The Haliburton Highlands Paddlers went all the way to New Zealand to compete in the World Masters Games last month. Paddlers from left Pamela Boyce Lillian Hall Linda Shulist Chris Whittemore Lois Deacon Carolyn Ellis. Photo submitted

Ownership structure changes for McKecks restaurant

By Angelica Ingram

Published July 10 2018

The reins of power at McKecks have shifted as head chef Aaron Walker and his wife Melissa have now become the majority shareholders of the main street restaurant.
The change has been in the works for years and was a “natural evolution” for the restaurant said Aaron.
Aaron and his wife have purchased shares that formerly belonged to owner Maarten Steinkamp and his wife Laura.
“This has been in development for many years we just had to wait for the timing to be right for both Maarten and Laura and myself” said Aaron. “We took our time to make sure we executed it very carefully.”

The change now sees the Walkers at the helm of the restaurant along with general manager Karen Frybort who has been a mainstay at McKecks for the past 25 years.
“The three of us [Walker Melissa and Frybort] were the management team of McKecks and Maarten and Laura’s focus had been on other ventures that they had going on” said Aaron.
Aaron has been involved with McKecks for the past five years as a chef and partner. He is excited about the changes ahead and is looking to build on the great food and service at the restaurant.
“That’s a work in progress that never ends” he said. “We want to stay involved with the community both charitably and in spirit. Although we honour the tradition and roots of McKecks we’re always looking to innovate and come up with new ideas.”

Some new avenues the restaurant has pursued is catering for events such as weddings and the recent Haliburton Rotary Lobsterfest to having a presence at the local farmers’ market. Aaron said the business has been very busy and is in a period of growth. He said he is excited about what the future holds.
“I want to thank everyone in the community that has supported McKecks over the many years under different ownerships … both Walt McKechnie and Laura and Maarten for building it to what it is today” said Aaron.