Business notes: Duncan welcomes its newest distillery

Stillhead Distillery is a family run business

After 13 years in the computer industry, Brennan Colebank felt it was time to live his dream.

With the assistance of his parents, Ron and Christal Colebank, and his wife Erica, the family partners recently opened the Stillhead Distillery on Chaster Road in Duncan.

The distillery currently makes its own brand of vodka and gin, and a new blackberry vodka is expected to be ready for sale next month.

The business ferments and distills all of its spirits by hand in small batches, using only fruits and grains grown in British Columbia.

Stillhead Distillery is also in the process of distilling its own whiskey as well, but in order to be considered made in Canada, it must age in barrels for at least three years.

Brennan said tours of the new distillery and free tastings of the products occur from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesdays through Saturdays, each week.

“Business has been good so far,” he said.

“We’re getting busier as people get to know our spirits.”

New manager for Great Greens Farm Market as business grows

Cowichan Bay’s Great Greens Farm Market has a new manager.

Patrick Boreen brings 46 years of combined customer service, retail and management experience to the market, which has seen a 35 per cent growth in business year over year.

“Patrick has a broad depth of experience combined with organizational skills that will allow us to maintain our fast-paced growth while ensuring that customer service remains strong,” said Ryan Smith, who owns the business along with his wife Kim.

“We have a strong management team with department managers who are passionate about supporting local farmers and artisans. Patrick will be there to provide support and to ensure everything runs smoothly over the coming holiday season and through to the very busy spring and summer seasons.”

Cowichan’s mobile bike shop running international pilot project

The Cowichan Valley’s Velofix Mobile Bike shop van is currently running a pilot project for the more than 100 Velofix franchises across North America.

Owner John Rodgers has rented a space in the Mill Bay Mall, behind Tim Hortons, and opened a “Pop-Up” bike shop.

Velofix is basically a bike shop on four wheels which provide a premium service by certified mechanics and sells the best parts and accessories in the industry.

Rodgers said one of Velofix’s offerings is Velofix-Direct, which partners with online bike companies to provide delivery of their bikes.

“When a customer buys a bike from the partner, they can select to have it delivered to their local Velofix franchisee, who assembles the bike, safety checks it and then delivers it to the customer, providing a 30-day follow up service,” he said.

Rodgers said interested customers can come by the shop and see some of the bikes hands-on, and take them for a test ride prior to ordering.

“We will assist with the ordering process, and receive and assemble the bikes as well, making it a pain-free process for the customer,” Rodgers said.

The store is open Wednesday to Sunday afternoons, and evenings as Christmas gets closer.

Customers can also schedule viewings by calling 250-710-4640.

Nominations open for Vancouver Island Business Excellence Awards

Organizers of the 18th Annual Vancouver Island Business Excellence Awards are looking forward to a large number of entries from award-worthy businesses this year as the nomination deadline of Dec. 1 is just around the corner.

There will be 17 categories this year, including automotive, construction, entrepreneur of the year, hospitality and ocean products.

Black Press is a Platinum Sponsor of the BE Awards this year, and RBC Royal Bank and Grant Thornton are the event’s Gold Sponsors.

“It’s been a good year for business on Vancouver Island, and we expect that to be reflected in the number and quality of the entries this year for the Gala, which will be held in Victoria on Jan. 25,” said Mark MacDonald of the Business Examiner, which coordinates the event.

“We have changed some of the categories to streamline the awards this year.”

The Gala will be held at the Delta Ocean Pointe Resort in Victoria.

Nominations can be made on the Business Examiner’s website.

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