Business notes: Duncan’s Purple Door a place for creativity

Get all the latest that’s happening in Cowichan’s business community.

The Purple Door has recently opened on Jubilee Street in Duncan.

The store sells locally made household items like aprons, coffee-cup sleeves and make-up bags, and even a baby line made right here in the Cowichan Valley that includes colourful baby blankets and bedding.

The store is owned by Shelley Lockwood, who managed Duncan’s Monk Office Supplies and previously owned the Duncan Pit Box, which sold NASCAR collectibles.

“The Purple Door is a place where anyone can come and make something,” Lockwood said.

“We have spent a lot of time with people who are struggling with chronic illness, mental health issues, hunger and loneliness. There are voids in our community and with The Purple Door, we aim to fit at least some of them.”

Local fisherman marketing oil-spill response machine

Local fisherman and Cowichan band member Bob Elliott has designed an immediate oil-spill response machine that he claims removes 60 gallons of diesel from an aquatic spill site per hour.

Elliott, from Cowichan Bay’s Ace Innovation Solutions, said he has developed the SDX skimmer, a machine that specializes in small spills, that skims the surface of the water and picks up diesel, motor oil, gasoline, crude oil and any other type of oil.

He said current oil recovery techniques require the burning of oil and carcinogenic materials, and a delay in response time generally assures significant damage to the ecoystems in spill-effected areas.

Elliott said he has already sold one of the units to the French Creek Harbour Authority.

“As a fisherman, I have seen far too much oil in the water,” he said. “But I know mistakes happen and I came up with these machines that can be put in the water immediately to skim up the oil.”

No Black Tie Awards this year; but they’ll be back in 2018

The Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce’s annual Black Tie Awards, which honour excellence in the local business community, will now be held every two years, with the next one scheduled for April, 2018.

Sonja Nagel, the chamber’s executive director, said the new board of directors decided to change the format to every two years largely due to the large amount of work that is required to organize the event.

“Hosting the awards is a huge undertaking for such a small chamber of commerce and usually takes about four months to organize,” she said.

“Nominations for the next awards ceremony will go out in the fall of 2017, which will give people a little longer to get them in to us.”

Bed and Breakfast makes top 10 in Canada on website

Cobble Hill Bed & Breakfast has been named as one of the best 10 B&Bs in Canada in 2016 by, the most comprehensive website for finding B&Bs around the world.

Finalists were based on guest reviews by visitors to B&Bs in 2016 and the winners were selected by an independent panel of guest judges.

Cobble Hill B&B, which is owned and operated by Ingrid and Simon Vermegen, opened in 1994 and is one of the longest operating B&Bs in the Cowichan Valley.

The B&B was also the recipient of the 2012 Moyra Turner Hospitality Award, which recognizes ongoing excellence in hospitality, from the BC Inkeepers Guild.

Ingrid said she had no idea that the B&B was even being considered for recognition by

“What’s great is that the rankings were based on guest reviews, and you can’t get any better than that,” she said.

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