Straight from Dehart

Business rides the resurgence of vinyl records

This week’s column is dedicated to former Kelowna mayor Jim Stuart. The DeHarts and Stuarts have been friends for many years. I personally have enjoyed Jim’s wit, good humour and mostly his good advice. Condolences to Anna, his entire family and many friends.

Vinyl is back in vogue. Underground Music is a unique store at 4- 1331 Ellis St. in Kelowna that provides a trip into the past, a vinyl record store shopping experience.

Owned and operated by the father and son team of Ed and Aaron Martens, Underground Music has the largest selection of new and used vintage vinyl and CDs in the Okanagan. The store also sells music DVDs, collectibles, posters, stickers and patches, 45s, 12-inch singles and vinyl accessories. It’s a truly unique shopping experience with new titles arriving every week.

Well known Kelowna locals Wendy and Gabriele Giammartino, owners of Via Veneto Hair Design and Esthetics at 102- 3001 Tutt St., have retired. The Giammartinos owned and operated hair salons for 43 years abroad and in Canada, and worked in Kelowna for the last 30 years. Wendy and Gabriele had planned on driving across Canada when they retired, but that plan has been put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic travel restrictions.

The restaurant is closed to customers inside, but Kelly O’Bryan’s Neighbourhood Restaurant, 262 Bernard Ave. in downtown Kelowna, is offering 40 per cent off all to-go orders for frontline healthcare workers. It’s their way of trying to help out during this difficult time.

Brett Kryskow, formerly with the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce, has started a new job with the CIBC as business development manager – business banking. Brett is also president of the Okanagan Sun football team.

After 12 years with Starbright Children’s Development Centre as administration coordinator, Irma Lux retired March 31. When I asked her what she is going to do in retirement, Irma said refurbish her travel trailer for the future travels and do a lot of spring cleaning. At this time, she wants to enjoy keeping in touch with friends and neighbours from a safe social distance.

In a renowned field of the world’s best distilleries, representing more than 30 countries, Okanagan Spirits was honoured with 14 medals at the 2020 World Spirits Awards in Austria. The distillery’s medal count included nine gold, four silver and one bronze. Okanagan Spirits was also awarded one extremely rare double-gold medal for their 100 per cent local craft whiskies and a WSA World Class Distillery designation. Tyler Dyck is the CEO and director of operations for Okanagan Spirits and also president of the Craft Distiller’s Guild of B.C.

Local businessman and philanthropist Tom Budd is giving residents an opportunity to win free tuition toward a health care career at Okanagan College. Along with Virgin Radio and Sun FM, Tom is supporting the contest Wishin’ for Tuition until April 12. Residents can win up to $5,000 toward their tuition to one of any 10 health sciences programs at Okanagan College. The prize money is coming from a new fund that Tom set up to honour his two sons, Payton and Dillon, who both lost their lives to suicide. For contest rules check out the websites at either Virgin Radio Kelowna, Sun FM Vernon or Sun FM Penticton.

Flowers lift spirits. Easter is just around the corner and no doubt it will be celebrated differently this year. Earthly Creations, 2630 Pandosy St. in Kelowna, is open for floral deliver and flower take-out (pick up outside store) for Easter bouquets, birthdays, shut-ins or just because. Call 250-861-5825.

In last week’s column I wrote about Hypo-guard. Due to the pandemic, supply chains for bottles have diminished and they will only be able to offer their one and five gallon product sizes of the disinfectant. Get more info online at

Due to the limited service of Boston Pizza, the downtown Kelowna location, 545 Harvey Ave., now offers curbside takeout and delivery. The delivery radius has now been expanded to Wilden, Upper Mission and Kettle Valley. Call 250-861-5883.

Birthdays of the week

Happy 50th Jay Blackford (Mar. 25); happy 75th Diane Essler (Apr. 4); happy 80th Ron Buddo (Apr. 5); Karen Hill (April 1); Elaine Ophus (Apr. 1); Carson Chan (Apr. 1); Dr. David Craig (Apr. 1); Cynthia Waldek-Peters (Apr. 2); Amber Firkins (Apr. 3); Rick Methot (Apr. 3); Ken Bessason (Apr. 3); Lyal Shoemaker (Apr. 4); Dan Cloutier (Apr. 5); Kevin Flood (Apr. 7); in memory of Mike Docherty who would have turned 75 on March 28.

Maxine DeHart is a Kelowna city councillor and local hotelier. Phone her at 250-979-4546 or 250-862-7662; email; website

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