As quickly as the seasons come and go so do businesses that cater to outdoor sport and equipment. Very few survive the dreams of their founders. Yet, The Chippewa Trading Post, has done just that and more. It has survived, grown and prospered by putting their clients first, connecting them with the Algoma region of Northern Ontario and beyond.
On May 1, 2010 George and Susan purchased The Chippewa Trading Post and Frontier Village in Sault Ste. Marie. They used this opportunity for mentoring and as an educational tool for entrepreneurship for their children Kevin and Kristina. As owners, George and Susan are very hands on and operate The Chippewa Trading Post as a family business. This business has many different retail and food type businesses on the grounds all centered on a “frontier” theme. The main business is The Chippewa Trading Post which is an Esso Branded gas station also selling hunting and fishing licenses, bait and tackle, groceries, tobacco, lottery, gifts and decor, clothing, kayaks, canoes, ice huts, guns & ammo, and much more. In The Frontier Village they own and operate The Big Moose Ice Cream Parlour which boasts 68 flavours of ice cream, Frenchies Fish House (LLBO licensed) and Frenchies Chicken & Ribs as well as The Sweet Tooth Fudge Factory with specialty homemade fudge and treats. Their daughter runs a very successful women’s clothing boutique called Krush and their son has a large snow plowing and contracting business – Koprash Contracting. There are presently 3 tenants in the village as well.
George and Susan have been married for 34 years and have many business achievements over the years. They have been recipients of numerous business awards including Entrepreneurs of the Year, Business Development Awards, Beautification Awards. Susan won the Top 100 Canadian Women in Business two years in a row coming in # 36 and # 38 out of 100. Susan gives back to the community through the Sault North Rotary where she was president in 2010 and won the Paul Dalseg Award. Most recently in 2014, the City of Sault Ste. Marie presented "The Community Development Award” to The Chippewa Trading Post and Frontier Village for creating a vibrant tourist destination and community gathering place featuring a Northern Identity.
More recently, The Chippewa Trading Post received the Community First Award in 2018 through the Chamber of Commerce Awards.
The Big Moose Ice Cream Parlour has won the People’s Choice Awards 3 years in a row starting 2016 for the Best Ice Cream Parlour.
George and Susan Koprash have been self-employed with many businesses since May 1, 1987 employing thousands with gross sales over $25 million. For their first 20 years of being in business they owned and operated several large service-based brands which operated throughout the province of Ontario. These businesses include Sunlite Floor Cleaners, Koprash Building Services, Koprash Sanitation & Supply, Hi-Tec Security Investigations and Armoured Services.
George and Susan along with their children Kevin and Kristina also have a commercial property and development company with several buildings all commercially leased out to government and private sector. Friuli Properties was developed in early 2015. The name Friuli is a province in Italy whereby Susan’s parents were born and immigrated to Canada in 1953. In honour of Susan’s father and heritage who for many years owned and operated a construction company named Friuli Contractors, hence Friuli Properties was developed.
George and Susan, along with their two children have exemplified expertise in business and are strong pillars in the community.