In Focus is our gift to the community. A way for us to help show our recognition for the people, businesses, and organizations that help make our city great. The team at KelownaNow.com is passionate about this community and the people that make it amazing. We want to show our friends, neighbours, family and colleagues that we notice them and the fabulous things that they do.
What is your name?
Where are you from and how long have you lived in Kelowna?
I was born in England and have lived in Kelowna since May, 2005.
Who is your favourite person to spend time with and why?
It has to be my wife and best friend, Ann. We have known each other since we were teenagers and immigrated to Canada, in March of 1967, the day after we got married. It was Canada’s centennial year. I can’t believe that was almost 50 years ago, and once again we get to celebrate living in this great country!
If you could go anywhere in the world right at this moment where would you go and why?
What is your favourite local store in Kelowna and why?
We don’t have just one particular store as we are spoiled having so many great independent places to shop.
What is your favourite activity?
Probably fishing, but anything outside seeing as we live in such a beautiful area.
If you had to choose: pizza, tacos, or burgers?
It would have to be Burgers.
What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you?
When we first came to Canada, we lived in Nelson, BC. We started going to see the Nelson Maple Leafs, as they were called back then, and thoroughly got into the game of hockey, which was something new to us. To avoid the rush after the game, we usually left just prior to the finish, however, every time we’d go to work the following day and talk about the game, the score was always different from what we had seen. We couldn’t understand, until one day we found out that there were three periods to a game and not two! You see we were used to football (soccer) which has two halves. Once we got over the embarrassment, we laughed but, felt very silly.
What is the most inspiring thing that has happened to you?
Seeing my wife go through stage four cancer and surviving.
Tell us your favourite childhood memory.
Waking up on Christmas morning to see the presents at the bottom of the bed.
Where do you volunteer or give back to in the community?
As I still work full time and I am, let’s say, just over the age one should retire, I don’t have the time to volunteer. However, we support the Kelowna Food Bank and our local Okanagan College with their fund raising events. Every morning the Food Bank comes to our main location to pick up the baked items that did not sell the previous day. We have never sold our bread or cakes a day old, or passed them off as fresh when they weren’t, so we feel this is the best way to pass on those items.
If you could change one thing in the world what would it be?
That there would be more tolerance in the world. Radom acts of kindness, rather than random acts of violence, and we would see us living in a better world.
What is your favourite activity in Kelowna?
Well, other than visiting our wonderful wineries, I love walking and fishing when I get the chance.
Where would you sneak away to in Kelowna to spend some time alone?
I’m not the type to spend time alone but, if I did, I’d probably end up at the lake.
Where would you like to see positive change in Kelowna and why?
It would have to be no parking charges at KGH, especially if you are taking someone to emergency, or you are having tests done yourself. You can’t possibly know how long you are going to be and to add worrying about parking fees to whatever else you are going through is just cruel.
What do you think makes Kelowna great?
That has to be the wonderful environment that we get to enjoy everyday from the lakes, orchards and our friendly residents of Kelowna.
What are 3 things on your bucket list?
Visit Eastern Canada and USA, as well as Italy, Germany, France and Great Britain.
Tell us something that not everyone may know about you.
In my youth, I had won medals for my county, Essex, as a long distance runner.
How do people connect with you, personally, through social media? (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest)
None of the above. I am old-school and use landline phones and letters to stay in touch. My wife has tried to get me to use a cell phone, but that never worked out too well, so she takes care of social media and stuff like that.
What is the name of your business/organization?
Why did you get into/start this business?
We had just moved back to Canada from the UK and saw a need for a European style bakery-café in Kelowna, one where baking actually took place onsite. 12 years ago, with a lot of persistence, Bob Callahan took a chance on us, and we opened our first location in March of 2006.
What is the goal of your business?
To have a welcoming place where people can come and enjoy meeting up with friends over coffee, or a healthy lunch. Some of our customers have been coming to us since we opened, and we are so happy to have created that environment here.
What has been your biggest struggle either in work or life?
Struggles in life or work are all relative. What is a struggle for me may be nothing to what others in the world are going through. It was hard when my wife was having her cancer treatment in the UK. We had a large wholesale bakery business, and had to continue working, but we got through it and six months later, after getting the all clear, we returned to Canada.
If you could start all over again would you do things the same or would things be different?
Every road and choice I’ve made has brought me to this point in my life, so I would change nothing.
What do you always find yourself saying?
'Is it that time already!', time has a way of passing by far to quickly.
If you could spend one whole day with anyone in the world who is currently alive, who would you select?
That is really hard, but I think it would probably be Steven Fry, a super intelligent and extremely witty guy, although I’d also love to meet the Queen.
Why do you think it is important to shop locally?
As a local businessman, I know we all care about our customers and that’s not always the case with the big corporate stores.
What has been your proudest accomplishment?
Other than the personal pride of having two brilliant kids, who have given us four beautiful grandchildren, I would have to say giving employment to hundreds of people over the past 38 years of being in businesses, whether here in Canada or in England.
Give someone you think that deserves it a shout out and explain why!
That has to be my daughter Holli. She has gone through many struggles as any single parent does. Hats off to all single parents!
My choice for the KelownaNow In Focus spotlight is:
It’s a great way to learn things about local businesses and their owners, that you may not have known about before.
Some general comments I would like to share:
With everything that is happening in the world today, let’s not forget the privilege we have as Canadians. We are truly blessed to be living in a free country, without persecution or fear for our lives. We have everything we could possibly need to live a comfortable life. Of course you have to work for it, but only if you are in a position to do so. If you cannot work, then it is up to us who can, to help. Lastly, please be kind to each other and don’t judge, as that doesn’t help anyone.
We encourage you to leave your comments and words of support below and submit your own nomination by clicking HERE. You are also welcome to submit a form of your own by clicking HERE. Thank you, Kelowna.