By Lesley McDougall
choosecornwall.ca – Two tech based companies – Walker Tech and The Makery – have teamed up to new open a co-share space at City Centre Plaza on Pitt Street.
Friends and entrepreneurs Andrew Walker and Adam Lariviere have taken the next step of moving their individual successful home-based businesses into a commercial storefront – and the feedback from their customers has been overwhelmingly positive.
“This is something I have been thinking about doing for a while,” explains Mr. Walker, who has been involved in the technology sector for over 15 years. “I have so many ideas and I’m driven. I decided it was time to take the bull by the horns and open my own business.”
Walker Tech Services offers computer support services, including PC and laptop repair, fixing hardware and software issues, general maintenance and virus removal. The company also sells new, custom-built and refurbished PCs and laptops. Equipment is serviced both in-store and on-site to individuals and small businesses in Cornwall and surrounding areas.
The Mad Makery, at its core, is a 3D printing shop. Mr. Lariviere designs his own products and also offers custom plastic fabrication.
In the last decade, 3D printing interest has surged in the hobbyist market, and Mr. Lariviere sees a future where it won’t be unusual for people to have 3D printers in their homes.
“It’s almost as affordable as an Xbox now,” he explains. “The machines do require specialist knowledge for maintenance and repair, and that’s where I come in. I offer services and workshops including one-on-one training and sales of refurbished 3D printers.”
Before the shop opened in October, Mr. Lariviere had worked with 3D and design technology out of his home for over 5 years. Like Mr. Walker, he wanted to have a storefront space to offer a higher level of customer service and to streamline his business but knew he couldn’t have done it alone.
“I think that having a co-working space is the way of the future,” says Mr. Lariviere. “It works really well, especially if your businesses fit together. We are both tech businesses so it makes sense.”
Looking ahead to 2022, Mr. Lariviere will be opening up an e-commerce store in addition to the storefront space to showcase his own product lines. He will start with products like cookie cutters and bath bomb molds while he continues to work on custom products and the service side. He also plans to increase awareness of 3D printing through community partnerships for youth and hobbyist workshops.
“I really enjoy educating people on it, once they figure out what they can do with it, they are so excited to share their ideas.”
The two entrepreneurs believe that while many businesses are transitioning from storefront to online, there is still very much a need for in-person service-based businesses. With advancements in technology come a demand for support services. Combining their spaces has made it possible for them to open a store in a manageable and affordable way.
“It’s important to me to build a business based on trust and honesty and to be upfront with customers,” says Mr. Walker. “Having a brick-and-mortar business allows you to build on that trust and Cornwall is a great city for networking and connecting with customers.”
The Mad Makery and Walker Tech Services are located at 812 Pitt Street, Unit 53. Business hours are Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm. You can reach both businesses as follows:
The Mad Makery
Walker Tech Services