DeHart: A little taste of Italy in Kelowna

Dragon's Den returns to the Okanagan in search of great entrepreneurial ideas.

Ferrara’s Italian Market owner Frank Ferrara and store staff member Chelsea Edwards.

Ferrara’s Italian Market owner Frank Ferrara and store staff member Chelsea Edwards.

Ferrara’s Italian Market has opened at 5-1790 KLO Rd. in Kelowna. Owned and operated by Frank Ferrara, who relocated here from Calgary and is originally from the U.S., the market has a large selection of Italian meats, deli items, cheeses, homemade Italian sausage, olives, condiments and grass-fed beef. Ferrara’s also offers homemade entrees and Italian subs for only $3.99. Also look for a great selection of Italian imported pastas, olive oils, coffee, cookies and chocolate, along with a frozen food section and a small selection of produce. The market and staff are both warm and inviting, definitely “a little piece of Italy.” Open seven days a week.

Peter and Juily Ma are the new owners of the Brown Bag Bistro & Catering, 100-1854 Kirschner Rd. The quaint restaurant is open Monday to Friday (6 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.) and Saturdays (8 a.m. to1 p.m.) offering a full breakfast menu, including pancakes and French toast, sandwiches, salads, soups, hot lunches and burgers. If you like Wonton soup, the bistro specializes in making homemade Wonton every Saturday. Give them a try, if even just for the great soup on Saturdays. They also offer a full out-side catering menu of sandwiches, wraps and hot lunches. Call 250-762-7178.

Tommy Gun’s Original Barbershop has been open since October at 202B-1500 Banks Rd. in Kelowna. This franchise has taken a traditional male barbershop concept and modernized it, making it new and exciting. The design is modern/masculine with brick, steel and red leather. The barbershop has a few perks such as iPads in the waiting room area, big screen TVs and arcade style games while you wait for your turn in the queue to get a haircut. Speaking of the queue, Tommy Gunn’s has a no-appointment system. You go in and put your name into their self-check-in system and it automatically places your name in the appointment lineup. If you don’t want to hang around, you can leave to go for a walk or shop. The staff will text you when it’s your turn. Other services include a hot shave treatment with the straight razor, with a combination of hot towels, facial massage and moisturizing lotion making for one of the best facial cleanups a guy can enjoy.  Bianca March is the shop manager. Call 250-763-2772; online at

Proforma Inspired Promotions has opened in Kelowna with franchisee owner/operator Kristy Carruthers at the helm. Proforma is a one source shop with infinite resources, offering brand and graphic communications through promotional solutions. Services and items offered are promotional products and giveaways; extensive printing services (flyers, stationary, signs); business documents; logo apparel and uniforms; E-commerce solutions and direct mail; multimedia services, trade show and meeting resources and corporate, special event and holiday gifts. This is the first Proforma in the valley, with the next closest franchise based in Abbotsford. The company has received numerous awards and is backed by a large support centre. Call 250-868-8662;

Bill Summer, a long-time member of the Okanagan Harley Owners Group, was elected as the new director.

Congratulations to Tyler Krenz and Cooper Harrison, of Grant Thornton LLP at 200-1633 Ellis St., on passing the Uniform Evaluation (UFE), a rigorous professional exam for qualifying chartered accountants.

Caron Business Solutions, a provider of Sage ERP solutions for small to mid-sized businesses, has opened in Kelowna. The company’s primary goal is to maximize real return for the investments made by their clients in their software and with their expertise. Caron has extensive experience implementing ERP software solutions for more than 15 years, enabling the firm to successfully automate the various business processes of businesses around the world. Caron has expertise in designing and implementing solutions that meet the multi-jurisdictional, multi-currency, multi-language and multi-company requirements of today’s global businesses. Call Krissy Eide at 778-484-8148, email or check out the website

Time to polish up those business pitches as the Dragon’s Den producers are hitting the road to find the new brightest business ideas in Canada. The producers plan to visit more than 30 cities in search of enthusiastic entrepreneurs hoping for a chance to enter the ‘den’ and make a deal with a ‘dragon.’ They will be in Kelowna on Feb. 19 at Okanagan College. For more info and details visit I had the opportunity to meet Kevin O’Leary this past fall and guess what? He is not at all like he portrays himself on the Dragon’s Den show. His TV persona is much different. We had a great chat and along with being extremely interested in our community, he was very pleasant and gracious—not at all the pompous character you see on the show.

