Butchers, brewery salute firefighters’ fundraiser
Jennifer Blyth - Oak Bay News
Aug 27, 2016 at 8:00 AM
While Oktoberfest is a fall staple in many communities, Oak Bay firefighters are banking on a sausage-and-beer salute to summer to raise funds for a local school.
The Oak Bay Firefighters Charitable Foundation hosts Sausage Fest Saturday, Sept. 17 at Willows Park.
The tasty fundraiser runs from 1 to 8:30 p.m. and features sausages from four Oak Bay-area butchers – Village Butcher, The Whole Beast, Slaters Meats and Red Barn Market – served on a fresh bun supplied by Cobs Bread.
Refreshments to wash everything down come from Lighthouse Brewery.
The family-friendly event will also include few bouncy castles, plus a dunk tank, face painting, live music and more. Admission is by donation, with 90 per cent of the total profits going to Willows elementary school for a new playground.
The remaining 10 per cent will be split between Prostate Cancer Canada and the Oak Bay Fire Fighters Charitable Foundation for its various other community projects, says Oak Bay firefighter Jason Hodge, executive director of the charitable foundation.
The commitment to Willows follows previous donations to both Oak Bay High and Monterey Middle School, Hodge says.
With a new playground costing between $70,000 and $100,000, the foundation hopes to raise a significant sum for the school, attended by children of several local firefighters.
“Oak Bay Fire Department always tries to give back to the community of Oak Bay,” Hodge says.
Bronwen Sharpe, chair of the Willows Parent Advisory Committee, says the schools is “thrilled and honoured” about the support from the firefighters, noting “it has long been a wish for the school to have some new playground equipment.”
Coming into the role of PAC chair last year, “I was very surprised at how expensive playground equipment is,” she says.
“Living in Oak Bay and recognizing how the different communities in Oak Bay help each other...it just makes us all feel like we’re living in Pleasantville,” Sharpe says. “I’m so glad Oak Bay council approved an event like this.”
The PAC, which has set money aside for several years for a new Grade 4/5 playground on the Cadboro Bay Road side of the school, has a committee of parents looking into the different options to replace the current wood and tire structure.
When some options are available, parents will vote on their favourite, Sharpe says.
Once funds are available, a variety of other approvals still need to happen before installation, so a firm timeline has not been set, Sharpe says.
“I would love to see this time next year the children are coming to school with a new playground there.”
While plans for Sausage Fest organizers are coming together, Hodge is still scouting for musical entertainment – email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
For more information, visit oabayfirefighters.com.
Original Article http://www.oakbaynews.com/community/391320791.html
Red Barn Market to open grocery store near legislature
Darron Kloster / Times Colonist
June 16, 2016 10:59 AM
The Capital Park development near the legislature in James Bay is starting to take shape with the announcement of the first commercial tenant and a new library branch for the site.
Red Barn Market will open a 6,000-square-foot grocery store and deli in the new development.
Russ Benwell, a partner in Red Barn Market, said the store is expected to open in January 2018. It is the first commercial tenant in the office/residential/retail complex on the 6.2-acre site bordering Superior, Menzies and Michigan streets developed by Concert Properties and Jawl Development.
“With the new library and new government offices there, we anticipate James Bay will be a great location for us,” Benwell said.
“We will offer our full-service sandwich bar, all of our smokehouse offerings, ice cream and full produce and grocery.”
Meanwhile, Victoria city councillors agreed Thursday to a plan that will ultimately see a branch of the Greater Victoria Public Library at the site.
Sitting as committee of the whole, councillors agreed to the development plan, which will cost $1.5 million from city coffers in initial capital spending.
The development proposal will move along to a full meeting of council scheduled for next Thursday.
Under the proposal, the city’s costs for the library would be recovered through taxes levied on the new development once it is completed.
A library branch in James Bay has been in Victoria city plans since 1994, when a development agreement known as the Victoria Accord was struck.
Mayor and councillors have expressed enthusiasm for the development and library, saying it will create a real hub for the community.
Capital Park will be the seventh location for Victoria-based Red Barn, controlled by partners Benwell, Peter Hansen, Ashley Bourque and Duncan Davies.
The company announced this year it was taking over a former government liquor store in Esquimalt on Admirals Road. That project is in the development permit stage, and has been hailed as a major revitalization project in Esquimalt’s core.
Red Barn’s newest store opened last year on Oak Bay Avenue. It also has stores in West Saanich, Latoria Walk in Colwood and at Mattick’s Farm — another development by Victoria’s Jawl family, who often put local businesses and companies in their building projects.
“We’ve had a great relationship with the Jawls,” Benwell said. “And we’re getting great community response from our shoppers.”
