The Xchange Tapas Bar and Lunch has opened at 200-1615 Dixon Rd. in the Landmark 6 tower.
Owned by Mark van Hees, Joe Schlachter, Cliff Harvey and Jay Blackford, The Xchange is going to be the place in Kelowna to be at lunch or after work from 4 p.m. on. Sharing plates (true tapas style) rotating craft beers on tap, wine, sangria, unique cocktails and a lounge feeling is exactly what goes hand in hand. The design concept by Christine DeLong, of Begrand Fast Design Inc., is unique and the atmosphere is fun and lively, with a large bar in the center of the restaurant that surrounds the kitchen and a private mezzanine. The design takes advantage of the existing architecture utilizing a combination of refined industrial and casual contemporary furnishings and accessories. The name Xchange comes from the concept of exchanging ideas and conversation with food, so the idea is to encourage people to socialize and share. Chef Graydon Gliege has put together distinctive tapas items for $7, $8 and $9, along with mix and mingle and socialize and share items and entrees. Some of the items we tried were ricotta cheese gnocchi, fried polenta and mushrooms, smoked bacon cassoulet, beet and goat cheese salad, truffle cheese fondue, mussels and papas fritas. All were exceptional and not the usual run of mill tapas items. Extra underground lit parking is available cross from the restaurant. Xchange is co-managed by Dustin Morris and Megan Fox. Open Monday to Friday for lunch 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Monday to Saturday dinner/tapas 4 p.m. till late. Call 250-469-9690; online xchangekelowna.com.
Kudos to the Ramada Hotel & Conference Centre staff, winners of the 2016 Canadian Blood Services Hospitality Challenge. Also kudos to Tourism Kelowna, who came in second with a great amount of support. Further huge accolades to Manteo Resort, Cactus Club Banks, Delta Grand and Fairfield Marriott for their participation in the challenge. Book online at blood.ca or download the free GiveBlood App. For group bookings call Gayle Voyer at 250-717-5244.
The Royal Bank has opened a new branch in Lake Country at 9950 Main St. This new branch will service RBC clients from Lake Country who otherwise had to always drive to branches in Kelowna or Vernon. This new full service branch offers an ATM, teller banking, financial planning, mortgages, loans, financial planning, business banking and investments. The branch is already open but will have an official opening on March 30 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in conjunction with the Lake Country Chamber of Commerce. Candice Mellus is the new Lake Country branch manager, 250-766-7060. Karen Borring-Olsen is the regional vice-president, Okanagan RBC Royal Bank, and Pam Somers is the vice-president, Okanagan Region, commercial financial services.
T-Bone’s Fresh Meat Market and Quality Greens Farm Market are constructing new stores in the Mission area of Kelowna at 4624 Lakeshore Dr. (corner of Lakeshore and Collette). The two businesses will share a building, but will operate independently of one another. The new building, under development by Worman Commercial, will boast 4,000 sq. ft. for Quality Greens and 2,000 sq. ft. for T-Bone’s. Store openings are scheduled for the fall of 2016. The T-Bone’s franchise was opened here in 2004 by Carmen and Brian Ulveland, while the Quality Greens was started in 1995 by Lisa Taylor and Chris Holmes.
The local SYNLawn Okanagan franchise has new dual owners, the partnership of Chris Berry and Chris Tietze. Last August, SYNLawn suffered a heartfelt loss when owner Rene Bourgault died in a whitewater rafting accident. Under his leadership, the company was known for its focus on customers and attention for quality. Located at 948 McCurdy Rd. in Rutland, the appeal of SYNLawn synthetic landscape grass is widely recognized, from a putting green in an award winning back yard to the rooftop installation at the new Okanagan Centre for Innovation. SYNLawn teamed up on a city project and installed artificial grasses along Gordon Drive and Bernard Avenue medians and in East Kelowna SYNLawn was central to the beautification of the Westside Wine Trail, saving costs for maintenance, time, equipment and of course water.
Bad Duck Caramel, owned by husband and wife team Greg Perry and Carmen Ditzler, is an artisan caramel company from the Kootenays whose product is now available at Urban Fare in Kelowna. It is sold in 80g packages and is a perfect sweet treat. The recipe is from Carmen’s grandmother Gertie and has only four ingredients—butter, sugar, cane syrup and milk. It requires two hours of stirring, which makes it old-fashioned and hand-made. It has some sea salt and canola oil as a processing aid. Bad Duck has three kinds of caramel—Traditional, Memories of Pep Chew (peppermint caramel with dark chocolate) and Salted (garnished with Fleau de Sel) all of which are stirred, poured and packaged by hand in their commercial kitchen. I enjoyed them all. Pep Chew brought back memories of the original pep chew candy bars that we bought as kids. Bad Duck is cooked to a precise temperature to be able to “just quack it” inviting one to crack the bar of caramel on a table and break it into random pieces. This works best after it is refrigerated. www.badduckcaramel.com or on Facebook at Bad Duck Caramel. You are sure to “like” it.
