Renee Cann, owner of Duncan’s Peacock Photo and Restoration, plans to close the store and retire on March 31. (Robert Barron/Citizen)

Renee Cann, owner of Duncan’s Peacock Photo and Restoration, plans to close the store and retire on March 31. (Robert Barron/Citizen)

Business notes: Duncan’s Peacock Photo and Restoration closing doors for good

What’s happening in the Cowichan Valley business community

After more than 21 years in business, Peacock Photo and Restoration, located on Jubilee Street, will be closing its doors for the last time on March 31.

Owner Renee Cann, who has lived in the Cowichan Valley her whole life, said that she felt it is time to retire from the business, so she and her partner Kris Cann are moving to their home on Sonora Island, north of Quadra Island, full time at the end of the month.

Renee said Peacock Photo and Restoration, which specializes in passport photos, portraits, custom framing, printing, copy and restoration, has changed significantly over the years, mainly with the switch from film to digital, and the business has changed with it.

She said she used to develop more than 30 rolls of film a day, and now develops less than 30 a month.

“Most of our work these days is in copy and restoration, and transferring eight-millimetre film and VHS to DVD,” Renee said.

Renee said she will keep Peacock Photo’s web page in operation and will still continue to do restorations after the closure of the store.

She said she also plans to do some bookkeeping for small businesses through her new company, High Tide Bookkeeping.

“I will really miss the customers at the store,” Renee said.

“They have been so good and kind over the years, and many of them have been coming in to say goodbye before we close.”

••••

The Duncan-based Made to Last Custom Homes is a finalist in the 2021 National Awards for Housing Excellence, which is run by the Canadian Home Builders’ Association.

The company is a finalist in the Best Whole Home Renovation in the $400,001 to $600,000 category.

The annual competition recognizes the best in Canadian new homes, home renovations, community development and residential marketing.

This year more than 730 entries of top projects from across the country were received, representing rural and urban communities.

The CHBA’s CEO Kevin Lee said the COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging for Canadians in many ways.

He said one of the things many people have experienced is spending more time at home than ever before.

“Our homes have needed to function as a place not only to live, but also to work, learn, and play,” Lee said.

“Our members worked with their clients through challenging times to still put forward the great housing projects they are known for, to meet the evolving needs of home. The entries in the competition this year represent the full spectrum of Canadian homes, from high-rises to single family homes, and from rental and entry-level homes to stunning custom builds.”

Fifty-three awards for excellence in housing will be presented during a virtual ceremony on May 7.

••••

The Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce is reminding the public that March is all about supporting the struggling local food and beverage sector through the chamber’s Dine & Sip Cowichan Festival.

“We invite you to support local restaurants, eateries and specialty food shops for dine-in with your bubble, or take-out,” said Sonja Nagel, the chamber’s executive director.

“You will also be supporting our local food banks as Island Savings will be donating $5 for every Dine menu purchased at any of the 35 venues during March. Twelve craft beverage producers are also offering special incentives this month. A full list of menus and offerings can be found at the Dine & Sip Cowichan webpage.”

Dine & Sip Cowichan runs until March 28.

••••

The Downtown Duncan Business Improvement Area has introduced Downtown Duncan Dollars, a “universal” gift certificate that can be used at most shops in the downtown Duncan area.

The Duncan Dollars can be purchased through the Downtown Duncan BIA office with just an email or phone call to arrange a pickup date and payment type.

Certificates come in $25, $50, and $100 denominations, though custom values can be made upon request.

​”Programs like this are designed to encourage shoppers to discover our amazing downtown Duncan retailers, while supporting the amazing efforts of local small businesses,” said the DDBIA’s webpage.

“Businesses do retain the right to refuse these, so please ask before purchasing any items.”

••••

Economic Development Cowichan has partnered with Spring Activator to launch the Cowichan Food Innovation Program to support food and beverage entrepreneurs across the region.

The Cowichan Food Innovation Program was created in an effort to foster innovation in the community and support the development of a thriving food and beverage sector in Cowichan.

The program will assist aspiring business owners to incubate new ideas, and help existing businesses to pivot in response to changing consumer demands.

“We are excited to support the further development of local food and beverage businesses through this new program,” said Barry O’Riordan, manager of Economic Development Cowichan.

“The program will also identify and develop key players in the Cowichan food ecosystem, and thereby build capacity for continued growth and expansion of the sector.”

The program will be delivered in two cohorts: an incubator for start-ups and those looking to launch a new venture, and an accelerator for established businesses looking to adapt through growth and expansion.

Both cohorts will have access to weekly group e-learning sessions, an online resource portal, and a regional network of business mentors.

The training is offered at no cost to participants.

The Cowichan Food Innovation Program is accepting applications until March 31, with the program set to run from April to July.

Visit Economic Development Cowichan’s website at ecdevcowichan.com for more information on the program, eligibility criteria, and to submit your application.



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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