Gifty Serbeh, owner of Shawnigan Lake’s Shea Butter Market, holds up a bowl of shea butter that she makes numerous products from. (Robert Barron/Citizen)

Gifty Serbeh, owner of Shawnigan Lake’s Shea Butter Market, holds up a bowl of shea butter that she makes numerous products from. (Robert Barron/Citizen)

Business notes: Shea Butter Market uses ancient methods to keep skin healthy and young

The latest from the Cowichan Valley business community

Gifty Serbeh works hard to provide her customers with all natural products that do amazing things for their skin and hair at her store, Shea Butter Market, located in Shawnigan Lake.

At the same time, she is helping to support the women from Ghana, her former homeland, who make the shea butter she uses in her products.

She said her certified organic shea butter comes from the edge of the Sahara Desert in West Africa where pure shea butter has been used for more than 2,000 years.

Pure African shea butter softens, moisturizes and heals skin damaged by the heat and sun, and Serbeh said ancient African wisdom knew that shea butter kept skin healthy and young.

Serbeh uses the shea butter to make a variety of products, including skin creams, soap, bath salts and lip balms.

“Modern science tells us that pure African shea butter is filled with fatty acids to stimulate skin renewal; tocopherols to give shea butter natural antioxidant properties; and cinnamic acid to provide UV protection,” she said.

“By using pure unrefined raw shea butter produced by the Kperisi village of northern Ghana, we are able to achieve our goal of operating a business that benefits everyone; the women who make the shea butter, the natural environment and the people who use the product. We provide the women who make the shea butter with a fair price for their product and support to help them and their families to climb out of poverty.”

Although Shea Butter Market operates from 1855 Renfrew Rd., Unit 2, Serbeh said most of her business is done online, with her biggest customers in the United Kingdom and the U.S.

“Most of my local customers order online and pick it up at the store,” she said.

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The Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce is taking exception to some parts of the Municipality of North Cowichan’s draft official community plan.

In a letter to the municipality, the board said it has concerns with a statement in the OCP that says despite the OCP being drafted during the pandemic, the consultant was “able to complete broad and far-reaching community engagement.”

Among their numerous concerns, the board said that public webinars with 56 participants and limited survey responses, that at best total four per cent of the population, less those participants who are not residents and/or businesses in the community, indicate a lack of response and engagement by the community.

The board said it is concerning that only four per cent of survey responses is shaping the updated OCP.

“One of the principles of the OCP recognizes community engagement and the need to ‘actively seek out and listen to quieter community voices so that input is representative of all community members’,” the letter said.

“We do not feel there has been adequate engagement and, while this OCP means to set the vision for the next 15 to 20 years, most residents and businesses have not participated to have their voices included. We urge you to extend the timelines for public input and allow more time for participation and engagement, especially now that the Public Health Office is allowing more in-person meetings.”

••••

The Duncan Knights of Columbus are thanking the Canadian Tire store in Duncan for allowing them to sell Charity Appeal tickets at their store.

This is the 60th year for the Charity Appeal which has brought much needed funding to local charities.

This year’s first prize is $60,000, second prize is $40,000, and there are more cash prizes.

Tickets, which are only $3 each, can be purchased online at www.KofCDraw.net/C4253.

Winners will be chosen randomly on Jan. 29, 2022.

“The past two years of the COVID-19 pandemic have been hard on local charities’ fundraising efforts and the Knights are indebted to retailers such as Canadian Tire for allowing us a place to sell our draw tickets,” said Knights spokesman Michael Vande Wiel.

“Thank you from the Duncan Knights of Columbus to our community retailers and service organizations, many of whom are feeling the devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic, for serving our community.”

••••

The Coastal Community Credit Union is donating $25,000 to help British Columbians impacted by the recent flooding, mudslides and power outages.

Of that amount, $15,000 is going to United Way British Columbia -Central & Northern Vancouver Island Region, to support much needed community rebuilding and recovery services across the Islands.

The Canadian Red Cross will receive $10,000 to help them provide humanitarian assistance quickly to all affected areas in B.C.

“Our hearts are with everyone impacted by these devastating storms,” said Allyson Prescesky, senior manager of community and communications for the CCCU.

“We’re joining credit unions across the country in encouraging people to support the Red Cross’s flood relief and recovery work throughout the province. There’s no better way to do that than by making our own donation.”

Prescesky also noted that as an Island-based organization with deep roots in local communities, it’s important to CCCU to help Islanders deal with the aftermath of the recent floods.

“We chose to donate to the Central & Northern Vancouver Island chapter of the United Way to support their work in helping our Island communities recover from these severe storms.”

Signy Madden, regional director for United Way British Columbia-CNVIR, said the CCCU deeply cares about Island communities, and the United Way wants to thank them for this incredible gift in this time of need.

“Their contribution will help us address important social needs like shelter, food assistance, trauma and mental health supports, and the rebuilding of social infrastructure — and will stay right here on Vancouver Island.”



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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