Points West Audio Visual, located at 8-1905 Evergreen Crt. in Kelowna, owned and operated by Tracy Cochrane, has entered a new partnership with pinta-acoustic Inc., the original manufacturer of SONEX acoustic panels for the broadcast and recording industries. Pinta-acoustic has now introduced many new ceiling and wall acoustic solutions. The company manufactures a broad range of attractive ceiling tiles and wall panels and other acoustical materials for commercial and industrial applications such as metal ceiling tiles, wood ceiling tiles, baffles, beautiful ceiling clouds and awnings, linear absorbers and foam and composite material and ceiling grid products. Flexible and resilient, pinta-acoustic products offer excellent sound absorption with the highest noise reduction co-efficient on the market. For an appointment with their acoustics consultant call 250-861-5424;

The Kelowna Women’s Shelter Thrift Store has moved to 6-368 Industrial Ave. (off  Ellis Street, across from Ok Builders), open from Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Now with double the space, the thrift store is still looking for help with the following wish list items—wheel chair access ramp (curb cut outside); light fixture over change rooms; bi-fold or sliding doors for behind the cashier area; flooring for upper and lower levels; small shopping carts; two full length mirrors; construction of shelving for display shelves such as cube shelving units; display units for jewelry, bookcase and metal wall racks. The new store location  could also use a professional plumber to remove a urinal and install a laundry tub. If you can help, call Lynda or Donna at 250-762-8561, or email store manager Karen Leboe at

Accelerate Okanagan has announced that Metabridge, one of Canada’s leading technology events, is the newest addition to the AO brand. Metabridge provides top Canadian startup companies with direct access to key partners from the Silicon Valley and other technology centers across North America. Through its unique executive retreat format, Metabridge provides incredible networking, connecting and relationship building opportunities with global technology leaders through pitch competitions, VIP networking events and some of the Okanagan’s finest leisure activities. Steve Wandler is the founder of Metabridge.

Telus has been included on the 2014 Global 100 Index of most sustainable corporations in the world. Announced at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Telus has placed 70th and is one of the only 13 Canadian companies to make the list. This is the fourth time Telushas been included on this prestigious index of corporations that excel in social, environmental and economic sustainability.

Two UBC Okanagan researchers will be recognized for their efforts to reduce the flow of materials destined for landfills. Associate professor Kasun Hewage and assistant professor Shahria Alam, with the university’s school of engineering, have been named recipients of the Moldovan Memorial Award to honour their dedication and efforts to bring green ideas to their classrooms and research project.

UBC’s Board of Governors has also approved the appointment of Cynthia Mathieson as the new UBCO provost and vice-principal academic, responsible for leadership and direction in the areas of planning, policy development and resource management.

The launch of Ute Freitag’s new book It Is What It Is, takes place Wednesday, Feb.19, at 6:30 p.m., at Bottega Farm Inn, 4485 Sallows Rd. in East Kelowna. You can meet Freitag, enjoy light refreshments, see the artwork of Francine Gravel (Francine’s artwork is also featured in the book) and enjoy entertainment and music by Alexandra Babbel, Angela Dereume and Patrick Keeney. Books will be available (cash or cheque only) at the event and proceeds are benefiting the Central Okanagan Hospice Association. Come and enjoy meeting and hearing Freitag’s story about the book, understanding hospice care and learning to live until you die. I have a copy of the book and it is truly wonderful. The book is available at Mosaic Books or at Freitag is also available to speak as a hospice volunteer and author at book clubs or any other events that deal with end-of-life issues. Call her at 250-717-3653 or email

The Investors Walk for Memories Alzheimer’s event held Jan. 26 at Kelowna Senior Secondary raised a whopping $25,000. It was a great event and a great accomplishment by all the committee members and volunteers. I was truly honoured to be involved with his fantastic organization.

Heritage Week is Feb. 17 to 23. There are many events taking place around the city including a kick-off breakfast with guest speaker Ann Bostock on Monday, Feb. 17.  The 32nd AGM of the Central Okanagan Heritage Society is Thursday, Feb. 20, at the Benvoulin Heritage Church, 7 p.m.  For more info on the events go to or call 250-861-7188.

Birthdays of the week:  Gary Kreller (Feb. 15); Rod Warnock, my brother-in-law in Blind Bay (Feb. 17); Norma Tissington (Feb. 17); Murli Pendharkar (Feb. 19); Don Favell, L&D Meats (Feb. 19); Brad Campeau (Feb. 19).

Kelowna Capital News