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A Company’s Culture

April 23, 2012

A few weeks ago, we hung out with a small group of high-school students at The Irish Tearoom in Niagara-on-the-Lake, a very picturesque town close to Niagara Falls, where we live.

You may know that Ben (on the left) is the co-owner (with Chris, on the right) of an independent video game store called The Basement. What started as a seed of an idea a little over a year ago is now a full-fledged, 7-month-old store.

The thing about starting your own business is that there are lots of challenges involved, like uncertainty about outcome, financial risk and long hours of work, just to name a few. But one of the big payoffs is that you get to create the culture of your business – you decide every little part of it.

Irish Tearoom Niagara-on-the-Lake

One unexpected part about The Basement is that they’ve acquired a small group of regulars consisting of high-school students who love to hang out at the store and who Ben and Chris have become quite close to.

They goof around with them, play video games (of course), sometimes help with math, talk about life, and…they drink tea.

So Ben and Chris decided to take a few of them to The Irish Tearoom, which was the first time I met most of them.

Irish Tearoom

We had Bailey’s cheesecake and Banoffee pie.

They skipped stones in the lake.

I can’t skip a stone to save my life, so I collected flat stones for them and admired the beautiful surroundings and houses.

There were duels with branches.

It was a lovely Sunday afternoon.

And I’m so glad to see Ben thrive as he’s doing his thing with his business and so proud of what he’s created and is a part of. It’s not always easy, it really isn’t. But it feels so deeply satisfying.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. April 23, 2012 10:22 am

    That’s so cool that they’ve developed that relationship. What a cool way to invest in a group of younger people.

  2. Jessica R. permalink
    April 23, 2012 1:39 pm

    So beautiful there!

    My husband also owns his own business. And while, as you said, the hours and income are tough, there are so many things that make it worth it!

    What a fun idea. :)

  3. April 24, 2012 10:25 am

    So beautiful! And I think it’s amazing what they’ve done with those students. Not a lot of people would do something extra like that.

  4. ChrystinaNoel permalink
    April 27, 2012 10:31 pm

    This looks like fun!! And I definitely think it’s cool to connect with people of all ages :)

  5. April 28, 2012 9:09 am

    I can’t skip a stone worth a flip either! My brother seems born-gifted to do it though.


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