More than 40 local restaurants, eateries and specialty food vendors, and 10 wineries, breweries, cideries and distilleries participated in the Dine & Sip Cowichan Festival this year, and raised $10,000 for local food banks. Sara Hubscher, an employee at Duncan’s Craig Street Brew Pub which participated in the festival, holds an ad for the event. (Submitted photo)

More than 40 local restaurants, eateries and specialty food vendors, and 10 wineries, breweries, cideries and distilleries participated in the Dine & Sip Cowichan Festival this year, and raised $10,000 for local food banks. Sara Hubscher, an employee at Duncan’s Craig Street Brew Pub which participated in the festival, holds an ad for the event. (Submitted photo)

Business notes: 2022 Dine Sip Cowichan Festival raised $10,000 for local food banks

The latest from the Cowichan Valley business community

The Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce and Island Savings, the chamber’s partner in the 2022 Dine & Sip Cowichan Festival, raised $10,000 for local food banks during the campaign.

More than 40 restaurants, eateries and specialty food vendors, and 10 wineries, breweries, cideries and distilleries participated in the festival this year.

First-time participants, Just Jakes, Craig Street Brew Pub, Oak Taphouse, and Jakes at the Lake expressed gratitude for the opportunity to join the many local food and beverage establishments in this year’s festival.

Together these four restaurants sold more than 1,100 Dine & Sip Menus, which is the most this event has ever seen.

For every Dine Cowichan meal purchased during the campaign period, Island Savings committed to donating $5 (up to $10,000 total) to Cowichan-area food banks through their signature cause, The Full Cupboard.

Participating restaurants provided close to 5,000 Dine & Sip meals, far surpassing last year’s number of 3,600, guaranteeing the maximum donation offered up by Island Savings.

“As a financial cooperative, we know the value of a community coming together for a common goal,” said Jason Farrugia, branch manager at Island Savings.

“Through this partnership, we were able to provide over 30,000 meals for local families; combine that with being able to support local businesses, and you get a perfect example of the community lifting each other.”

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In other chamber news, the chamber will host a Thirsty Thursday Mix & Mingle event at Small Block Brewing on March 31.

This event will feature the chance to try out some of Small Block Brewings’ fantastic beer, and the option to try Duncan’s newest food spot, Ramen Academy.

Small Block, located at 203 – 5301 Chaster Rd., is a local brewery that offers a wide range of regular and special beers.

Recently, they have begun sharing their space with Ramen Academy, an artisanal Ramen and Gyoza eatery.

This is not a hosted event, so participants will be responsible for their food & beverages.

Contact chamber@duncancc.bc.ca to register for this event.

Please also note that attendees must show proof of vaccination to access this event, as required prior to this restriction being lifted on April 8.

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Duncan’s Searl Soap Company has some new products.

The online shop makes zero-waste natural products for body and home.

Owner Loni Searl said in a Facebook post that it’s her passion to provide completely natural alternatives for everyday living with low environmental impact, and she’s “having a blast doing it’.

She said her new products are Stain Removal Bars and Zero Waste Essentials, which include brushes, loofahs and sponges, to pair with her soaps.

Earl said she also continues to sell her goat’s milk soaps, lip balms, beer-based shampoo bars and solid dish soap.

“All available products and scents can be found on my online shop at www.searlsoapcompany.ca,” she said.

“Orders can be picked up from my front door on Nagle Street. My products are good for you and good for the planet. They are small watch and locally made.”

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Bings Creek Recycling Centre has ranked in the top 10 recycling centres in B.C. for its safe collection, storage and management of used oil and antifreeze materials.

BC Used Oil Management Association, a not-for-profit group dedicated to the collection and recycling of used lubricating oil, oil filters, oil containers, used antifreeze and antifreeze containers in B.C., recently announced the winners of their third-annual Top Collector Awards, and Bings Creek Recycling Centre ranked 10th.

Ladysmith’s Peerless Road Recycling Centre ranked 23rd in the 30-top businesses in the province, and Fisher Road Recycling in Cobble Hill ranked 29th.

“Over the past two years, the pandemic has significantly affected how our used oil recycling centres have been able to operate their businesses,” said David Lawes, CEO of BC Used Oil Management Association.

“However, I’m extremely proud at how resilient they have been during these challenging times and how well they have continued to provide their customers with safe, easy to use, and convenient facilities where they can return their used oil and antifreeze materials.”

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Mosaic Forest Management will defer harvesting on nearly 40,000 hectares of private land throughout coastal British Columbia — an area more than three times the size of Vancouver — for 25 years, and potentially longer.

In a press release, the forest company said that by removing old forest from the company’s baseline harvest plan, Mosaic will increase carbon storage and avoid future greenhouse gas emissions from logging operations.

This reduction in GHG emissions will be packaged into high-quality nature-based carbon credits to be available for sale to reputable organizations to help them achieve their net-zero commitments.

The sale of carbon credits through the program, which is called the BigCoast Forest Climate Initiative, will generate revenue for Mosaic, with a portion of the proceeds flowing each year to the Pacific Salmon Foundation and the Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas Innovation Program to support scientific and First Nations cultural research on and around the project lands.

“Mosaic is proud to be a leader in sustainable timberland management through this new carbon credit initiative,” said Jeff Zweig, Mosaic’s president and CEO.

“The BigCoast Forest Climate Initiative brings high-quality, large-scale, nature-based carbon credits to a growing international market. The initiative generates economic value, contributes to the global effort to reduce carbon emissions, and benefits our local partners at Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas Innovation Program and Pacific Salmon Foundation.”

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Paper Excellence, the forest company that owns the Crofton mill, has donated $50,000 to the Indigenous Women Entrepreneurship Fund, which is operated by the Canadian Council of Aboriginal Business.

The IWEF provides grants to Indigenous women-owned businesses that may lack access to conventional financing.

For a business to qualify for the program, it must be at least 51 per cent owned and controlled by an Indigenous (First Nations, Métis or Inuit) woman and be registered in Canada.

“Paper Excellence is focused on building beneficial business partnerships and supporting community investment with initiatives that focus on business capacity, education, health and culture, and sustainability projects,” said Graham Kissack, Paper Excellence’s vice president of environment, health and safety and corporate communications.

“Thanks to the recent research carried out by our partners at CCAB, we know that Indigenous women entrepreneurs across Canada have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, and we see stepping up and supporting these economic initiatives as one way to live out our commitment to Indigenous peoples.”

••••

In other news from Paper Excellence, the forest company is donating $50,000 to Vancouver Island University to create a Paper Excellence student awards scholarship program.

Over the next five years, ten $1,000 scholarship awards will be distributed each year.

The awards are meant to encourage and recognize Vancouver Island and Sunshine Coast youth.

They will be available to students with a demonstrated strong work ethic and a positive attitude who have enrolled in programs related to the operation of a pulp mill such as heavy mechanical trades, power engineering, heavy equipment operator or welding.

“As we continue to build our business strategy for our coastal operations, we know it’s important to invest in the community,” said Graham Kissack, Paper Excellence’s vice president of environment, health & safety, and corporate communications.

“Investing in young people and supporting the development of the local workforce makes sense for us. VIU is well placed to provide this training with four campuses on Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast and a variety of relevant programs on offer.”



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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