So Sweet’s Sam Gebhart (supervisor) and Emily Sali. -Image: Contributed

So Sweet’s Sam Gebhart (supervisor) and Emily Sali. -Image: Contributed

So Sweet: not your ordinary candy store

Maxine DeHart tells us what’s so sweet this week

So Sweet has opened two locations in Kelowna; one at 287B Bernard Avenue and the second location in the Dilworth Centre (formerly Sticky’s Candy). So Sweet is owned by Rene Carloni of Penticton, where the first So Sweet was born. So Sweet is not your ordinary candy store or your grama’s gift store. It offers tons of candy in bulk barrels, including 200 different gummies, sours, salt water taffy and licorice. They also sell U.K. chocolates, Dutch black licorice, Japanese candy and lots or wrapped candy. Along with candy, So Sweet offers novelties, toys and games including gift bags, hard to find sodas, a small bridal section, sarcastic signs, mugs, napkins and a huge selection of crazy funky socks. You definitely need time to browse in this shop. Keep an eye out for their street team giving out free goodies. Sam Gebhart is the supervisor of the downtown So Sweet.

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Congrats to Kelowna company PRE Labs Inc. on receiving a $210,000 government contract for their innovative modular body armour plate system. It will be tested by Defense Research and Development Canada and used by the Canadian Armed Forces, policing and security personnel across government, defense and security industries. Brad Field is the CEO of PRE Lab Inc.

United Commercial Travellers/Associated Commercial Kelowna West Council #1003 (UCT/ACT) has confirmed their support of BrainTrust Canada’s Annual Helmut Safety Program for an additional three years. Kelowna West Council will commit $5,000 per year for bike helmets for youth in the Central Okanagan who would otherwise be unable to afford them. The program will be called BrainTrust Canada UCT/ACT Kelowna West Council #1003 “Lyn Preece” Helmet Safety Program as a legacy in memory of Linda Preece who was very passionate for the protection from brain injury and in seeing that this project came to fruition. Lyn served for over 20 years as a director and committee chair within ACT/UCT Kelowna West Council #1003. This small club has donated over $1,000,000 to various charities over the years and this year a total of $20,000 to 16 different charities.

Well-known local guy Alex Draper, formerly of the West Kelowna Warriors has accepted the positon of Director of Business Operations for the Kelowna Chiefs Hockey Club. Alex is going back to his roots as he played minor hockey in Rutland as well as graduating from RSS and living his entire life in Rutland. To be able to give back to the community he lives in, he feels is an honour and is planning on bringing a much stronger presence to the community with the Chiefs players wanting to meet all their fans, young and old. Alex formerly worked for Canada Safeway for 30 years and then started his own company, Shutout Sports Collectibles. The Chiefs home opener is Friday, Sept. 7. Call 250-575-2400 or;

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Even with all the scaffolding up, MacDermott’s Mens Wear on Bernard in the Towne Centre Mall is definitely open for business. The mall is re-branding and renovating and so the scaffolding was down for a short time, but probably will be up again soon. MacDermott’s suffered a break-in as it was hard to see the store, but they are back on track and thankful to everyone for their care and concern. They even had a visit from Nicolas Cage as he needed a suit for the movie “A Score to Settle” and then returned again to the store to shop. Stop in and see MacDermott’s new John Varvatos Shop as it’s something right out of New York.

An adventurous B.C. pilot who uses his wanderlust to raise money for non-profit groups is the new chair of the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association (COPA). Kelowna local Dave McElroy was elected chair on June 23 in New Brunswick at the National Convention, the first ever COPA Chair from B.C. It is also the first time that a new director was elected Chair as all past chairs have served one or more terms as director. Dave is a retired forest industry executive and is president of the Kelowna Flying Club. His goal for the upcoming year is to substantially increase membership in the organization. Recently Dave, along with Russ Airey from Windsor and Harold Fast from Saskatchewan circumnavigated the continent in January and February raising more than $500,000 for Hope Air.

