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John Thomson

John Thomson's I Didn't Know That!

A Kelowna landmark has been sold to investors from Alberta.  The Paramount Theatre building has been a downtown institution since 1945. The theatre is leased by Landmark Cinemas and will continue to be one of Landmark’s premier locations for movies in the valley. It now is a three theatre house with three screens and has a 144 seat cinema, a 170 seat cinema,  and the largest theatre in the valley with 450 seats. 

It wasn’t that many years ago that the Paramount was remodeled from the four or five stores that made up the west part of the building with store fronts on Bernard. Then when the remodeling took place the other theatres were added.  It was listed for over $2 million. The sale was handled by Jeff Hudson of Colliers International.

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This is important news from Kelowna Yacht Club.

For the first time in its history, the Kelowna Yacht Club is accepting applications from businesses and organizations for the new category of Corporate Members. Corporate members will be eligible for moorage and up to three staff can be given access to all Club facilities and events, as well as the privilege of signing in other staff, customers and business acquaintances as their guests.

As many people know, the Kelowna Yacht Club is about to begin building their new Clubhouse on Kelowna’s waterfront, and members and their guests will be able to take in the outstanding views of the lake and Stewart Park from the large shaded decks while enjoying fabulous meals.

Memberships in the Kelowna Yacht Club are strictly limited by the number of moorage slips and with the final expansion of the moorage basin now underway, the Club expects to achieve its final membership limit within the next few months. In fact, the Board expects that both the Corporate and Regular member categories will be in great demand as soon as construction begins on their new building, since the project is so visible and the last development that will occur on the downtown waterfront.

Businesses, organizations and individuals who are interested in membership in the Kelowna Yacht Club can learn more and download member application forms at www.KelownaYachtClub.com

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For years, way back to our days in Toronto, a friend mine sent me a Christmas fruit cake from Texas made at Collin Street Bakery in Corsicana, Texas. It is the most wonderful Christmas cake I have ever eaten in my life!  It is full of nuts and fruit. I started using them as gifts for my business associates and I did that until about four years ago. They were amazing. I realized finally that it was getting too expensive. The bakery has been producing these delicacies since 1896. It is quite a story.

We have something similar going on right here in Kelowna  where a special Christmas desert has been created by a local chef and she is selling them in many ways but first and foremost through the Internet.

Moni Schiller of Nuttier than a Fruitcake said she’s decided to return to her original intention of having an on-line, mail order business.  After being approached by companies such as The Bay, and selling yearly in stores such as Urban Fare in Coal Harbour, she says trying to bake thousands of fruitcakes by hand, and then selling them wholesale, made no sense.

This year they’re still available locally, but in limited numbers and at only two stores: Okanagan Grocery Artisan Breads Bakery in Guisachan Mall, and Discover Wines in Orchard Plaza.

The 'Totally Decadent Fruitcake' is made with gently roasted pecans, glace cherries and pineapple, chunks of chocolate, and is soaked in brandy after being baked.

The 'Okanagan Harvest Cake' is made from dried fruits such as apples, apricots and pears.  It contains gently roasted almonds, chunks of chocolate and is soaked in rum after being baked.

Both weigh one pound and make an excellent hostess gift, stocking stuffer, or gift for that elderly person who no longer wants knick-knacks.

Check out the site, at www.fruitcake.ca and see the article about fruitcakes in Country Woman Magazine’s current issue.

I am still a fan of the Christmas fruit cake and I can remember my grandmother baking what seemed like a lot of cakes at Christmas and wrapping them in cheesecloth. Then it was time for the booze to be soaked up by the cakes. Good stuff.

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CAFE is the name of the organization and few people know about it. The Canadian Association of Family Enterprise has a chapter in Kelowna and Kevin Wostradowski is the new president. The group has a meeting scheduled for tonight at the Elks Hall on Springfield Road. It is all about families in business who want to remain in business as the family enterprise evolves; families grow and transition through the generations. I have been to a number of their dinners and you would be surprised who are members. If you’re in business and have sons and daughters who want to continue to run the enterprise you should look into this assistance that is available. You can call Kevin at 250-469-0110.

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It is time to start planning for your Christmas lunch with clients at the Vintage Room in the Coast Capri Hotel. The annual Dicken’s Lunch Buffet has been the best one in the city for eighteen years. Executive Chef Monika Lauterbacher has an exceptional menu of just about anything you want and then some. It is incredible and delicious. This year the buffet opens December 7th at 11:30 AM in the Vintage Room and runs through to December 21st.  Reservations are important. No, let's put it another way, reservations are necessary.  Phone: 250-860-6060.

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Did you see the new Canadian Google offices in Toronto on the TV news the other day? They were quite spectacular.  The company has done everything to make the workers feel comfortable on the job. They work many hours and it is busy at Google.

I of course noticed the recreation room and the golf putting hole set up. The staff is able, if they wish, to cook their own meals or bring something in to warm up. There is a main salad bar continuously filled with fresh produce to make a salad all the time. Kitchen staff looks after the making of the salad items.

It reminded me of being on a tour of Disney’s Penguin Land in the Landmark centre. I was on tour and we went to the kitchen they have set up for staff. While I was looking at the unique fish tank in the area just outside the kitchen, and there were certainly fish I have never seen before, a lady in an apron came and asked me if she had given me my breakfast bar this morning. I said no she hadn’t and she promptly gave me a bar. It was a nice place to visit.

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When I heard of the closing of the of the Twinkies company in the U.S.  I immediately thought about the implications for the two Canadian companies, Weston’s Bakery and the Saputo Company in Quebec. Weston’s has the right to produce Wonder Bread in Canada and it's one of their best sellers.  

You have to admit that the finest of grilled cheese sandwiches is on toasted Wonder Bread. Have not had one of those since the girls grew up.

Saputo bakery division has the agreement to sell Hostess Twinkies in Canada. I don’t know whether they make them in their factory or import them from the U.S.

The Quebec company already makes Jos Louis and Vachon cakes.   

I saw one lady being interviewed on TV and she said that she didn’t know what she was going to do if they really stopped making the Twinkies in the U.S.

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Did you ever notice that no matter what championship game, the winners are given a cap saying they are the champions and each of those caps has a tag hanging down in the back. Not one player ever rips them off.  I can’t understand it.  Remember Minnie Pearl on Hee Haw?  She always had a price tag hanging from the back of her straw hat!



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About the Author

John Thomson is the Okanagan's pre-eminent business columnist writing his column, Rumours and Things, for over 24 years. Plugged in to the valley's who's who, John keeps his readers coming back for more with his straight talk and optimistic perspective on where we are headed next.

When John is not writing his column, he runs a sixteen year old think tank called the Executive Roundtable and holds his popular "Thomson Presents" quarterly business speaker seminars.

Have a comment, question, or tip for John? 

E-mail John at
[email protected]
or send him a fax at 250-764-8255.

 




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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet presents its columns "as is" and does not warrant the contents.


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