Get to know: Tommy Hunter of Ink Well, Tommy’s, and Smoke & Barrel
Tell us about your work.
A talented artist is a talented artist – it doesn’t matter if you’re in a small town or big town. Our artists are talented and we book months in advance. We’ve got several different artists with many different talents and specialties. And I’m pretty much a canvas for their work! Ninety percent of my tattoos are done by our artists here.
What do you love about Kingston?
I was born and raised in Kingston and I knew eventually I would always settle down and open businesses here in Kingston. There’s so much I love about this city! I always say it’s got all the amenities of a big city and the charm of a small town. I love walking into restaurants and running into people you know, and saying hello to the other business owners and managers in the morning as they open their shops.
The community here is phenomenal and the amount of support we’ve seen at all of our businesses throughout the pandemic has been phenomenal. At Ink Well, we weren’t able to offer takeout or delivery during lockdown so it was hard. But when we reopened, we saw all of our clients coming back and it has been great.
Local businesses you love to support?
I love having a nice pint of Guinness at the Toucan. If I want food, Mekong on Princess Street is my favourite – number 10 large! Or Saigon Delight…I think everyone in Kingston has their number at Saigon Delight. Most people are number six, I’m a number 14 with pork.
I’m really into outdoorsy stuff so I love going to Trailhead. Kingston’s got a great mix of businesses downtown.
Small and medium businesses create nine out of ten Canadian jobs.
– Statistics Canada –
Canadian businesses have taken on tens of billions of dollars in debt, and many are struggling to repay.
– Statistics Canada –
At least half of every dollar spent at local businesses stays local.
– multiple North American studies –
Kingston was one of the Canadian economies most impacted by COVID-19.
– Conference Board of Canada –
Small businesses need our help.
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Tell us about the small business where you took your first date, where you had your first job, or where they treated you right.