Aaron Eskola, owner of the Under Dawgz mobile hot dog business, has recently set up full time in the parking lot of the Home Hardware store on Beverly Street. (Robert Barron/Citizen)

Business notes: Under Dawgz hot dog cart set up at Home Hardware

Cart owner looking to set up a franchise

The mobile hot dog business Under Dawgz has found a new home in the main parking lot of Home Hardware on Beverly Street.

Owner Aaron Eskola said he acquired a business licence to operate from the Municipality of North Cowichan and the owner of Home Hardware invited him to set up his hot dog cart in his parking lot.

Eskola was denied a business licence from the City of Duncan earlier this year because bylaws to cover food carts are not yet in place in the city.

Under Dawgz will be in operation in Home Hardware’s parking lot from Monday to Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and near the beach on Fuller Lake on the weekends during the summer.

Eskola said he still has plans to expand his hot dog business on the Island and eventually start franchises that will be run by people with disabilities.

“I’m currently preparing to set up another hot dog cart in Nanaimo, near the China Steps in the downtown core,” he said.

Juno-nominated songwriter joins Forte School of Music

Scotty Hills will soon be the newest team member at Duncan’s Forte School of Music, located at 122 Station St.

Hills will be joining music teachers and company owners Vicky Gamble, Christina Hoffman, and Stephanie James-Robinson at their music studio in July.

Hills is a Juno-nominated songwriter and producer, and has won a Western Canadian Music Award.

He is currently completing a bachelor of music in jazz, as well as another in education, at Vancouver Island University.

“Scotty has a passion for teaching theory in a method that is highly personalized to each student, in a fun way,” said Gamble.

“He teaches guitar, vocals, bass, and recording/production techniques. We’re very excited that he’s joining our team.”

The Forte School of Music recently won the Business of the Year award from the Downtown Duncan Business Improvement Area at its annual awards ceremony.

Cookie company takes bite of solar power for food cart

The food cart belonging to Duncan’s Bite Me Cookie Company has gotten a bit greener.

Thanks to the folks at WE GO SOLAR, company owner Liz Schellhorn was able to take her business to a better environmental place as the canopy on top of the cart has been taken off and a large solar panel put in its place.

The new solar-powered cart was unveiled at the Duncan Farmers Market on May 5.

“I am more than happy with the initial test run,” Schellhorn said.

“The customers were thrilled to get their treats powered in part by the sun. It created quite the buzz at the market.”

Schellhorn’s cart can be found at the Duncan Farmer’s Market from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays, at Cedar Market from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sundays, and at other events around the Island when possible.

People can also expect to see Bite Me Frozen Yogurt this year alongside The Bite Me Cookie Company cart on sunny days.

Longtime Cowichan Valley realtor calls it a career

Debbie Meiner, an award-winning realtor in the Valley, has retired after more than 30 years in the real estate business.

Meiner, who is retiring to look after her ailing husband full time, most recently owned and operated Debbie Meiner Real Estate along with her son Darren.

Darren has taken over the running of the company, which is now called Darren Meiner Real Estate.

Debbie said the industry has changed considerably since she began.

“A the time, I would go to my office and be given a three-ring binder that held the available listings and we drove around with our clients,” she said.

“Today, with all the new technology, you can sign contracts with people all over the world. Darren has a wealth of industry knowledge and I wish him well with the business. I had a wonderful three decades in real estate and I have many great memories. Most of my friends were former clients.”


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