Being the enthusiastic entrepreneur that he is, it seems only right to Scott Geddes that a building the size of his Woodshire Inn in Windsor be used to its fullest potential.
The Woodshire Inn, a restored 1850s home on King Street, already plays host to the well-known Cocoa Pesto Bistro, a dine-in restaurant and catering company, the Gobble and Go take-out service and the Inevitable Art Gallery, which promotes work by local artists.
And, Geddes says, now that he’s starting to get his strength back after battling cancer for the past year, it’s time to open some more businesses under the Woodshire’s roof.
“When you have a 14,000 square foot building, you’ve got to get creative,” said Geddes.
“The building’s not full yet, but we’re certainly getting closer and closer to that point.”
If all goes according to plan, Geddes and his wife, Marilyn MacKay, will be running two more businesses out of the Woodshire Inn by this time next year — a laundromat and a lounge.
“It’s something I worked on before, and then I was sick for a year so I put it on the shelf,” said Geddes, referring to his desire to open the Alley Cat Laundromat and Strays Lounge.
“It’s hard when you have (the ideas) sitting there and you… just can’t get to them because you don’t feel right, you don’t have the energy.”
Geddes’ illness may have prevented him from opening a lounge and laundromat in 2010, but it didn’t prevent him from finding a way to capitalize on every networking opportunity having cancer threw his way.
“This may sound crazy, but… believe it or not, when I was in the hospital I was able to do business with a variety of doctors and nursing staff and sell some parties.”
Spending a lot of time in Halifax for chemotherapy allowed Geddes to expand his target market while making key contacts with repeat customers that, he predicts, will lead to a significant growth in the Cocoa Pesto Catering company in 2011.
“I guess the biggest thing is, after the year we’ve had personally, we’re just really excited we’ve got a lot of great projects that we want to work on, and this is a year that a lot of those things are going to come to be.”
Geddes says the Utility and Review Board has denied his application for a lounge license, but he will not be deterred. He says he is determined to make Strays Lounge a reality.
“We have some hurdles to overcome still, but it’s definitely happening,” he said.
“Not only do we expect to see our new businesses come to life this year, but we also expect… some nice, stable growth in the other businesses this year as well.”
To learn more about the Woodshire Inn and the Cocoa Pesto Catering and Bistro, visit www.cocoapesto.com.