By Sue Tiffin
Published July 13 2017
After years of talking about opening his own optical store when it all came together for Troy English it happened quickly.
English a Canning Lake resident opened the doors of Troy Optical on Hwy 35 in Minden on Canada Day after some sleepless nights pulling it all together with help from family and friends.
“This went from a handshake to being open in one month” he said.
A licensed optician since 1995 Troy is experienced both in optical stores and in sales of lens products. He has worked previously in stores in Ajax London and Bowmanville. But the more he learned from others helping them in managing stores the more he wanted to open his own space.
“Troy Optical was something I always talked about” he said. “I would say ‘If the store was mine this is what I would do.’”
The opportunity for his own store came to fruition when he saw the new space of Troy Optical which he said is a perfect spot – and he would know because he’s been keeping an eye on the Minden area for years. He began visiting the county as a child when he and his family would camp in Haliburton Forest. He bought his place on Canning Lake in 2008.
“Every year I’ve been up here I’ve wondered why there isn’t [an optical store] up here” he said. “I watch the community and they’re thinking forward. They’ve got the new ambulance base the new beer store the fire hall is on the way. While people are thinking forward there’s still nothing eyewear-related here.”
English has made sure that now there is a Minden-based full-service optical where he hopes to provide everything anyone – resident or cottager – might need.
“You can’t be everything to everybody and I know that but I want to try” he said. “That’s not an easy balance to find but I want to try to find that. I want to look after everyone.”
Troy Optical offers lens edging and frame sales including kid frames and sunglasses. He’s happy to do repairs on site and is currently compiling a list of customers who have already approached him looking for eye exams a service he hopes to offer soon with the help of a travelling optometrist.
Though he’s still adding personal touches to the store it’s fully stocked with a wide variety of frames.
“I want people to have some fun with their glasses rather than just ‘I can see better today’” he said. “I don’t want people to leave with crutches on their face. I want them to leave with fashion on their face.”
English has a lot in common with people who enjoy the area’s opportunities for recreation. Having grown up on a farm in Sunderland he enjoys being outdoors and is an avid fan of four-wheeling and snowmobiling.
“People will be asking ‘where is this guy coming from?’ But I am a grassroots guy” he said.
“Don’t let the haircut fool you” he added laughing.
English said he’s excited to be in business and to work and be involved in a community he’s long been part of as a cottager and seasonal resident. He added that being 10 minutes from town makes it easy for him to drop everything on the dock and be available for anyone in need of quick service.
A grand opening event for the store is planned for the August long weekend but Troy Optical is open now seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m at 12621 Hwy 35 next to Subway. English can be reached at 705-286-0727 or firstname.lastname@example.org and welcomes drop-ins.