Brunings Low Cost Grocery store

Brunings Low Cost Grocery store

1950: skating on Cowichan Lake

It was of sufficient thickness for safe skating reported the March 1950 issue of the UBO Bulletin.

Bruning’s Low Cost Grocery store was a mainstay in Youbou for many years.

Over the decades it operated under several names and several owners, the last of which was Youbou Mini Mart.

Back in the mid 1940s — situated across the road from the future Bruning’s Low Cost — was Norm’s Meat Market (owned by Norm Dickens, father of Youbou resident Verna Wingo).

Attached to Norm’s Meat Market was Mountain View Grocery which at that time was owned by Roy Burdett. Between the two businesses was Mrs. Mater’s Sewing Supplies.

In the late 1940s Bob Bruning bought the grocery store from Bob Burdett and operated it under the banner Bruning’s Mountain View Grocery store. A few years later Bruning bought property across Youbou Road where he built his new store about 1958.

For the first time in the memories of pioneers in the Cowichan Lake district there was ice on the lake during the first week of February 1950.

It was of sufficient thickness for safe skating reported the March 1950 issue of the UBO Bulletin. In a sheltered bay about 1.5 miles from Youbou, the ice was four inches thick. Between 30 and 40 skaters were on the ice most days and into the nights until February 3 when 16 inches of snow fell putting the kibosh on ice skating.

In more recent history, it was over 20 years ago, January 1994, that local residents Pat and Loretta Jung closed the doors of their Lake Café  after operating a Chinese food, eat-in and take-out service, for 20 years.

Originally situated between the then busy Riverside Inn and the Lake Theatre, the café did a rip roaring business as the only café open late at night and the only Chinese food offered here in town.


Another popular business closed in 1994. Walt’s Drive In closed its doors forever in March of that year. The building, which was constructed by Jim Peterson 28 years prior, was later removed. Today the site is home to the A & W restaurant.