The Farm Table Inn is now open for dinner service after the province lifted restrictions this week. Pictured are owners George Gates and Evelyn Koops. (Alec Wheeler photo)

The Farm Table Inn is now open for dinner service after the province lifted restrictions this week. Pictured are owners George Gates and Evelyn Koops. (Alec Wheeler photo)

Business notes: Farm Table Inn has begun dinner service inside and on patio

What’s going on in Cowichan’s business community

Now that the provincial regulations on indoor dining have been lifted, the Farm Table Inn, located at 6755 Cowichan Lake Rd., is happy to announce that it is back for dinner service.

That means for both the indoor eating area and on the patio.

The restaurant’s Facebook page said its farm-to-table dinner service will start with its famous prime rib dinner on May 27.

Then the Farm Table Inn’s new regular a-la-carte menu will be offered every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, starting May 28.

The Facebook page said there will be umbrellas and heaters for those who want to dine on the patio, but recommends people bring their own blanket just in case.

“Our restaurant opens at 5 p.m. and we highly recommend you make a reservation.

“Message us or phone us to book a table but, as you know, we have limited seating so please make sure to book ASAP by calling 250-932-3205, or go to info@farmtableinn.ca. We look forward to seeing you soon.”

••••

Two carpenters in the Cowichan Valley are taking their skills to a new level.

Dylan Thomas-Metz and Ryan Whitaker, both 22, work their days as carpenters but their true passion is with their business, Wildcoast Creations, where they make wondrous and artistic wood furniture in their workshop when not working at their full-time jobs.

Thomas-Metz said the partners have recently begun making a wide variety of furniture, including dinner and coffee tables, cutting and charcuterie boards and shelving, and their skills have become more honed as they continue to create.

He said the wood they use, which includes black walnut, maple and cherry, is supplied locally.

“Our dream is to operate Wildcoast Creations on a full-time basis, and more people are checking out our work as our skills get better, so maybe our dream will come true,” Thomas-Metz said.

“We’ve been pretty much getting the word out there by word of mouth, and we’ve just begun advertising.”

Wildcoast Creations can be reached at 250-466-5413, and the partners have a Facebook page and Instagram.

••••

The Chemainus Health Care Auxiliary Thrift Shop is open again following a long closure due to COVID-19.

President Diana Lenihan is pleased to get the message out to loyal customers and donors, who have been so patient during the closure.

“We are so excited to be able to provide a service to our community once again,” she stated.

May 17 marked the return for the drop-off of gently used items, and the retail shop reopened to the public on May 18.

Hours will continue to be 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

“We ask for your continued use of retail protocol – masks at all times, sanitize, two-metre distance,” noted Lenihan.

“This ensures that we all are respectful of others and we are abiding to the set of rules set by B.C. Health and Safety. We look forward to seeing you again and we thank you for your patience and understanding.”

••••

A call for local participants has been announced for the Cowichan Valley Disability, Culture and Food Through Art: An Exhibit, a unique photography and video exhibit that will help raise awareness to the barriers disabled people face in accessing food and to promote advocacy from local producers.

Led by local food photographer, owner of Polaris Creative, and disability advocate Jules Sherred, the exhibit will be available both online and in-studio and showcase the food-related stories of at least eight disabled Canadians, eight Canadians from culturally diverse backgrounds, and eight Cowichan Valley food and beverage producers.

If you live in the Cowichan Valley and self-identify as disabled, and/or are a Canadian of non-Western European heritage, and/or you are a Cowichan Valley food or beverage producer, Sherred would like to include your stories in the exhibit.

Participants will be filmed, recorded, and photographed to tell their own stories centering around their accessibility, culture, and personal relationship surrounding food, and will be featured in both the online and main in-person exhibit.

In addition, every participant will be gifted a photo book of their stories, valued at $300.

Interviews, with safety protocols in place, will begin to take place in June 2021 and run throughout the next year.

Patronages, sponsorship and advertising opportunities are also available.

The first of three mini exhibits in the series is slated for the fall of 2021, while the main exhibit is scheduled to run from July 1 to Sept. 30, 2022.

The in-person full exhibit, meanwhile, is planned to take place during peak tourist season and right around the corner from one of the largest farmers’ markets in B.C.

For more information about the exhibit, if you’d like to get involved, or would like to inquire about sponsorship or advertising visit www.disabilityandfood.art, or call 250-856-0657.

••••

A new program launched by the Island Coastal Economic Trust will help stimulate and promote vitality in downtowns, main streets and business districts across the region.

The THRIVE Small Capital Program will enable applicants to access one-stop funding support, thanks to a joint partnership with Tourism Vancouver Island and Destination BC.

The program can contribute up to 100 per cent of eligible project costs, to a maximum of $50,000, for small-scale capital projects that bolster short to medium-term renewal of downtown or commercial-area vitality.

Funding will focus on new, innovative, concept-driven initiatives that foster increased commercial activity, visitor attraction and resident engagement.

The ICET THRIVE program is open to local governments, Indigenous communities and non-profit organizations located in the ICET service area.

“This past year has forced a rethink, within our communities, of our traditional business models and community planning approaches,” said ICET chairman Aaron Stone.

“The new THRIVE program is a timely response to the growing need for proactive, collaborative and innovative ways to reinvigorate and sustain our communities’ energy.”

The first application intake opens on May 25 and will close on July 9.

The second application intake will run from July 19 to Sept 17.

For more information, including guidelines and application forms, visit the THRIVE Small Capital Program section of ICET’s website.

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