Sweet deal: Killaloe business owner, BeaverTails founder team up to keep snack franchise afloat

BeaverTails sign

A local business owner has stepped in to keep Killaloe’s BeaverTails outlet alive ​– with a little help from the company’s founder.

Dave Virk, whose family owns and operates the Freshmart supermarket in the town about 160 kilometres west of Ottawa, has purchased the deep-fried snack franchise from previous owners Brent and Linda Bistrisky.

Financial details of the transaction, which was announced this week, were not disclosed. BeaverTails Ottawa, which is owned by company founders Grant and Pam Hooker, provided additional financing for the deal.

The Hookers have a special connection to Killaloe – they’ve lived in the area for nearly 50 years and still reside in the same homestead they built on 100 acres of land south of town in 1976. Their attachment to the Renfrew County community runs so deep they named one of the most popular BeaverTail flavours – Killaloe Sunrise – after their adopted hometown.

'BeaverTail-type folks'

Grant Hooker, who opened the first BeaverTails stall at a local community fair back in 1978, says he couldn’t be happier with the new owners.

“They are BeaverTail-type folks,” he said, praising Virk for the high standards of customer service he and his family maintain at the local supermarket.

Virk also purchased the nearby Creekside Grille as part of the deal. Hooker credited Brian McCarthy, whose company owns the land on the banks of Brennan’s Creek where both businesses are located, for offering a long-term lease on the property.

The new owners say they plan to donate some of the revenues from the businesses to the Township of Killaloe, Hagarty and Richards to help fund further economic development initiatives.

“This is a pretty big deal for our community,” township Mayor Janice Tiedje said in a statement.

“BeaverTails are well-loved across Canada and are even considered one of our country’s unique, signature foods. For billboards on Highway 60 to announce that the birthplace of Beavertails is a few kilometres ahead and that BeaverTails pastries are being served in that village should have significant potential for attracting visitors. And that will benefit all Killaloe businesses.”

The BeaverTails kiosk is slated to open on May 20 and will remain in operation until the fall before closing for the winter.