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Yarmouth native ranked #25 on Top 100 female entrepreneur list; sets sights on hometown projects


YARMOUTH – A Yarmouth native who has had business success elsewhere is turning her attention back on her hometown.

In recent days Yarmouth residents have seen Freshco signs popping up around town – in front of the old jail, a row of buildings in Yarmouth south, in front of a derelict building on Cumberland Street. The signs are a teaser to the redevelopment projects that Mandy Rennehan, the owner and founder of Freshco is taking on.

Those who know Rennehan know she achieves results when she sets her mind to something. And her work does not go unnoticed.

PROFIT and Chatelaine magazines have unveiled their 17th annual list of Canada’s Top Female Entrepreneurs (The W100) and Rennehan is ranked #25 out of the list of 100. She is the only Nova Scotian selected for the list.

Published in the June issue of Canadian Business and online at PROFITguide.com and Chatelaine.com, the W100 ranks female entrepreneurs with a formula that considers the size, growth rate and profitability of the businesses they own and run.  Freshco retail facilities firm had $10 million to $19.9 million in revenue in 2014, an 82 per cent revenue growth in three years, employs 17 full-time staff and attributes 28 per cent of their revenues to exports.

Rennehan founded the company, which is headquartered in Ontario, in 1995. It is is a boutique, trend-setting, retail facilities firm that is comprised of three divisions: maintenance, projects and reconstruction. It's the latter that Yarmouth residents will get to see first-hand results from. Rennehan thrives on the opportunity to revitalize buildings and communities.

At this point, while still evolving, plans for the old Yarmouth jailhouse she purchased include a possible wine bar, small business “think tank,” conference centre and potentially a community performing arts space. The project is targeted to be finished in 2016.

She’s also purchased a row of properties at 90-92-94 Main Street.

“Because of all the land I purchased in the back of them, the views are phenomenal of the harbour,” she says. She’s envisioning corporate suites with exposed brick and spa washrooms, each unit with its own personal deck with views of the harbour.

“The commercial spaces on Main Street will be a surprise as there is a lot of structural and integral elements that need to be worked out in the design process,” Rennehan says. “But it will be amazing as these landmarks have a lot of potential. You just need calculated perspective and patience all of which myself and team possess.”

And as if she doesn't have enough on her plate, she’s also been revitalizing and repurposing an old windmill in Darlings Lake as her residence.

Having grown up in Yarmouth County, with family still living here, Rennehan says she wants to give back to the area. Last year she surprised the Prince Charles 4-H Club with a $5,000 donation to show her appreciation for the impact 4-H had on her life as a youth. That’s another part of the reason she is tackling several projects in Yarmouth – because she hasn’t forgotten her roots.

The daughter of a lobster fisherman, like other families, the Rennehan family of six faced the challenges that come with relying on a seasonal fishing industry. But as a kid, Rennehan was already demonstrating her entrepreneurial vision, selling bait to the local fishermen. Using profits to build log cabins in the woods.

She left home at the age of 18, once telling the Vanguard she left with a suitcase and a smile. And at age 39, she’s still forever drawn to home. Where others may focus on negativity, she sees optimism and potential.

She is also described as an advocate for mentoring people of all ages and gender as they look to start their careers. She’s a strong advocate of the trades. In 2015, she established the Chris Rennehan Scholarship – an initiative to get kids and women more involved in the trades. The scholarship is named after her brother who died at the age of 38.

Her company, Freshco, does business across Canada and in the United States. Some of the company’s clients include The Gap, Home Depot, Old Navy, Lululemon, Under Armour, Nike, Apple and Urban Outfitters

About the Top 100 women’s entrepreneur list that Rennehan has been included in, James Cowan, editor-in-chief of PROFIT and Canadian Business, says, "You need a bold vision, an innovative strategy and loads of tenacity to earn a spot on the W100. Every person on this list represents the pinnacle of business success in Canada. Their stories are inspiring and instructive for those seeking to excel as entrepreneurs."

