Former local resident takes over the Maple Leaf Country Store

Sarah Crookall
Staff Reporter

It started by reconnecting with family—now Ryan Carpenter hopes to bring a family ethic to a new business venture.

The former local resident brings two decades of management experience to the Maple Leaf Country Store. As Carpenter returns to Hasting’s Highlands, he takes ownership over the store this month.

The general store will keep the same local charm it has maintained over several years. Maintaining a family-run local business is a priority, Carpenter told the Valley Gazette.

“We’re gonna keep everything basically the exact same way it was because (if) it’s not broken—don’t fix it,” said Carpenter.

On Feb. 9, Carpenter took over ownership of the store. After having run the store for a number of years, Carpenter says the previous owner was ready to relax into retirement.

“Christine Wood worked really hard at turning this business from nothing into a thriving business that it is now,” he said. “And, you know, I think Christine put a lot of blood sweat and tears and she was ready to ready for some retirement ready to relax a little bit.”

The previous owner’s retirement coincided with Carpenter spending more time in Hastings Highlands during COVID-19. Carpenter started looking for businesses to run locally after living in Cambridge and working out of Mississauga for over 20 years.

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