Social media has played a key element in building a loyal following for Rubber Boot Farm.
Headed by the husband-and-wife team of Marcel and Karine Forget, the family-run enterprise grows pasture-raised chicken, pork, eggs, vegetables, and honey, all sold direct to customers from its Timmins acreage.
Opening their operation to the world with a steady online stream of photos and anecdotes about farm life has enabled the Forgets to stretch their catchment from the Timmins area up to Chapleau, Kapuskasing, and all the way to Moosonee and Moose Factory.
And that’s led to significant growth for the operation.
“We are, as of this year, the largest pastured poultry producers in Northern Ontario,” Marcel said during the 2023 NOVA Awards, hosted by the Timmins Chamber of Commerce. “That means a lot for that to be happening in Timmins.”
Their finesse with brand awareness earned the Forgets the NOVA Award for marketing during the 2023 event, which was held in Timmins on May 11.
Marcel credited the farm’s success to the community’s support. In addition to individual consumers, a number of local restaurants use their products in their dishes.
“In 2022, we supplied approximately 6,000 meals to the community right from the farm, grown locally here for everybody around us,” Marcel said. “And that wouldn’t be done without all of your support.”
The NOVA Awards is an annual tradition in Timmins, recognizing businesses that have performed admirably throughout the year.
This year, 15 awards were handed out in 12 categories.
A full list of the 2023 NOVA Award winners follows:
- Contribution to the Community (1-5 employees): Near North Video Productions
- Contribution to the Community (6-10 employees): Just Natural Holistic Spa and Institute Inc.
- Contribution to the Community (11+ employees): Rehab Plus Rehabilitation and Fitness Centre
- Best Place to Work: Ineos Calabrian
- Young Leader: Chad Tolonen, Timmins Mechanical Solutions Inc.
- Marketing: Rubber Boot Farm
- Innovation: Mid-Town Bowl
- Service Excellence: Riverside Dental
- New Business: Millson Veterinary Services
- Business of the Year (1-5 employees): The Wizard of Paws
- Business of the Year (6-10 employees): Northern Equipment Services Inc.
- Business of the Year (11+ employees): NPLH Drilling
- Indigenous Partnership: Attawapiskat Enterprises
- Non-profit Organization: Quilts for Survivors
- Lifetime Business Achievement: Praztek Construction
- President's Award: Timmins Garage
The Timmins Chamber of Commerce advances the interests of local businesses through advocacy, networking, information-sharing, and member programs.