Willows Park Grocery, Oak Bay’s longest-running business, has new owners.

Big Brother runner-up, Karen Singbeil, buys longest-running business in Oak Bay.

Willows Park Grocery, operating since 1912, has been bought by Karen Singbeil, of Big Brother fame.

Karen Singbeil spent 69 days this year locked in a house with 16 strangers, under constant surveillance and completely isolated from the outside world. She walked out of that house $20,000 richer, as runner-up of Big Brother Canada, Season 5.

As one who has a proven track record of achieving success from challenge, the mother of three is on to her next adventure – right here in Oak Bay. Karen Singbeil and her husband, Bruce Singbeil, have just taken over the Willows Park Grocery, Oak Bay’s longest-running business.

“The store has been here for 105 years,” says Karen Singbeil. “We are so excited to be in a store that has a long, long history with a community that loves it.”

The Singbeils’ vision for the corner store is to have community support by listening to what the neighbourhood wants. With schools and offices close by, Willows Park Grocery will be offering a selection of foods that are easy to grab and go, including sandwiches, hot dogs, taquitos, and baked goods.

“Unfortunately, we are not going to be carrying Indian food. That was specialty to Sarge (the previous owner),” says Karen Singbeil. “But I have looked into seeing if I can find some place that will do samosas and pakoras for us.”

The couple bring varied experience to their new business – both of them having been self-employed their whole lives. Karen Singbeil was a realtor for the last 21 years, but for the period before that she says: “30 years ago I owned a store similar to this in Scottsdale Arizona, so now you could say we have come full circle. We are on to our final and last stage, here on Vancouver Island in Victoria and we are so excited to do it. I hope you guys come and visit.”

The store is continuing to operate as Bruce and Karen Singbeil redecorate the interior.

Their hours are Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 6 p.m., and Saturday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

keri.coles@oakbaynews.com

Just Posted

Two people rescued after falling from lifeboat at Ogden Point

Crew members of the Explorer of the Seas cruise ship fell into the water Thursday night

Online blasting video helps ease Sooke residents concerns

Complaints of dust ongoing since 2017

Son of missing Oak Bay woman asks for continued public support

‘Because she is still out there, somewhere’

BCAM slated to get one of last remainng Lancaster bombers

Approval seems certain despite emotional Torontonian appeals

Death-penalty decision delayed for alleged cold-case killer

William Talbott is charged here in the 1987 slaying of a young Victoria-area couple

Here’s what you need to know about Day 1 at the BC Games

All 18 events kick off on the track, riding ring, fields, courts and lake in the Cowichan Valley

VIDEO: How to throw a frisbee

Ultimate frisbee player Amy Mackay shows off the proper technique

Site C dam project plagued by problems: expert

E. Harvey Elwin expresses concern about internal BC Hydro and government documents

Seal attacks kayakers off northern Vancouver Island

‘It has to be one chance in a million of this happening.’

Special Olympic athletes take on BC Games during special anniversary

Known as the Global Day of Inclusion, July 20 marks the first Special Olympics in 1968 in Chicago

Fundraiser to help mom of jogger detained after crossing U.S. border

Cedella Roman, 19, was held in U.S. after accidentally crossing border in South Surrey

Okanagan Wildfires: The latest on wildfires and evacuations

A Friday morning look at the major wildfires impact the Okanagan and Similkameen.

UPDATED: 1,500 residents on evacuation alert as Peachland under state of emergency

The Mount Eneas wildfire has forced an evacuation alert of 596 properties

UPDATED: Remains of all eight Bruce McArthur victims now identified, Toronto police say

McArthur worked as a landscaper and allegedly concealed the remains of several men in planters

Most Read