Museum.

Science fiction meets reality

A small sampling of garments sold by AbbyShot Clothiers.
For dedicated science fiction enthusiasts, the ability to personify the fictional characters they admire in daily life is more than a hobby—it’s a passion. Now, AbbyShot Clothiers in Mount Pearl, Newfoundland and Labrador is turning such dreams into reality for media mavens worldwide.... read more about AbbyShot Clothiers | see a video interview with President Bonnie Cook.

Movies made easy

Greyfirst Corporation
Everybody has a story, and since Greyfirst Corporation released their free software “Celtx” to the world in 2001, more than one and a half million movie-makers in more than 170 countries have been better able to tell theirs. Based in St. John’s, Newfoundland, co-founders Mark Kennedy, CEO, and Chad House, principal systems architect, created the world’s first fully integrated software to smooth the movie production process... read more about Greyfirst Corporation.

Tapping into seaweed 

Acadian Seaplants
From the grounds of their Nova Scotia base, Jean-Paul Deveau and his team are busy working up some magic. It may not be alchemy driven by visions of ever-lasting life, but the humble stuff they work with every day is definitely turning into pure business gold. As the world’s largest independent manufacturer of specialty seaweed products, Acadian Seaplants has grown, well, like a weed — successfully selling a variety of unique products for plants, animals and people in over 70 countries and creating a whole new industry in the process… see ACOA’s video interview with Jean-Paul.

It’s a fact: Brazil is one of the markets Acadian Seaplants is tapping into abroad thanks in part to activities sponsored by the Canada-Atlantic Provinces Agreement on International Business Development.

From classroom to boardroom

Bluedrop Inc.
When Emad Rizkalla first started a university project on e-learning in the early nineties, he never dreamed that 19 years later his resulting company would be considered a global pioneering leader in the evolving industry of on-line training and e-learning. But that’s just what his St. John’s-based Bluedrop Inc. has become... read more about Bluedrop Inc.


Another kettle of fish

Cooke Aquaculture
In the fifteenth-century, explorer John Cabot was said to have scooped fish out of North Atlantic waters with baskets, so plentiful were they. But today, wild fisheries cannot keep up with high consumer demand and roughly half of all seafood eaten by people worldwide is farmed. And that’s where one family-run, New Brunswick-based aquaculture company has stepped up to meet global needs—revitalizing rural communities in the process... read more about Cooke Aquaculture.  

Ice cream cool

COWS, Inc.
Prince Edward Island conjures up images of white beaches, lobster boils – and thanks to 28 years of savvy marketing, an iconic cow serving up super premium ice cream. From one ice cream shop on the Cavendish boardwalk in 1983, Cows Ice Cream of Charlottetown has grown to nine locations selling 32 flavours, plus a popular line of merchandise, across Canada -- becoming a nationally-recognized brand in the process... read more about Cows Ice Cream | see a video interview with Sheela Curley, Cows Factory Tour Manager

Success from the ground up

Carol Ann and Percy Barnaby
When Carol Ann and Percy Barnaby first hosted an introductory computer training course for First Nations participants in 1984, they only expected a handful of people. Instead, 30 turned up – and the crowds have been growing bigger ever since. Today, their New Brunswick-based and aboriginal-owned company, Abenaki Associates Ltd., has become one of Canada’s longest operating IT companies, serving a hungry national niche market... read more about Abenaki Associates Ltd. 

Growing mulch and potential

Bonny Lea Farm
For David Outhouse and his team at Bonny Lea Farm in Nova Scotia, the connection between growing business and growing community is as organic as the products they make to support greener living. And now, thanks to popular demand for their garden mulch product — a blend of hemlock bark, composted chicken manure and super fine mulch — their mulch-making Bark Barn will soon be expanding, growing opportunities for people with special needs in the process... read more about Bonny Lea Farm.  

A room with a view

Fisher's Loft Inn
If unique location, breathtaking surroundings and authentic food are a recipe for a great vacation, then  one rural Newfoundland couple has been serving up portions just right. Visitors keep returning to John and Peggy Fisher’s unique 21-room, 4½ star inn in Port Rexton. They want more of its fine food and spectacular ocean views with a set of binoculars in every room... read more about Fisher's Loft Inn.

Innovation on the road

Michelin X One® XDA® Energy Tire
From cosmetics to building supplies, food products to electronics — business depends on big wheels to get products to store shelves on time and on budget. And in one small Nova Scotia town, the production of big tires for those “big wheels” is helping to revolutionize the international trucking industry — helping to reduce global shipping costs and carbon emissions in the  process... read more about Michelin.

In the Heat of Opportunity

Industrial Rubber Company Inc.
For many Canadian residents, sun and sand can seem a long way off when the snow banks are almost as tall as you are. But for Barry Kyle and his team of 28 highly skilled employees in Bathurst, New Brunswick, they are ever-present realities whatever the conditions outside as they build products to help Canada’s troops weather the extreme heat and desert sands of Afghanistan... read more about Industrial Rubber Company | see a video interview with President Barry Kyle

Tire recycling on TRACC

Stephen Richardson shows TRACC's products.
When John Leonard’s Minto-based company was first struggling through the trials and errors of setting up a tire recycling business,  they couldn’t know they’d soon become one of the most inventive manufacturers of used rubber on the continent ... and a fast friend to dairy cows everywhere in the process... read more about TRACC.  

