Local Leader Spotlight – Court Desautels, The Neighbourhood Group

Intrigue Media

At Intrigue Media, we believe in empowering leaders and strengthening communities — that’s why we have decided to spotlight a ‘Local Leader’ each month!

Our Local Leaders are individuals who have shown both professional leadership and leadership within the community.

We are proud to live and work in communities with many amazing people who exemplify these qualities!


Court Desautels is the CEO and Group Leader of The Neighbourhood Group. Their company philosophy is based upon three core values:

  1. Operate restaurants that promote locally crafted, natural foods and beverages while championing the farmers and producers that made them.
  2. Create unique venues that preserve the past while showcasing regional building materials, decor motifs and contemporary artisanal craftspeople.
  3. Operate our restaurants in a sustainable fashion with the goal to reduce our carbon footprint and overall waste annually.

Watch the IM in a Car segment below to see Court being interviewed by Intrigue Media co-founder Rob Murray — it’s all about leading with a purpose!

Born and raised in Guelph, Court began his experience in food service by working as a dishwasher at the Wooly. Making use of his marketing degree, Court pursued his career in Toronto, but returned to Guelph to run events for Sleeman Breweries.

Attempting to move away from the restaurant business, Court moved to Australia in search of new opportunities — but he ended up falling back in love with the restaurant business. When his dad asked him if he was interested in opening up a restaurant in 2008, Court knew it would be the beginning of a great adventure.   

Court believes the key to running a successful business is starting with the question, “Why?” You should start by asking yourself questions like, “Are you going into business just to make money?” Or, “Are you going into business to make a change or solve a problem?” The answers to these questions will help the business developer create an emotional connection with their business. Court believes that when you are emotionally invested, you are more willing to commit to your goal.

Watch as Rob dives into the history of how Court developed a passion for creating an excessively-local focus for his restaurants. Court talks about who inspired him to continue investing in his business when times were tough and provides insight on how you can find inspiration for everything you do. The key is to act with purpose.

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