Lavish Body Products owned by Holly Dufour has opened at 433 Highway 33 West in Rutland. Lavish is an eco-friendly company as they recycle, reuse and refill. They handcraft all batches of their clean, natural and local products with some harvested in the mountains and even in their own garden. Open Tuesday to Saturday. Call 250-878-7729

Haven Tattoo has also opened in Rutland at 166 Asher Road for custom tattooing with Benny Hannya and Jessie Beans. annya and Jessie Beans.

The Uptown Rutland Business Association Business After Hours is Wednesday, Aug. 1 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. hosted by Napa Autopro at 160 Hwy 33. The Dosa Crepe’s food truck will be on hand.

RELATED: Alexa’s Team marks 10th anniversary

It has been 10 years since four-year old Alexa Middelaer was killed by an impaired driver in Delta, B.C. marking ten years of hard work by Alexa’s Team. Alexa’s Team was formed in 2008 in her name as an anti-impaired driving program to recognize dedicated police officers in B.C. who are committed to reducing the number of drivers on the road affected by alcohol or drugs. The team has grown from 26 members to 2,400 new and returning RCMP and Municipal police officers in B.C. The RID 911 program is an initiative that encourages the public to call 911 to report suspected impaired drivers. RCMP officers in Kelowna recognized for their efforts by joining last year’s Alexa’s Team were responsible for removing a combined total of 345 impaired drivers from local roadways. In 2017 Alexa’s Team Regional All-Star Top Cop and member of the Kelowna RCMP Municipal Traffic Section, Cst. Bradley Smith removed 91 impaired drivers from Kelowna roadways. Cst. Greg Barnard received the International Daughters of the Empire Community (IODE) Service Award earlier this year.

The finish line

Congratulations to Cliff Serwa on completing 160km in 5 hours, 57 minutes and 10 seconds in the Granfondo Axel Merckx Okanagan Bike Race. It was Cliff’s personal best since 2015. King of the Hill Jersey 2016, 2017 and again in 2018 in the age group 80 plus years. He placed 473 out of 828 male participants in the Granfondo.

This year, Summerhill Pyramid Winery presents live music every Tuesday in the Bistro from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. featuring local musicians. New releases this year are the 2013 Spadefoot Toad Syrah and 2016 Baco Noir. Summerhill was the recipient of a Gold Medal by Wine Align for their 2018 Ehrenfelser Icewine at the 2018 National Wine Awards of Canada. Summerhill also has the first virtual wine shop. If you have a pair of Virtual Reality Goggles, you will be able to transport yourself into their wine shop, bistro or beautiful Okanagan view from anywhere in the world. Use your phone or laptop to view the tour on their website. Once in the online tour, click the glasses which are located on the bottom right-hand corner of your screen. Follow the instructions given and enjoy exploring.


Congratulations to Rod MacKay who aced his first hole-in-one 155 yards, hole #13 at Kelowna Springs Golf Club.

The 3rd Annual Interior Savings Sunrise Rotary RibFest has a new summer date of Aug. 24 to 26 in City Park from noon to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday and noon to 7 p.m. Sunday. This year there will be five ribbers as well as a full range of other food experiences. There will be a kids zone and family day on Sunday with the first 500 families receiving a goodie bag. Live talent will be present throughout the weekend with headliners The Johnny McCuaig Band, Melissa Livingstone and Cover2Cover. The main beneficiary this year is JoeAnna’s House. If you would like to volunteer sign up at or check out for additional details.

The Royal Canadian Legion #26 is hosting Elvis Elite with Canadian Tribute Champion Steve Elliott on Saturday, July 28 with dinner at 6:30 p.m. and show at 8 p.m. Call 250-762-4117 for advance tickets.

Birthdays of the week

Roy Dragica (July 22); Rob Rosco (July 24); Kevin Rothwell (July 26); Jenifer Schell (July 26); Tom Light (July 27); Vince Voyer (July 27); Iris Bodnar (July 28); Dennis Derer (July 28); Larry Gray (July 28); Betty Cleland (July 28); Gayle Stevenson (July 28); Gerry Geen (July 29); Stuart Klassen (July 30); Shauna Burnell (July 30); Al Huva (July 31); Mark Fredrickson (July 31); Ben Stewart (July 31).

Maxine DeHart is a Kelowna City Councillor and local hotelier. Phone her at 250-979-4546 or 250-862-7662; fax 250-860-3173, E-mail

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