Saturday Morning in Downtown Duncan

Saturday Morning Vibes

Kickstarted my sunny Saturday morning with a drive around downtown Duncan at 8 am. I forgot how much I absolutely love Duncan’s Saturday morning vibes. Especially in the city square as market people are setting up. It’s fun watching the sleepy little town picking up steam while on the cusp of becoming a full-on bustling little city.

Not only will the Duncan Farmers Market be packing them in, but it’s also day 9 of the 39 Days of July. Which means we’re going to have a lot of visitors today.

I popped over to Charles Hoey park to grab a couple of pictures of the Buckerfields Duncan stage before things get hopping at the 39 Days of July. So peaceful, it’s like the calm before the storm, but in a good way. And, snapped a couple of shots of Long John’s sunflowers in front of the Duncan Showroom.

Saturday Morning Winningest Smile Award

Saturday morning smiles at the Corner House Cafe in Downtown Duncan BC
Smiles at the Corner House Cafe Make my Day!

If ever you want to be greeted by genuine smiles then check out the Corner House Cafe in downtown Duncan.

Bonus! You can get some really great eggs benny for breakfast too. I’m also loving their coffee. 

Thank you for your exceptional customer service, reasonable prices, and yummy food. This place sure is brimming with community vibes and the conversations never disappoint.

If you come in hungry you’ll leave full. If you come in feeling anything but happy they will be sure to turn your frown upside down and you’ll leave filled to the brim with good cheer. I kid you not, their smiles are infectious.

Cowichan Valley Arts Council Youth

Saturday morning at the Duncan Farmers Market Youth Activities with Cowichan Valley Arts Council Youth Coordinators
CVAC Youth Coordinators at the Duncan Farmers Market July 6, 2019

The Cowichan Valley Arts Council has hired two local students as summer youth event coordinators. The team has been busy planning some fun and creative public art activities at the local market and the #39 Days of July festival. They will also be putting on youth art camps and participating in an art show.

Right now, they are by the stage in the town square having fun with some creative activities during the Saturday market.

And, that is where the new mini comic strip Destructo Baby was born.

While you’re there make sure to grab a free colouring page compliments of the Red Balloon Toyshop. They are having a  really cool colouring contest for kids of all ages. Good luck to everyone who enters.

 

Canada Day Weekend Out and About Having Fun in the Cowichan Valley

We had fun exploring Cowichan during Canada Day Weekend 2019

What better way to spend Canada Day weekend than exploring Cowichan, enjoying ice cream and listening to live music in the park? This blog post is going to be light on words but chock full of pictures and videos.

What did you do this Canada Day weekend?

Here’s just some of what we did out and about in the iLoveCowichan mobile. Speaking of our car, stay tuned for some exciting news coming up soon.

June 28th marked the kick off for the 39 Days of July in Downtown Duncan. It started off a wee bit rainy, but full on sunshine quickly followed for the rest of the Canada Day weekend.

Here are some more clips from Canada Day Weekend at the 39 Days of July 2019

Though the week ended with a bit of much-needed rain, the weekend turned out to be perfect sunshiney summer weather and so in search of some ice cream we went…twice!

We’d heard rumors of a sinfully delicious chocolate chip ice cream sandwich being served out at the Old Farm Market Gift Shop and so we headed out in search of our sweet treasure. Which we found! And, bonus! It was being served up by one of our favorite smilers Mariah.

Saturday Sensational Services Shout Out

Thank you Mariah for always making our day with that super smile of yours! Oh, and the ice cream sandwiches? Let’s just let the pictures speak for themselves.

A great big thank you to the Old Farm Market for supporting other Vancouver Island businesses like Harlequin Nature Graphics & Skookum Prints.

We headed down to the river so that some of us could gather rocks for art and take a quick dip and so that I could take a bunch of pictures and videos. Thanks, Robert for being the one who ended up wading in for the perfect soothing videos!

I’m glad it was a warm weekend but after spending some time down at the Cowichan River, I realized just how low it really is and hope we get some more rain soon. It looks calm because the water level is low, but please don’t ever underestimate the strength of the current.

Thanks for stopping by! Keep an eye out for more 39 Days of July 2019 highlights. As always, I’m asking you to pretty please shop locally owned businesses. Support your community, your neighbours and your friends #shopcowichan.

Please follow us…

Sensational Services Shout Out

Sensational Service Shout Out

We’re dedicating our Saturday posts to local shops, restaurants, farmers, artisans and other Cowichan Valley establishments that put in the effort to deliver sensational service to their customers.

All too often, especially on the web these days, we’re inundated with negative thoughts. Seems crankiness is contagious and people can be pretty quick to complain, but we have a habit of slacking off when it comes to sharing our positive experiences.

Rather than complaining about the bad experiences, I prefer to encourage

I Love Cowichan Sensational Service with a Smile Web Image
Sensational Service with a Smile

sensational service. When someone makes the effort to provide service with a smile I enjoy thanking them. Both in person and on the I Love Cowichan blog with a shout out.

