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Business notes: Honeymoon Bay store installs new nature murals

The latest from the Cowichan business community
Thomas Hutchings stands in front of his recently completed murals on the side of the Honeymoon Bay General Store. (Courtesy of Thomas Hutchings)

A stroll through the forest in Honeymoon Bay was the inspiration for the four nature-themed murals that artist Tom Hutchings painted and are now on display on the wall outside of Honeymoon Bay General Store.

Store owner Laura Fevez said she recently got to know Hutchings, who is originally from Newfoundland, and commissioned him to develop and create the murals on the side of her business.

Hutchings worked on the murals last winter and installed them on the side of Honeymoon Bay General Store on Victoria Day weekend last May.

Fevez, who bought the store in 2022, said she liked Hutchings’s art and wanted some of it to bring beauty to the shop and showcase the local environment.

“It’s easy to drive by a place that has nothing of interest, but if you add atmosphere to it, like these four murals do, people will drop in,” she said.

“I’ve also brought in picnic tables and a bike rack at the store, among other changes, to attract more customers and it seems to be working.”

Hutchings said the excitement around his murals became a major part of the summer scene in Honeymoon Bay during the summer months.

“Since living here, I have been amazed at what is simply living in a paradise, as it slowly changes,” he said.


Romeo’s restaurant in Duncan, which has been closed since May when the former owners retired, will be reopening soon after renovations at the building are complete.

Romeo’s has been serving pizzas and other authentic Italian dishes in Duncan since the late 1970s.

A Facebook post said the family restaurant, which is located at 180 Trans Canada Hwy., plans to reopen some time this month, with some familiar faces.

“You may have noticed us painting and cleaning to refresh the building to get it ready for you,” the post said.

“We can’t wait to see you soon.”


To help B.C. food and beverage businesses learn about export opportunities and showcase their high-quality products, Pam Alexis, minster of Agriculture and Food, led a three-day trade mission to Washington state from Oct. 16-19.

The trade mission travelled to Seattle and surrounding areas with a focus on strengthening B.C.’s knowledge and expertise about exporting to the Pacific Northwest U.S.

This included educational panels and learning sessions with key stakeholders, minister meetings with the Washington Food Industry Association and Washington State Department of Agriculture, and site visits to independent retailers, brokers and distributors.

“The 40,000 people behind B.C.’s food and beverage sector are a major economic driver, and we are determined to support businesses that are ready to export their products internationally,” Alexis said.

“This is why I was excited to travel with homegrown companies down to Seattle so we could give people there a taste of the delicious food and drinks that B.C. has to offer, make new connections and open the door to new export opportunities to help B.C. businesses grow and flourish.”


Coastal Community Credit Union has launched a new bursary program in which eligible members can apply for $1,000 to help with their post-secondary educations.

The credit union has allocated $250,000 from its special community funding to create this one-time-only bursary program, which is aimed at its younger members.

Applications opened on Oct. 4 and are available for the winter, summer and fall semesters of 2024.

There is a limit of one bursary per person.

To be eligible, applicants must be a member in good standing with Coastal Community for at least three months before their application; be a current resident of Vancouver Island or the Gulf Islands; be no older than 24 at any point in 2024; and plan to be attend an accredited post-secondary institution in the winter, summer or fall semester of 2024 as a full-time student.

For more details on how to apply, visit

If you have further questions, you can email

“Giving a helping hand to our younger members with post-secondary plans helps improve their financial health, which in turn builds stronger communities,” said the credit union’s Allyson Prescesky.

“It’s a win/win outcome that is a great fit with our focus on putting people’s needs first.”

Robert Barron

About the Author: Robert Barron

Since 2016, I've had had the pleasure of working with our dedicated staff and community in the Cowichan Valley.
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