Accessibility Tools

Skip to main content

Mountain Lake Services

News & Events

Stay connected with the Mountain Lake Services community, and be informed about upcoming events, initiatives, and opportunities to make a positive difference. Subscribe to our newsletter today.

Adirondack Canoe Company Opens Satellite Store in Port Henry

August 11, 2023

Article published in the Sun Community News on August 05, 2023. Written by Shaundra Bartlett Yaw.

PORT HENRY | On Sunday, Aug. 13, Mountain Lake Services will be continuing to extend its reach and mission within Essex County as they celebrate the opening of the new satellite location of the Adirondack Canoe Company (ACC) with a ribbon cutting at 1 p.m. and an open house from noon to 4 p.m.

“We wanted to open a retail store downtown that would give us a little bit more of a presence on Main Street, and also give us the ability to offer other products,” explained John Gereau, Director of Operations for Essex Industries and ACC. “All things paddling is kind of what I had in my head - we will offer everything from double-bladed paddles to personal flotation devices, boat racks, and carts to carry a canoe through the woods.”

4300 Main St. in Port Henry will now be the first official retail location for ACC. It is also adjacent to Mountain Lake Services Consignment Shop. The hope is that the prime environment near the beaches and campgrounds will invite walk-in traffic and attract the market of people who enjoy traveling and spending recreational time on the shores of Lake Champlain and surrounding waterways.

With all products entirely manufactured in Essex County, they are proudly 100 percent American. The retail store will have an inventory of canoes, and if a buyer falls in love on the spot, they will be able to ride home with their shiny new canoe that same day. Special orders are also welcome, with a two- to three-week turnaround time. At the celebration on Sunday, ACC will even be offering 10 percent off canoes and canoe accessories.

Essex Industries and Adirondack Canoe Company serve as the vocation component to Mountain Lake Services. The two integrated businesses bring people with developmental disabilities together with non-disabled workers to create and construct canoes that are as functional as they are beautiful.

In 2021 Essex Industries partnered with ACC to begin manufacturing high-end, super lightweight canoes at their facility in Mineville. Built with an environmentally friendly process known as vacuum infusion from high-tech components like carbon fiber and Kevlar, the canoes are manufactured inside a facility that boasts 15,000 square feet of production space and an extensively equipped woodworking shop, cutting and sewing machinery, and a state-of-the-art composite shop.

“All of our products here are manufactured with help from people with disabilities, right across the board; it is an integrated workforce,” explained Gereau. “We have able-bodied individuals working right alongside those with disabilities. We actually have more people here with disabilities than we do able-bodied. It is very, very rewarding for both them and us. They are such happy people and so proud of the work they accomplish.”

According to Gereau, part of the mission at Essex Industries is to create job-ready people who have learned and mastered skills that can be utilized outside of the business as well. The ultimate goal is to provide people with disabilities the knowledge to become productive and happy employees that are able to spread their wings within the community and have a variety of potential jobs they could perform.

“We have a lot of success stories of people that have done just that,” Gereau revealed. “At least a dozen in the last couple of years have gone on to work in other businesses in the county for sure.”

And at Essex Industries, which currently employs 50 people, the standard of excellence is a source of particular pride.

“I would put our quality up against anyone in the industry. In a lot of cases our quality by far surpasses others that are doing the same thing. That says an awful lot when you talk about having an integrated workforce,” Gereau said.

Gereau encourages members of the community to drop in on Sunday and enjoy the ACC experience. The musical duo Denim & Diamonds will be performing from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., and with it being only August, there is still plenty of time for canoeing left in the season.

"We wouldn’t be here if it weren't for the fact we are offering work to individuals with developmental disabilities," said Gereau. "It's really all about them - everything we do is about them. They absolutely love what they do and it is really rewarding to them. That is first and foremost here."

For more information on ACC, please visit or visit their Facebook page. Visit to discover the extent of their mission.


Credits: Article published in the Sun Community News on August 05, 2023. Written by Shaundra Bartlett Yaw - Click here to visit the article.