Jacquie Gordon, owner of Duncan’s award-winning Jacquie Gordon’s Bed & Breakfast, says she’s open for business this summer after having to shut down during the pandemic. (Robert Barron/Citizen)

Jacquie Gordon, owner of Duncan’s award-winning Jacquie Gordon’s Bed & Breakfast, says she’s open for business this summer after having to shut down during the pandemic. (Robert Barron/Citizen)

Business notes: Jacquie Gordon’s B&B is open for business

A look at what’s going on the Cowichan Valley business community

Jacquie Gordon, owner of Duncan’s Jacquie Gordon’s Bed & Breakfast, is open for the summer after bearing through COVID-19-related shut-downs over the past year.

Gordon, who has operated her award-winning heritage B&B for 12 years, said she opened her doors for the season in mid-June and is already receiving reservations from people who are starting to travel again as pandemic restrictions loosen.

She said many are coming to the Cowichan Valley to visit friends and families they have not seen in more than a year, while others are just looking for a getaway after being trapped at home for so long.

“I opened in June last year, but no one was traveling then and I had no guests,” Gordon said.

“Every year is different and I’m waiting to see what happens this year, but I’m certainly looking forward to meeting more people than I did in 2020.”

Jacquie Gordon’s Bed & Breakfast, located at 2231 Quamichan Park Place, is a multiple-time winner of a Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor.

The award celebrates excellence in hospitality and is given only to establishments that consistently achieve great reviews by their guests on TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel website.

The B&B can be reached at 250-746-7736, or check out the website at https://jacquiegordon.com/

••••

A quick decision by the owners of Duncan’s Red Balloon Toyshop on June 30 has led to almost $1,500 being donated to Cowichan Tribes.

Store owner Ian Fairwell said, as many First Nations had asked Canadians to acknowledge July 1 as a day of mourning, reckoning and solidarity for the nation’s Indigenous people as well as a day of celebration, he and his wife agreed to do their part.

He said the store committed to donating half of its gross sales on July 1 to Cowichan Tribes and posted it on the shop’s Facebook page, and the Red Balloon ended up being busy all day on Canada Day.

“A lot of people came in to purchase something just because they wanted to contribute,” Fairwell said.

“We raised $1,258 from our sales that day to donate to Cowichan Tribes, plus another $222 in donated cash, gift certificates and the salary of one of our employees for the day.”

Fairwell said he will hold a meeting with Cowichan Tribes to determine where he would like the money spent, but prefers it goes to children services and youth development programs.

“We might do this again next year,” he said.

“Every child matters.”

••••

Economic Development Cowichan is inviting the public to participate in a virtual showcase of evolving local businesses to celebrate the conclusion of a 12-week food innovation program.

Beginning in April 2021, a talented group of food and beverage entrepreneurs participated in a free virtual program to shake up the local food industry and help build a thriving food and beverage ecosystem in the region.

The Cowichan Food Innovation Program, delivered by Spring Activator, proved to be a catalyst for brewing new friendships and connections and baking up an abundance of ideas and successful business opportunities.

Through a virtual showcase on July 13, the participants will share their unwavering passion for food and beverages, and their commitment to bettering their community and planet.

“The event will be a refreshing snapshot of how our local food entrepreneurs are persevering in the face of COVID-19, keeping our communities fed while innovating at the same time,” said Barry O’Riordan, manager of the EDC.

“From artisanal teas to mushroom-powered products, the showcase will include something for everyone.”

To register for the showcase, visit ecdevcowichan.com/food-program-showcase.

••••

Paper Excellence, which owns the Crofton pulp and paper mill, has been voted one of Canada’s 2021 Best 50 corporate citizens by Corporate Knights.

This is the 14th time that the company has achieved the Best 50 award with Corporate Knights, which is a media, research and financial information products company based in Toronto.

The Best 50 award is judged using key performance indicators that relate to the organization’s raw resource use, emissions profile, social performance, safety performance, and percentage of revenue from clean sources.

In 2020, Paper Excellence achieved a 60 per cent reduction of its greenhouse gas emissions relative to 1990.

As well, 33 per cent of the organization’s solid waste is beneficially reused or recycled, while more than 53 per cent of its electricity comes from self-generated green power.

“We continue to be proud of our long association with Corporate Knights and their 50 Best program,” said Graham Kissack, Paper Excellence’s vice president of environment, health and safety and corporate communications.

“In a world awash with plastic waste, we see a bright future for our sustainably sourced and fully recyclable pulp and paper products.”

••••

In partnership with the Vancouver Island Regional Library, the Downtown Duncan BIA is organizing another storywalk for the summer.

Starting on July 9 until Sept. 8, participants can “read” This is Not That Kind of Book, by Christopher Healy, and illustrated by Ben Mantle, by following a map of participating downtown businesses.

The storywalk will also include an activity sheet with related fun challenges which can be found at https://virl.bc.ca/event/88825/

As in the past, sign up for the storywalk is first come, first served.

••••

Join members of the Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce for a hike around the 6.5 km loop at the Holland Creek Trail in Ladysmith on July 14, beginning at 10:30 a.m.

The trail winds across both sides of the creek and offers some impressive views of the area.

Some of the highlights include views of Crystal Falls and the Colliery Dams.

“During this hike, we will stop to enjoy a view and have a picnic,” the chamber’s website said.

“We ask that you bring along your own lunch that you feel confident packing during the first part of the hike. This will be a great opportunity to network with your Chamber colleagues and get out in your community. Furry friends are welcome, but it’s recommended they be on a leash. Please RSVP as soon as possible. We hope to see you there.”



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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