Jack D’Amico fell in love the minute he stepped off the plane.
It was July 2020 when D’Amico and his family flew into the Kelowna International Airport to check out a potential business opportunity.
Driving up the highway past the lakes, mountains and orchards towards Vernon, D’Amico had a good feeling. He didn’t even mind the 37 C temperature reading on the car.
Fast forward to Feb. 11, 2021, and D’Amico is the new owner of Vernon’s Canadian Tire, taking over from longtime owner Grant Turner, who has since retired.
“It’s a new adventure for me and my family,” said D’Amico, at the store with his oldest daughter Melissa, 20, who works in administration.
His wife, and co-owner, Carmina Barone is still in Ontario waiting for their youngest two children, 18-year-old Angelina and 15-year-old Jenna, to finish school before they move here in July.
“This is my sixth store,” said the 50-year-old businessman, who has owned stores in New Brunswick, Ontario and Quebec.
His first store, in New Brunswick, was in 2008. A lot has changed over the years, particularly with the adaptation of technology.
Coming to Vernon he was pleasantly surprised to see a bay of green checkout lockers, where online orders are kept safe in-store, giving customers a contact-less experience.
But even more pleasant, is the community.
“The people are very nice, very kind,” D’Amico said.
Along with getting out of the office and spending a couple of hours on the floor each day, the new owner enjoys putting on Jumpstart events. Jumpstart charities ensure kids have access to sports and physical education.
His family is also active and is particularly interested in checking out the many bike trails in the area.
“We’re going to have lots to do here in B.C.,” he said.
The biggest challenge for the family was finding a place to live. But they have found a home in Lake Country and are looking forward to spending a long time in the North Okanagan.