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Business notes: Island Good celebrating 3 years of helping local businesses

What’s happening in the Cowichan Valley business community
The Valley’s award-winning Rocky Creek Winery is pleased to be part of the Island Good marketing campaign, which help shoppers easily identify local products from Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. Pictured is the winery’s wine maker Mark Holford and his daughter Robin, who is also a wine maker. (File photo)

Island Good is celebrating its third anniversary.

Island Good, a marketing campaign launched by the Vancouver Island Economic Summit in 2018, is a place brand to help shoppers easily identify local products from Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands.

The campaign has grown to include more than 135 businesses, with many of them in the Cowichan Valley, featuring everything from potatoes to mattresses, furniture to whiskey, tortillas to cosmetics, and yogurt to spice mixes.

Just look for the Island Good logo on products and in stores across Vancouver Island.

Watch for Island Good entrepreneur stories, virtual cocktail events showcasing Island Good companies and eight weeks of giveaways starting on April 6 on the Island Good social media platforms: @islandgoodbrand.

“Being part of Island Good this past year has helped us mentally,” said Linda Holford of Cowichan Bay’s Rocky Creek Winery.

“Not only has Island Good created a website and a brand to support consumers find Island products but it is a venue where we as producers can learn from other Island Good businesses. We are small and it is hard to connect and network with other Island goods producers. I feel like I’m part of a neighbourhood where I can connect with others that have a passion to create goods on the Island and be sustainable.”


Cowichan Green Community has received funding through the Island Coastal Economic Trust’s Economic Infrastructure and Innovation Program to develop a shared-use food processing facility and distribution centre in the Valley, allowing value-added transformations for small agri-businesses.

The project is part of the recently announced trio of provincially funded food hubs on Vancouver Island (Cowichan Valley, Bowser and Victoria), which are now included in the province-wide network of training and processing facilities.

The Cowichan Community Commercial Kitchen will target small scale farmers, food processors and other organizations requiring access to a certified commercial kitchen to help scale their products to market.

“Value-added food transformation is an area with tremendous growth potential in the Cowichan region,” says Judy Stafford, executive director of Cowichan Green Community.

“This project is filling a need for small scale farmers and food processors who often don’t have the financial means and equipment to set up individual commercial kitchens or to purchase specialty equipment to develop new food processing products.”


The Canadian Cancer Society is celebrating its annual Daffodil Campaign in April this month, and is looking for donations.

The daffodil is resilient, it is the first flower to bloom in the spring and for those living with cancer, it is a symbol of strength, courage and hope.

“As we begin to emerge from a difficult year, we invite Duncan residents to rally around this symbol to provide hope to people affected by cancer in their community,” the society said in a news release.

“Now more than ever, the daffodil’s sunny symbol serves as a meaningful reminder for us to come together and continue to look ahead to brighter days. To show your support, visit your local Pharmasave or London Drugs to buy a daffodil pin or donate at the register, or you can make a donation at”

The release said donating to the Canadian Cancer Society’s Daffodil Campaign, especially during a pandemic, is the most impactful way to improve the quality of life of people affected by all cancers and bring them hope.

Because when daffodils bloom, hope grows.


In response to a high number of applications, the province is investing an additional $30 million in the Launch Online Grant program.

The program provides up to $7,500 to businesses to help build or expand an e-commerce site to reach more customers and to sustain and grow their business.

An online presence is integral for businesses that want to adapt their operations to better reach customers in their community, throughout B.C. and beyond.

These changes will help approximately 4,000 more businesses market their products and services online.

“Many small businesses have had to change the way they operate as more and more people shifted to online purchasing during the pandemic,’ said Premier John Horgan.

“Our government has been there to help these businesses adapt. By expanding eligibility to our successful launch online program, more B.C. small businesses from the hardest hit sectors will have access to the tools they need to boost their online presence, grow their e-commerce capacity and become more resilient as we build toward a brighter future.”

For more information on the Launch Online Grant program, including the application process and eligibility, visit


Bings Creek Recycling Centre in Duncan has received a Top Collector Award from the BC Used Oil Management Association honouring the centre’s exemplary performance and commitment to the collection of used oil and antifreeze materials in 2020.

The BCUOMA, 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., recognized 30 businesses across the province with the award, with Bings Creek Recycling Centre ranking as number six.

“These B.C. organizations are some of the most dedicated used oil and antifreeze Return Collection Facilities in Canada,” said David Lawes, CEO of the BCUOMA.

“They continue to provide convenient, environmentally-friendly and easy-to-use infrastructures for their customers to return their used oil and antifreeze materials. Their efforts were even more impressive throughout 2020 due to the pandemic, as they had to navigate their way through many additional challenges to ensure their customers were comfortable and safe while returning their materials.”

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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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