Monday April 1, 2024

Five LGBTQ+ Owned Businesses

Original blog by Tourism Windsor Essex

Windsor Essex is proud to be a diverse and inclusive destination and is home to many LGBTQ+ owned and operated businesses.

Whether your visit includes hunting for vintage finds and collectibles or tasting your way across the region at our numerous cafes and bakeries, you’re sure to feel welcomed and free to explore the many amenities we have to offer.

Step into a lush Sanctuary 

Wheat + Thistle

Steaming from husband duo Matthew and Pierre, during the height of the global pandemic, Wheat + Thistle aimed to make things livelier during dark times with greenery!

Blossoming into the Wheat + Thistle it is today, the business offers a variety of in and outside decor pieces ranging from plant supplies to botanical treasures.

Their focus is providing a calming energy into their clients’ homes and enriching Windsor Essex with locally grown cut florals and curated home dĂŠcor pieces!

Windsor Essex being the inclusive and diverse community it is, Wheat + Thistle works to promote equality in their industry.

Co-owner, Matthew Dumouchel says by showcasing who they are, they create a welcoming atmosphere for their customers.

“We will continue to be visible members of the LGBTQ+ community, both in our personal and business approach because we understand what it means to be comfortable in our space,” says Dumouchel. “We work to promote equity in our industry and help to grow our region’s vibrant differences in any way we can through our volunteerism as well as our desire to see the region succeed.”

Make your space, home with all your unique indoor and outdoor needs offered at Wheat + Thistle!” Florals, houseplants, and decor pieces could be the missing ingredient to your home!


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A post shared by Wheat + Thistle | Plant Shop (@wheatandthistle)

Indulge in homegrown delights  

Take Five Bistro


Kick back, relax and most importantly, eat and support local!

Take Five Bistro offers a wide array of favourites ranging from steaks, chops, baked shrimp, salmon and even escargot!

They tout, all of their meat and produce is homegrown in Windsor Essex to ensure the finest ingredients possible to their guests.

Be sure to try their NEW Prix Fixe Menu which is available Sunday through Thursday. This three-course meal comes with a soup or salad, a main course and dessert!

Come in for their great food and stay for their cozy atmosphere, friendly staff, and licenced bar. Their team is dedicated to ensuring an excellent dining experience.

Their dining area caters for parties of up to 80+ people and 250 people outdoors!

See their full menu here. 

Where haircuts meet happy hour

The Man’s Shop & Barbershop Bar 

Looking for a fresh cut followed up by a great-tasting beer?

Take a seat on the barber’s chair at The Man’s Shop & Barbershop!

A truly unique barbershop experience, they offer hairstyles catering to both men and women of all ages, with the luxury of enjoying a beer while you’re there!

Get a unique and sleek fade, beard trims, hot towel shaves and more!

The barbershop combines the professionalism of your average barbershop with the fun and excitement of a local sports bar.

Their barbers also double as bartenders!

Decked out in sports memorabilia, the barbershop caters to all sorts of demographics in the area.

Get the best of both worlds at The Man’s Shop & Barbershop Bar.

Walk-ins are always available!


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A post shared by The Barbershop Bar (@thebarbershopbarwindsor)

Celebrate Diverse eats and Italian cuisine

Ciao Cucina Nuova

Exclusive Chef Bianca Maria began her cooking journey at 19 through her family businesses.

She went on to New York where she attended the Culinary Institute of America. Always being a dream of hers, she opened Ciao Pasta Bar, Windsor’s first create-your-own pasta place.

10 years later, Ciao Cucina Nuova in Lakeshore was born, offering the best of French and Italian cooking techniques to prepare their menu items!

Ciao Cucina Nuova uses complementary ingredients in all of their recipes to deliver incredible food made with love!

Try out some of their signature dishes such as homemade pasta and risotto, Antipasti and more!

Also, be sure to try their create-your-own pasta options!

The restaurant works with local farmers, butchers, fishmongers, and market sources to deliver the best dining experience.

Click here for their full menu!

Rep the island 

Pure Pelee 

Looking for a great souvenir following your trip to Pelee Island? We’ve got the perfect spot for you!

Represent Pelee Island in style with some Pure Pelee apparel!

Buy some island swag that not only looks good but feels good too!

The store was born from the vision of two women who believed in the charm and magic of the island!

The business began in 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, as owners Cindy Osadzuk & Virginia Rymal recognized a need for those who would venture to Pelee Island, despite everything being closed or limited.

They originally began selling their products from their cottage, outside their deck overlooking Lake Erie on North Shore Rd. During those times, they called it the DeckShop. Pure Pelee quickly became a favourite among islanders and tourists alike. It now lives on the North End of Pelee Island sharing a space with the Shack Shop.

There, the store shares the Islands charm with locals and visitors through memorabilia, hoodies, t-shirts hats and more!

Co Owner, Cindy Osadzuk says their product is more than just a t-shirt.

It’s a place, a conversation starter with a story to share when someone says “Hey, I’ve been to Pelee Island or where is Pelee Island?” It’s symbolic of your memories and a tangible link to your past, your journey or a moment in time.”

Osadzuk says she hopes their product gives locals and visitors something to wear proudly to represent the area


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A post shared by Pure Pelee (@purepelee)

Wherever you go and whatever you do, you will certainly have fun and feel welcomed. Windsor Essex offers you the benefits of city life while a cruise through the serene beauty of the county is just a short drive away. WE are ready to help you find your next adventure here in Windsor Essex. Head to for more ways to experience YQG!


Any plans for your Friday night? Make your way through our Barrels Bottles and Brews Trail, the perfect combination of adventure and craft beer! 🍻 Our self-guided tour will guide you through our craft breweries and distilleries including @sandwichbrewing #YQG #WindsorEssex #DiscoverON #DiscoverYQG #DiscoverCanada #OntSouthwest #BarrelsTrail


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