BUSINESS BUZZ: Two wineries to receive awards

News and events from Summerland's business community.

Two Summerland wineries have been awarded the 2014 Lieutenant Governor’s Awards for Excellence in British Columbia Wines. 8th Generation Vineyard and Haywire Winery (Okanagan Crush Pad) are among just 12 wineries in the province to receive this year’s award.

The honourable Judith Guichon with members of the consular Corps of BC will visit Summerland on July 25 to present the awards at the wineries.


pop up

Several local home-based businesses and artisans have joined together to open a retail pop-up store on Main Street next to Home Hardware. My Chocolate Crush and Indulgences are among those showcasing their goods.

Under new ownership

Brad Alexander Jr. is the new owner of JR Bush Pilot, formerly Bush Pilot Automotive.

Brad has succeeded his uncle Brad Alexander Sr., who has retired. The shop on Victoria Road South, next to the Bottle Depot continues to offer a diverse range of services, from regular auto maintenance to motorcycle, marine and small airplane engine repair.

Led by father Garry and son Brad, the McConnell family has taken ownership of Robert’s Fruit Stand (soon to be renamed McConnell’s Fruit Market).

From the first purchase of a five-acre pear farm in Summerland in 1971, to the most recent addition of the fruit stand and attached orchards, the family now farms 30 acres and will be supplying their market with a huge range of their soft fruit, as well as their own apple juice.


July 1 marked more than just Canada Day for Kim Lam, owner of Sumac Ridge Golf and Country Club. She also celebrated 20 years in business at exactly 5am that morning, which is when she received the keys to the business two decades before.

The team at Murray’s Pizza has marked 20 years in business. Owner Josh Roberts started the business with his father when he left high school, and since then they have grown to four locations in the Okanagan Valley.

New chef

Bonitas Winery has welcomed their new head chef of Bonitas Bistro. Mike Sonier started his career in Nova Scotia and has worked in restaurants across the country.

Having now moved to Summerland he says “I’ve finally found a place where I can settle down and cook dishes that advocate my passion for fresh, organic foods. Here, the dishes I cook can alter with what the seasons provide and I can prepare dishes with natural foods that the local community offers.”

Stop by the Bistro to try Chef Mike’s new menu, and follow Bonitas Bistro on Facebook for beautiful photos from the kitchen.

Name change

Earlier this spring the Okanagan Plant Improvement Corporation changed its name to Summerland Varieties Corporation (SVC).  In a recent interview for BC Fruit Growers Magazine, former SVC Chief Executive Officer Keith Carlson said using “Summerland” in the brand gives them a stronger position in an international market.

Carlson recently stepped down as CEO, and SVC has announced the appointment of Nick Ibuki as acting general manager.

Ken Haddrell is the interim special advisor to the board of directors.

On the move

Len’s Massage has moved to a new location downtown.

Owner Len Hannah has moved his massage studio to Henry Street, where he shares space with The Studio Esthetics.

Okanagan Custom Cut is settling in to their new location at 9211 James Ave. The move from a half-acre to a one-acre lot provides the much needed extra room for milling, and they’ve also added fir wood chips to their product list.

Giant’s Head Automotive is moving to a new, larger location. Their current building on Main Street is slated to come down as part of the new library project.

The business will be moving to the corner of Logie Road and McLachlan Street, near the Nixdorf Car Museum. Owner Jeff Schmidt says the new location is twice the size and will give him the opportunity to further grow his business. They will be open on Main Street until the end of July, and re-open in the new location in August.


After 32 years as one of the well known lawyers in Okanagan, Tom Johnston of The Summerland Law Office has retired. The firm of Pearce, Taylor, Schneiderat (Mike Pearce, Jodie Taylor and Cary Schneiderat) has purchased Johnston Goodrich Lawyers, and the team will continue to serve their customers from their office on Main Street.

Business Buzz is compiled by Sophia Jackson, Membership Services Coordinator for the Summerland Chamber. Let her know your business news at