Langley What’s in Store: Greenhouse growing

Milner’s Bevo Agro growing another eight acres

Bevo Agro Inc., a Langley-based propagation facility operated in the heart of Milner, is growing.

It’s already the largest supplier in North America of propagated plants, but Tuesday this company announced plans for an $8-million and eight acre expansion.

Once complete, Bevo’s facilities will encompass about 53-acres of state-of-the-art greenhouses, explained president Jack Benne.

Bevo’s expansions are driven by increasing client demands for quality, disease free propagated greenhouse and production crops, he said.

Bevo Agro currently operates 45 acres of greenhouse facilities on 98 acres of land in Langley, plus another 20 acres in Pitt Meadows. Their main products are vegetable plants such as tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers, as well as  bedding plants, flowers, and grasses.

They market products to established greenhouse growers, nurseries and retail outlets throughout North America.

Way to grow, guys. Keep up the great work.

Plugging in

I don’t have my electric car just yet.  Honestly, I think I’ll be waiting a few years. But for those who do, Langley’s TD Bank on Willowbrook Drive has installed a charging station for those who do.

The Willowbrook operation is one of seven in B.C. providing this new service. The bank introduced these charging stations for use by electric vehicle-driving customers who can plug in while they do their banking.

TD had previously piloted the use of electric-vehicle charging stations at its solar energy generating branch in London, Ont.

At a time when the world’s leaders are gathering to discuss climate change, the environment, and sustainable innovation, TD wants to be a strong environmental steward, said Mauro Manzi, the senior vice-president for TD’s Pacific region.

“We are constantly looking for ways to improve our environmental commitment while also looking for opportunities to raise the bar in customer service,” Manzi said.

“From more sustainable branches to longer hours to Sunday banking, the installation of convenient electric vehicle charging stations is our latest way to deliver on this promise.”

In addition to the electric vehicle charging stations for customers, the bank is apparently committed to lowering its “operational footprint” and reducing its environmental impact. Back in 2010, TD became the first North American-based carbon neutral bank, introduced the first net zero energy bank branch on the continent and generates solar energy at 122 locations.

Now, the electric vehicle initiative. What’s next?

Good deeds

As disappointed as I was by my last visit to the Langley Mr. Mike’s I have to take my hats off to the company for two new initiatives undertaken by this national chain of restaurants.

First, just a quick hats off to the restaurant for attempting to create a more family-oriented, casual atmosphere with the introduction of board games in the restaurants.

As a bit of a board game person, I find playing games versus watching TV or playing on our cellphones is a great way to encourage more dialogue with friends or family, and therefore love the idea of incorporating board games in a restaurant environment. Cool!

They’ve introduced eight classic, modern, and family-oriented board games to entertain a variety of customers, including Trivial Pursuit, Scrabble, Apples to Apples, Jenga, Battleship, Balderdash, backgammon, and chess/checkers.

The Mr. Mike’s program that gets me real excited, though, is the Deeds Well Done.

Firstly, I love the play on words for a steakhouse – well done, hee hee.

But as a Pay It Forward kind of person, I’m really stoked about this initiative.

Before Dec. 31, guests are encouraged to nominate fellow Langleyites who have done something truly “unselfish.”

Ten do gooders in Western Canada will receive a $100 Mr. Mikes gift card and a $1,000 donation to their charity of choice. Plus, the nominator also earns themselves a $10 gift card.

Early in the new year, I hope to hear of a Langley winner in this Deed Well Done program, which CEO Mike Cordoba said will see the parent company RAMMP Hospitality Brands (the Mr. Mikes parent company) gives back to the tune of $10,000 – dispersing that to some of the 25 communities served in B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba.

“We launched our ‘Deeds Well Done’ program to get people thinking about what’s really important around the holidays,” Cordoba said. “For us, it’s giving back. We want to celebrate the amazing things people are doing in our communities that truly make a difference.”

Deeds Well Done stories can be shared on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @MrMikesOnline, using the hashtag #deedswelldone. To nominate a “Good Deed Doer” people can also visit www.deedswelldone.com.

Giving in Walnut Grove

Hats off to the Walnut Grove Business Association (WGBA), which is always looking for ways to benefit and grow its community – and that means giving, too.

“We are focused on building business and making our community a better place to do business in… and that includes the incredible opportunity to be of some help to those who are less fortunate in our community, said executive coordinator Teresa Brown.

To that end, the WGBA is once again encouraging – through several of its member companies – to collect non-perishable food items for the food ban “in hopes of making this holiday a little easier for our neighbours,” Brown said.

Donations are being accepted through until Monday (Dec. 21) morning at Denny’s, Royal Bank, The UPS Store, Johnston Meier Insurance, Coast Capital Savings, Re/Max Lifestyles Realty, Deloitte, and most recently added G&F Financial and ScotiaBank.

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