What’s in Store: Businesses blossoming right under my nose

Sometimes, it’s the things right under your nose – those things you see every day – that you forget to mention.

That’s the case in this week’s wrap up of business happenings here in Langley.

For instance, right across the street – on the north side of 64th Avenue and 202nd Street (literally under my nose) – we’ve said goodbye to a few businesses in the Envision strip mall, and are preparing to say hello to a few new ones.

Tucked between John’s Pan Pizza, and Taco Del Mar, (in what was once a nutrition store, if my recollections serve me right) an Iris optical is preparing to open.

Iris had a store in Willowbrook Shopping Centre for a number of years, but last July, closed that operation.

While they’ve continued to serve their clients from the Iris ophthamology clinic in Walnut Grove, store manager Rose Camilleri said she and the Iris team have been hunting for just the right location for a new store.

They’ve since found it. And they’re hoping to roll out a new concept Iris store across the street from us in mid-summer.

Meanwhile, a few doors north, Bosley’s has taken over the long-standing Hallmark gifts shop in that very same complex.

Don’t fret. There’s still a Hallmark store alive and well inside Willowbrook Shopping Centre, for those of you who don’t buy all your greeting cards at the dollar stores.

But now, finally, there’s another Bosley’s in Langley. Yes, I know there’s one in the Thunderbird Centre in Walnut Grove, as well as Darwin and Meredith Handford’s store in Aldergrove. In fact, I’ve been a regular at the latter during the past few years since they opened.

But I am glad to know there’s now a Bosley’s by Pet Valu store even closer to home, and look forward to checking it out with my four-legged daughter Annie.

Barbie and bikes served up

Just a stone’s throw away, there’s also another bike store that’s opened up, offering everything from basic kids bikes up to wheels for the pro racers.

You might remember, a few weeks back, that I mentioned the relocation of Bicycle Sports Pacific to 203rd Street and 62nd Avenue.

Well, another bicycle shop – Giant Langley – has also located just up the street, at the corner of 64th Avenue and 203rd Street – right next door to Well Seasoned and Power to Change.

Chris Ryskamp opened up his 3,000-square-foot shop on April 1, and he’s holding a grand opening event this weekend.

On both Saturday and Sunday, May 2 and 3, he’ll be hosting a free barbecue and giveaways (including a men’s or women’s cruiser bike – depending on who that lucky winner turns out to be).

“Langley is a very good biking market, there’s a lot of families in Langley that enjoy biking, and there’s a lot of races,” the avid cyclist said of his decision to open his first shop in his hometown of Langley. Info: www.giantlangley.com.

Special days help kids

Jeans Day is a longstanding tradition where we have an excuse (if you need one) to wear jeans to work.

More important, it’s a fun way to help out sick and dying children by raising money for BC Children’s Hospital.

By buying a $5 button or $20 lapel pin locally at Costco, London Drugs, or Save-On-Foods, you help out the cause and join thousands of people across the province today (Thursday, April 30).

The hospital hopes to raise more than $1 million. More information is available at www.jeansday.ca.

And, if you and your coworkers are all decked out in jeans and buttons in aid of the children today, take a picture and send it my way (rhooper@langleyadvance.com).

But, helping the kids doesn’t end there.

In this week’s column, I’d also like to invite you to McHappy Day on Wednesday, May 6.

For a few decades now – that I can remember – local McDonalds restaurants have participated in varying degrees in McHappy Day, and donated a dollar from every Big Mac, Happy Meals, and hot McCafe drinks to Ronald McDonald House and other local children’s charities.

Here, the money helps fund the a home away from home – near medical facilities – for seriously ill children and their families.

How can you not want to help a sick or dying child out? And it’s so easy.

In fact, this might be a perfect time, if you haven’t already – to check out Ron Knight and his family’s newest Langley McDonalds restaurant, which opened up a few months back at 84th Avenue and 200th Street.

Hope to see you there.

Autism night at Milestones

And speaking of local restaurants helping out the kids, my hat’s off again to the team at Milestones in Langley.

On Tuesday night, the local team held its annual Milestones Autism Awareness Night.

This is the fourth time this event has been held at the local restaurant, and each year it grows bigger, explained bar manager and event point person David Baskin.

