DeHart: Touching the lives of local business community

Now that spring is here, Carmelis Goat Cheese Artisan has some new and old cheeses at their goat cheese farm.

My column today is dedicated to a very special person. Sylvia Wesley passed away on March 2. We have been friends of the Wesley/Erickson family for many years and our personal condolences go out to Mr. Wesley, their family and many friends.

How time flies! Guess what everyone?  This month celebrates my 14th year with the Capital News. And, I’m still here! Thanks to all of you, our readers, friends, colleagues and clients for supporting the newspaper, this column and me. My editor, Barry Gerding, and I figured out (give or take) that I have written about some 36,400 people/businesses/events/articles/birthdays combined in the past 14 years. Granted, we did not count them all (ha!) but we took an average, more or less. Your loyalty and continued support and encouragement have made this column a success. Thanks for all the leads, faxes, e-mails, phone calls, letters, Facebook messages, LinkedIn messages, referrals, stops on the street and visits to the Ramada Hotel (where I hang my hat). Keep them coming. I appreciate everything, especially all of you taking me into your confidence each week. I certainly could not have made this great milestone without your help.

Now that spring is here, Carmelis Goat Cheese Artisan, owned and operated by Ofri and Ofer Barmor at 170 Timberline Rd., has some new and old cheeses at their goat cheese farm. New to their line is gouda and among their famous good old stand-by cheeses is the chevry, which is a beautiful, spreadable dreamy and delicious cheese. Carmelis also has a wide variety of soft ripened cheeses, such as brie and camembert. The hard -aged cheeses are very unique and versatile from the new gouda to the goat gruyere, which is a Swiss-style aged cheese. Try their Italian-style cheeses and their one-of-a-kind Goatgonzola which is a spicy, earthy, nutty, creamy blue cheese—that says it all. Their famous goats milk gelato, made from the milk produced by their farm goats, comes in 24 distinct and creamy flavours. If you have never been to the farm or tasted the gelato, it is well worth a visit. Call 250-764-9033;

Long-time Orchard Park Shopping Centre marketing manager Natalie Walstrom has taken on a new job—senior development officer with the Kelowna General Hospital Foundation. Walstrom’s last day at Orchard Park is March 30 and she starts her new job on April 2.

A neighbourhood record shop has opened and it sounds like a neat place to visit. Milkcrate Records and Home of Packinghouse Pie and Coffee is located right beside DunnEnzies Pizza at 1551 Ellis St. The owners of DunnEnzies—Deb Dunnigan and Karyn MacKenzie—have a small piece of the pie, so to speak, with partner/owner Pete Jeffry, so this new venture is sure to be a winner. In addition to carrying thousands of pre-loved vinyl and CD titles, Milkcrate will also carry a large selection of new vinyl and CDs. The business will also support the local music scene by stocking independent releases and featuring live, in-store performances. The owners want their business to be the place where music lovers can meet to share their passion and will focus on special orders as well. They will also be a ticket seller for local, live performances and will carry new and used turntables as well as music related merchandise. The grand opening is on “Record Day,” April 21.

Sandhill Chardonnay 2010 has won a gold medal at the Chardonnay de Monde competition in Burgundy, France. It was the only gold given to a Canadian wine. Red Rooster Reserve 2011 won a bronze medal. There were just under 1,000 entrants from 45 countries. Watch for the wines on the shelves.

Moving back to B.C. is Lisa Stephenson as the new director of corporate and community relations of Prestige Hotels and Resorts as of April 2. Lisa’s husband Dave Stephenson recently received a promotion to president of Sysco Kelowna.

Judy and Tim Foster are the new owners of Excel Spa at 2695 Pandosy St. Previous owner Janinne Cleary is still working in the shop. Excel Spa, in business for 28 years, has undergone extensive renovations in the last six months.  The shop’s experienced stylists and estheticians are trained in the latest trends, treatments and colours to consistently deliver great results and superior customer service. In giving back to the community, Judy and Tim have donated $2,600 of salon products to the Kelowna Gospel Mission. Call 250-763-9655;

