Business notes: Lockhart Tactical, Merridale Cider, Ampersand Distilling Company, Soulful Memories

Lockhart Tactical is currently an on-line business that provides a full range of outdoor gear.

Sam Lockhart hopes to soon start a brick and mortar store in Duncan for his growing business, Lockhart Tactical.

Lockhart Tactical is currently an online business that provides a full range of tactical gear and apparel to military, law enforcement, emergency response teams and outdoor enthusiasts around the world.

That includes everything from mountain-climbing equipment to ballistic body armour.

Lockhart has been a member of Victoria’s Canadian Scottish Regiment since 2009 and said his entrepreneurial spirit kicked in when he saw all the opportunities out there for his own business.

“Most of my business is online, but I’d love to have an actual storefront in Duncan where I can provide outdoor equipment to the local population,” he said.

Merridale Cidery is expanding into Victoria

Cobble Hill’s Merridale Cidery and Distillery has major expansion plans.

Owners Janet Docherty and Rick Pipes plan to open a craft distillery and brewery, pizzeria, tasting bar and a rooftop patio in Victoria.

The new establishment, which will be called Dockside Brewery and Distillery, will be located on Harbour Road.

The new business is scheduled to be open in early 2018.

“It’s very exciting,” Docherty said.

“It will mean being even more busy than I already am, but I’m used to that.”

Chemainus clothing store had new owner, hours

The Kinney Clothing Company in Chemainus has a new owner.

Bella Sun, who owns 60 clothing stores in China, took over operations at Kinney Clothing two months ago, and the store has undergone major renovations to expand its floor space and increase its inventory since then.

Spokeswoman Emma Wen said Kinney Clothing is Sun’s first clothing store outside of China.

“There’s lots of changes at Kinney Clothing, including the fact that it is now open seven days a week,” Wen said.

“We’re also promoting tourism in the Chemainus area, including selling such things as t-shirts, mugs and caps with tourism-related themes on them.”

Ampersand gin and vodka an audience favourite

For the second year in a row, the Cowichan Valley’s Ampersand Distilling Company has taken home top honours as “Audience Favourite” in both the gin and vodka categories at BC Distilled 2017, the province’s premiere festival of B.C. spirits.

The competition brought together 34 of the province’s distilleries, along with other exhibitors, and there were more than 150 products to be sampled at the event.

The honour cements Ampersand Distilling’s spot as one of the top distilleries in B.C.

The family owned and operated distillery makes craft spirits from organic B.C. wheat and their own spring water.

“We are honoured to be voted Audience Favourite at BC Distilled,” said Jessica Schacht, co-creator of Ampersand Gin.

“We love what we do, and it’s amazing to be celebrated by the audience at the festival. This is who we do it for.”

Soulful Memories expanding with vinyl

Bernie Kramski, owner of Soulful Memories on Station Street in Duncan, is expanding operations.

He will soon open a new store, called Soulful LPs, which will specialize in vinyl records, CDs and DVDs, just two storefronts away from Soulful Memories.

“There’s a big market for vinyl these days and I’m always getting lots of calls about our vinyl inventory,” Kramski said.

“Vinyl has a better sound than CDs, and many people recognize that. We’ll have our grand opening on April 21.”

Kramski said the manager of Soulful LPs will be Greg Lapsley.

“He has a lot of knowledge about vinyl,” he said.

Robert.Barron @cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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