Posts Tagged ‘Service’

There are a lot of reasons that we load the car full of empty water jugs whenever we trek home to Niagara Falls. We’ve been buying our water from Rainbow Water in the Falls for many years. Of course when we started, we lived in Niagara Falls. In fact, we lived just around the corner from the 8201 Lundy’s Lane location. It is a small family-run business, which we like to support. Jack Ewin, his wife (Inga) and daughter (Sherry) are naturals at customer service and are some of the nicest people we have ever met. One thing they always have for us is a smile, a warm greeting and a kind word. There are other things as well. Things you might not expect.

A few months ago we walked in and there were balloons everywhere.  It seems they are now the go-to-place for all kinds of specialty balloons. It happened to be Valentine’s Day and we were on our way to see Paul’s daughter and grandchildren.  We left the store with some pretty cool helium-filled balloons that Trish and the kids loved.

Another surprise you might happen upon is music. Live music. A jam session!  Any number of people can be there (once there were 14) playing any number of instruments, including banjos, acoustic guitars, mandolins, a bass guitar and a dobro to name just a few. Some of the musicians have been dropping by for years, but the afternoon sessions seem to be picking up steam because on our last visit we ran into a first timer, guitarist Lonz Crawford.

Jack Ewin • Don Scott • Cally Scott • Lonz Cranford

While it’s a lot of fun to listen and enjoy the music, but the real surprise comes when the young lady of the gathering stands up and begins to sing ― she has the voice of an angel and can take my breath away.  Cally Scott has been singing since she was eight.  She was 12-years-old when she first sang in public at her grandmother’s school reunion. Cally says she still follows advice her grandmother gave her that day. “If you get scared, just look up at the sky.” She has no formal training but learned to sing listening to CD’s and practicing with her talented father, Don Scott. Don joins Cally at Rainbow Water, accompanies her on guitar and gets in a few vocals himself.  He’s been entertaining people since he was eight and in 1965, at the ripe old age of 12, opened a concert for Hank Snow. More recently, he’s had guest spots with another local boy, multiple Grammy Award winner Walter Ostenak.

And the music goes even deeper into the proverbial genes: Cally says that both her grandfathers were musical and that her grandmother was also a huge influence.  On this particular visit we were treated to Cally’s vocal stylings of Patsy Cline’s Cry If I Want To, Loretta Lynn’s You Ain’t Woman Enough and two of Leann Rimes songs, Commitment and my favourite, Blue.

Here is the video I took with my phone.

Cally and her Dad share something else besides their love of music. They both have a genetic disorder that leaves them with very little sight. Cally was born with cataracts and the surgery she had for them led her to develop glaucoma. They are both monitored regularly and although the numbers can vary, Don has a slightly higher percentage of vision than his daughter.  Still, neither one of them let it interfere with their music.

Don & Cally Scott

Of course Jack sits in with his guitar when he’s not taking care of customers. Most, however, would rather hang around a bit and enjoy the gathering. My Paul gets tears in his eyes whenever there’s a song being sung. Or, it could be because Jack has his eye on his precious dobro.

Jack Ewin – Owner and Host of Rainbow Water

If you have a thirst for some classic country entertainment, stop by Rainbow Pure R.O. (reverse osmosis) Water at 8201 Lundy’s Lane at Kalar Road in Niagara Falls. This is no ordinary water store. The least you will come away with is some really great water, a warm smile and some friendly conversation. And you might just luck out and hear the voice of an angel. Tell em’ I sent you!


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How far are you willing to go for an outstanding product or exceptional service? As a rule I stick pretty close to home. I like to buy local. I like to use local services. There is just something that feels good about supporting business in your own neighborhood. However, there are a few exceptions. Mind you, they may seem a little extreme but to me there is no option.