Mark Nicholls is the new owners of Okanagan Pizza, a little pizza shop tucked away in an industrial area at 104-3699 Highway 97N. He plans to bring a complete facelift to the old OK Pizza business and replace it with a fresh Okanagan Pizza. Nicholls has been working at adding toppings to the pizzas to give them more flavour and will be altering the menu with more selection and new pizza ideas. He has also evened out their delivery charge, offering a uniform rate to almost everywhere in Kelowna, delivery to Lake Country as well, and free delivery to the UBC Okanagan campus. The great lunch slice deal of three slices and a can of pop or water for $7.14 is still available.  My favourite has always been their “cheesy garlic.” You can now purchase it in a full eight inch size.  I often use it as a side dish, which will be featured that way on the new menu. It’s fabulous. If you are coming back from the airport, or in the Rutland/Reid’s Corner area make sure you drop in and also don’t forget about their delivery service everywhere in Kelowna. Call 250-765-5551;

Jarrett Yamaoka is the new general manager of Keldon Electric & Data Ltd. at 1909 Bredin Rd. Call 250-469-4427.

Points West Audio Visual Ltd., owned by David and Tracey Cochrane, has entered into an agreement with LifeSize Communications, a division of Logitech, to distribute LifeSize HD video communications solutions. This agreement enables Points West Audio Visual Ltd. to offer the award winning LifeSize products in B.C., Yukon and Northwest Territories, delivering to customers a superior quality communications experience in industry-leading price performance solutions. Other products include SMART interactive whiteboards and accessories, NEC projectors, displays and monitors, chief mounts and carts, FrontRow classroom sound systems, Shure microphones, audio visual design and installations and specialized training. Call 250-861-525424;

I’m delighted that Picture Perfect and Perpetual Booms, 339 Bernard Ave., owned by Linda Winnick, is coming on board with well-known artist Alex Fong as sponsor of the Maxine DeHart, United Way-Ramada Hotel Drive-Thru Breakfast on Oct. 4. Fong has been a previous sponsor of the drive-thru. Picture Perfect’s artwork is local, done by local artists and their business also offers custom framing on premise and has for over 30 years. The store features one local artist in their front window each month, and for March it is the work of Fong.  Perpetual Blooms is a place that you will need lots of time to browse. Tracy Regan is the retail sales manager of the store. Call 250-763-6966

Meaghan Williams has been appointed the new executive director of Ballet Kelowna. She has worked as a professional musician for over 15 years, currently playing bass in both the Okanagan and Kamloops Symphony Orchestras. Jamie Maw is the president of Ballet Kelowna.

Sherri Paiement, marketing/communications officer at the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce, has moved on and is now the new executive director for the Canadian Home Builders Association. Rob Voros, of AcuTruss Industries, is the president of the association. The CHBA is hosting the 21st “Real” Home Show from March 30 to April 1 at the Kelowna Curling Club, 551 Recreation Ave. This year, FortisBC is backing CHBACO as a major sponsor. There will be live cooking demos courtesy of Savour Magazine all weekend on the working kitchen main stage and no shortage of booths and products to see. See for more details.

Kelowna’s first speed networking event is similar to the concept of speed dating. It a fun and fantastic way to develop your business and sharpen your networking skills with a large number of business professionals in a short amount of time. It will be held at Cabana Bar & Grille from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on April 4 with seats still available. Tickets are $30 and must be purchased in advance. Don’t forget your business cards. Call Kimberly Timpany, of Tom Harrison Cellular, at 250-215-9884.

Doug Leopp and Andrew Murdoch, from Power 104 and Q103, have been nominated for a RAP Award for their promo titled Rock Vault Roger. The RAP Awards is an International advertising competition and they will be competing against commercials from as far away as Australia. Winners will be announced April 1 in Texas.

The first Downtown Kelowna Small Shop Saturday takes place March 31, intended to recognize that small businesses play a vital role in Kelowna’s local economy, not to mention provide jobs and preserve the downtown neighbourhood. There will be three Downtown Kelowna Small Shop Saturdays throughout 2012 to promote shopping local, supporting small businesses and the local economy, as well as raise awareness for downtown. All participating shops will be offering some type of special offers for shoppers. It will be a great shopping day downtown! Call 250-862-3515 for more info.

Birthdays of the week: Happy 70th Pat Gerlitsch (March 17); Brenda Davis, Ramada Hotel (March 19); happy 65th Joe Iafrancesco (March 19); Steve McGillis (March 21); Ivy Cutting (March 23); Jim Ross (March 23); Natalie Frappe, Mickie’s Pub (March 23); Pat Moxness (March 26); Wendy

Giammartino, Via

Veneto (March 28); Hugh Cairns (March 28); Liz Campbell (March 28); Mike Docherty (March 28).

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