New owners see bright future for Haliburton Vision Care
By Jenn Watt
Aug. 16, 2018
Lauren and Brett Wilson envisioned owning a business that would allow them to live in the Haliburton Highlands doing something fulfilling together.
The couple eyed Haliburton Vision Care, a long-standing business with 9-5 hours in a great location in the medical centre, across from the town’s schools.
They already knew the owner, Lance Edwards, and Brett decided to make some inquiries to see if he was interested in selling.
“I came in and asked him one day when he was going to retire, thinking that this would be something that would be nice to do,” Brett said.
“He said it’s actually for sale.”
Edwards was readying for retirement after 39 years as an optician – 17 of them running the Haliburton business he started.
“I was really impressed that he reached out to me to find out what my plans were,” Edwards said.
With that serendipitous conversation, the process was straightforward and in June, the Wilsons took over Haliburton Vision Care.
Initially, the plan was for Lauren to run the business herself, but the couple decided that they enjoyed each other’s company so much they would both get their optician’s licence so they could work together.
Lauren is working on hers now and Brett will start his training in the year to come.
Edwards is staying on in the short term to help with the transition.
“I’m staying on as long as Brett and Lauren need me. The tentative schedule is [to finish] Oct. 31,” he said. “But I’m still going to be in the area. If they need me for anything I’m always available to come in and help.”
The basics of the job include fitting glasses, making sure they’re comfortable, and ensuring the lenses are positioned correctly, Lauren explained. They also fit and sell contact lenses and repair glasses.
What some people don’t know is Haliburton Vision Centre has a large selection of sunglasses including Maui Jim, Oakley and Ray-Ban – available with or without a prescription.
Currently optometrist Lorne Kay visits the clinic biweekly to do eye examinations. The couple’s long-term plan is to one day have a full-time optometrist on site.
Brett grew up in the Highlands and was an owner at Haliburton Timber Mart. He’s currently a home and cottage designer. Lauren is originally from Aurora; her parents have a cottage in the area and intend to retire here.
She said since taking over she’s enjoyed interacting with the customers and putting her business degree from Ryerson University into practice.
Edwards said he had great confidence in Lauren’s ability to run the business, calling her smart, sweet and motivated.
“I think she’s going to be a great business owner and a wonderful optician,” he said.
For her part, Lauren said she and Brett intend to run the business with the same high standard Edwards set.
“We want everybody to know we’re trying to do the same job Lance has done so wonderfully,” she said.
Haliburton Vision Care is located at 7217 Gelert Rd. in Haliburton. You can find them online at haliburtonvisioncare.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Their number is 705-457-9500.