Here's a little something about us
In 1978 while passing through Owen Sound on the way to the family cottage in Tobermory, Eva stopped at McDonald's Restaurant where she ran into a salesman from one of her suppliers who informed her of an opportunity to take over a struggling business in Owen Sound.
Foto Art was originally established in Owen Sound in the early 1950's by Gerry McDonald initially sharing a location on 2nd Avenue East near Pharmaplus with Jim Vamplew from Vamplew Electronics. Gerry moved the store to 10th Street East between 2nd and 3rd Avenues before re-locating to 2nd Avenue East in a storefront that is now part of Fulford's Hardware. Gerry passed away some years later and the business was acquired by Tom Farrar from whom Eva and Zen purchased the business.
After a slow and humble start, as Eva and Zen split their time between Foto Art and running a store in Midland, an opportunity arrived in 1981 to sell the business in Midland so they could concentrate all there efforts on the Owen Sound location. Eva and Zen had the philosophy to build the business slowly and to make friends with the business community. They felt that building long-term relationships was the most valuable asset when running a small business.
With a new business and a new focus it was time to move ahead. Peter, one of their two sons, finished school at O.S.C.V.I. in 1982 and started working full time at the store one hour later, never to look back. The photographic industry was changing rapidly and it was time for expansion. Foto Art Camera Shop soon realized that one hour processing was the new and coming trend and that it was important to keep up with the industry. With Peter bringing new energy to the business Foto Art moved to its larger and current location: 842 2nd Avenue East in downtown Owen Sound. Eva, Zen and Peter installed the first ONE HOUR processing lab in Owen Sound, in fact the first lab north of Toronto.
Zen looked after the books and helped out on the retail floor and in the lab. Eva ran the lab and assisted with everything else. Peter concentrated his efforts on the store along with his dedicated staff.
Many evenings you could drive by Foto Art and see the lights on well into the wee hours of the morning as the Ciokan's ensured that their customers received their photographs first thing in the morning. Hard work is the cornerstone of their success.
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