The Coast-to-Coast Caesar cocktail at Cowichan Bay’s Cow Cafe-West Coast Grill is one of the top 10 finalists in Mott’s Clamato national Best Caesar in Town Competition. Pictured are Cheryl Day and Michelle Forrest, part of the management team at Cow Cafe, holding Caesars. (Submitted photo)

The Coast-to-Coast Caesar cocktail at Cowichan Bay’s Cow Cafe-West Coast Grill is one of the top 10 finalists in Mott’s Clamato national Best Caesar in Town Competition. Pictured are Cheryl Day and Michelle Forrest, part of the management team at Cow Cafe, holding Caesars. (Submitted photo)

Business notes: Cowichan businesses chip in to help Holocaust survivor

A look at what’s new in Cowichan’s business community

A number of local companies stepped in to help a Holocaust survivor who lives in Duncan get through the historic heat wave that hit the area a few weeks ago.

Sonja Holmes, who survived the Buchenwald and Treblinka concentration camps during the Second World War, had been warned by her doctor that the overwhelming heat could be very dangerous to her if she didn’t get her air conditioning repaired.

Doug Lockhart and Adam Brownlow of Lockhart Industries showed up immediately and could not revive the 30-year-old heat pump.

But when Lockhart explained to his supplier, Loretta at Refrigerative Supply in North Burnaby, along with Neil Hamilton at Exchange Energy and Mike Lafond at HB Electric, they mobilized immediately and replaced her heat pump in two days, during a time when such equipment is hard to find.

“Sonja survived the concentration camps and now the 2021 heat wave thanks to some kindred spirited Canucks all stepping up on their own time and expense during some very hot days in which to work,” Lockhart said.

“After her time in the camps, she can’t believe how nice Canadians are. We intend to keep up the tradition.”

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Craig Street Brew Pub and Just Jakes, which are both owned by Lance and Liz Steward, are the joint winners of the Downtown Duncan BIA’s Business of the Year award for 2020.

The Stewards have been operating these businesses in downtown Duncan for 30 years and, according to a statement from the DDBIA, they have been an anchor of the city’s downtown for decades and, this past year, they led the way in pivoting time and again in response to changing COVID-19 regulations.

“They were, for instance, the first restaurants to offer curb-side takeout during April when we started re-opening,” the statement said.

“Lance and Liz are also pillars of the community, and have always supported the opening of other restaurants here, like Fresh Kenny’s Fish & Chips. We are so thrilled to present them with the Business of the Year award.”

Medix won the Best New Business Award at the DDBIA’s AGM, while Fabrications took home the Shirley McGuinness Beautification Award, and all the members of the DDBIA were the winners of the Spirit of Excellence Award.

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Hattie’s Farm to Table restaurant in Duncan is closing for good on Aug. 15.

In a statement to her customers and the community, owner Andrea Fleming said that despite energetic efforts to keep the business running and successful during the COVID-19 pandemic, the mandatory closing of restaurants, and restrictions when allowed to open over a long period of time, took its toll on Hattie’s Farm to Table and her.

“From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank so many of you who believed in me, believed in this team, believed in our values and believed in this community,” Fleming said.

“I am grateful for the help in being able to realize my dream and to recognize now that I must take a break and set forth on a new path. I am grateful for the wisdom of knowing that when one door closes, another will open.”

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The Coast-to-Coast Caesar cocktail at Cowichan Bay’s Cow Cafe-West Coast Grill is one of the top 10 finalists, and the only one from B.C., in Mott’s Clamato national Best Caesar in Town Competition.

Michelle Forrest, manager of the Cow Cafe, said an official from Mott’s Clamato phoned to inform the cafe that it was in the top 30 in the competition and, after a video was sent to the company, they made it to the top 10.

She said the winner of the competition will be determined by how many votes each finalist receives from the public, and she encourages the fans of the Coast-to-Coast Caesar to enter their votes by going to https://mottsclamato.ca/nominees/cow-cafe-west-coast-grill/.

Voting runs until Aug. 4, and the winner, who will receive a $25,000 grand prize, will be announced on Aug. 30.

“Developing the Coast-to-Coast Caesar was a collaborative effort among the staff at the cafe,” she said.

“The secret is mainly in the spices and garnishes we use, and the Caesar is very appealing to the eye as well,” Forrest said.

“CTV did a story about the competition last week, and we sold more than 150 Caesars on the weekend. Good luck to all our fellow competitors. Their Caesars all look delicious and so creative.”

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Khaya Home Decor & Gifts, located at 107 Kenneth St. in Duncan, is up for sale.

Heather Scudder, who has operated the store for 18 years, said she’s planning on retiring and doing some travelling.

“It’s been a great 18 years, and sales were up even during the COVID-19 pandemic,” she said.

“The store’s financial forecasts for the next two years are also looking good. It’s a great little store with great exposure with lots of loyal customers. I’d hate to see it just close.”

Scudder said Khaya Home Decor is a wonderful opportunity for a couple or a single owner.

Anyone interested can contact Scudder at 250-709-1201.

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After 15 years occupying its landmark space at 51 Trunk Rd., BikeWorks has moved to a new space located at 360 Festubert St.

BikeWorks, a free outreach program established by the Canadian Mental Health Association, serves youth aged 12-19 who are seeking engagement with supports to learn healthy life skills and connect with a community.

This program is for youth who are connected to other supports who want a fun, safe space to hang out.

Youth workers facilitate programming at BikeWorks.

The BikeWorks space has areas for video games, art and crafts, bike mechanics and a full working kitchen.

BikeWorks’ hours for July and August are 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and adults are not permitted unless accompanying a child.

“We look forward to seeing many familiar faces and some new ones come through the doors.” BikeWorks said in a statement.

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In related news, the Canadian Mental Health Association’s Open Door Youth Services Centre is now located across the street from its old location, and is sharing space with BikeWorks at 360 Festubert St. in Duncan.

Open Door aims to be low barrier and act as a drop-in space for youth, aged 13-24, in need of extra support.

To provide consistent support for youth throughout the week, the centre is now open Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“We will be serving up some delicious breakfast foods, providing access to laundry and continue being a safe space for youth who may have been outside all night,” Open Door said in a statement.

“We will continue to focus on connection and relationship building with youth and being a point of contact for youth who may not be engaged in other programs. If you see any youth who would benefit from a safe place to relax and recharge, please send them our way.”

Call 250-732-2395 for more information, or visit the website www.cmhacowichanvalley.com.

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