Josh Neufeld, owner of Duncan’s Vancouver Island Barber Co., and his staff have partnered with Riot Brewing in Chemainus to host the Thirsty Barber Shop fundraiser to help survivors of residential schools. (File photo)

Josh Neufeld, owner of Duncan’s Vancouver Island Barber Co., and his staff have partnered with Riot Brewing in Chemainus to host the Thirsty Barber Shop fundraiser to help survivors of residential schools. (File photo)

Businesses partner to host fundraiser for survivors of residential schools

Business Notes

Riot Brewing Co. in Chemainus and Duncan’s Vancouver Island Barber Co. have partnered up to host the Thirsty Barber Shop fundraiser.

Coop Cooper, an employee at Riot Brewing, said Josh Neufeld, owner of Vancouver Island Barber Co., and members of his staff haul out barber chairs at Riot Brewing generally on the third Wednesday of every month and, for a donation of $25, customers get a fresh look, a delicious beverage and good vibes.

“All the money raised goes to the Hope and Health organization, which helps Indigenous people deal with the impacts of the residential schools,” Cooper said.

Neufeld said the concept originally began as a Beer and Haircut event at Riot Brewing when he was working at Victory Barber & Brand, but it petered out during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I opened Vancouver Island Barber Co. at about the same time the pandemic began dying down so we started the Thirsty Barber Shop fundraiser at Riot Brewing,” he said.

“I know the owners well and they were one the main reasons I moved to Vancouver Island in the first place.”

The next Thirsty Barber Shop fundraiser will be held on Aug. 17.

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The Downtown Duncan Business Improvement Area’s President’s Awards for 2021, which celebrate the business people who have made an important contribution to Downtown Duncan through their commitment, passion, and leadership, were recently handed out.

Sue Minette, owner of The Duncan Garage Café and Bakery, was awarded Business of the Year.

“The Garage” as it is lovingly known, is a downtown Duncan institution that has endured.

The business’s customer base is loyal and returning, even during the height of the pandemic in 2021.

The Best New Business Award was presented to Robert Stutzman and Ajay Oppelaar, owners of Aloha Bowls and Kahuna Burger.

The two entrepreneurs moved from Gabriola Island and invested their pocket books, hearts and souls into their two beautiful restaurant spaces.

The Spirit of Excellence Award was awarded to The Olive Station’s owners Tammy and Grant Easterbrook.

Despite being a food-based business and a luxury food product, The Olive Station has done a stellar job with their marketing efforts during the pandemic.

The Red Balloon’s owner Ian Fairwell was this year’s recipient of the Shirley McGuinness Memorial Award, which recognizes outstanding commitment to the beautification of Downtown Duncan and an exceptional effort to improve the appearance and overall experience of the downtown community.

•••

The Duncan Cobbler, which has been fixing footwear in the Cowichan Valley since 1972, has moved from its long-time location at 291 Trunk Rd to 488 Trans Canada Highway in Duncan.

Stephen Schellenbert, an employee at the shop, said the move occurred in early July.

“The owner of Duncan Cobbler bought the building on the Trans-Canada Highway and moved the operation there,” he said.

“It’s quite a bit bigger. Most of our customers know we moved and we have placed a sign in our old location on Trunk Road to let people know. Business has been good since the big move.”

Duncan Cobbler offers a variety of repairs from shoes, boots, sports gear, leather wear to horse tack and even blankets.

The store also carries a wide selection of leather polishes and treatments, insoles, arch supports and laces

Local Business