Card-y Be: Kootenay Co-op Radio will be reaching out to 6,000 homes throughout the Nelson area, from Blewett to Proctor, in an effort to boost their membership after a challenging year. The little local station celebrated its 20th anniversary last year. KCR’s sponsorship and advertising co-ordinator Amelie Sauquet holds all three versions of new promotional cards that will be arriving in mailboxes next week. Photo: Darren Davidson

BUSINESS BUZZ: Devito’s making tracks, Purcell teams up with the Sherpas, big win for Kalesnikoff

Darren Davidson has all the latest on Nelson's business community

By Darren Davidson

There’ll be a big ol’ empty, saw-dusty spot on the 400 block of Hall Street in a few weeks. But it won’t be empty for long. Vince Devito Shoes and Repair is expanding its retail frontage into the space next door that used to be the home of Itza Ristorante and Pizzeria. Vince and his team have been on Hall Street since 1995. They’ll open up a pop-up shop in Chahko Mika Mall, which will be a temporary home to the retail operation and shoe repair drop off. The expansion is expected to take four months. Justin ‘JR’ Richards and Tom Magree of Ramm Custom Build are leading the project.

Speaking of builders. Local design and construction firm Purcell Timber Frame Homes has just launched a beautiful marketing video shot and produced by one of the top adventure sport and commercial film making media houses in the country. Purcell’s Hart Wintraub and Al Gluckman worked with Sherpas Cinema to produce the two-minute segment. It was released on Youtube last week. The Sherpas created the award-winning All I Can franchise, and have also completed major ad campaigns for Dodge Ram trucks, The North Face and Whistler Blackcomb. The Purcell piece was produced by the Sherpas Nelson-based producer and principal Eric Crossland.

There are grassroots outdoor gear manufacturers off all sorts peppered around the Kootenays. And now they’re all under one roof. Check out the recently launched Kootenay Outdoor Recreation Enterprise Initiative (KORE). The consortium is the brainchild of a team including Resorts of the Rockies’ icon Matt (Powder Matt) Mosteller, Kimberley Mayor Don McCormick and Kevin Pennock, who created the Ride Guide TV series.

There’s a new eatery opening up in Kaslo, thanks to some folks Nelsonites will know.

The Thomson family — Nathan, Carolyn, Molly, Rae and Floyd — have renovated and opened The Treehouse Restaurant. The Thomsons lived in Nelson for many years.

Business owners aiming to up their online game have a place to turn for assistance.

The Nelson and District Chamber of Commerce and partners from the Nelson and Area Economic Development Partnership (that’s Community Futures, KAST and Selkirk College) are teamed up with the provincial government’s new Launch Online Grant program. Grants will provide business owners, including those in hard-hit sectors such as retail, tourism and restaurants, with up to $7,500 to build or improve their online store and promote BuyBC at a local, national and international level. It’s first come, first-served basis ’til March 31.

The city planning department is moving ahead with final consultation on recommendations to present Mayor John Dooley and council regarding a bit of a sticky issue for downtown business owners. Council is considering alternative locations of the Transit Exchange at Ward and Baker. The Chamber has been advocating for this for a while. While it’s a helpful location for people who hop on and off the bus, transactions and general behaviour at Ward and Baker have been a bit dodgy from time to time, increasingly so the last few years.

What a huge honour for the region’s forestry industry and the Kalesnikoff family. Kalesnikoff Lumber has been named B.C.’s lead exporter of manufactured products at the BC Export Awards, hosted by Business in Vancouver. The acknowledgement comes a year after Kalesnikoff opened its mass timber facility and launched a line of mass timber products.

“We manage our entire timber supply chain – all the way from the seedlings we plant to the mass timber solutions we build and design at our world-class facility,” said CEO and president Ken Kalesnikoff. “With our mass timber offerings, we are creating new, highly-skilled jobs, investing in technology and supporting our communities as well as our wonderful employees.”

This will be in an interesting story to watch. Mercer Celgar has unveiled a raft of COVID-19 precautions for the Castlegar pulp mill’s maintenance shutdown March 6 to 26. About 500 extra workers are being brought in from out of town to tackle the big job.

There are couple of familiar faces in new roles at the Capitol Theatre. Allison Girvan takes over from Eva McKimm as box office manager and assistant manager. Sage Cowan, who been in charge of building maintenance for the past few years, is also taking on social media co-ordination.

Last but sure not least, congrats to Chuck and Karen Bennett and their daughter Carley Naka. The former newspaper publishers turned realtors have opened a new brokerage — Bennett Family Real Estate.

“Having owned our own businesses in the past,” says Chuck, who recently jumped aboard the Kootenay Association of Realtors as new president, “this seems like a natural next step.”

That’s it for this month folks. Got any business ties, send them our way to

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