Business notes: Rembrandt’s Chocolates preparing for busy Easter season

The store makes its own hand-made chocolate creations

Staff at Duncan’s Rembrandt’s Chocolates are preparing for the busy Easter season.

The store makes its own hand-made chocolate creations, including a number that are sugar-free, and new owner Jackie Robinson has spent the last year taking chocolate-making lessons from Ernest and Lisette Horvers, who founded the business in 1995 and are looking to retire.

Robinson said she was working in the restaurant industry in Victoria when the opportunity arose to take over the store.

“I couldn’t resist,” she said as she carefully prepared Easter bunnies at the store, located at 25 Kenneth St.

“Thanks to help from Ernest, the store is quickly filling up with chocolate Easter eggs, bunnies and chickens. It’s a lot of fun and I’m really enjoying the experience.”

Draftsman offering expertise for affordable housing

A new online business based in the Cowichan Valley wants to add its expertise in helping to deal with the ongoing affordable housing crisis in the region, and beyond.

Christopher Bauer, a certified draftsman with training in architectural design, began Terra Floor Plans in 2017 to develop project blueprints for developers and builders.

He said he has made providing blueprints for affordable housing projects a priority for the company after recently meeting with the CEO of BC Housing.

“Once a building project is completed, it can be very costly to renovate it to meet the demands in about a decade’s time when the previous design doesn’t fit the needs anymore,” Bauer said.

“Our designs allow for the project to be flexible and allow for one, two or three-bedroom units to fit in the same space with an easy conversion that wouldn’t require additional architectural costs.”

Bauer said he has met with municipal leaders and developers in the Valley and they have shown interest in the company’s designs, and he is also looking at international markets.

For more information, check out

Connect with loved ones at Healing Reflections

A business specializing in spiritual mediumship, called Healing Reflections, has opened in Duncan.

Ayla Xaveriss, a spiritualist who claims to have been in contact with spirits since she was a child, said she wants to help people connect with their loved ones who have passed.

Xaveriss, who has been working as a spiritualist is the Valley for more than two years, said it’s a natural-born gift but she has also taken training in shamanism.

She said her colleague Rosalina Heard Carelse, a certified shamanic energy medicine and luminous healing practitioner, will also be working from Healing Reflections, located at 167 Canada Ave.

“Our location allows us to hold group readings and fundraisers as well,” Xaveriss said.

“We’ve had a lot of success over the years in the Valley and we’re looking forward to offering appointments and sessions from our new location.”

For more information, call 250-597-4505.

Buddies Natural Pet Food now has store in Duncan

Buddies Natural Pet Food in Duncan has opened a new location at 420 Trans Canada Highway.

The business makes all of its pet foods locally, and all the ingredients are grown or raised in the region as well.

The company boasts that Buddies’ products contain only fresh, human-grade ingredients that are 100 per cent gluten free.

Manager Danielle Sliva said the store was operating from the company’s production plant in Duncan, but it outgrew the location.

“The demand was for more than just our foods, so we wanted to expand into other products and food supplements that required more space,” she said.

Massage and yoga therapist joins Wellness Centre

The Duncan Wellness Centre has a new practitioner.

Kathryn Belsher, a registered massage therapist and yoga therapist, has recently joined the centre’s medical team.

Belsher moved from Alberta and also teaches Somatic Yoga in the centre’s movement room.

She said she is “excited” to practice in Duncan and is offering direct billing for veterans, RCMP and those with Greenshield Massage Therapy coverage.”

Launch party Thursday for entrepreneur organization

The new E3 Spaces organization in the Cowichan Valley is hosting its launch party, that is also a networking event and a celebration of business, on March 15.

After spending years developing the idea about an entrepreneur community that empowers business owners, a press release states the time has come to unleash the E3 Community in the Valley.

The release said the event, called “The Future of Entrepreneurship”, is the grand opening of the concept and the release of the organization’s intention to empower entrepreneurs in Duncan, and beyond.

“The free Future of Entrepreneurship event will show you exactly how to get into the fast lane for success by joining our like-minded, heart-centered group of entrepreneurial bad-asses,” the release said.

“We’re looking for people that share our vision of mutual benefit, collaboration and partnership to become part of our family here at the new e3 Space in Duncan.”

Duncan Mayor Phil Kent is one of the featured speakers at the event, and his topic is “The State of Business in the Cowichan Valley”.

The event begins at 6 p.m. on Thursday at 225 Canada Ave.

To register, go to, or call 587-888-0049.

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