October 4, 2021
Award-winning, full service optical lab owner, Tom Aquino, has been making eyewear for over twenty-five years. In 2010, he started his own brand of digital freeform lenses, Clearview HD, which now represents approximately two thirds of sales for Dr’s Choice Optical Lab.
Highly Skilled Local Employees
“With the help of the TRENVAL grant, Dr’s Choice looks to triple our business over the next two years bringing better jobs and attracting industry partners to the Bay of Quinte region,” says Aquino.
Economic Development Support
In 2020, Dr’s Choice received a grant from Bay of Quinte’s TRENVAL Business Development Corporation. The grant was used for upgrades to reduce handling errors, improve lens quality, and increase production capacity.
“TRENVAL has helped us add more automation. We just bought another coating machine from Germany. We’ve already expanded our coating facility once, to fulfill increased orders. With this machine we can now do 48 lenses in an hour, but we’re already looking for the next best technology, even before this machine arrives.”
Nearby Military Base
Located near 8 Wing Trenton, Canada’s largest Air Force base, they’ve even been able to help the military. In one case, Dr’s Choice Optical Lab was able to quickly repair goggles used in a tank for personnel that were flying out to Afghanistan that afternoon.
Ideal Location for Growth and Job Creation
All products are manufactured locally, using globally-sourced materials and state of the art digital equipment. Automation and AI are helping the company grow and create jobs. With their Anti-Reflection coating centre, and its 10,000 Class clean room, one of only 3 such facilities in the province, Dr’s Choice serves optical stores and optometrists across Ontario.
Manufacturing Community Partners
As part of the active, committed local manufacturing community, Dr’s Choice participates in both the Proudly Made in Bay of Quinte through the Quinte Economic Development Commission (QEDC) and the Ontario Made program through Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters.
Logistics Access for Shipping On Time
“I have no interest in being anywhere else. We’re two hours from Toronto and Ottawa and just over an hour to the USA. It’s the best location for us to expand strategically in a community with a skilled workforce and active economic development community,” says Aquino.