Business notes: New Neapolitan pizzeria to open in Valley View

Pizzeria Prima Strada, Victoria’s first authentic Neapolitan pizzeria, is expanding to the Cowichan Valley.

Pizzeria Prima Strada, Victoria’s first authentic Neapolitan pizzeria, is expanding to the Cowichan Valley.

The new pizzeria is scheduled to open in Valley View Centre, just off the Island Highway on Cowichan Bay Road, this spring.

The new restaurant will have a 65-seat dining room and a patio with a view of the Valley.

Company president Cristen DeCarolis Dallas said she’s “very excited” about the expansion into the Cowichan Valley.

“My husband and business partner, Geoffrey, and I created Prima Strada as a place to gather with family and friends,” she said.

“We love the food and wine of southern Italy, especially the wood-fired pizzas in Naples. At Prima Strada, we pay homage to my Italian roots with a commitment to simple and fresh ingredients.”

Five Duncan businesses pick up fan choice awards

Island Savings has recognized five businesses in Duncan in its 2016 Fan Choice Awards.

In its second year, the Fan Choice Awards applaud small to medium-sized businesses that provide a product or service that is second-to-none in regions where Island Savings operates.

During Small Business Month 2016 in October, voters rallied behind their favourite restaurants, retail stores, hair salons and other businesses across Vancouver Island.

Hundreds of votes were cast in five categories through social media.

Island Savings listed the top four businesses in each category in random order.

In Duncan, they include the Duncan Garage Cafe & Bakery in the best restaurant, cafe or coffee shop category, Judy Hill Gallery in the best retail store category, Dickson & Fraser Auto repair in the best auto repair shop, auto body shop or dealership category, Hair at 60 Queens in the best hair salon category, and Monkey Bar Gym Vancouver Island in the best wellness clinic or studio category.

“This award means a lot to us at Dickson & Fraser Auto Repair because it was chosen by our customers, and they mean such a great deal to us,” said owner Ryan Isherwood.

“We love our community and we have tried hard to offer a good old-fashioned honest service to them, and it feels good to be recognized for doing that.”

Tack Shop wins big at seCatalyst awards

The Cowichan Therapeutic Riding Association has won big at the annual Social Enterprise Catalyst Gala.

The CRTA’s Jane James Used Tack Shop, which turns donations of second-hand horse gear into much-needed funding to support its charitable programs, tied with two other finalists as this year’s winners of the seCatalyst award ceremony.

The shop will now receive in-kind prizes and $8,000 in cash to help develop the business in 2017.

Spokeswoman Anne Muir said the shop will use the money to help move to a new and larger space at the CTRA’s facility on Providence Farm by this spring. “This new facility will allow the store to display more merchandize and will help accommodate more customers,” she said.