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Stewart Grant joins David Douglas at Norfolk Farms

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” says Stewart Grant, new owner and publisher of Norfolk Farms newspaper.


Stewart Grant New Owner of Norfolk Farms
Stewart Grant

The look and feel of this issue of Norfolk Farms is much like previous editions of the publication. That’s by design.


“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” says Stewart Grant, new owner and publisher of Norfolk Farms newspaper.


Grant bought Norfolk Farms on January 2 from David Douglas, who founded the publication in the spring of 2017. Douglas had noted that, particularly as row crop fruit and vegetables became more active within the area, Norfolk County lacked its own agricultural journal, and thus he created Norfolk Farms to fill that void.


As Douglas eyed eventual retirement from the publishing industry that he has enjoyed for decades, he had put his farm newspaper business up for sale in late 2023 in the hopes of finding someone to carry on the enterprise.


Fortunately, in an industry that doesn’t have many current buyers, he was able to find someone in Stewart who is enthusiastic about continuing what David had started.


“What David has built over the past seven years with Norfolk Farms is very impressive,” said Stewart. “He shares the same philosophy that I do - that good readership is the success of a newspaper. And good readership comes from good content - focusing on truly local community stories that people can’t get anywhere else, combined with useful information that is specific to the areas that you serve.”


Over the past few years, Grant has been growing his newspaper business at a time when the industry itself has been shrinking. Although he began his career as a Chartered Accountant, he branched out into publishing in 2014 when he bought a small newspaper in his hometown of St. Marys. Since then, he purchased the Tavistock Gazette in 2020 and then started community newspapers in New Hamburg, Stratford, Woodstock, and Goderich.


“The circumstances that led me to buying the Norfolk Farms newspaper are similar to when I purchased the Tavistock Gazette in 2020. Both are truly special local papers that would be dearly missed by their communities if they didn’t find a new owner to carry on the tradition. In the case of Tavistock, their newspaper had been around since 1895 and in the same family for 51 years. While Norfolk Farms has a much shorter history, David has similarly been able to establish a strong reputation for quality local news features.”


“Having grown up on a farm, it’s very exciting for me to step into publishing a farm newspaper, though I’ll lean a lot on David’s experience and the excellent reporting of his team of local writers. I’m glad that David has agreed to stay on because he’s someone that I know I can learn a great deal from,” Grant added.


Something that Stewart says he enjoys about the newspaper business is that each week is different and there’s always something new to learn. Recently, he’s been diving into industry events by attending the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention, the National Poultry Show, and the Canadian Potato Summit.


“Stewart just loved sharing random fun facts with the kids and I about things he learned from the Potato Summit,” says his wife, Laurie. They began dating back in high school and this year, they’ll be celebrating 25 years of marriage. “I know he really enjoys what he does and that’s what matters.”


Stewart says he’s looking forward to meeting people in Norfolk County and continuing to tell the stories of local farm families and cover industry news and innovations through the pages of Norfolk Farms. If you have ideas for future articles or simply wish to get in touch, he can be reached at stew@granthaven.com or at 519-868-1290.

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