Community Futures Heartland 11 2nd Street NE, Portage la Prairie, MB - Phone: (204) 239 0135

Our Successes

Over the Coals Restaurant

Over the Coals was opened in Portage la Prairie last October adding to our Community amazing Greek food. Business has been incredible and just recently the owners decided with the help of community Futures Heartland to purchase the building they are currently in instead of renting. They knew business would be good but had no idea it would grow so quickly. The restaurants main focus is take-out however the 10 tables they do have seem to always be full.

Big Eye Leather Inc.

Clinton Boyd, operating under the name of Big Eye Leather Inc. from La Riviere, MB, has taken a waste product and turned it into a beautiful, functional and desired product that anyone would be proud to own. With his talent and creativity, and his love of fur and hides, he transforms items into beautiful felt or sheepskin lined gauntlets, moccasins and mukluks using deer and elk hides, trimmed with rabbit or coyote, and often intricately decorated with fine colored beads. Clinton developed a technique to dye walleye fish skins 5 years ago. So with new designs and dyed walleye skins, he expanded his inventory to include men's wallets. This year he expanded again, and now produces ladies wallets, pet collars, knife sheaths and key fobs. These last items are also being made from his newest product, turkey skins. Carp skins, from Manitoba fishermen, has also been used for some of these new products, and is going from research stage just this year, to full production stage.

Belts are new to the market and are made from turkey, beavertail and walleye, and custom fit to suit the buyer's needs. New as well are beavertail and walleye fly swatters. This past year, his innovation and creativity has led him down another path, using turkey feet. Clinton's imagination and his desire to try new things has led him to procuring turkey feet from several Hutterite colonies, then skinning these feet, tanning, sewing together, dying and cutting to create more wallets, belts and ornamental trims for his mukluks and gauntlets. All these products are eco-friendly, and are created for function and durability, with a strong focus on the customer's needs and Clinton's own demands for perfection for every article produced, each by hand and under his watchful eye.

What once were local sales only has increased to sales in privately owned retail outlets in Flin Flon, The Pas and Thunder Bay and last year to Cabella's US and Cabella's Canada. With help from Community Futures Heartland and Triple R, Clinton was able to expand his sewing and production area to make his assembly processes more efficient. It is clear to see that Clinton loves what he does and his dreams for Big Eye Leather are just taking off. His desire is to expand the business as he has access to 400 tons of "waste" material in turkey feet alone per year.