Business briefs – May 20

A Red Deer dentist has acquired a piece of diagnostic equipment that he thinks will benefit his counterparts in the city and perhaps other health professionals.

Dentist acquires i-CAT machine

A Red Deer dentist has acquired a piece of diagnostic equipment that he thinks will benefit his counterparts in the city and perhaps other health professionals.

Dr. Robert Piedalue, who operates 22nd @ Taylor Dental Care, has the first 3-D dental imaging system in Central Alberta.

Unlike traditional CAT-scan equipment, which shoots a thin slice at a time, Piedalue’s i-CAT machine uses technology to capture an image quicker with lower radiation.

He said the equipment is useful in his practice.

In the past, the options were X-rays, CAT-scans or the injection of dye into a patient’s joint space. The i-CAT is quicker, cheaper, exposes patients to less radiation and produces a better image, he said.

Piedalue said he’s already gotten referrals from other dentists.

“Certainly in terms of trauma as well, it would be something the hospital could need or use,” he said.

Chiropractors might also benefit from the technology if they need images of a patient’s jaw joints or upper spine, he added.

Cone beam technology has been around for about 12 years, said Piedalue, but has only been cost-effective for his profession in last few years.

Sylvan Star store approved

An award-winning Sylvan Lake cheese maker has been given approval by Red Deer County to market his tasty wares through a storefront operation at his site.

The county’s municipal planning commission voted Tuesday to allow Sylvan Star Cheese owner John Schalkwijk to open a shop at his farm about five km east of Sylvan Lake. Schalkwijk expects the shop to attact 10 to 15 more vehicles daily to the property where his processing facility is located.

The shop, in an existing building, will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and will sell local products.

County Councillor Reimar Poth voted against the storefront sales. Poth was concerned that the cheese business was crossing the line to become a commercial retail operation in an area zoned for agriculture.

Allowing the shop could open a “can of worms” if other rural businesses also wanted to follow suit.

However, Councillor George Gehrke called Sylvan Star Cheese a valuable resource for the agricultural community.

Under the county’s land-use bylaw, selling farm direct produce is considered an allowable accessory use to the existing cheese processing plant.

Last month, Sylvan Star Cheese captured three first-place trophies at the 2009 Canadian Cheese Grand Prix, with another of its five entries an award finalist. This result matches the business’s performance at the 2006 Grand Prix.

A total of 172 cheeses were submitted by 41 Canadian cheese makers this year.

Kenroc opens outlet in Red Deer

Construction activity may have slowed here, but a Western Canadian building supply company is confident Central Alberta has plenty of growth left in it.

Kenroc Building Materials Co. Ltd. opened an outlet in Red Deer earlier this month. It’s located in the former Tirecraft Auto Centre premises at 7610 Edgar Industrial Dr.

Kenroc carries drywall, ceiling systems, roofing materials, stucco, steel framing, insulation, tools and other building products. Red Deer is the company’s 11th outlet, with other Alberta branches in Calgary, Edmonton and Fort McMurray. Kenroc also has stores in British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

Joey Vansdal, general manager of the Red Deer branch, said the region represents a good opportunity for his company.

“We had some existing customers here,” he said, adding that there is also the potential for growth.

“This is definitely a long-term plan.”

Vansdal said Kenroc’s new 8,000-square-foot space is well-suited for its needs. That includes dealing with a diverse range of customers.

“We deal with a lot of contractors, but we’re open to the public also.”

Kenroc started in 1967 as a small drywall supply business in Regina. Founder Ken Sexton later expanded to Saskatoon, and broadened the range of products he carried.

From 1985 on, Kenroc grew through acquisitions and branch-openings.

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