Maja’s Garden Bistro is a seasonal business that operates in Mindemoya on Manitoulin Island. Guests enjoy organic food grown in Maja’s own bio-diverse garden.
In addition to a scenic outdoor dining experience in Maja’s Tea Garden, guests can sign up for workshops, from solar heating and cooking to creating a homestead garden for medicinal herbs. Maja also welcomes bus tours passing through the town.
Maja never invested much time in social media or online advertising. The Bistro relied on the seasonal traffic that flocks to the Island and on word of mouth.
All that changed with the pandemic, which impacted tourism across Manitoulin during the summer of 2020. Maja worked with Digital Main Street (DMS) to access grant funding and the professional expertise and coaching to help turbocharge her digital presence.
The first step has been to build a library of compelling visuals – video and photos – and use these assets to support marketing campaigns through Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. She has also worked with DMS on search engine optimization (SEO), to draw more traffic to her website from Google search.
“Digital mentorship leading to digital business health is crucial for my business, to reach our clients in the format that they are searching,” Maja said. “The grant and the mentorship from DMS will make it possible for me to catch up in the digital world.”
The Digital Main Street program has been further extended through funding from FedDev Ontario and the Ontario Ministry for Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade (MEDJCT). The new round of funding includes $42.5 million from the Government of Canada’s Regional Relief and Recovery Fund, a national recovery initiative delivered by Canada’s regional development agencies. With $7.45 million from Ontario, this combined federal and provincial project will strengthen Ontario’s economic capacity for innovation, entrepreneurship and collaboration, and will promote the development of a strong and diversified Ontario economy. For more information, please visit digitalmainstreet.ca/ontariogrants