© Copyright Times Colonist -
Esquimalt welcomes Red Barn Market with open arms
Michael D. Reid / Times Colonist
March 3, 2016 06:00 AM
Updated: March 3, 2016 01:47 PM
Judging by online response to news that Red Barn Markets plans to open its sixth capital region location in Esquimalt in the spring of 2017, the township is wasting no time rolling out the welcome mat.
“I’m sooooooo happppy!” exclaimed Katrina Dwulit on Esquimalt Community Connection’s Facebook page, echoing the majority of online comments from residents.
The 12,000-square-foot store is opening next spring at the corner of Esquimalt and Admirals roads, former site of a government liquor store that closed in 2013.
It’s the result of a retail partnership with Songhees Nation, which assumed ownership of the 0.14-hectare site as part of a land-transfer agreement with the province signed three years ago.
“I think it’s fantastic having Red Barn because it supports more locally-sourced food and that’s what our market is all about,” said Dwulit, president of the Esquimalt Farmers Market society.
Dwulit dismissed perceptions the society’s weekly non-profit community market viewed the local grocery chain as competition because of Red Barn’s emphasis on locally-sourced products.
“We know that as a market we are never going to be able to provide all ingredients to a dinner, so it’s beneficial to have another grocery store selling local ingredients,” she said.
Her society’s market in Esquimalt Town Square kicks off its new 17-week season on May 26, with two preview pop-up markets March 17 and April 21 in Archie Browning Centre.
Songhees Nation councillor Garry Albany said he sensed the excitement about potential for the site while he watched the opening of Red Barn Market’s new Oak Bay store last month.
“Someone said, ‘I wish we had one of these in Esquimalt,’ ” said Albany, sworn to secrecy at the time. “I wished I could pick up the phone and spread the word.”
Red Barn Markets co-owner Russ Benwell said his company supports cottage markets such as Esquimalt’s and didn’t rule out potentially selling products from local vendors.
“There’s a local company in Duncan that was selling soups at the Salt Spring Christmas Fair and we found out about them and carried that product in our stores chain-wide,” he said.
“We don’t want to step on anybody’s toes, and we want to be respectful to local farmers who don’t have a storefront.”
Benwell also acknowledged the significant presence Country Grocer already has, viewing its successful operation in Esquimalt Plaza as motivational.
“Country Grocer has a strong, reputable business and they’ll continue with that,” he said. “The thing with competition is it challenges everyone to raise their game.”
Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins said it could get busy there for awhile should the Tudor House get going on their liquor store, but she didn’t anticipate major traffic adjustments.
“There’s an opportunity for more parking in their [Tudor House] lot so we’re not too concerned about that,” she said, acknowledging “we might have to look at traffic flow” during construction.
The new market will be an integral part of the Esquimalt Village project, which reinvents 87,000 square feet of municipal land in the 1200 block of Esquimalt Road.
The completed Esquimalt Village would encompass retail, residential and office space, a new library, an education facility and open spaces for the public.
Owners of the former Tudor House, the historic pub destroyed by a fire in July, 16, 2013, have said they hoped to redevelop the 40,000-square-foot property at 533 Admirals Rd.
It would potentially incorporate a pub, housing units, a liquor store and a community garden.
Desjardins said that while township residents might benefit from projects coming on stream at Esquimalt’s most prominent intersection, Red Barn Markets’ would reach a wider audience.
“It has half of the West Shore driving by every day going into the base in some way, so that will help the business and the community having those people stop rather than clogging up the roads quite so much,” said Desjardins.
While the new grocery store’s parking lot will have room for 18 vehicles, she said the area’s “walkability score” is high enough to alleviate traffic issues increasing density could cause.
Red Barn Market’s owners estimate the new location will generate 75 new jobs, including between 15 and 20 full-timers.
“We already have people here ready to be employees,” said Songhees Nation executive director Christina Clarke. “We’ll work with Red Barn and see what training they are looking for.”
© Copyright Times Colonist
Songhees First Nation, Red Barn in grocery deal for Admirals Road
Michael D. Reid / Times Colonist
March 1, 2016 06:00 AM
Esquimalt residents will have another grocery shopping alternative by as early as the spring of 2017.
On Monday, Red Barn Markets and Songhees Nation representatives confirmed they’ve formed a retail partnership that will see a 12,000-square-foot-plus store open in Esquimalt’s downtown core next year.
The new store, Red Barn Market’s sixth location in the capital region, will be at the corner of Esquimalt and Admirals roads, on the site of a former B.C. government liquor store that closed in the summer of 2013.
As part of a land-transfer agreement signed three years ago between the Songhees Nation and provincial government, the First Nation assumed ownership of the 0.14-hectare location.
The newest location for the chain will include its popular sandwich and ice-cream bars, in addition to locally sourced products, said Russ Benwell, one of Red Barn’s principal owners. He was joined at the announcement by Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins, Ron Sam, elected chief of Songhees Nation, and fellow owners Peter Hansen and Ashley Bourque.
