When Opportunity Knocks
Even with its remarkable natural beauty, there’s a lot more to Muskoka than meets the eye. This truth is deeply felt and dearly held by the many people who make the region their year-round or seasonal home over years and generations. And it is the specialness of Muskoka that lifelong cottager-cousins, Scott Moffat and John Mehlenbacher, along with their long-time friend, Simon Mass, are looking to protect and enrich in their investments and partnerships as part of The Rosseau Group.
For the Love of History
A privately held investment-management firm, The Rosseau Group counts preservation among its priorities. Noting that Muskoka lacked the “strict preservation rules designed to maintain the architecture that gives other communities a certain aura,” Scott, John, and Simon were dismayed at the hundreds of historic structures that were being demolished to make way for new buildings. With a long-term goal of assembling some of the buildings into a heritage village in Muskoka, they decided to begin investing in architectural preservation in the area, specifically by intervening to save structures scheduled for demolition.
This interest in Muskoka’s history typifies what makes The Rosseau Group different from many other investment industry firms. For Scott, John, and Simon, truly successful investment in a community requires involvement from within. In short, they understand that meaningful revitalization can only emerge from people with a deep love of their region, their neighbourhoods, their streets, and their homes.
Given this respect for Muskoka’s distinctive character, it is not surprising that The Rosseau Group tends to encourage the brands they invest in to maintain their independence. They recognize that part of Muskoka’s appeal for residents and tourists is escaping the “big box mentality” that is typical in the cities of southern
Ontario. Investment partners are encouraged to pursue the unique positioning and direction that works for their business in the Muskoka market.
Take, for example, their partnership with longtime Muskoka cottagers and founders of the Campus Crew retail brand, the Rizzo family.
With locations in Port Carling, Gravenhurst, Huntsville, and Bala, the celebrated brand has a significant presence in the Muskoka market. The Rosseau Group’s investment has helped to enable expansion, from the newly renovated flagship Huntsville location to the brand new pop-up store at The Shipyards in Gravenhurst. “We’re excited to be collaborating with Tim Webb and Dave Campbell on the new Gravenhurst location,” says Scott. With new items such as the signature “boat blanket” Campus Crew has also expanded their product line beyond apparel.