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Business notes: The plentiFILL Refillery & Sustainable Living Store now open in Duncan

The latest from the Cowichan Valley business community
Krystal Aikman and Stephanie Farrow are the owners of the new plentiFILL Refillery & Sustainable Living Store on Kenneth Street in Duncan. (Robert Barron/Citizen)

The plentiFILL Refillery & Sustainable Living Store in Duncan held its grand opening on Feb. 22.

The refillery store, one of many that have been popping up in many Vancouver Island communities recently, provides a convenient way to reduce single-use plastics in everyday life.

Rather than purchasing a new container each time you need more shampoo, conditioner, soap, lotion, all-purpose cleaner, house and home accessories etc., customers simply refill extended-use containers with those products.

The store’s owners, sister-in-laws Krystal Aikman and Stephanie Farrow, said the main focus of the store is to work towards eliminating consumer waste and single-use packaging.

“We were drawn to the concept and it suits our lifestyles,” Farrow said.

“We had a soft opening last week and held our grand opening on Feb. 22. The reception we’re receiving is incredible and people are excited to have us here. It has given us validation that we are not alone in this concept.”

Farrow said the plan is to expand the inventory at the store, located at 163 Kenneth St. where Sheer Essentials was situated, as the business develops, and eventually branch into food products.


Westcoastees Duncan store has closed.

The clothing store, which also has stores in Victoria, Campbell River and Parksville and a warehouse and print shop in Honeymoon Bay, said to its customers on its website that it regrets that it has had to make the decision to close the Duncan location, which was on Government Street.

“It was not an easy decision to make and we will miss you all dearly,” the statement said.

“Thank you so much for your friendship and support all these years and we hope to see you at our own Honeymoon Bay pop-up summer market this summer. Please go out and support small businesses in your local communities. They miss you, they love you and they need you.”

The owners’ statement said Westecoastees gift cards and loyalty points from the Duncan store can be redeemed at the other three locations.

For more information, contact Trevor at trevor@westcoastees or call 250-932-3222.


Sarpino’s Pizzeria, which specializes in take-out and delivery of quality pizzas and pasta, will be opening a location in Lake Cowichan in late March.

The franchise currently has 11 stores in B.C., and the one in Lake Cowichan, which will be located at 108 South Shore Rd., will be the ninth on Vancouver Island.

Ensar Sehec, Sarpino’s director of operations, said the company chose to set up a location in Lake Cowichan because it is targeting growing communities in the mid-Island region, and the town fit the bill.

“Lake Cowichan is a busy place, especially in the summer months, and we want our take out and delivery service in place there in time for this summer,” he said.

“We offer a value product and we’re proud of our good quality food and service, so we think we’ll do well there.”

Sehec said Sarpino’s is also looking at setting up in other locations in the mid-island region, including in Duncan and Nanaimo, and he expects those communities should have Sarpino’s locations within the next 12 months.


Ross Johnstone, owner of Serenity Yoga at the Lake in Lake Cowichan, believes the worst is behind him after spending the last two years dealing with COVID-19 restrictions and closures.

Johnstone, who started his business in February, 2020, right at the beginning of the pandemic, has had to close four times since then due to public health orders, totalling approximately eight months.

But he said he used the down time to work on renovations at his building, preparing for when the pandemic finally ends and he can operate his studio unhindered.

“Business has not been great, but we’re trickling along,” Johnstone said.

“People are still hesitant to come to the studio, but business is picking up and I expect it will increase a lot when residents start coming back from their winter vacations in Mexico and California. Hopefully, business will be a lot better in two or three months.”

Johnstone said he has had special deals on Saturdays in recent weeks in celebration of the studio’s two-year anniversary.


The 2022 Duncan Seedy Saturday, an outdoor market-style event featuring local seed vendors and farmers, will be held March 12 in Charles Hoey Park.

The Cowichan Green Community Society, which is hosting the event, anticipates that there will be approximately 30 vendors and community organizations, including a farm-to-table food truck, at Duncan Seedy Saturday.

There will also be a community seed-swap table, a kids’ activities tent, and several buskers throughout the day.

“Come join us to buy and trade local seeds, plants, and gardening resources, and learn about what’s growing in the Cowichan region and about the importance of seed sovereignty,” said the society in a statement.

“Since this is our first in-person event in two years, CGC members can head over to the Farm Hub table and receive a free plant. If you are not a member, visit our website to be eligible for member-only benefits.”

All public-health orders will be followed and COVID-19 policies will be in place at the event, which will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Visit for more information.

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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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