Business

Neighbourhood pub in Langley marks quarter century with friends

<p>Murrayville Town Pub turned 25 this month, and owners are hosting an anniversary party this Saturday.</p> -

Murrayville Town Pub turned 25 this month, and owners are hosting an anniversary party this Saturday.

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Murrayville Town Pub has always been about people, about neighbourhood, and about sharing food and beverages with good friends, said part owner Rod Hampton.

A quarter century ago, partners Mike Thompson and John Pybus bought some land in a developing area of Langley known as Murrayville, and threw open the doors on a small pub. They first brought in Hampton as a chef, then graduated him to head of operations – and in short order he too was a partner.

While Thompson is president, and continues to oversee the business end of the pub and the other properties they own, Pybus is the frontman of the trio overseeing the pub’s extensive community outreach and fundraising efforts (including about $40,000 a year raised for Big Brother Big Sisters of Langley), and Hampton continues to oversee the day-to-day operations of the pub.

It’s hard to believe, Hampton said, that after all these years these three men are still business partners. It’s kind of unheard of in the hospitality business, when people aren’t related.

“There’s a lot of growth in the area in recent years, so the future looks good,” Hampton added, boasting that the business (like the neighbourhood they serve) is growing.

Murrayville Town Pub offers triple the seating of the original pub. Since its inception, it has expanded to include the liquor store. It developed a takeout pizza business that it later took off-site and eventually sold. And plans are in the works to hopefully reopen the Manhattan Steak House space in the near future – beyond the current use as extra banquet facilities – because of the consistent grown and need for expanded seating.

Given their “simple successes” through all these years, Hampton said the three men are looking forward to teaming up with their 50 full- and part-time staff, and throwing a party of “epic proportions” on Saturday for hundreds of their faithful customers.

“This is a big one,” Hampton said, explaining that while the pub officially opened May 6, 1992, they’re holding the anniversary party – complete with barbecue and entertainment – this Saturday, May 13, starting at 4 p.m.

There are not very many independently owned, small, neighbourhood pubs still around in the Lower Mainland, Hampton said.

An integral part of the community and the neighbbourhood, Murrayville Town Pub doesn’t pretend to be a sports bar, or a tappa bar, or any a trendy facility owned by a large corporation, he insisted. For Hampton and his partners, it’s important that Murrayville Town Pub remains a neighbourhood establishment inviting to people of all ages.

“What we try to be is your typical neighbourhood pub,” he insisted, noting that in keeping true to that goal, Saturday’s celebrations is like a neighbourhood party. It will feature a salmon, chicken, and beef barbecue, a DJ and prizes, and live entertainment by The Mortimers under a huge tent in the parking lot.

It’s just a bunch of friends – new and old – getting together for a party – to mark 25 years of “great times and great memories,” Hampton said.

This just so happens to also be Thompson’s 75th birthday, so Hampton said this weekend’s party will serve double duty – marking that significant milestone, as well.

Influential on the facebook front

A Langley woman has been named one of the top 10 on the Facebook Influencer List.

Langley enterpreneur and international speaker Sherri-Lee Woycik said she’s shocked and honoured by the recognition for her efforts in “harnessing the power” of Facebook marketing.

The recognition comes from Report Garden.

“It was a huge surprise for sure,” Woycik told the Langley Advance.

“I am extremely honoured to be included in such a prestigious list, this is a highlight of my entrepreneurial journey so far,” she added.

She’s armed with an certificate in advanced social media from the University of San Francisco Online and a diploma in Therapeutic Recreation from Douglas College.

Woycik started her business in 2010 as a way to earn extra income for her family.

Six months later, her marriage ended and she found herself alone with two kids to raise, no real income, and no support from her ex-husband.

She is an active member of the Langley community having been involved in the Valley Women’s Network for 17 years, she is a past Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce board member, and volunteered to manage the social media for the Special Olympics, Langley’s Canada Day Celebrations, and several other local events.

Woycik has worked with many local businesses including, but not limited to, the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce, Well Seasoned, Vanilla Clothing, and Precision Auto Service.

Otter Co-op’s sales growth surges

And extending to my industry cohort, Kurt Langmann in Aldergrove, I’m able to share some good news from Otter Co-op.

The co-op’s board of directors announce its 2016 year end results, with an allocation to member/owners amounting to $5,027,158 in equity and cash.

Otter’s audited year-end sales totaled $206,036,438; a 3.2-per-cent increase compared to the previous year.

This also marks the seventh year in a row of record sales growth, Langmann reported.

The board approved an allocation rate of 3.52 per cent back to member/owners based on their purchases in 2016, and this amounts to over $5 million in equity and cash going directly back to those supporting the co-op.

“This is a direct result of the power of our membership, and the loyalty of our shoppers and guests, and Otter thanks all those who contributed to our success in 2016,” said general manager Jack Nicholson.

“We are looking for another record breaking year in 2017,” he said, inviting people out to the co-op’s annual meeting at D.W. Poppy Secondary on Wednesday, May 31, beginning at 6:30 p.m.

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