 

 

In recent days Yarmouth residents have seen Freshco signs popping up around town – in front of the old jail, a row of buildings in Yarmouth south, in front of a derelict building on Cumberland Street. The signs are a teaser to the redevelopment projects that Mandy Rennehan, the owner and founder of Freshco is taking on.

Those who know Rennehan know she achieves results when she sets her mind to something. And her work does not go unnoticed.

PROFIT and Chatelaine magazines have unveiled their 17th annual list of Canada’s Top Female Entrepreneurs (The W100) and Rennehan is ranked #25 out of the list of 100. She is the only Nova Scotian selected for the list.

Published in the June issue of Canadian Business and online at PROFITguide.com and Chatelaine.com, the W100 ranks female entrepreneurs with a formula that considers the size, growth rate and profitability of the businesses they own and run.  Freshco retail facilities firm had $10 million to $19.9 million in revenue in 2014, an 82 per cent revenue growth in three years, employs 17 full-time staff and attributes 28 per cent of their revenues to exports.

Rennehan founded the company, which is headquartered in Ontario, in 1995. It is is a boutique, trend-setting, retail facilities firm that is comprised of three divisions: maintenance, projects and reconstruction. It's the latter that Yarmouth residents will get to see first-hand results from. Rennehan thrives on the opportunity to revitalize buildings and communities.

At this point, while still evolving, plans for the old Yarmouth jailhouse she purchased include a possible wine bar, small business “think tank,” conference centre and potentially a community performing arts space. The project is targeted to be finished in 2016.

She’s also purchased a row of properties at 90-92-94 Main Street.

“Because of all the land I purchased in the back of them, the views are phenomenal of the harbour,” she says. She’s envisioning corporate suites with exposed brick and spa washrooms, each unit with its own personal deck with views of the harbour.

“The commercial spaces on Main Street will be a surprise as there is a lot of structural and integral elements that need to be worked out in the design process,” Rennehan says. “But it will be amazing as these landmarks have a lot of potential. You just need calculated perspective and patience all of which myself and team possess.”

And as if she doesn't have enough on her plate, she’s also been revitalizing and repurposing an old windmill in Darlings Lake as her residence.

Having grown up in Yarmouth County, with family still living here, Rennehan says she wants to give back to the area. Last year she surprised the Prince Charles 4-H Club with a $5,000 donation to show her appreciation for the impact 4-H had on her life as a youth. That’s another part of the reason she is tackling several projects in Yarmouth – because she hasn’t forgotten her roots.

The daughter of a lobster fisherman, like other families, the Rennehan family of six faced the challenges that come with relying on a seasonal fishing industry. But as a kid, Rennehan was already demonstrating her entrepreneurial vision, selling bait to the local fishermen. Using profits to build log cabins in the woods.

She left home at the age of 18, once telling the Vanguard she left with a suitcase and a smile. And at age 39, she’s still forever drawn to home. Where others may focus on negativity, she sees optimism and potential.

She is also described as an advocate for mentoring people of all ages and gender as they look to start their careers. She’s a strong advocate of the trades. In 2015, she established the Chris Rennehan Scholarship – an initiative to get kids and women more involved in the trades. The scholarship is named after her brother who died at the age of 38.

Her company, Freshco, does business across Canada and in the United States. Some of the company’s clients include The Gap, Home Depot, Old Navy, Lululemon, Under Armour, Nike, Apple and Urban Outfitters

About the Top 100 women’s entrepreneur list that Rennehan has been included in, James Cowan, editor-in-chief of PROFIT and Canadian Business, says, "You need a bold vision, an innovative strategy and loads of tenacity to earn a spot on the W100. Every person on this list represents the pinnacle of business success in Canada. Their stories are inspiring and instructive for those seeking to excel as entrepreneurs."

 

 

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