Changes are occurring with a change in ownership for the new Chemainus Public Market on Willow Street.
Local business owner and entrepreneur Patricia Berry has purchased Warren Goulding’s shares. She is very excited to become an integral part of the market community and the town of Chemainus, joining her business partner Tony van de Mortel as co-owner of the Chemainus Public Market.
Berry will also run the daily operations of the market as the managing director. She’s already well-known as the managing director and marketing executive of the Osborne Bay Pub in Crofton and Berry Music Company that is in charge of the live music scene at the pub.
Acquiring her shares in the market only a short time ago, Berry has enthusiastically plunged into her new duties running the market. She has a very clear vision of continuing the wonderful work put forth in the creation of the market.
She has devised a solid plan for the future of the business with a definitive market strategy and is eager to put that plan into action.
“I look forward to finding numerous ways to contribute to the local community, with a focus on fun, food, and flare!” Berry enthused.
She also has designs on appealing to all of the Cowichan Valley and, hopefully soon, tourism from far and wide.
For now, the primary concern is, of course, to follow all COVID-19 protocols and regulations.
“Obviously, that limits what we can do for now, but when things are settled and safe for all, we will be ready to facilitate the flourishing tourism that this beautiful town is known for,” said Berry.
But there are marketing initiatives that can be undertaken now and she isn’t wasting any time putting some of those plans in place.
“My immediate goal is to support the local community in any way that I can. I look forward to making new friends every day,” Berry stressed.
She has been seeing many familiar faces as well, running in to lots of local people who already frequent the Osborne Bay Pub.
New food options at the eateries within the market are high on her priority list. That’s already happening at Captain Andy’s Fish and Chips, Archie’s Ice Cream Parlour and Diner and Coffee Row for the delight of locals.
Berry was introduced as the new owner to the vendors at a meeting last Wednesday and is embracing the chance to enhance those relationships.
Goulding and van de Mortel combined their respective areas of expertise to make the market a reality. Goulding is an author, businessman and founder of the Chemainus Valley Courier while van de Mortel’s abundant projects around the Island through Mortel Developments include the Country Grocer complex in Cobble Hill, the Mews condo building in Crofton, several subdivisions and multiple other small projects.
“When Chemainus Foods closed, within a couple of months I’m thinking and other people were talking about what we can do with that space,” recalled Goulding.
About a year ago, the market concept started to come together with van Mortel’s building expertise to create the layout of the space and Goulding working on the business details. It was deemed too small for another grocery store and too large for retail.
“I saw it as the only practical and reasonable use of that space,” said Goulding. “It needed to be chopped up into a multi-use space. That turned out pretty well and Tony did a great job. It was a whole lot of fun putting it all together.”
Goulding’s had a couple of books in the works for eons that he wants to complete and is now excited to move forward on those projects.
Berry is taking the reins of the project from where Goulding and van de Mortel started, striving to making the project grow and flourish.