Leukemia survivor Jake Westhaver

BUSINESS BEAT: Country Grocer helping fill children’s dreams

Sale of Christmas trees and other holiday items will benefit Victoria children's charity

Continuing its Christmastime tradition, Country Grocer is getting on board with Help Fill a Dream, selling trees, dream bouquets and paper shirts to raise funds to help fulfill the wishes of children facing life-threatening health conditions. For every one of those items sold between Nov. 17 and Dec. 14, a portion of the sale will be passed along to the charitable organization.

The Help Fill a Dream foundation fulfills dreams, improves quality of life and assists families with care and financial support. For more information, drop by any Country Grocer store or visit helpfilladream.com or call 250-382-3135.

Merry Maids Victoria earns fifth top-20 award

Scott and Susan Tanner, owner of the Merry Maids franchise serving Greater Victoria, including the West Shore and Saanich Peninsula, accepted their fifth straight Dallen Peterson Award of Distinction recently in Nashville, Tenn. as a top-20 operation among more than 500 Merry Maids franchises in North America. The award recognizes those offices that best exemplify high quality in business operations, customer and employee satisfaction. The Tanners have operated Merry Maids in the region since 1991 and count among their management team son Matt, Karen McClean and Colleen Knudskov.

Fortis makeover contest down to final three

Three B.C. homeowners have a chance to win $10,000 towards a room makeover with natural gas after being chosen as a finalist in the RenoMe! with FortisBC contest. More than 150 entries were received from all over the province, but the final three were narrowed down to Gayle Curtis of Maple Ridge for her kitchen, Melissa Tolsma of Nanaimo for her outdoor space and Wendy Frose of Chilliwack for her great room. The finalists have received renderings of their redesigned space from participating designers and Black Press online readers are asked to vote on the most deserving project. The winner room receives $10,000 towards their renovation, while the second- and third-place finalists receive $2,000 each. Readers can also win $500 toward a natural gas appliance just by voting. Visit vicnews.com/contests to vote and bit.ly/18HJy9m for an expanded story.

Downtown bistro switches format

Opened as the Black Hat by Bistro 28 in 2011, the rebranded north FORTY-EIGHT at 1005 Langley St. is chef-owner Sam Chalmers’ bid to shake things up again in the competitive restaurant market in downtown Victoria. Along with a new interior design officially launched last Friday, a new menu features something Chalmers calls “modern diner cuisine” – diner-style items given refined flavour and prepared with flair. To view the menu and hours, visit northfortyeight.com.

Cascadia staffer takes on dual role

Bryan Paler, manager of Cascadia Liquor Store in Quadra Village, doesn’t just know a lot about beers and wines, he’s got the papers to prove it. Already a certified sommelier with expertise and all-around understanding of the wine industry, Paler recently passed a similarly challenging certification to become a beer sommelier, or “cicerone.” He becomes one of just four cicerones in Greater Victoria and 25 in Canada, but is said to be the first in this country to hold both certificates.

Holiday tour brings foodies to Fort Street

It may be known for its antique stores, but Fort Street is fast becoming a haven for fans of good food. Culinary tour company Off the Eaten Track is running tours of Fort Street food purveyors Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:30 to 4 p.m. through Dec. 19. Sampling stops happen at five different locations: The Little Cheese Shop, Choux Choux Charcuterie, Chorizo & Co., Hook Fine Foods and Crust Bakery. On Dec. 10, all tour proceeds will be donated the Mustard Seed food bank. To purchase tickets ($45 each) or find more information visit offtheeatentracktours.ca/victoria.

Who’s making waves in biz and community

Former Oak Bay director of parks and recreation Lorna Curtis is the newest appointee to the board of the Oak Bay Kiwanis Pavilion. Curtis has a lengthy history of volunteerism and has a keen interest in seniors’ health care … Bill Patterson of Citta Group is the new president of the Victoria Home Builders Association. He took the reins from Wilf Gorter of Gorter Construction Ltd. at the organization’s AGM Nov. 13 at Royal Colwood Golf Club.

Send your business news to ddescoteau@vicnews.com.

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