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Beloved Kelowna deli has new owners

Founders and former owners of Pearson’s European Deli, Paul and Shan Pearson, felt it was time to take a step back

It’s a well-known eatery in Kelowna but if you’ve been there lately, you may have seen that Pearson’s European Deli has a couple of new faces.

After 30 years, founders and former owners Paul and Shan Pearson felt it was time for them to step back and let someone else take the reins at the deli, so they decided to put it on sale.

One of the Pearsons’ sons, Michael, got to talking to one of his neighbours and suggested he should buy the deli.

After taking some time to think about it, Landon and Stephanie Schoales finally talked to the Pearsons, who happened to live four doors down from Stephanie’s parents.

“It’s a small world, especially here in Kelowna,” Landon said.

“We sat down and had an amazing conversation with them.”

Stephanie said it felt just right.

“We instantly connected in so many ways. Our lives parallel in so many ways, moving from Ontario to here, two small boys, both wanting to take that next step for our families, and it all just seemed so right,” Stephanie said.

“Everything felt aligned and special and it just went on from there.”

The Schoales took over the deli on Dec. 1 and have been operating it since then. They decided to keep the name and the location and much of everything else, including the staff members, which means the deli is still the exact same one that locals already love.

“Our future plan is to continue what the Pearsons have been doing for the past 30 years because it works,” Landon said.

“There’s no reason to change the world here, except for little tweaks here and there on the menu to keep things fresh for the people walking through the door.”

Stephanie, a Red Seal chef who has appeared on the T.V. show ‘Chopped’ and represented Canada in international competitions, said she is slowly introducing new items to the menu. She said the feedback so far has been positive. She added that another change they want to make is to work with more local vendors and feature local ingredients.

The Pearsons are now enjoying their retirement. Shan said they’re still trying to figure it out.

“It’s a little weird. We’re having a little bit of trouble filling our days but we’re enjoying it,” she said.

“We’re just really happy to see them doing as well as they are, especially with the pandemic. Hopefully, all of our regular customers will come and see them and feel just as cozy as they did with us.”

The Pearsons said the Schoales aren’t alone in this new adventure: they may not work at the deli anymore but if the new owners need a hand, they’ll be close by.

READ: Kelowna restaurant ‘Salt & Brick’ to be featured on Food Network

Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
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Twila Amato

About the Author: Twila Amato

Twila was a radio reporter based in northern Vancouver Island. She won the Jack Webster Student Journalism Award while at BCIT and received a degree in ancient and modern Greek history from McGill University.
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