What is Social Enterprise?

Social Enterprise is a business that is involved in selling a product or a service for two main purposes. The first is to generate revenue and the second is to help or contribute to social service that the organization provides. Therefore, our definition is: “LCDS will use business methods to further our mission, generate revenue and impact the community”.

Benefits of Social Enterprise

  • Businesses can create a new source of revenue for LCDS so that financial stability is not based solely on fundraising efforts and government funding which increases organization capacity.
  • Employees of our social enterprises and those in support roles at LCDS gain new skills and experience.
  • Employment is provided to those who have traditionally been considered “unemployable”.
  • LCDS is more visible in the community.
  • Some of our social enterprises provide places and services where the community can meet, interact and connect which builds an inclusive community and increases social capital.
  • New ventures inspire new ways of thinking and even more new ideas are generated.
  • Respected businesses, visibility, and community inclusion attract donors and investors.

Social Enterprise at LCDS

LCDS has been practicing social enterprise informally for many years, beginning with our woodworking business and gift shop.  These businesses have evolved and changed to meet customer’s preferences and address economic realities. In recent years we have more actively pursued social enterprise opportunities such as a laundromat, some rental properties and a performance and consulting service. Our social enterprises currently include:

Petrolia Enterprises

  • Petrolia Enterprises started as a sheltered workshop to provide training and work experience to persons with disabilities. It is now the hub of many of our social enterprise ventures. For more information please contact 519.882.2711, e-mail [email protected] or visit Petrolia Enterprises.

Renting The Wicket

  • The Wicket is a cozy space available to rent for meetings or banquets. It holds up to 50 people and is a private licensed facility. For more information, contact 519.882.2711..

Olde Post Office Gift Shoppe & Ice Cream Parlour

  • Our gift shop offers something for everyone. We create a variety of primitive furniture pieces and seasonal items that are handcrafted at Petrolia Enterprises. We believe in re-cycling the "old" and creating the "new" - utilizing old doors and windows, barn board, tobacco lath and old chairs (just to name a few). Made at Petrolia Enterprises, we offer cheese/cutting boards made from exotic woods from around the world in a selection of shapes and sizes - a must have in any household. We feature our own signature scent candle plus a variety of popular scents for your home. These are handcrafted locally. Art work, Pineridge & Lang Calendars, Plush Bears and home decor accents make our unique store an attractive destination for all shoppers.
  • Our old fashioned ice cream parlour offers all the same ice cream treats you loved as a kid. Nestled within the gift shoppe, we are open seasonally and carry all your favourites from Shaw's Ice Cream in St.Thomas. Try one of our waffle, sugar or regular cones, a cold drink or a milkshakes to tempt your taste buds. For more information, contact 519.882.0747, [email protected] or follow this link to the Olde Post Office.