“I won’t have to go as far now to get a famous Red Barn sandwich,” joked Sam. “This is something we envisioned as a community, and when Red Barn presented itself, it was an opportunity I didn’t want to lose as a nation.”
He credited Equitex Property Management, Songhees Nation executive director Christina Clarke and councillors Garry Albany and Frank George with working diligently with Red Barn Market’s team for more than two years to pull the deal together. Songhees Nation originally hired Equitex to manage the Songhees Wellness Centre and it now manages its other properties.
“Our board really wanted to be sure it was something that fit the community,” he said. “I know Red Barn and what they stand for and bring to a community, and we’ll support them any way we can.”
There will be 6,106 square feet on the main floor and 6,327 square feet downstairs in the building, which was purpose-built in 1957 as a government liquor store, said Equitex property manager Andrew Achtymichuk.
While the Songhees Nation considered a number of lease offers, including ones from national chains and an auto-parts business, Clarke said they felt it was worth waiting for the right tenant. “Some offers made economic sense, but they didn’t make social sense,” she said, noting they turned down an auto-parts business because they didn’t want to adversely affect a local marine auto-parts business.
The locally owned Red Barn, which operates its own smokehouse on Vanalman Avenue, opened its most recent store, a 6,000-square-foot-plus market on Oak Bay Avenue, just a few weeks ago. The company produces a variety of products, including bacon, turkey sausages and smoked cheese.
“We found there was a bit of an under-service, in our opinion, to the [Esquimalt] area,” said Benwell, who estimated the operation could generate between 15 and 20 full-time jobs.
“We identified Esquimalt as a place we wanted to do business from a long-term standpoint, and be able to offer things back to the community.”
Describing the arrival of Red Barn Market as “a huge positive for the community,” Desjardins said it’s the type of business the township has been looking for. She said she appreciated the time and care the Songhees Nation had taken to ensure “this very prominent corner” would have a suitable business.
“It was a couple of years in the making, but you can’t rush a good thing,” said Benwell.
Grocery shoppers in Esquimalt are currently served by outlets that include Country Grocer in Esquimalt Plaza and the non-profit Esquimalt Market, which operates Thursdays behind Esquimalt library in summer.
“I don’t see it as a threat. I see it as an adjunct,” said Desjardins, adding that Esquimalt Market, which is as much about community spirit, togetherness and entertainment as food, could thrive in a different location.
“We talk about catalysts in downtown Esquimalt. This is going to be one of those catalysts. I see this as a win-win for everybody.”
Market shines local light on Avenue
Jennifer Blyth - Oak Bay News
Feb 11, 2016 at 9:00 AM
Local garlic was on the menu for Red Barn Market’s opening day on the Avenue, and that’s just a taste of what’s in store for shoppers.
Despite opening a day early with little publicity, the aisles were packed with shoppers getting a first look – and taste – of the locally grown store.
“We’ve incorporated an upscale specialty store with the old Red Barn theme,” says Russ Benwell, one of the Red Barn owners, pointing to the vaulted ceilings, wide aisles and heritage photos.“The feedback on the store has been fantastic.”
At a little more than 6,000 square feet, the fifth store in the Red Barn Market family offers everything shoppers have come to count on, including an exceptional produce section and signature items from the markets’ smokehouse.
There’s the ever-popular sandwich bar – home to mile-high sandwiches – and an ice-cream counter, plus the fully stocked deli counter, with warm items perfect for a quick lunch on the go, Benwell says.
“People really like the convenience of it being in the community. They also like the local offerings and the fresh produce.”
Melissa Hazenboom, owner-operator with Scott Travers, has been with Red Barn for six years, coming to Oak Bay via the Mattick’s Farm store and West Saanich Road. “We’ve had amazing feedback,” she says. “Everyone is pleased we’re here and finally open and looking forward to what we can offer the neighbourhood.”
Hazenboom has built strong relationships with local growers – one reason they can offer local garlic in February – something shoppers have come to expect, along with competitive prices, she says.
Following this week’s soft opening, a chance for the 50-odd staff to get used to the new space, the store invites the community to the grand opening Saturday, Feb. 13, at 10 a.m.
Oak Bay Mayor Nils Jensen and Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps will share ribbon-cutting duties followed by in-store tastings, give-aways, music and more.
Hazenboom encourages customers to let staff know if there’s something they’d like to see. “If you have any suggestions, we want to hear it. We’re building from the bottom up so if we’ve missed something, let us know.”
Red Barn Market will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily at 1933 Oak Bay Ave. at Redfern Street next to Home Hardware. For more information visit redbarnmarket.ca.
Original Article http://www.oakbaynews.com/business/368485971.html