Baskin started at the Langley Bypass restaurant four years ago, and during autism awareness month in April, the manager of the day suggested holding a bit of an awareness and fundraising event for the cause.

It’s grown ever since, explained an appreciative Baskin, whose nine-year-old son Jack was diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum at one-and-a-half-years-old.

In the first three years, the Milestones’ team raised $16,000 to help the Autism Society of B.C.

“This has become a significant event for us, the biggest event of the year,” Baskin said, optimistic he and the team would raise another $4,000 minimum this year, with a silent auction, a 50/50 draw, and all gratuities donated back to the cause.

It might be achieved, given that Milestones head office has offered this time to also donate 10 per cent of Tuesday night’s sales to the cause, too.

What helped make this into a big event was an evening of live entertainment that kicked off with a performance by autistic singer Sara Garber, followed by performances by Langley Has Talent 2015 winners Her Brothers band and the 2013 winner Kari Culjat (who just so happens to work with Baskin at Milestones).

I’ll let you know how they did. Unfortunately, everything was still being tallied as of my press deadline, but I’m confident they’ll reach their goal.

Pop star visits Langley

Back in December, I told you about a cool grand opening event held for Porsche Centre Langley – the newest kid on the high-end automotive block. 

While construction is now underway on the next luxury dealership – OpenRoad Auto Group’s Jaguar/Land Rover – the Porsche operation is gearing up for a special, invite-only grand opening gala on Wednesday, May 6.

“It’s going to be a very big deal for Langley,” said promoter Tanis Sullivan.

“One of the biggest Canadian pop stars, Lights, a recent Juno award winner, will be performing,” she said.

Stay tuned for coverage of that event.

Recruiting for non-profits

And I want to let you know about a not-for-profit workshop being hosted by the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce.

It’s happening next week, on Wednesday, May 6, from 8 to 11:30 a.m. at the Langley Seniors Resource Centre, 20615 51B Ave.

Guest speakers include Ingrid Finnigan, manager of volunteer resources for the Langley Memorial Hospital, as well as Janice McTaggart, director of outreach and volunteer services for the seniors resource society, and Shirley Stewart, the campaign manager for John Aldag.

“Join us to learn from three Langley volunteer recruitment superstars as they share their processes on where they find volunteers, how they train and recognize, and how they retain their volunteer base,” said chamber president Kristine Simpson.

The workshop includes a question and answer segment.

The cost is $35 for chamber members, $45 for non-chamber members.

Entrepreneurs mingling

And speaking of the chamber, the Monthly Mingle for the “under 40” crowd is also being held next Wednesday, May 6.

Of course, I don’t qualify, but I still feel obligated to let you know about it.

As the name implies, this is a monthly event for the younger clique, and its designed to help motivate young and emerging professionals to come together and network, share ideas, and become leaders in Langley.

The event is being held from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Earls, at 64th Avenue and 200th Street in Langley.

And, if you want to put it on your datebook, the June event will be held at Sammy J’s Grill on June 3.

Even though this is a free event, the chamber does need to know if people are attending. Therefore, pre-registration is required.

And if you’re looking for something to do tonight (Thursday, April 30), it might not be too late to sign up for the chamber’s Open Late for Business networking event, running 3:30 to 6:30 p.m.

It’s being held at Angels There For You, 5423 203rd St., and this local business hopes to enlighten guests to their holistic approach to home health care and supports for local seniors.

To register for any chamber event, people must contact the chamber at 604-534-6656 or visit the website at www.langleychamber.com.

Brewing a career

It appears the next generation of brewers and brewery business owners are refining their science skills in Langley.

Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) has a brand new, state-of-the-art instructional brewing labratory they’ve unveiled at the Langley campus of KPU, said Dr. Elizabeth Worobec, the dean of science and horticulture.

This new, fully operational brewery is designed to give students hands-on experience on industry-standard equipment, Worobec explained.

“We’re training our students to meet a need in B.C.’s brewing industry,” she added, noting the classes are led by instructors with years of industry experience and the program is run in collaboration with local breweries.

KPU’s two-year brewing and brewery operations program launched last fall in Langley, with what Worobec describes as “huge” demand from the industry, beer enthusiasts, and prospective students alike.

And stay tuned for information soon about the owners of a micro-brewer and serving room wanting to open up just down the street – actually in the same complex as our offices. How’s that for literally being just under my nose.

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