It really makes my day when I’m greeted with a genuine beaming smile and am not made to feel like helping me is an imposition.  Happiness is contagious too! Join me in helping to spread the joy of warm smiles by supporting local businesses that care about their customers.

This Week’s Sensational Service Shout Out Goes to…

Aastha Devotional Indian Food

Aastha Devotional Indian Food Sensational Service Shout Out I Love Cowichan
Aastha Devotional Indian Food James Street Duncan BC

Everything about my first visit to this restaurant was excellent.

I was greeted by a warm welcoming smile and patience as I became familiar with the dishes on the menu.

I went with the daily special that the chef cheerfully made a slight adjustment to for me.  I can’t remember the last time that a meal included the drink. I really appreciated that little extra.

Thank you, everyone, at Aastha for making my local dining experience an enjoyable outing.

Other Sensational Serice Shout Outs

 

Cowichan Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Store

post it notes ideasToo Many Great Cowichan People to Blog About

You ever have so many ideas flying around inside your head that you just can’t grab onto one long enough to jot it down? Happens to me constantly, kind of like a bunch of pop ups going off when you’re visiting a website. It pops up, then poof it’s gone and replaced by a new one.  I suppose the idea isn’t really gone, it has joined all the others spiraling around in a whirlpool of incredible ideas, things to do and solutions to problems.

There’s this bunch of post its fluttering around, and I can’t quite grab onto one.

Well here goes, I’m picking one now…

Hats off to HATS Cowichan Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Store

Cowichan Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Store
Cowichan Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Store

Hats off to the volunteers of the Cowichan Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Store for all that they do out of the goodness of their hearts. Such lovely people, and such a lovely example of community supporting community.

Every season I buy a few of these for the kids.  They make great gift decorations at Christmas too. Perfect for sending one little “kiss”.

Anyway when we were at the cash I reached for the Easter Bunny kisses and commented about how cute they are. That I really enjoy how they have them decorated for each holiday/season.

HATS Thrift Store Duncan BC
Made by Linda

Just so happens that the lady who makes them was working the cash. It was such a pleasure finally meeting her.  I really enjoyed hearing the enthusiasm as she explained how she makes them. They’re a lot of work. One time they sold 1000 of them! Wow! Talk about supporting your local hospital.

Volunteers HATS
Linda & Marjorie

Was great to visit with the two of you. You both have Winningest Smiles for sure 😉

The Cowichan Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Store opened at 79 Station Street Duncan, BC in May 2008. Wow! Doesn’t seem like that long ago! It’s popularity and success has made it possible for the Auxiliary to purchase many more items for the hospital and Cairnsmore place. HATS was able to donate over $259,000.00 in their first four years of business.

This my friend, is yet another reason why #iLoveCowichan; the generosity of people in our community.

None of this would be possible without the hard work of volunteers and the generous donations from Cowichan Valley citizens.

To those of you that volunteer for and to those who make donations to the Cowichan Auxiliary Thrift Store thank you all so very much!

Take care,

Shelley

PS- Things will be settling back down into a bit of a routine…hope to be writing more frequently again.

Spring has Sprung in Cowichan

Spring the busy prelude to the even busier season of Summer…

I love being busy. Busy is good. Keeps you out of trouble, keeps you happy and minimizes time for sweating the small stuff. That being said, I’m way behind on thanking May’s winningest smile winner for our most AMAZING customer experience and have soooo many fun times to recap I’m losing track.

You know life’s pretty good when keeping track of the fun times is a problem 🙂

Spring was birthdays galore May 21st, May 27th, May 31st & June 3rd…plus mother’s day too!

My youngest turned 14 on May 21st.

Spring Winningest Smile Award May 2015 Stephanie RyanMay 27th (Robert’s birthday celebration) was made even more memorable thanks to Stephanie Ryan.

What a wonderful person, a wonderful smile, an absolutely wonderful experience! Thank you Stephanie, so happy to have met you.

 

Check out that smile! May’s winner of the Winningest Smile Award is Stephanie Ryan from the Mongrillian 3300 Cowichan Lake Road Duncan, BC.

Stepahnie Ryan ILoveCowichan.ca Winningest Smile Award
Stephanie Ryan Winningest Smile Award

The food at The Mongrillian was as always super delicious, fresh and healthy. I realize we need to get better at taking pictures of the food. We’re always so busy digging in we forget.

9 people and we all chose the same thing; to build our own stir fry. You pick your meat, you add the vegetables of your choice and top it with a sauce or sauces (I like to mix them up). Stephanie hands it over to the kitchen and before you know it, your food is being delivered piping hot on a bed of rice (or chowmein if you prefer). In the meantime, you get to enjoy a dish of soup while you wait.

