Nicole Ingram

Nicole Ingram

BUSINESS BEAT: Cheese shop staffers delve into flowers

Thorn and Thistle opened doors in mid-July on Foul Bay Road

Alexandra Powell and Nicole Ingram are both Libras.

As such, they tend to be agreeable and helped convince each other that opening a flower shop together was a good idea.

Powell, 29, and Ingram, 28, opened Thorn and Thistle in mid-July in the space vacated by Old Fashioned Flowers on Foul Bay Road, next door to Chiarelli’s Cheese Shop and Delicatessen.

While they own and operate the thriving little business, Powell and Ingram still both work in the deli and occasionally help out in the sandwich shop opened by Chiarelli’s in the opposite space in January and managed by Anna Hunt. Taken together, the old building resembles a rabbit warren, with access points to all three spaces running behind the shop areas.

“I don’t know how we’re going to do this at Christmas – both sides are going to be crazy,” Powell says of the staffing situation.

The florists specialize in fresh-cut local flowers and hand-tied bouquets, available for people off the street or commercial customers for weekly bouquets. They also have a collection of antique containers and memorabilia that can be used as props with flowers to brighten up special events.

“We encourage people to bring in their own vases,” Ingram says.

Opening in mid-summer would seem too late to catch some bridal business, but Ingram says they already have two weddings booked for the fall.

Carmen Lasooji, Ingram’s mother and owner/operator of Chiarelli’s – a Foul Bay icon for the past 10 years – jokes she now needs more part-time help to replace the hours the flower shop takes from her staffers.

Lasooji also manages the building and has big plans for the three spaces. The vision she hopes will come to fruition in 18 months or so to knock out the walls separating the three shops and create a large retail store encompassing all three facets of the business.

– Thorn and Thistle, open Tuesday to Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., 2857 Foul Bay Rd., 250-384-3385, thornandthistle.ca

Popular Thai restaurant celebrates first birthday

George Molnar assembled a talented crew of chefs – including his wife, Nadtaya (Tiu for short) – for his Thai Lemongrass restaurant when they opened in Cadboro Bay one year ago. The staff have between eight and 18 years’ experience, led by Bason Joodbrasong, who worked for years in Bangkok, and Kachen Pangkanant. Molnar says people from the neighbourhood volunteered to get the space ready at 3838 Cadboro Bay Rd. He adds those friends have stuck with them and have been repaid through the restaurant serving consistent food. “Plus our chefs are not afraid to try different recipes. That’s what makes it unique,” says Molnar, whose eatery employs 20 people full- and part-time. Visit thailemongrass.com.

Houle Electric’s work recognized in Vancouver

Three Greater Victoria projects have received the Silver Award of Excellence from the Vancouver Regional Construction Association. Two of the projects: the Saanich Peninsula Hospital electrical upgrade and CFB Esquimalt’s new base fire hall and emergency response centre, were handled by Saanichton’s Houle Electric and won in the category of electrical contractor project up to $2 million. The other award, for mechanical contracting over $3 million, was for CFB Esquimalt’s fleet maintenance unit Cape Breton combined services, Phase IV, completed by Edmonton-based Lockerbie and Hole Contracting.

Send your business news items to ddescoteau@vicnews.com.

 

Just Posted

Police are looking for witnesses and video footage after a crash on June 18. (Photo courtesy of West Shore RCMP)
West Shore RCMP looking for videos related to Corvette crash

Driver believed to have fled the scene of View Royal crash

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement for Greater Victoria with unusually high temperatures expected Monday and this coming weekend. (Black Press Media file photo)
Greater Victoria’s first week of summer will be a scorcher

Special weather statement issued Monday by Environment Canada

A report on food security in Sooke reveals that nearly 15 per cent of people in Sooke have trouble getting food on the table. (The Canadian Press)
Food security a growing challenge in Sooke

‘This isn’t going to get any better if we don’t do anything about it’

A rendering shows what the Doral Forest Park development would look like from the southwest. (Rendering via D’AMBROSIO Architecture & Urbanism)
Beaver Lake area project passes next hurdle in Saanich

Council approval for 242-unit parks edge development hinges on meeting of conditions

A health-care worker takes part in HeArt Therapy session conducted by Shirley artist Sheila Thomas. (Contributed - Lorrie Beauchamp)
A creative ‘thanks’ to Vancouver Island’s essential workers

Artist Sheila Thomas creates therapy art session for workers on pandemic’s frontlines

Jesse Roper tackles weeds in his garden to kick off the 2021 season of What’s In My Garden Man? (YouTube/Whats In My Garden)
VIDEO: Metchosin singer-songwriter Jesse Roper invites gardeners into his plot

What’s In My Garden, Man? kicks off with the poop on compost

The Crofton trailer park home where the bodies of two people were found. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Mom still waiting for answers after daughter and her fiance found dead in Crofton

Pair discovered dead in their Crofton home in May identified as Rachel Gardner and Paul Jenkins

The Sacred Hearts church on PIB land burned Monday morning. (Theresa May Jack/Facebook)
Two churches on First Nation land in South Okanagan burn to the ground

Sacred Hearts church on Penticton Indian Band land was reduced to rubble

Tl’etinqox-lead ceremony at the site of the former St. Joseph’s Mission in Williams Lake, B.C., June 18, 2021. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
‘We are all one people’: Honouring residential school victims and survivors

Love, support and curiousity: Canadians urged to learn about residential schools and their impact

Indigenous rights and climate activists gathered outside Liberty Mutual’s office in Vancouver to pressure the insurance giant to stop covering Trans Mountain. (Photo by Andrew Larigakis)
Activists work to ensure Trans Mountain won’t get insurance

Global campaign urging insurance providers to stay away from Canadian pipeline project

In the first election with public money replacing corporate or union donations, B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, B.C. Greens leader Sonia Furstenau and B.C. NDP leader John Horgan take part in election debate at the University of B.C., Oct. 13, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C. MLAs ponder 2022 ‘sunset’ of subsidy for political parties

NDP, B.C. Fed call for increase, B.C. Liberals have no comment

Investigators use a bucket to help recover human remains at a home burned in the Camp fire, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018, in Magalia, Calif. Many of the missing in the deadly Northern California wildfire are elderly residents in Magalia, a forested town of about 11,000 north of the destroyed town of Paradise. (AP Photo/John Locher)
‘Forever War’ with fire has California battling forests instead

Five of the state’s largest-ever blazes seared California last year, as authorities tackle prevention

Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto and IOC President Thomas Bach, on a screen, speak during a five=party online meeting at Harumi Island Triton Square Tower Y in Tokyo Monday, June 21, 2021. The Tokyo Olympics will allow some local fans to attend when the games open in just over a month, Tokyo organizing committee officials and the IOC said on Monday. (Rodrigo Reyes Marin/Pool Photo via AP)
Tokyo Olympics to allow Japanese fans only, with strict limits

Organizers set a limit of 50% capacity — up to a maximum of 10,000 fans

Most Read