Billy Gruff’s Ice Cream Shop, the latest addition to Coombs Country Market located across the street from the iconic Goats on the Roof, earned the Award of Excellence in the retail category during the annual Vancouver Island Real Estate Board Commercial Building Awards in Nanaimo Thursday, April 20, 2017. — J.R. Rardon photo

Billy Gruff’s Ice Cream Shop, the latest addition to Coombs Country Market located across the street from the iconic Goats on the Roof, earned the Award of Excellence in the retail category during the annual Vancouver Island Real Estate Board Commercial Building Awards in Nanaimo Thursday, April 20, 2017. — J.R. Rardon photo

New Coombs market honoured

Billy Gruff’s Ice Cream presented Award of Excellence by VIREB

Already well-known for its iconic and historic Goats on the Roof, Coombs’s Old Country Market is getting positive attention for a more modern addition.

Billy Gruff’s Ice Cream Shop, which opened March 10, 2016, was honoured last week with the Award of Excellence in the retail category during the 10th Annual Vancouver Island Real Estate Board Commercial Building Awards at the Coast Bastion Hotel in Nanaimo.

“It’s fantastic; very nice acknowledgement,” said Arthur Urie, general manager. “We don’t do anything here for the recognition, but it was nice to be included among the nominees for this award. The actually win it is icing on the cake.”

Billy Gruff’s, and the adjacent Zolena boutique, are the latest in the stable of restaurants and shops owned by Larry and Lene Geekie and their family on a property fronting Highway 4A in downtown Coombs.

The stucco, stone and wood building, with an outdoor patio and extensive arbours, was created in an Italian renaissance style, similar to the large villa at the rear of the property that houses Cuckoo’s Trattoria and Pizzeria.

“There’s been a lot of effort put into this property,” said Urie. “And there’s more to come.”

Billy Gruff’s was among 28 finalists in 12 categories of the Commercial Building Awards, which originally drew more than 50 eligible entries.

Two more area businesses won Awards of Merit: the Judith Fisher Center of Lasqueti Island in the Institutional category; and Chinook Scaffold Warehouse of Parksville, both in the Industrial category.

The Judges’ Choice overall winner in the April 20 ceremony was St. Paul’s Centre for Ministry and Community Service in downtown Nanaimo.

Coastal Community Credit Union was a Gold Sponsor of the event, and Black Press a Platinum Media Sponsor.

Category sponsors included RE/MAX Commercial, Colliers International, Canadian Western Bank, MNP LLP, NAI Commercial, Yellow Sheet Review, Herold Engineering and Invest Comox Valley. Business Examiner Vancouver Island coordinates the event.

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