Sharilyn McCartie will readily sport a mustache to show support for Movember.
"I know quite a few people who have had prostate, or testicular cancer, and because of regular check ups and early detection, are now fine and back in good health," she explained about why she supports Movember.
She's also the mother of three boys and encourages men to look after their health.
This month the Aldergrove artist is donating proceeds from the sale some items on display at Serendipity Bakery, 27262 Fraser Hwy. The bakery is also supporting the cause.
She was thrilled when the coffee shop and bakery opened, and she met the gang behind the operation that aims to be a unique art-inspired venue, and was asked to have her art displayed.
There is an art exhibit 4-6 p.m. on Nov. 24. Tickets are $10 and get people nibblies and refreshment.
Serendipity plans to have visual and performing arts. Bill Brandon, one of the owners, set up a book catch and release program. People can buy a book for $4 and when they return it, they get a $2 discount on their next book or on a bakery purchase.
It's no accident that the books are near the cozy fireplace, overstuffed sofas and comfy chairs. The ulterior motive - create a welcoming place where people want to hang out, try a menu that ranges from gourmet to comfort foods and be surrounded by art. There will be more art events coming in the future.
The shop is manageed by Clare Hannigan, an Irish ex-patriate who worked at the Langara Fishing Lodge and who settled in Aldergrove to be near family. She's teamed up with chef Shannon Drake in the running of the bakery with a difference.
"It gives us a chance to incorporate food and art," Hannigan said.
Pretty much everyone who works there creates art (not including the edible kind coming out of the kitchen). Hannigan paints and does mosaics. Drake had a small business creating specialty cakes in addition to doing sculpture and mixed media pieces as well as what she calls "nerdy art".
"I use old comic books in my art," Drake explained.
Brandon, an accountant by trade, had clients interested in investing in a business. He decided that Aldergrove was the place.
"The demographics of Aldergrove have changed so much," he said, "so I think it's ready for a more foodie concept."
That's not to say it was easy. A fire in an upstairs apartment soon after they opened in September caused water damage to the kitchen and just after they reopened, there was a break-in and the computer equipment was stolen.
Aldergrove could be the worldwide headquarters of what could be a name as common as, um, that other coffeeshop with many outlets.
"What we're hoping to do is eventually roll it out as a franchise," Hannigan said.
A key facet of the business operation is that the staff are encouraged to learn the various jobs in the bakery.
Drake and Hannigan also recognize the talents of their staff. In the future, patrons can expect to find essential oils on offer and Reiki courtesy of barrista Kristin Magnusson who is training in natural healing methods.
Another key facet is being green.
"We try as much as possible to be eco-friendly," Hannigan said.
That starts with sourcing products and making connections with local growers.
"The real focus is trying to be part of the community," Brandon said.
@ Copyright 2013