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The Old Farm Market in Duncan has opened The Old Farm Grill

Business Column
Lucy Boon, manager at Duncan’s The Old Farm Market, shows off the renovated dining room at the newly opened Old Farm Grill. (Robert Barron/Citizen)

The Old Farm Market in Duncan has opened a new restaurant that serves breakfast all day, and has a lunch menu as well.

The menu items at The Old Farm Grill, a relaunch of the old grill at the market which is located just south of the Silver Bridge, are all delicious and very creative for those with a taste for breakfast and lunch that is out of the ordinary.

They include The Classic Hydro Kaiser for breakfast, which has your choice of bacon, sausage, or ham with an egg and cheddar cheese, hot mustard, sprouts, pickles, lettuce, red onion and tomato, all served on a baked cheese kaiser roll.

For lunch, try the unique Spicy Ham & Cheese sandwich, which has jalapeno jack cheese on one side and white cheddar on the other, along with capicola, onion and chili jam which is grilled until melted and served on locally baked white bread.

Lucy Boon, manager of The Old Farm Market, said the business wanted to try something new and different with its grill, so they did some renovations in the dining room and had the deli staff come up with some innovative and original ideas for breakfast and lunch with ingredients that are sourced locally as much as possible.

“We decided to have a big selection of breakfast sandwiches because no one else in the area has had that before,” Boon said.

“We opened The Old Farm Grill last Monday (March 13) and it’s going great. Our old customers love it and we’re getting lots of new customers as well.”


Two sisters from the Cowichan Valley have combined their flair for creating clothing and their desire to help their community and opened the online Kindred Spirits Boutique.

Jesse Cree is self-taught clothes designer who passed her skills on to her sister, Brooklyn Mann.

Cree said their passion for social justice and uplifting others led them to create an online store and corporate merchandising company, and the business has been flourishing since it opened in January.

“At Kindred Spirits, we have our own custom-designed clothing and accessories, create clothing with your ideas, and also provide merchandising for businesses, schools and clubs,” she said.

“If you want to be part of a movement focused on women empowering women and sending positivity into the world, then you have found your place with Kindred Spirit. Every month we do a design to recognize a key social justice initiative and provide 25 per cent of all profits from it to a local charity that will support furthering the cause.”

The online boutique is filled with the sisters’ clothing, home accessories, jewelry, journals, oils and much more.

The boutique has pick-up locations in Lake Cowichan and Maple Bay.

Check out the site for more information.


A friendly reminder to readers that the Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce’s Dine & Sip Cowichan festival ends on March 26.

Now in its seventh year, this iconic local culinary festival is an opportunity to enjoy the tastes of the Cowichan Valley. Participating venues are offering a range of inspired dishes and beverage offerings at special pricing.

For every Dine Cowichan meal purchased at participating restaurants, Island Savings will donate $5 to The Full Cupboard (up to a total of $5,000) and 100 per cent of funds raised will be gifted to Cowichan food banks.

“Once again, our local food and beverage operators need your support,” the chamber said.

“Whether you settle into your usual seat at your favourite spot, try somewhere completely new, or make your way through the whole list, with over 40 venues to choose from, everyone can Dine and Sip Cowichan.”

Follow Facebook and Instagram for event announcements and contests.


​The Fort Game Cafe on Jubilee Street is hosting a Mix & Mingle on March 27, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., according to a post on the Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce’s website.

Duncan’s unique board game and video game cafe will be serving up tacos, margaritas, and tasty snacks.

Come play games, eat good food, and gather with friends.

“The Fort Game Cafe is proud to create a relaxing place to build community, whether with long-time friends, family or meeting new faces at one of our events,” a post from the cafe said.

​People can register for the event online, by calling 250-748-1111 or by emailing


Duncan’s Stillhead Distillery’s Van-Isle Rye Vodka spirit won “Best Contemporary Vodka in Canada”, a.k.a. “Best in Class”, as well as a gold medal and a “Merit in Terroir” distinction at the 2023 Canadian Artisan Spirit Competition.

Stillhead also took home a number of other awards at the competition, which highlights and celebrates the best artisan spirits from across Canada.

They include numerous gold, silver and bronze medals for the distillery’s ryes and whiskeys.

The Valley’s Ampersand Distillery also won medals in separate categories at the competition, including gold for its Ampersand Gin and Per Se Vodka, and bronze for the distillery’s Imperative Dry Vermouth.

Stillhead’s founder and master distiller Brennan Colebank said he is honoured and thrilled to accept the Best Contemporary Vodka in Canada award.

“When we created Van-Isle Rye Vodka we wanted it to be unique and stand out in the crowd of thousands of other vodkas,” he said.

“Almost all vodkas are made from wheat, corn, or sugar cane, almost no one uses rye as it’s a very hard grain to work with. Not only were we up for the challenge, we also wanted to showcase the wonderful food products grown on the island, hence the use of rye grain from the Alberni Valley. The rye imparts a very unique and surprising sweetness to the vodka, adding depth of flavour to any cocktail like a Caesar, Sea Breeze or Moscow Mule. It’s also lovely sipped neat on ice.”

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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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