The Cowichan Valley’s Pizzeria Prima Strada held a fundraiser over the Canada Day weekend to assist staff at the Cobblestone Pub, which sustained major damage in a fire on June 1 which has closed the popular pub until repairs are completed. Pictured, from left, are PPS workers. (Submitted photo)

Business notes: Pizzeria Prima Strada supports staff at Cobblestone Pub

On June 1, the Cobblestone Pub suffered major fire damage

Pizzeria Prima Strada, Cowichan Valley’s newest wood-fired pizzeria, launched a fundraising campaign over the Canada Day weekend to support the staff of the Cobblestone Pub.

The pizzeria donated $2 from every feature pizza purchased over the long weekend to the assist the Cobblestone Pub’s Staff Assistance Fund during the pub’s reconstruction.

The restaurant raised $170 from the pizza sales, but decided to increase the donation to $250 as its final contribution to the Cobblestone Pub.

On June 1, the Cobblestone Pub suffered major fire damage resulting in the community hub closing its doors for the summer.

“When we heard about the pub, we wanted to help. We’re humbled and proud to be able to support our team and a neighbour,” said pizzeria president Cristen DeCarolis.

“We’ve experienced the benefits of being part of an active community first hand. It’s friends, family and neighbours that help build and support local businesses. Our long-running ‘Eat Well Do Good’ campaign is a way for us to give back to the community.”

Through the Eat Well Do Good campaign, and with the help of its customers, Pizzeria Prima Strada has donated to the Islands Saving’s The Full Cupboard, Heart & Stroke, Movember Foundation, BC Women’s Farm Network Scholarship Fund, the Growing Young Farmers Society and many more.

Ampersand venturing into vermouth with Rathjen

The Cowichan Valley’s Ampersand Distilling Co., makers of the award-winning Ampersand Gin and Per Se Vodka, have teamed up with Rathjen Cellars on the Saanich Peninsula to create a B.C.- craft dry vermouth.

Imperative Dry Vermouth is made from organic Ortega and Auxerrois grapes from the Saanich Peninsula and fortified with Ampersand’s Per Se Vodka, made from organic B.C. grown wheat.

“We love finding new ways to collaborate and bring delicious new spirits that will inspire people’s creativity,” said Jessica Schacht, co-founder and recipe developer at Ampersand.

“It’s about bringing great ingredients together in classic ways. I want to create something that’s going to be a staple on the bar.”

The launch of this new collaboration has also been a fun challenge for Mike Rathjen, owner of Rathjen Cellars, a new farm-based winery on the Saanich Peninsula.

“This collaboration not only gives us a better option than selling off surplus grapes, we also get to work alongside the talented Schacht family in bringing this exciting new product to market,” he said.

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Rocky Creek Winery continues winning ways

Rocky Creek Winery has reached a 100 medal milestone and continues to be the Cowichan Valley’s most award-winning winery.

Rocky Creek’s Pinot Gris brought home gold from the Northwest Wine Summit in Oregon, and the results from two other recent wine competitions — the Northwest Wine Summit and All Canadian Wine Championships — have confirmed that the winery is continuing its winning ways.

The competitions resulted in six new medals for Rocky Creek, bringing its total number of medals over the past 13 years to 100.

“Our Pinot Gris has always been a contender and consistently brings home medals,” said winery owner Mark Holford.

“Returning to gold medal contention has been a focus this past year.”

Catalyst Paper sells its United States operations

Catalyst Paper, owner of the Crofton pulp and paper mill, has announced that it has completed the sale of the company’s U.S. operations to ND Paper LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Nine Dragons Paper, a Hong Kong stock exchange listed company, for $175 million U.S.

The transaction includes Catalyst’s mills in Rumford, Maine, and Biron, Wisconsin, along with the company’s operations in Dayton, Ohio.

“The net proceeds of the sale will be used to repay a significant share of our debt,” said Catalyst president and CEO Ned Dwyer.

Catalyst’s operations in B.C., which are not affected by the sale, include pulp and paper mills in Crofton, Port Alberni and Powell River.

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