Scott Maxwell has spent his whole life in retail. He’s a team kind of guy, good at motivating others, managing time, and dealing with hundreds of thousands of items. He was the assistant manager for Canadian Tire in Orillia. And, with his steady grin and quiet demeanor he managed to muscle people, items, and cash on a daily basis.

And then the store was purchased by a new owner and Scott found himself “downsized.”

When the career at which you’ve excelled comes to an end the first thing you feel is “shock.” That was sure true for Scott. But he didn’t take long before he jumped into another big retailer, moving himself and his family away from Orillia in order to take new employment. From Orillia to Windsor. And back again.

It’s a funny thing how a disaster is often the first step to new and better and that’s sure proven true for Scott Maxwell.

He moved back to the Orillia area, cash in his RRSPs and then leased a huge unit on Saunders Rd in Barrie and set out to totally retrofit the place himself. He laid thousands of feel of floor tile because he could afford to do it that way. He installed copper brew kettles, large refrigeration units, and his wife, Donna, applied faux finishes to the walls, designing countertops and work areas.

Why?

Because Scott is having a career change.

He and Donna are now the proud owners of Suds U Brew / Wine Too, on premises wine and beer production. Not only do they offer a selection of just about every kind of beer brewable (is that a word?) but they offer fruit juice wines, bottling facilities, labelling and, guess what? When you’ve brewed your beer you can can it! You can bottle it too if you prefer, but Scott’s new canning process is a big hit with people who are enjoying their beer on boats, in campsites, in RV’s and on the beach.

While Suds U Brew is a busy spot these days, the first months for any entrepreneur are full of doubt, and wonder. Did I do the right thing? Is this the right spot? Will people be able to see my sign from the highway? I’ve built it; will they come?

Scott has had tremendous support through fellow entrepreneurs all in start-up phase through the locally based Self Employment Assistance Program; and while he’s been putting in 16 and 18 hour days to get his facility finished and his first brews on tap, he’s been going to school at night to pick up the finer points of business ownership.

There is life after employment. But it takes courage, risk, fortitude, the ability to work hard, and a terrific idea! All of which Scott’s got!

Thanks, Scott. Thanks, Donna. Prosit!

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