When Lobsters Fly

Boxes of lobsters ready to fly the skies.
For many visitors to Atlantic Canada, the idea of boxing up a lobster or two at the airport for a little plane ride home can be an integral and charming part of the iconic Atlantic experience. But flying over 40 tonnes of it across the Atlantic ocean each and every week — to be served up on beautiful platters in exotic destinations from Europe to Asia — represents a much bigger challenge... read more about Gateway Facilities.

A new kind of helping hand

Dr. Kevin Englehart
Lending a hand to someone in need takes spirit. But making a hand for those who require one takes innovation — and that’s just what Dr. Kevin Englehart and his team of engineers at the University of New Brunswick are realizing in the creation of a more life-like, nimble and cost effective prosthetic hand... read more about UNB's Institute of Biomedical Engineering | see a video with Associate Director Kevin Englehart.

From the Miramichi to the Middle East

Sunny Corner President Gordie Lavoie.
After weathering 40 years of highs and lows on the road to economic growth, Sunny Corner Enterprises of Miramichi is one industrial construction company that can truly say, “We’ve come a long way, baby!”... read more about Sunny Corner Enterprises.  

Making Waves in Boat Building

The Hammerhead in action.
Boats are not normally made to be sunk, but manufacturing a vessel to do just that has propelled 70-year-old A. F. Theriault & Son Ltd. from traditional boat building into cutting edge innovation, and helping to train navies around the world in the process... read more about A.F. Theriaultsee a video interview with Gilles Theriault, Assistant Superintendent

Dynamic Air Shelters are in their Element

A temporary hospital built by Dynamic Air.
Harold Warner, President of Dynamic Air Shelters, knows how to weather storms of any nature.  Armed with a new ISO Certification for his Grand Bank manufacturing facility and an inflatable shelter capable of withstanding a Category 3 hurricane, Warner has created a perfect storm of success…  read more about Dynamic Air Shelters.

Voices underground

A silhouette of a miner.
For miners who are trapped underground, maintaining a vital communications link with would-be rescuers and loved ones can be critical to their survival. That's what prompted Ultra Electronics Maritime Systems to develop an innovative new way of battling earth, vegetation and even rock, to ensure the connection of voices, and minds, in challenging situations…  read more about Ultra Electronics.

Building economic strength, Fogo Island-style

Fogo Island’s new arts studio.
At first glance, fine arts and the cod fishery may not seem to have much in common.  But on Fogo Island, they are working hand in hand as part of a remarkable economic and community renewal…  read more about Fogo Island.

A honey of an idea!

John and Susan Rowe pose with their line of products.
For Island Abbey Foods, an innovative idea that started with a sticky, messy honey pot accident on a camping trip has now resulted in a unique food product winning international culinary acclaim, including top prize at the world’s largest food exhibition…  read more about Island Abbey Foods | see a video interview with John Rowe.

Creating tourism experiences ... PEI-style

Sand sculpting.
When guests of the Briarcliffe Inn reach the end of the road overlooking the Northumberland Strait in beautiful Bedeque PEI, they not only hear nothing but quiet, they’ve found a perfect spot for a little solitude ... and maybe an adventure or two... read more about Briarcliffe Inn.


In the genes

DNA strand
Colorectal cancer isn’t an easy topic to discuss, but with the highest rate in Canada, the people of Newfoundland and Labrador can’t afford not to. Thanks to a new research led by Memorial University that looks to track the genetic basis of this form of cancer, improvements may yet be on the horizon... read more about MUN's Faculty of Medicine.


The business of growing

An employee conducts a check on peat moss pellets
As makers of peat moss pots and pellets, plastic trays and other ready-to-use items, Jiffy Products is well positioned to meet today’s increasing demand for greener garden products. It’s all part of their effort to keep innovation front and centre in their development of useful new tools for growers... read more about Jiffy Products. 

Tourism at its finest

When enRoute Magazine lists you as one of the 100 favourite things to do in the world, it’s a sure sign that your business is on the right track.  In the case of Lighthouse Picnics of Ferryland NL, it’s just reaffirming something they already knew: beauty and history never go out of style... read more about Lightouse Picnics.

Greening tree protection

An FPL aircraft spraying trees
Protecting millions of trees from the devastating impacts of forest pests while meeting strict environmental standards poses significant challenges, but Forest Protection Limited is up to the task through the creation of “greener” bio-pesticides and better ways of delivering them... read more about Forest Protection Limited | see a video interview with Managing Director Dave Davies.

An-other ocean

Deirdre Ayre.
Andrew Ayre left his Newfoundland home two decades ago to blaze a trail in the emerging video game industry in California. Since then, he’s taken a piece of his heart from San Francisco and brought it "back home," setting up a successful, world-class development team right here in Atlantic Canada... read more about Other Ocean Interactive.

Good health, good business

Dr. Manohar Bance.
You can sense the enthusiasm when Dr. Manohar Bance talks about the new hearing technology research being developed at the Capital District Health Authority in Halifax, NS.  It’s an excitement that is certainly justified in a growing hearing aid market worth over $36 million worldwide... read more about CDHA.