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.

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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

 

Community Supporting Community

Me thinking about what I want to do with my life ; aha moment communityA few years ago I started trying to figure out what I want to do with the rest of my life. After much deliberation I made my decision. I know this is going to sound cliché but I decided that I want to make a difference. There you go I said it! A difference…

A tad too tired these days to take on the world.  Besides, I brought my girls up so that they’ll take care of that. So I narrowed it down a bit.

I want to make a difference locally. I can make a difference in our Community!

First step was tweaking our family buying habits so that we were spending more in our community. Especially when it comes to our food, shopping local means eating fresh. Eating fresh is eating healthy. Buying local means supporting our local economy and that’s what I call an all around win. Done; check.

Next I started preaching what I was practicing to anybody and everybody in our community. Some people roll their eyes. Most people though, they get it.  That gives me hope, and so I share my opinion every chance that I get.

“It takes a community to support a strong local economy” tweets @shoplocally. One determined citizen can help make that happen. Talking just happens to be my forté.

I call it spreading some #BuyLocalLove. It’s simple really. Come together as a community; ensure a healthy local economy.

I’m studying Social Media so that I can shout it out to even more people. Why do I say studying instead of studied? It’s a never ending process. Social Media changes daily. There is ALWAYS something new to learn. Which, I just happen to love doing.

That brings me to my own personal mission statement…

Support Cowichan Valley Business Growth to help our community sustain a healthy local economy.

Support Cowichan Valley Business Growth to help our community sustain a healthy local economy.
#BuyLocalLove

Well, that’s it for now because I simply must get back to spreading the #BuyLocalLove. Then I’ll try to figure out the implications of the latest “potential” changes happening over on Facebook.

Take care,

Shelley

www.ILoveCowichan.ca

Cowichan summer of 2015 pics…

PS- If you have a Cowichan business, project, cause, news whatever it may be please let me know so that I can share with our community

e-mail: shelley@ILoveCowichan.ca

Twitter: @ILoveCowichanCA

Facebook: www.facebook.com/ILoveCowichan

Newly launched…

Instagram: ILoveCowichanDotCA

Pinterest: ILoveCowichan

Twitter I’ve got to get this off my chest before I explode!

OK so that’s an exaggeration but (especially using Twitter)…

I do have a new particularly frustrating Social Media pet peeve…automation! It was only a matter of time.

I absolutely hated it when it hit phone systems Press 1 for English. Then e-mail “This is an automated message, please do not respond to this e-mail.”  Wow that’s helpful, NOT!

Twitter Social Media
This image is from the Bigstock collection.

Yeah now we have automated responses for Social media! Say Twitter for example. When I follow people I’m now increasingly seeing automated thank you tweets and receiving ads as direct messages.

Oh, and then there are the automated acknowledgements for retweets! Not so great when you retweet the same person multiple times and are automatically thank you tweeted for each one.

Hello it’s social media! It’s a way to COMMUNICATE directly with your customers and potential customers. It’s a way to network with other small businesses. It’s increased exposure for your brand within your community, and if you so desire globally.

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again it’s important to thank new followers. When I say thank them, I don’t mean via some repetitive cheesy automated message. If the automated message isn’t insult enough, it usually includes a promo for the automation application as well.

I see this as an indicator that I may not have a great customer experience in person. If they can’t be bothered acknowledging me online, why would that change at the till?

I like to treat new followers as if they’ve walked into my place of business. I get to know them a little, which means I check out their Twitter profile.

If they are someone that I want to associate with I follow them back. I post a personalized thank you tweet based on what I’ve learned about them.

When I see people favoriting, retweeting and mentioning me in their tweets I also thank them. Not every time, but I do tweet personal thanks regularly.

Call it Twitter etiquette if you want, but to me it’s just plain manners.

PS – There, now that I got that off my chest I feel much better 🙂 Don’t forget…

Support Your Neighbours Your Friends Your Community…Buy Local! Pretty please :)

 

 

Social Media Knock Knock

Social Media use it!

There are oh SO many great reasons to use social media (i.e. Twitter, Facebook Page) for your local business. That being said…DO NOT sign up for social media accounts unless you are committed to maintaining them.

In the brick n’ mortar world that’d be like leaving the store untended with everything in locked cases. Potential customers can walk in and ONLY look around. They can’t ask questions or make any purchases because nobody is there.  Plus it looks like it’s been abandoned for a really long time.

In the online social media world customers search for YOUR business. They sign up to follow you. They are specifically asking to be kept up to date. They are giving you permission to socialize with them.

When the first impression of your social media page/account is that it’s being neglected it can affect how they feel about your business.  My particular pet peeve is following a local business (especially ones that I frequent regularly) then not receiving any kind of acknowledgement. As a customer, it makes me feel like I’ve just walked into your store without being greeted.

Social Media use it to stay in touch with customers.
Social Media Don’t Make a Bad Impression

If you’re not ready to add fresh content regularly (stay in touch) then you probably should wait to set up accounts or pages. It looks really bad when a customer posts a comment that is left eternally UNANSWERED. Remember though that you are passing up the opportunity to communicate directly with your customers. To keep them informed. To provide news about your local business. To build a community with your customers and other local businesses.

When customers are looking for you on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or others and don’t find you this can also leave a bad impression. The impression that your business may be a little out of date.

I like to look at it this way….when the store is quiet a valuable tweet to followers gives you the chance to treat them as if they are in the store. Thereby eliminating the lull altogether.

Now is the time to put social media to good use for your business!

If you need a little help setting up your accounts, building your social community and keeping them fresh feel free to get in touch 250-710-0594 or Shelley@ILoveCowichan.ca