Mother-daughter team Sarah and Wendy Hiebert have opened Blend Gathered Goods Vintage & New on Kenneth Street and will hold their grand opening on March 5. (Robert Barron/Citizen)

Mother-daughter team Sarah and Wendy Hiebert have opened Blend Gathered Goods Vintage & New on Kenneth Street and will hold their grand opening on March 5. (Robert Barron/Citizen)

Business notes: Blend Gathered Goods Vintage & New opens in Duncan

The latest from the Cowichan Valley business community

For the record: In one of my business notes in the Feb. 24 edition, I incorrectly referred to the new plentiFILL Refillery & Sustainable Living Store at 163 Kenneth St. in Duncan by an incorrect name.

My apologies go out to the store’s owners Krystal Aikman and Stephanie Farrow for the error.

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Blend Gathered Goods Vintage & New is moving from Cobble Hill to a new location at 161 Kenneth St. in Duncan.

The store, which will hold its grand opening at its new site on March 5, sells new and antique furniture, craft goods like locally made candles, soap, dry florals, art work and much more.

Mother-daughter team Sarah and Wendy Hiebert, who operated the Cobble Hill store for three years, said they decided to move to Duncan because they believe the city’s downtown core is a great place for an up-and-coming business like theirs.

“We’ve already got a lot of support from this community behind us already, and we’re excited to work alongside the other businesses in the area,” Sarah said.

“We’ve been looking for a new location for a year, and this is a beautiful one. We have an outside area where can hold events like pop-up markets and ladies shopping nights in the spring and summer. Our live sales on Facebook, in which customers can shop from their homes and they can either pick their purchases up at the shop or have it shipped to them, has also been a big success and we’re continuing with that.”

The grand opening will be held this Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

••••

The drive-in movie theatre at the Cowichan Exhibition grounds is opening this weekend with the new Batman movie.

Owner Moby Amarsi said the drive-in, which is the first drive-in on Vancouver Island, will have a 40-foot screen with FM Dolby surround sound, and movie goers will receive the sound through their car’s stereo system.

The drive-in’s capacity is 75 cars and will be open Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with the shows typically starting at sunset.

“We have digital projection for crisp picture quality,” Amarsi said.

“This weekend, the shows start at 6.30 pm. Tickets, which are $40 per car, are available online at Hollywood3.ca and cowex.ca, and are also available at the gate. We have full concession facility and you can buy concessions online as well.”

••••

The largest online referral network for small businesses, Alignable.com, has chosen Tina Short, owner of A Memorable Gift, which deals mainly in speciality gifts and custom gift baskets, as North Cowichan’s 2022 Business Person Of The Year.

The 2022 contest, which was a national search for leaders who’ve gone above and beyond guiding peers and supporting entire communities as they strive to recover, is the most popular competition Alignable has ever hosted, marking a 64 per cent increase in participation over last year.

In all, more than 2,400 small business owners were elected by their peers to be their Local Business People Of The Year across the U.S. and Canada.

During the contest, which ran from Jan. 10 to Feb. 11, more than 160,000 votes and 32,000 testimonials were posted praising thousands of local leaders for helping their peers and communities through a turbulent year with many challenges; including skyrocketing inflation, labor shortages, supply chain problems, and COVID-19 variants.

“In our tight-knit community, you almost always get back what you give, and the challenges we’ve all encountered have compelled many of us to offer counsel and other support to peers struggling to keep their businesses afloat,” Short said.

“While I’m thrilled to receive this award, it’s really a testament to our entire community. And it reinforces my resolve to push toward a full recovery for everyone here in North Cowichan by the end of 2022, if not earlier.”

••••

The Cowichan Valley’s Ampersand Distillery Company, Merridale Cidery & Distillery and Stillhead Distillery won a number of awards in the Artisan Distillers Canada’s 2022 Canadian Artisan Spirit Competition that was recently held.

The competition itself is comprised of a national, independent panel of judges who evaluated entries from nearly 80 artisan distilleries across Canada.

The competition awarded winners in 23 categories in total, with B.C. and Quebec receiving the most Best in Class awards among the 10 provinces who submitted their spirits for consideration.

The spirits were blind-judged by an independent panel from across the country.

Ampersand Distillery, which was recognized among the best at the 2021 Canadian Artisan Spirit Competition when their limited-edition Nocino! won the coveted title Spirit of the Year, won gold at the CASC in the “Best In Class” gin-contemporary category for its Ampersand Gin, silver in the “Spirit Awards” Amaro or Vermouth category for its Imperative Dry Vermouth, and gold in the “Spirit Awards” Vodka-Contemporary category for its Per Se Vodka.

Merridale, which has also won numerous awards including a Best in Class at a previous Canadian Artisan Spirit Competition, won gold in the “Spirit Awards” Brandy category for its Pear Brandy, bronze in the “Spirits Awards” Brandy category for its Apple Brandy and another bronze in the “Spirits Awards” Brandy category for its XXO Brandy, and silver in the Rum-Alternative category for its Spiced Rhumb and bronze in the same category for its Rhumb.

Stillhead Distillery, which has also won awards at previous CASC competitions, won gold in the “Spirit Awards” in the whisky-single grain category for its Rye Whisky-Small Cask Finish, gold in the whisky-single grain category for its Sneaky Peak, silver in the whisky-single grain category for its Rye Whisky-Blackberry Port Finish and silver in the whisky-single malt category for its Single Malt-Hungarian Oak.



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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