Coming into the town of Raymore, located an hour north of Regina along Highway 6, there is an air of unassuming that shrouds the town. The dirt road, small housing and Esso gas station gives off the impression that this town is like any other town one would find in Saskatchewan.
Digging below the surface level reactions, however, there is a lot to appreciate and admire about what Raymore has to offer. This farming community of 650 people gives off a certain charm that can only be found in these small town locations. It’s not just the people that are charming, though, it’s what they offer in expansion and growth.
The construction of a waterpark, and building of a daycare and mini golf course can be classified as such. Bradley Bentz, an employee that works at of Raymore Agencies, is enthusiastic about these new developments;
“Well I think anything you can bring to your town, and draw people to town is a bonus,” said Bentz. “I mean, if they come to town to do grocery shopping or they come to town to swim or to play mini-golf or whatever, if they’re in town, maybe they’ll choose to support one of the other businesses as well.
“Whether it’s the restaurant, my business, or the hotel. Once they’re here, they may support those businesses, and so the more things you can have around your town, the better it is.”
Such small town businesses that are supported include places such as the hotel, the diner, the thrift store, and the auto body shop. Each offers a new way for local residents to make their living as well as giving residents the opportunity to offer essential services for those making their way into town.
Where that especially came across was in a meeting with a couple of local business owners, Karla and Lorne Horvath, who have been together for seven years. Lorne ran an automotive business in the town for 35 years before starting up his new project, a combination of cabinets and designer wood pieces, with his partner. The name of their business is “Design in Woods.”
“Currently, I do the kitchen cabinets, I build and install them,” said Lorne “We’re mostly local, we have done some stuff farther away, but that’s generally for friends and family. Been doing that for about nine years now.”
“I find it relaxing, being in the shop and building or creating things” Lorne said, commenting on how his switch from auto body to kitchen cabinets wasn’t as strange as one would think.
“The last ten years of the body shop, we had reached the point where I was truly a manager and I was okay with that, but I was still happy to be in the shop working on things… less stress…”
Lorne was certainly optimistic about the future, within certain guidelines of course:
“As long as my wife let’s me.”
The couple’s creativity, and how it really shines within their wood projects, where they create anything from crib boards, to signs, to detailed logos.
“We’ll kind of toss around ideas for different types of designs, and stuff like that.” said Lorne “A lot of board games in general.”
“Often times too, [Karla] will come up with something and I’ll look at it and have an idea, we can usually bounce things back and forth to come up with something.”
Those ideas don’t stay local either, as there’s a national aspect to what these two do.
“Well, we ship all across the country,” said Karla “We’ve shipped out to B.C., out to Edmonton, all over the place. Especially sports related logos.”
Bentz also spoke about the Horvaths’ business specifically and how it impacted the community.
“Oh it absolutely does,” said Bentz “They’ll build cupboards or crib boards or any number of knick-knacks, along with the grey wolves of the world that have the signs and those types of things too.
“I mean, if people are coming to town and they see those decor items, even if it doesn’t impact my business, if it helps build the town then it’s an asset.”
It isn’t just these two who you should be impressed by, the whole community of Raymore is expanding and excelling locally. The newly developed waterpark located within the town is all the buzz.
“Andrew Scheer has made a habit of bringing his family here once a year,” said Lorne, referring to the leader of the Conservative Party Canada.
Even though it may be unassuming at first, Raymore is building its way towards a bigger and more productive community. Everything is falling into place in all the right ways and it’ll be interesting to see where the future takes this homegrown town.