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Johnny Ashome at work

Gravenhurst is (Ahsome)

Growing up in Gravenhurst, Johnny Ahsome recalls a town that was bustling with people, where business was booming and where he spent afternoons hanging out with his friends playing pinball at the bowling ally.

He decided to leave Gravenhurst in 2004 to explore the opportunities available to him and his growing career as a stylist. He spent time in England where he competed in hair shows and dabbled in Editorial Hairstyling before moving to Victoria BC to expand his skills. While in Victoria, he met his wife Alissa.

They sold everything they owned and decided to move to Australia in search of a home that had a sense of community and friendly people. While visiting family back in Gravenhurst, waiting for their paperwork to be processed, they took a dinner cruise on the S.S. Segwun that changed their lives forever.

Overlooking the natural beauty of the area they realized that the sense of community and like-minded people they were looking for was right in front of them. Catching onto the growing wave of revitalization recently experienced by the town they decided to open Tea Beards in downtown Gravenhurst.

"Now is the time when you're starting to see really cool business that are diverse and different, coming to town and starting to build up on each other and they're backing each other up" says Johnny.

Together they opened up Tea Beards, a local tea cafe, barbershop and game store. Johnny provides a full service barbershop for both women and men while Alissa manages the tea (36 organic varieties) as well as a pie bar that sells tarts, cakes and other locally baked treats, including gluten free options.

But Tea Beards is more than just a shop. It's a community meeting place, hosting different events on a nightly basis, including board game nights, poetry clubs and record clubs. It's a space where people can reconnect and realize what they have in their community.

They received great support from the local community when starting out their new business, but even more helpful was the support from other local business that are opening up in town as well.

"I think there's a huge opportunity here. You can see it. So many more people are walking down the streets and there's this energy of new growth and an underlying current. I think if you don't tap into it now you're going to miss out on a huge opportunity" says Alissa.

Gravenhurst is Ahsome!

Check out what other former residents have down upon returning to Gravenhurst 

Graham Porter
Robert Engman


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