This latest addition to their Get Away and Experience Paradise location is adding a new chapter to the ongoing five years story of a business dedicated to helping people in the community.
“Ashley’s Place started as a way to keep the memory alive of my beautiful, fun, and loving daughter, Ashley Doucet who tragically passed away,” said Kim Doucet, owner and creator of Ashley’s Place. “Ashely was passionate about people and brought an energy and compassion that was contagious. She was so full of ideas and encouraged positive experiences from everyone she met.”
In February of 2018, Ashley’s Place graduated from the Chatham-Kent Small Business Centre Starter Company Plus Program and received a $3500 grant to help them implement their business plan.
“I’ve been working with Kim for over five years now. Ashley’s Place has reached a stage where the next natural step for them is to grow from a not-for-profit and become business based on social entrepreneurship,” said Rosemarie Montgomery, Business Consultant with the Chatham-Kent Small Business Centre. “The social entrepreneurship model will ensure that they can put donations they receive back into programming to help the community, and also continue to operate in a sustainable manner for years to come.”
What started as a business honouring Ashley has grown to become a social enterprise that is dedicated to offering a wide range of programs to help youth, seniors, and anyone who needs assistance. The café will further support the goals of providing an inspiring, nonjudgmental community space that allows groups to work together as a team and create a positive outlook on life, no matter the circumstances.
“Ashley was a Registered Early Childhood Educator and also a Child and Youth worker and she always strived to be a strong role model for kids,” said Doucet. “We want to set a great example for youth and children by giving them the opportunity to share their ideas, be apart of making a difference in the lives of others, and help to teach them life enriching lessons.”
The new café will feature a selection of traditional drinks including coffee, tea, and hot chocolate. In addition, they will also offer fresh soups, stews, sandwiches, and a collection of treats such as ice cream and smoothies.
Doucet added that, “This is an opportunity for us to be brave and try something that people have been asking us to provide. It will put us in a very different category with funds that I am confident will create many new, exciting, and beneficial programs and activities for our community.”
Media and the public are invited October 4, 2018 at 11 a.m. to a special presentation from Kim Doucet about the history and programming offered by Ashley’s Place. It is an opportunity to hear the story of the past five years and be inspired by the vision of what is to come. You can visit Ashely’s Place café at 75 Queen Street North, Tilbury, Ontario, or find more information online at https://www.facebook.com/groups/242610925917279.
- “We want a place that can include everyone, and run programs that are open to anyone; no barriers” – Kim Doucet
- Future plans include:
- Looking to expand, add staff including a full-time cook
- Looking for volunteers to help out, especially those who have their Food Handling Course Certificate
- Ashley’s Place has a wide range of programs including:
- Toiletry bags for the homeless
- Care packages for those in crisis
- Community space open for use by anyone
- Space for counselling, private visitations, or relaxation
- Supporting the men’s shelter, women’s centre, and street health programs
- Basket programs to support youth transitioning into the community on their 18th birthday
- The Giving Tree
- And much more
- Learn more about Chatham-Kent Small Business Centre on our website: http://www.investck.ca
- Learn more about Chatham-Kent Economic Development on our website: http://www.investck.ca
Marketing and Communications Officer, Economic Development Services
Municipality of Chatham-Kent
315 King Street West
Chatham, ON N7M 5K8
Phone: 519.352.8401 x2039