As I pull up to the immigration booth at the Niagara Falls, Ontario/New York border and handover my passport to the officer I know that I am about to have the same conversation I have in the same spot every 5 – 6 weeks.
Officer: Where do you live?
Me: Oakville, ON
Officer: Where are you headed?
Me: Williamsville, New York
Officer: What is the purpose of your trip?
Me: Going to get my hair done.
Now this is usually where the reactions vary. Some look shocked. Some look at me like I am crazy. Some think I am up to no good.
Officer: Don’t they have hairdressers in Canada?
Me: Well, yes, yes they do. As a matter of fact they have some very good hairdressers in Canada. I’ve worked in the television industry for too long to count and have had access to some of the best hair and makeup people in the GTA, but Tony is quite simply the best.

Anthony Patrick Gattuso at work

“Tony” is Anthony Patrick Gattuso and his salon is Anthony New York. He has a lovely salon right on main street in Williamsville (Ph:716.639.7298). I found Tony by accident, really. My sister asked me to keep her company one day when she was going there. I watched him for a long time and was really impressed. By the time we left I had a new hairstyle and colour. Aside from their incredible skill at what they do, Emily, his trusted sidekick, and Tony always make you feel like you are the most important client they have. Tony actually travels far and wide teaching his hair techniques but always cuts his clients personally.
The best part is on my return trip across the border, when I tell them I have just been over to get my hair done they always tell me, “It looks great”.

Alexis operates her business from her home in Vineland. She is the “Sugar Queen” as far as I am concerned.

Sugar Spa By Alexis

Her services are of a more personal nature and once you find someone with her skill you can never go back. Anyone who sugars (or for that matter waxes) can tell you there is no painless way to go about hair removal. But there are people who can make it far less painful than others. Alexis is extremely skilled and has just the right “touch” to make it tolerable. But, perhaps one of her best skills is her ability to make you laugh so hard while she is “torturing” you that you don’t even notice it. Her sense of humour is demonstrated on her facebook page “Alexis’ Hairy Scary Club”.

My most recent find that takes me out of my way is in Little Britain, Ontario. I have been spending a great deal of time East and North of Toronto lately and started hearing about “the best butter tarts in the world”. Hanging around in Port Perry and the Lake Scugog area I kept hearing them mentioned. This is not the first time I had heard someone brag about someone else’s butter tarts, so I took it with a grain of salt and thought perhaps I would make the trip someday. Well, that day arrived last week. As I drove farther and farther north I thought perhaps I had missed it or made a wrong turn, so I stopped to ask for directions at “The Trading Post”. Of course they knew where it was, everyone knew where it was and the instructions involved turning right at the chip wagon and left at Little Britain Road. So I was off again and finally reached mydestination.

Butter Tarts 'N More - 1037 Little Britain Road, Little Britain, Ontario K0M 2C0

The place was packed and everyone in there was acting like it was a party. It could have been a sugar rush, but the staff, including owner Lynda Moss, was patient and friendly. The customers were smiling and happy. I talked to several people there. One lady was from Sarnia and one was from Welland. Both said they had been coming there for butter tarts on a regular basis for years. I was determined to make the trip worth my while and purchased butter tarts to take home, butter tarts to take to a gathering I was headed to, some Chelsea buns and an Eccles Cake. Seriously, I am not generally a sweets person. I am more of a salty chips kind of gal. Let me just say that one bite of a butter tart and I knew what all the fuss was about. The pastry just dissolved on my tongue. I had never tasted anything like it and I am here to tell you that they are without a doubt the best butter tarts ever. I will never eat another butter tart from somewhere else. There would be no temptation. The group I took the other tarts to agreed whole heartedly. For the record the Eccles Cake was the best one of those I had ever had as well, but the Chelsea buns was absolutely the best thing I have ever eaten in my life! I dare you to take a drive some day to “Butter Tarts ‘N More” in Little Britain, ON and tell me I am wrong.

There you have it. Three places I will go out of my way for outstanding product and service. How far will you go and what is it that brings you there?

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