Cheryl Day, a member of the management team at the Cow Café West Coast Grill, celebrates the 200 Dine Cowichan Meals the restaurant sold in support of Island Savings’ Get a Meal, Give a Meal campaign. (Submitted)

Business notes: Dine & Sip Cowichan raises $10,000 for local food banks

What's going on in the Cowichan Valley business community

The Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce’s Dine & Sip Cowichan has raised $10,000 for local food banks.

This is the second year the chamber has partnered with Island Savings to incorporate a give-back element to the culinary festival.

For every Dine Cowichan meal purchased during the campaign this year, Island Savings donated $5 to local Cowichan-area food banks through their signature cause, The Full Cupboard.

Thanks to substantial partnership support, including funding from Community Futures Cowichan and Tourism Cowichan, the popular event was expanded this year to include 34 restaurants, eateries and specialty food vendors, as well as 12 wineries, breweries, cideries and distilleries.

In the days following the final day of the festival, which ran from March 3-28, participating businesses provided the Chamber with their respective Dine & Sip meal counts, which have totalled well over 3,600, far surpassing the goal of 2,000 and guaranteeing the maximum donation offered up by Island Savings in its Get a Meal, Give a Meal campaign.

“As a financial cooperative, we know the value of a community coming together for a common goal,” said Jason Farrugia, branch manager at Island Savings and volunteer director on the Chamber’s board of directors.

“Through this partnership, we were able to provide over 30,000 meals for local families during a time of great uncertainty. Combine that with being able to support local businesses, and you get a perfect example of the community lifting each other up.”

First-time participant, the Italian Kitchen & Deli at Grove Hall Farm, expressed gratitude for the opportunity to join so many “wonderful local food and beverage establishments” in offering their unique selection of Italian and farm-to-table cuisine.

“We hope some new customers had the chance to taste some of our delicious Italian food,” said co-owner Laura Brizzi.

“Supporting local is especially important in these very trying times. Thank you Cowichan Valley for your support.”


Costa Canna, a partnership headed by Cowichan Tribes, opened its fourth retail cannabis ship in Colwood on April 10.

Costa Canna now has four stores on Vancouver Island, including two in the Cowichan Valley located in the Duncan Mall and at Cowichan Commons, and one that opened three months ago in Saanich.

Company president Phil Floucault said Costa Canna is exploring options to open more cannabis retail stores on the Mainland, but a decision has been made to take a break, regroup and determine how best to navigate an increasingly difficult marketplace.

He said Costa Canna plays by the rules, but many in the market are not and they are not being adequately dealt with by the province.

“We service between 20 and 25 per cent of the market, and the rest goes to the grey market, including those that distribute their product through email and Canada Post,” Floucault said.

“The consumers don’t know much about the product they are receiving from them, including what herbicides and pesticides were used, and there is no enforcement of the rules by the province. It’s quite a challenging time for us.”


Duncan’s Medix EMS office, which opened last March, is now offering a wide range of safety-related courses at its new school, located at 225 Canada Ave.

Medix EMS, which has its main headquarters in Sidney, specializes in providing first aid for events, industrial and commercial first aid services, and supplying first aid kits and supplies to all of Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland.

Lyle Jordan, chief of operations at the Duncan office, said the new school has already had 60 students attend, and they participated in a wide variety of first aid and other safety courses.

They include Red Cross first aid courses, and occupational health and safety courses for industrial work sites.

“Whether you are a project manager or foreman in need of WorkSafe BC certified first aid attendants, or you are hosting an event and would like the best coverage available, Medix EMS is there for you,” he said.

“No matter what your first aid or healthcare needs, Medix is a reliable name that you can count on.”

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As the province urges physical distancing measures aimed at slowing the third wave of COVID-19, Girl Guides of Canada BC has had to cancel door-to-door cookie sales for the second year in a row.

But the organization has announced an exclusive, safe distribution partnership with London Drugs which will see Girl Guide cookies available exclusively at all stores in B.C., as well as online.

The fundraiser, which is the largest source of income for Girl Guides of Canada BC, is set to bring in more than $600,000 through the sale of 120,000 boxes of cookies at London Drugs.

All sales go directly to Girl Guides of Canada to support their ongoing programs that empower girls and young women in the province.

“Girl Guides teach adaptability and preparedness to handle unexpected situations with a sense of confidence and self-assuredness,” said Clint Mahlman, London Drugs president and COO.

“These are the same principles that have been critically important for all of us over the last year. Whether you have close ties to the Girl Guides in your own family or not, by purchasing a box of cookies, you are helping build resiliency and future leaders in your community.”

robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.comLike us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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