BUSINESS BEAT: Alberni businesses celebrate in August – Alberni Valley News

Dave Heinrich is the new general manager of Alberni Co-op, replacing Glenn Downton who recently retired. Heinrich hails from Montmartre, Saskatchewan, a small town just south of Regina. He has worked for the Co-op brand for 17 years, starting right out of high school. He and his wife Vilma, a vet technician, have dreamed of living on the west coast for a long time so he applied for the position here.

We love the outdoors, hiking fishing and golfing and Port Alberni has it all, says Heinrich. We have found the community to be very friendly as well. He and his wife were both Lions Club members in Saskatchewan and plan to join the AV Lions Club.

Notary Dorothy Clarkstone is planning for the future by welcoming Matthew Dearin as partner in her busy office. Dearin grew up in Errington and came to work with Clarkstone two years ago as a conveyancer and then as a notary as he completed his education.

Clarkstone is considering retirement in a few years, and Dearin would succeed her in the business. Dearin and his partner recently bought a home in the community where they enjoy many outdoor sports and activities.

Terry Dobson, aka the Bed Bug Expert, has expanded his business to other pests with Ally Pest Control, the only locally owned pest control business in the Alberni Valley. Dobson started the first thermal remediation program for bed bugs seven years ago and has treated thousands of buildings across the province since.

We got a lot of calls over the years for pest control in Port Alberni, because there was no one here, says Dobson who lives in Port Alberni and now has staff licensed in pest control working in Port Alberni and Nanaimo.

Accomplished sewing instructor and wearable art designer Andrea Bailey has brought her talents to the Alberni Valley.

Bailey closed her home based sewing school, Andreas Sew Easy, in Victoria, B.C. at the end of May to move to Port Alberni to be closer to family. She has been teaching sewing to children from the age of seven, up through teens, and adults for more than 26 years.

Bailey has a passion for passing on her love of sewing but is also known for her one-of-a-kind wearable art designs. She has organized fashion shows for other wearable art designers, as well as her own students. Her love of sewing has been passed on to a number of students who have gone on to study a career in fashion design. Her teaching focuses on sewing clothing, not crafts. Andrea is excited to open her sewing classroom to children, teens and adults here in the Alberni Valley for ongoing afterschool classes starting in September.

Visit her website at to see many loveletters from former students. Check out her Facebook page, call 1-250-592-7879, or email

Linda Bowers, owner/operator of Boutique Belles Amies is pleased to announce that all three of her employees, Linda Whiteman, Yvonne Rogers and Bridey Lien are now certified bra fitters after taking their course in the fitting of post breast surgery products. Instructor Barb McMurray came to Port Alberni to certify the women.

Port Boat House has extended their business to include AV Boat Rentals.

Tour the Alberni Inlet and explore the wonders of the Barkley Sound. Visit the communities of Bamfield or Ucluelet and the many sights along the way. Or drop a line and try your luck at fishing. Perhaps a relaxing day on Sproat Lake is more to your liking. We have you covered, says Mike Hudson of Port Boat House.

AV Boat Rentals offers premium brand North River Welded Aluminum boats powered by Yamaha Outboards for your ocean going adventures and the Yamaha Suncatcher Pontoon Boat for the lake. Boats are conveniently located on the water and outfitted to make your day safe and enjoyable. Visit for details or 250-720-1968.

Sharon Smith and Carol-Anne Phillips have opened a new ladies consignment store Uptown, called Forever New.

We both love shopping at thrift and consignment stores and noticed that many local ladies were going to Parksville and Qualicum with their consignment clothing and we thought better to keep it local, says Smith. Every lady loves to recycle their clothing. We only take gently used items from belts, jewelry, purses, hats, shoes and clothing of all styles. Smith adds if you are going to bring in clothing please make an appointment. Find them on Facebook or at 4969 Argyle Street.

The new Canada Post outlet is now open at Shoppers Drug Mart. Shoppers renovated the back corner of their store to accommodate the Canada Post counter after Fairway Market and the postal outlet there closed in January.

The Comfort Zone has expanded to Qualicum Beach with a small satellite store on Second Avenue in that community. The Comfort Zone supplies medical aids, accessible baths, stair lifts, electric scooters, hot tubs and more. or 250-724-4477.

LA Marine on 10th Avenue will be celebrating 30 years in business on Saturday, Aug. 19 with an open house from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. There will be a draw held that day as well as hourly prizes, food and refreshments.

SteamPunk Caf and Coffee House is celebrating their fifth anniversary with some changes to the shop. A beautiful Nautilus-inspired carving by local artist Shane Lloyd has been added to the decor. Owner Kevin Wright has also put some lightweight steampunk style jewelry on display, created with a 3-D printer.

To celebrate the anniversary with his customers, Wright is holding contests throughout the month. See the Facebook page for more.

Also celebrating anniversaries this month are Gayles Fashions at Kingsway Crossing, with 34 years in business and Movie Mania, located on China Creek Road at 10th Avenue across from Quality Foods, has been in business for 16 years.

Teresa Bird is the Alberni Valley News publisher. Do you have a business tip for her monthly column? E-mail her at or call her directly at 778-421-8068.

A new Canada Post outlet is now open at Shoppers Drug Mart. The outlet replaces the one in South Port that was located in the now closed Fairway Market. TERESA BIRD PHOTO

Local artist Shayne Lloyd has created this Nautilus-inspired carving for SteamPunk Caf. The popular coffee shop is celebrating five years in business this month. SUBMITTED PHOTO

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BUSINESS BEAT: Alberni businesses celebrate in August – Alberni Valley News

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