The Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce’s next mixer will be held at the Hand of Man museum in Maple Bay. (Submitted photo

Business notes: CARSTAR owner humbled by huge growth in 10 years

Ryan Isherwood’s body shop business is on a roll, but it wasn’t always a smooth ride.

Ryan Isherwood’s body shop business is on a roll, but it wasn’t always a smooth ride.

Looking back on a decade that began with the opening of a small collision repair shop, Isherwood smiles at the humble beginnings.

“The original shop had an old spray booth and two small bays to prep and repair cars,” he recalls.

“The office was small and the place didn’t have a washroom. There were times that I had to have my kids at the shop and when my daughter had to go to the washroom that meant a trip to the local gas station for her.”

Isherwood admits he never saw the business growing into the company it has become. He has high praise for his staff and the support he has received from the Cowichan Valley community has been outstanding.

“The support I have received in the last 10 years has allowed me to expand into the mechanical industry and with the acquisition of Dickson & Fraser Auto Repair in 2016 and recently acquiring the respected business of E & B Automotive it has all been very good to me,” he says of CARSTAR Isherwood Collision & Glass’s growth.

Last year Isherwood purchased CARSTAR Courtenay, which has meant dividing his time between three businesses.

“I have faith in my staff here in Duncan that they are delivering the type of care to customers that I set out to achieve when I started 10 years ago.”

The acquisition of E & B Automative will mean it will be amalgamated with Dickson & Fraser Auto Repair. Current owner of E & B, Brian Mytts, will join the staff at Dickson & Fraser. It will also open up more shop space for CARSTAR Isherwood.

Isherwood says he’s tempted to measure the success of his 10-year-old business by the high ratings he’s received on Google, but there’s more to the story.

“I like to measure it on how we have seven bathrooms at the shop now,” he smiles.

CARSTAR Isherwood will be holding an anniversary celebration on Friday, Sept. 14 between 3 and 5 p.m. at the shop located at 5440 Trans Canada Hwy.

The public is welcome to drop in and join in the celebration.

• • •

The first Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce mixer of the year is not far away.

“Hosted at Cowichan’s hottest new attraction, Hand of Man Museum in Maple Bay, it’s an event you will not want to miss,” says Alec Wheeler, events and membership manager at the Chamber.

An array of complimentary appetizers will be on offer by way of internationally themed food stations courtesy of Chef Mieke Groot. There will also be tastings from Red Arrow Brewing (and possibly a local winery or two) as well as a cash bar.

The mixer takes place on Thursday, Sept. 19.

Hand of Man Museum, which is housed in the old and totally refurbished Maple Bay Elementary School building, showcases the personal and curated collections of well-known Canadian TV personality and producer, Jim Shockey.

This world-class attraction has been open less than a year and it is already gaining international acclaim. With 5-star reviews, here’s what some visitors and locals have to say: “I can’t believe this museum exists. There’s more information, exhibition and entertainment in that small school building than almost any other attraction in B.C. It is done so well. It’s fun and informative and I guarantee there is something there that you have never seen. Just freaking awesome!”

Another comment: “We are lucky to have such a treasure in our little neighbourhood. This museum is a world-class destination. Educational and fascinating. The sheer size of the collection is staggering.”

And: “Absolutely incredible. This place is more than just taxidermy. The cultural aspects and artifacts are simply beautiful. Hand of Man is such an intimate experience!”

“If you haven’t yet explored Hand of Man Museum, this is your chance. And if you have been there already, you’ll know that the sheer scope of the collection warrants multiple visits,” adds Wheeler.

“There is a limited capacity for this event and advance registration is required, so be sure to register.”

For more information and to register, contact the Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce at 250-748-1111.

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The Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce’s next mixer will be held at the Hand of Man museum in Maple Bay. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)

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