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

A picture of Bug before the attack by the dogs on Nov. 17, 2020. (Submitted photo)
Three dogs almost kill cat in Miller Road area near Duncan

Efforts to catch the canines unsuccessful so far

Beautiful morning with the sun peaking through, as viewed from Thetis Island. (Photo by Kelly Bannister)
November characterized by a record high, no snow and plenty of rain in Chemainus region

Temperature almost hits the 20 degree Celsius mark on Nov. 4

Group wants to start a pilot program for regenerative farms in North Cowichan. (File photo)
Group looks to North Cowichan for farmland

Land could also be used for affordable housing

The CVRD will reconsider its policies on fireworks after receiving complaints. (File photo)
Cowichan Valley Regional District considers options for fireworks after receiving complaints

Distict only allows fireworks on Halloween and New Year’s Eve, with a permit

A tongue-in-cheek message about wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 on a sign outside a church near Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection count climbs back up to 656

20 more people in hospital, active cases still rising

Dave Wallace coached the Parksville Royals for 23 years. (PQB News file photo)
B.C. baseball community mourns death of legendary Vancouver Island coach Dave Wallace

‘All who knew Dave and his passion for the game will miss him greatly’

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

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. researchers launch study to test kids, young adults for COVID-19 antibodies

Kids and youth can often be asymptomatic carriers of the novel coronavirus

A sign is seen this past summer outside the Yunesit’in Government office west of Williams Lake reminding visitors and members to stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
B.C. First Nation leaders await privacy commissioner decision on COVID-19 information

Release of life-saving data cannot wait, says coalition of First Nations

MLA Jennifer Whiteside is B.C.’s new minister of education. She is speaking out against Chilliwack school trustee Barry Neufeld and asking him to resign. (Black Press)
New education minister calls on Chilliwack trustee to resign

Whiteside echoes former minister’s promise to look at options to remove Barry Neufeld

Peter Beckett. ~ File photo
Supreme Court of Canada to decide if it will hear appeal in 2010 wife murder trial

Peter Beckett has stood trial twice for murder in connection with the death of his wife, Laura Letts-Beckett

Most Read