Two people sitting on stools in studio

Local filmmakers Kyle Sawyer and Taylor Jones are storytellers at heart. When the pandemic hit in 2020, a new story began to unfold and the filmmaking duo was intent on telling it. 

Today, they will do just that with the premiere of their ‘Business Unusual’ series, an eight-episode docuseries telling the story of how Waterloo Region small businesses survived the year the world shutdown.  

“The unique restaurants and cafes, yoga and spin studios, barbers, retailer, theatres are the types of businesses that define a place and give it a feeling, a sense of identity and purpose,” said Jones. “Business Unusual tells the raw and real stories of Waterloo Region business. The series explores the struggle and how they managed to survive some really challenging times.”  

Jones and Sawyer feature a range of diverse businesses in the series, including Crafty Ramen, Vincenzo’s, Cambridge Restaurant, LenJo Bakes, Cyclone Spin Studio, TWB Co-operative Brewing, Arabella Park Beer Bar and the Apollo Cinema. 

"You don't visit a place to go to chain restaurants. You go to the local and unique restaurants, retailers and shops to really experience the community,” said Sawyer. "The series brings viewers into the kitchen and behind the scenes to get to know the owners, operators and staff of many of our local Waterloo Region businesses. We hope that sharing these stories will encourage people to shop and support small businesses now and as we look ahead to hopefully brighter times.” 

The series is intended to share the real stories of local businesses navigating a year where the world shutdown and inspire viewers to support a new small business. 

The documentary was made possible with support from principal sponsor HIP Development, Communitech, Libro Credit Union,, Perimeter Development, the Downtown Kitchener BIA, and Waterloo Region Small Business Centre. 

To stay up to date on the Business Unusual series follow them on Instagram @businessunusualseries. A Business Unusual special presentation trailer, details about upcoming screenings, and more information about the series is also available at