We celebrated Mom’s birthday June 3rd. With the lovely spring weather we were able to enjoy supper outside. We’ve recently adopted a new family member (that’s just the way we roll) whose birthday is May 31st. Pictures to come!

Robert & I went to the new Cowichan Farmer’s Market on Wednesday. Being able to grab freshly picked spring veggies on the way home from work is so convenient!

 

Take care!

Shelley

PS- Remember to shop local…support your community, your neighbours & your friends. Construction is almost done (today should be the last day). Show your support, shop Downtown Duncan 

PPS- In case you missed it…Robert had a Saturday off  we enjoyed a spring outing to the Duncan Farmer’s Market together.

Click to add a blog post for The Mongrillian on Zomato

Cowichan Valley Treasures A Hunting We Will Go

The Cowichan Valley; a veritable trove of hidden treasures

When I was managing the Monk Office Supply store in Duncan, I met a lot of Cowichan Valley business owners. I saw first hand how hard they work. I also witnessed A TON of generosity. Even in difficult times they supported local causes.

Local shop owners are not only passionate about what they do; they take pride in and are supportive of their community.

These business owners taught me the importance of shopping local and what it is truly like to be part of my community. When I buy from a locally owned independent shop I am supporting my community, my friends and my neighbours.

It feels great being supportive, it’s nice being genuinely appreciated and I’m provided with expert service. They aren’t just merchants, they are specialists.

I know, I know, I’ve said this before a favourite thing about shopping locally is that I like to visit. For me it’s all about the experience, especially the smiles.

Amanda, Kendra, Taylor of Flynn's Fish n Chips Cowichan Valley locationThanks to the girls at Flynn’s for their wonderful smiles (including Amanda our very first Winner of the Winningest Smile Award), the amazing cheese fries and for helping me to finally convince hubby, that my kind of exploring is fun! Ummm I wanted to share Amanda, Kendra & Taylor’s beautiful smiles but it seems that Robert’s phone crashed. We’ll be back soon…hope to get all 3 of you together again. Kudos to all three of you for great service and radiant smiles!

It took some prodding but hubby is now on board and has started exploring (and shopping) the Cowichan Valley with me. I love being out and about; seeking caches of hidden treasures that Cowichan has to offer.

This month we discovered and visited (twice!) Old Farm Gifts/Specialty Coffee. We’ve been going to the market for years and never realized what was going on inside next door. These pictures will help put into words what I can’t….

There is something for everyone.  In fact there are a whole lot of somethings for everyone 🙂 What a difference a week makes. Our first visit to Old Farm Gifts/Specialty Coffee was on a cold rainy day. What is better than sitting in front of a real fireplace sipping a coffee?

Cowichan Valley's Old Farm Gifts Specialty Coffee fireplace

The next week when we went back we sat outside enjoying the sunshine (while I sipped my delicious coffee). The one constant for both visits was Mariah Viberg’s warm welcoming smile. When she smiles, you just can’t help smiling back. Thank you Mariah for being so wonderful at what you do. You are ILoveCowichan.ca’s latest Winner of the Winningest Smile Award!

Mariah Viberg

 

I’m happy to report that my husband Robert, my daughter Brittany and my youngest Victoria are all on board with supporting their community (the Cowichan Valley) by shopping locally as much as they can. Can’t wait to see where we go next week.

Take care!

Shelley

 

PS- Remember to shop local…support your community, your neighbours & your friends.

PPS- Old Farm Gifts/Speicalty Coffee 5169 Francis Street 250-748-7147

Winner of the Winningest Smile is

Smile…

It’s good for your health, it makes you feel good and you can pass along that smiling good feeling to someone else. These are just 3 great reasons to smile, the list goes on.

It’s always been my belief smiling makes you better at what you do; more successful. When you smile at someone, they will usually smile right back at you.

Which leads me to my point…ever notice how quickly people will mention an unpleasant experience they’ve had as a customer?  Well, that’s not my point. Sorry, had to slip that in there.

My point is….

Today’s Winner of the Winningest Smile is Amanda from Flynn’s Fish n’ Cafe in Duncan.

Of course the mouth watering poutine played a role, but what made this a truly special experience was that Amanda GENUINELY smiled the entire time that she interacted with us. She didn’t just take our orders, she chatted. She visited with us as best she could, while keeping up with and smiling at other customers.

Amanda’s radiant smile…

Amanda fromFlynn's in Duncan a genuine smile

I have promised myself that I will make more of an effort to share my service with a smile stories with other people and I believe even more importantly, to always thank the individual who is smiling as they help me. Encourage service with a smile by complimenting it when it happens.

Thank you Amanda and cheers to all you service with a smilers out there! Your smile helps grow a local business (and makes people feel good to boot).

Service with a Smile Award

Flynn’s Fish n Cafe Menu food is cooked fresh to order, reasonable prices, plentiful servings and when the right people are on…service with a smile. Ideal for take out.

 Support Your Neighbours Your Friends Your Community…Buy Local! Pretty please 🙂