Family Business Atlantic Celebrates Innovation and Entrepreneurism at Annual Awards Event

Family Business Atlantic Celebrates Innovation and Entrepreneurism at Annual Awards Event

November 15, 2021

FBA’s Presenting sponsors, Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub presented the Long-Standing Award to The Italian Market, and MNP LLP presented the Business Women of the Year Award to Stephanie Clark and Jennifer Montgomery from Blue Door Group.Supporting Sponsor Dalhousie’s Centre for Family Business and Regional Prosperity presented the Business Development and Growth Award to James F Lahey Glass.

“It has been a difficult couple of years so it was very refreshing to have the opportunity to celebrate the innovation and accomplishments each of our award recipients displayed during COVID,” says Mark Peapell, President of Family Business Atlantic.

Each recipient had a unique story to share that supported their award recognition.

For Immediate Release: Family Business Atlantic is honored to recognize the accomplishments of three very diverse family businesses at this year’s Awards event which was held late last month. From a 130 year old heritage  glass company to an Italian market and two amazing women entrepreneurs– all share a similar vision of service – to help businesses contribute to the economy in our region. The Italian Market, Blue Door Group and James F Lahey Glass were applauded and profiled for their accomplishments and their entrepreneurial spirit.

The Italian Market

After purchasing 18 year-old retail and wholesale business, The Italian Market from its previous owner in 2009, Ron and Julie Marks focused on making The Italian Market more authentic by introducing new Italian menu items and hiring, whenever possible, Italian Chefs and front-of-house staff. They obtained a liquor license in 2013, opened a small patio, created a new website, and promoted the brand through social media activities. They weathered the Covid pandemic by pivoting to a solely retail operation and offering online ordering and curbside pickup in addition to their grocery store. They happily celebrated their 30th anniversary this year. At the awards ceremony, Ron credited their hospitality experience with helping them purchase and run the longstanding business but said there was always still something to learn. Julie credited the support of Family Business Atlantic’s peer groups with helping them be successful as a family business during two very challenging years.

Blue Door Group

Stephanie Clark and Jennifer Montgomery’s powerful combination of experience, knowledge, and skills has taken Blue Door Group into new sectors and markets, and provided new levels of impact with their valued clients. Blue Door Group operates on a model of principle-based operational design which brings simple, real-life solutions that shift ALL aspects of the business; from HR to technical integration, to reflect a deep focus on the humans both inside and outside the organization. In addition to running Blue Door Group and its sister businesses 40 Cups of Coffee, Stephanie and Jennifer are passionate about community involvement – volunteering for a combined twenty-four community organizations supporting fellow women in business, amongst other amazing initiatives. During their acceptance of the Women in Business award, Stephanie and Jennifer emphasized how no one arrives at success alone and they shared their gratitude for all support they’ve received throughout the years, including from their supportive families.

James F Lahey Glass

After owning 130-year-old James F Lahey Glass for 11 years, the MacIntyre family and Joe Fiander purchased two other family businesses: Atlantic Locksmith and Conroy Refrigeration and HVAC. During this growth the team was able to retain all the past employees despite the challenges of acquiring two long established businesses in such a short period of time. A top priority when purchasing Atlantic Locksmith and Conroys was to retain and maintain a happy work force and they are proud to say they have accomplished this – all with a vision to continue to create sustainable growth in industry sectors across Atlantic Canada. In addition to thanking his partners, employees, family, and customers, Brent MacIntyre thanked Lahey Glass CFO Mike LeBlanc (who is also serving as Family Business Association treasurer) as being pivotal in the growth and recent acquisitions.

Family Business Atlantic is a non-profit, membership-driven organization supporting business growth in Atlantic Canada. Our focus is supporting the fabric of the regional economy – families in business. Whether a business directly employs family members or receives their financial or emotional support, we exist to help them thrive through peer-to-peer groups, networking events and educational resources. For more information on how to become part of the FBA family, visit

Mark Peapell
President, Family Business Atlantic
Michelle LaVigne
Executive Director, Family Business Atlantic

Scroll to top