Scott Dedels has joined the team at Capri Insurance in their benefits division as a benefits, wokring out of the office location at 100-1500 Hardy St. Dedels was formerly with Great-West Life, where he was the regional sales director for Western Canada.he has relocated here from Edmonton. Call 250-860-1213/
Congratulations to Central Okanagan West regional director Wayne Carson for receiving an award from the Lifesavings Society of BC & Yukon for his watercraft rescue of two girls in Okanagan Lake last August.
Nutri-Lawn Okanagan South franchisees Chad and Kelly Scott have won the company’s prestigious Franchise of the Year Award. The Scotts have had the franchise since 2013 but have been involved with Nutri-Lawn in the valley since 1996. To win this honour, all the elements of excellence must come together in all the areas of customer service, growth, business acumen, team leadership and brand advocacy. While 2015 was an exceptional year, 2014 was also a banner year for the Scotts as they also won the same award. Nutri-Lawn has been a pioneer and industry leader for innovating ecology friendly lawn care in maintenance services and are committed to supporting community health through the Nutri-Lawn re-nourish program. See more information online nutrilawn.com or call 250-462-1220.
Maple Reinders was again named one of Canada’s best managed companies for excellence in business performance by Deloitte. Established in 1993, the program is one of the country’s leading business award programs recognizing Canadian-owned and managed companies. Maple Reinders have become leaders in both ICI (Industrial, commercial, and institutional) and environmental construction in Canada. The Canadian Construction Association (CCA) also awarded one of Maple Reinders design-build projects with the Environmental Achievement Award for the Sechelt Water Resource Centre. The technology came from Europe. Bodo Papke is the division manager, located at 225 Lougheed Rd. in Kelowna. Call 250-765-8892; online maple.ca.
Happy 60th anniversary Wren and Brenda Torgerson (March 17).
Hosted by the Kelowna Palette Club, Simply Art 2016 Art Show & Sale at Bottega Farm Inn and Studio, 4485 Sallows Rd., will feature a large selection of original paintings by local artists. The event has a raffle draw for original paints with proceeds to the United Way. Tickets are $5 with a 1/500 chance to win. The winner will choose the painting of their choice from 15 original paintings, each valued at $500 with all the art on display at the show. After the winner has selected their painting, the remaining paintings in the raffle selection are available for purchase. The participating artists are Pamela Blaskovich, Lorraine Ballard, Marilynn Bury, Eva Eshpeter, Sandy Henderson, Jim Laing, Gary Langrish, Georgette Martin, Diana Palmer, Harjit Sahoto, Mairead Sikkes, Norma Thomas, Carol Ursel, Isabel Wilson, Wilf Yung and Cecile Zylyk. The Opening Gala is Saturday, April 30, 7 to 9 p.m. and show hours are April 30, 1 to 9 p.m., and May 1, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call Sandy Henderson at 250-863-5269 for more information; online kelownapaletteclub.com.
Last week, Keenan Hall, of the Kelowna Golf and Country Club, competed against 22 players in the PGA playability test at the Vancouver Riverway Golf Course. Hall came out on top with a five shot lead to win the tournament and was named #1. Only two competitors win a CPGA Pro Am Card and Keenan had no problem with having the game of his life thus earning the title of “Pro.”
Happy 70th anniversary Anne and Armand Charles (March 19).
Hudson’s Bay Giving Day is Thursday, March 24. Tickets are only $5 each with 100 per cent of ticket sales donated to charity. On this day you will receive 20 per cent off with a Hudson’s Bay credit card (some exclusions apply) and save 10 per cent off in cosmetics and fragrances. All the cosmetics and fragrance counters have specials and services with appointments that day. You can also enter to win hourly door prizes and a $5,000 shopping spree also receiving a passport for a chance to win more prizes.
Every Wednesday from 2 to 4 p.m., The Eldorado hosts a Heritage Tea. The tea includes a fine selection of loose leaf tea, sandwiches and house-made sweet treats. $25 per person with reservations required at 250-763-7500. On March 19, the hotel will host a seasonal job hiring fair from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at 500 Cook Rd. Jobs needing to be filled are for food and beverage servers, room attendants, janitorial, marina attendants, front desk agents, bartenders, night audit agents, cooks and valet/bell persons.
The Easter Food Sale Day is Saturday, March 19, at the Ukrainian Catholic Church, 1091 Coronation Ave., in Kelowna. There will be a huge selection of baking along with perogies, borsch, sausage and cabbage rolls.
March 22 marks the 50th anniversary of the Kelowna Canadian Italian Club’s signing of its constitution. A celebration event is planned for Oct. 14 and 15 of this year and a 50th anniversary committee has been formed. Stay tuned for further information.
Birthdays of the week: Happy 70th Kent Chappell, Gallagher’s (March 5); Toni Vos (March 16); Bruce Wilson (March 18); Chris Mis (March 18); Perry Mack (March 18); Ian MacDonald (March 19); Bonnie Donovan (March 20); Frank Singer (March 21); Jim Ross (March 23); in memory of Dilys Singer, Frank’s wife (March 21); in memory of Roger Watts (March 10).
Maxine DeHart is a Kelowna hotelier. Phone 250-979-4546, 250-862,7662 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .