Above: Lake Cowichan fire department’s annual food and toy drive, in support of the Cowichan Lake Community Services’ Christmas hampers, was held last weekend in Country Grocer’s parking lot. 
(Lexi Bainas/Gazette)

Above: Lake Cowichan fire department’s annual food and toy drive, in support of the Cowichan Lake Community Services’ Christmas hampers, was held last weekend in Country Grocer’s parking lot. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette)

Lake Cowichan stores get into the Christmas spirit

Many involved in community events during festive season

Arlene Vandenhoven is excited to see more and more customers come into her shop, Swordfern Boutique, on South Shore Road, as Christmas approaches.

Swordfern Boutique, which is in its second year of operation in Lake Cowichan, is an eco-friendly shop dealing in locally produced apparel, jewelry and gifts that reflect the spirit of the West Coast lifestyle.

Vandenhoven said the Christmas shopping season started slowly for her, likely the result of a more depressed economy this year due to troubles in forestry and other issues, but she’s seen a big increase in business over the last week.

“I’m finding people like to buy local, and I carry a lot of local merchandise,” she said.

“I’m selling a lot of clothing from Canadian-owned companies, as well as stocking stuffers like bath and cooking salts from Saltwest Naturals Inc. from Sooke and another company in Nanaimo. I’ve got something for pretty much anyone.”

Vandenhoven said Swordfern Boutique, as well as many other businesses in the area, lost almost a full week of sales just before Christmas last year when the windstorm struck.

“There’s no big storms in the forecast during the next week, so I don’t think that will happen again this year,” she said.

“I’m happy to be part of the Lake Cowichan community and proud to support local businesses, artists and other producers. Tourism is big in the summer around here, but local businesses rely on local sales at this time of year. It’s very important.”

Lake Cowichan’s Country Grocer has ordered more turkeys for Christmas.

The store also has a wide selection of Christmas trees for its customers to choose from as the festive season heats up.

Store spokeswoman Jo-Anne Pimlott said the Christmas spirit is strong in the community, and Country Grocer has joined in.

She said the store was pleased to have the Lake Cowichan fire department’s annual food and toy drive, in support of the Cowichan Lake Community Services’ Christmas hampers, last weekend in the store’s parking lot.

RELATED STORY: LAKE COWICHAN FIRE DEPARTMENT BACK WITH ANNUAL TOY AND FOOD DRIVE

“The fire department used to host these events at its station, but our store’s central location in the community was chosen as a better place for their event and we were more than happy to help out,” Pimlott said.

Pimlott said Country Grocer also assisted with Palsson Elementary School’s Winter Feast on Dec. 13, which features turkey dinners.

Lake Cowichan’s Home Hardware store is beautifully decorated for the festive season, and manager Doug Fast said the business has a wide variety of sales to entice people through the doors during the Christmas shopping season.

They include power tools, small appliances and much more.

“Of course, Christmas trees are a big seller in the lead up to Christmas,” he said.

“We’ll also be holding Boxing Day sales.”

Lake Cowichan Home Centre’s Dennise Eddy said the store is having a bump in business as people get to their long-delayed home projects, like bathroom renovations, before family members arrive for Christmas.

Eddy said the store will be helping out with this week’s food hamper drive at the Community Services building.

“We usually donate a forklift to move the food around at that annual event, as well as some staff time to drive it and help out,” she said. “We like to do our part at this time of the year.”

Healthy treats for pets is the big seller during the Christmas season at the Cowichan Pet Emporium on Cowichan Lake Road.

Spokesman Jay de Goesbriand said clothing for dogs and cats is also popular at the store, but most of the shopping for those items was taken care of at the beginning of the rainy season weeks ago.

“Our business is pretty steady throughout the year, but we love to see more people come in during this time of year,” he said.



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Wayne Allen's graduation photo from Chemainus Secondary School. (Photo submitted)
Brother charged with murder in Chemainus teenager’s Ontario death

Jesse James Allen stands accused in the death of Wayne Allen, a 2020 Chemainus Secondary grad

The frequent disruptions to water service in Chemainus are expected to be a lot less after North Cowichan replaces the Smiley Road water main. (File photo)
Smiley Road water main in Chemainus to be replaced

$890,000 project expected to be completed this spring

Cowichan Tribes open up vaccinations for members who are 40 and older. (File photo)
Cowichan Tribes opens up vaccinations for members 18 and older

Vaccination sessions to be held over weekend

Kim McGregor died in the Feb. 14 hit-and-run accident in Chemainus. (Photo submitted)
Victim identified in Valentine’s Day Chemainus hit-and-run

Kim McGregor grew up in Chemainus and had recently returned to be close to his parents

The Cowichan Valley Regional District will use fire hydrants to flush water systems in Youbou, Honeymoon Bay, Mesachie Lake and Bald Mountain in March. (Robert Barron/Gazette)
Water system flushing in Cowichan Lake communities in March may cause discolouration warns CVRD

Water pipes in Youbou, Honeymoon Bay, Mescahie Lake, and Bald Mountain targeted

Dr. Bonnie Henry leaves the podium after talking about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
COVID: 589 new cases in B.C., and 7 new deaths

No new outbreaks being reported Feb. 26

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A crossover utility vehicle smashed through the front of a business on Bowen Road on Friday evening. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Vehicle smashes all the way inside business in Nanaimo

No serious injuries reported after incident at Venue Financial Centres on Friday

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents bill to delay B.C.’s budget as late as April 30, and allow further spending before that, B.C. legislature, Dec. 8, 2020. (Hansard TV)
How big is B.C.’s COVID-19 deficit? We’ll find out April 20

More borrowing expected as pandemic enters second year

The first of 11 Dash 8 Q400 aircraft's have arrived in Abbotsford. Conair Group Inc. will soon transform them into firefighting airtankers. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Conair begins airtanker transformation

Aerial firefighting company creating Q400AT airtanker in advance of local forest fire season

RCMP say a woman turned herself in to police after hitting a pedestrian and fleeing the scene of the accident in downtown Nanaimo on Friday morning. (File photo)
Driver flees, then turns herself in after hitting pedestrian in downtown Nanaimo

RCMP say woman was struck in marked crosswalk after driver ran red light

The Canada Revenue Agency says there were 32 tax fraud convictions across the country between April 2019 and March 2020. (Pixabay)
Vancouver man sentenced to 29 months, fined $645K for tax evasion, forgery

Michael Sholz reportedly forged documents to support ineligible tax credits linked to homeownership

Most Read