Picking up on the topic of local businesses run by women entrepreneurs (so far we’ve featured Singing Bowl Granola and Earth’s Herbal), Dan Gunn discusses two more local businesses: Empire Donuts and Jenny Marie’s Cracker Company.
Empire Donuts aren’t your average donut (or doughnut if you want to be real Canadian about it). All the donuts are made by hand, from scratch, with quality ingredients. These babies come in all types of flavours, many of which are very unique such as: Lemon Coconut, Earl Grey, Lavender, Cinnamon Toast, Maple Butter, Chocolate Salted Caramel, Brown Butter Toffee Pecan, Raspberry Chocolate Chip, Maraschino Cherry and MUCH more!
Melanie Laverick is the owner and operator of Empire Donuts and she’s been baking more than ever now that Empire has it’s very own shop at 736 View Street. They’re open Tuesday to Friday 8am until Sold Out, and Saturday 9am until Sold Out. You can also buy these delectable delights from: 2% Jazz, Picnic Coffee, Niagara Grocery, Hide + Seek Coffee, Fairfield Market, Second Crack Coffee, Shatterbox Coffee, Ground Control Cafe, Koffi and Fernwood Coffee. They also deliver right to your office. Sorry, none of them are fat free. www.empiredonuts.ca
Jenny Marie’s passion for fresh and wholesome food was born in her Grandmother’s Newfoundland kitchen. Jenny Marie’s Cracker Company uses simple ingredients, free of artificial flavours, colours, preservatives, GMO’s and hydrogenated oils. These small-batch artisan crackers are freshly baked and either enjoyed on their own, topped with fresh local cheeses, preserves or charcuterie.
You can purchase Jenny Marie’s crackers from: Moss Street Market, Oak Bay Market, Sidney Night Market, Niagara Grocery, Pepper’s Foods, “The Local” (Haultain Corners), The Rootcellar, Ottavio Bakery & Delicatessen, Slaters Meats, Oak Bay Seafood, Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse, Carnivore Meats & More, Deep Cove Market, Nicholas Randall, Fairways Markets, Fantastico Bar-Deli and more. www.jennymariescrackers.com
Listen below as Dan Gunn discusses all of this, ermmm “fidget spinners”, and more on the Zone at 91.3fm…
“Before there were tight pants, lumberjack shirts, beards and people saying the word ‘artisanal'” there was Earth’s Herbal. Local entrepreneur, Lily Fawn, started up Earth’s Herbal in 1992 with the intent of sharing her unique herbal products with the community.
Lily has schooling in holistic medicine, healthcare, phytotherapy and the science of herbal remedies.
The recipes she started creating were for individual clients when she was a Holistic Consultant. The incredible blends were such a success, she was highly encouraged to create a line of products for purchase. This spawned Earth’s Herbal Products, “an ever growing line of organic tinctures, ointments, aromatherapy, sensual products and herbal teas that are not only delicious but also of the highest quality available.” There’s even a PMS and Menopause tea!
You may have seen the fun packaging in stores around Victoria, including Ground Control Cafe. They’re colourful, playful and humorous. A few of the more popular flavours are The Study Buddy, Hangover Tea and Apple Pie.
Her line of sensual products includes lube and nipple gel, and she even makes “Man Stuff” cologne with Rum and Bay leaves!!
Click below to hear more about Earth’s Herbal on the B-Side show on the Zone at 91.3fm.
After our courageous firefighters have won the battle over the current wildfires in BC and the rain clouds finally bless us with some precipitation, the clean up and reforestation will commence in order to get BC’s beauty as close to pristine as possible.
This got us thinking of the thousands of tree planters out there who work season after season, planting an average of 1600 trees a day. They lift a cumulative weight of over 2200lbs, bend more than 200 times per hour, drive the shovel into the ground more than 200 times per hour and travel over 16 kms with a heavy load, every day of the entire season. The reforestation industry has an average annual injury rate of approximately 22 claims per 100 workers, per year (1). It is often difficult and sometimes dangerous. But people have been doing this for centuries in order to give back to Mother Nature and make memories that last a lifetime.
Buuuuuut it would probably be nice if there were robots to do all the labour, wouldn’t it?
Well, there’s one that already exists and it was built right here in Victoria…
TREE ROVER, TREE ROVER, PLANT OVER AND OVER
Tyler Rhodes and Nick Birch, two third year UVic electrical engineering students, have built the TreeRover through their company Iota Enterprises.
This first version of TreeRover moves between planting sites using a 4 wheeled electric drive platform. The planting process involves penetrating the earth with a pneumatic ram, opening a hole and releasing a seedling, then tamping down the soil surrounding the seedling to ensure it’s roots are covered. It’s kind of like an RC Car, on steroids (organic, of course).
Yes, it still needs to be controlled by a human via remote control, but at least the back breaking work is eliminated.
“Its mission is simple: Maintain our beautiful forests, one tree at a time, by combining exponential technologies with community involvement,” commented Rhodes. “With help from supporters we plan to build a much more advanced version of the TreeRover and plant trees more efficiently than ever before.”
SEARCHING FOR THE MONEY TREE
“The first goal is to produce a proof-of-concept prototype. It will be used to conduct a crowd funded tree planting campaign to raise money for technical upgrades,” commented Rhodes “Supporters of the campaign will be able to purchase a tree seedling which will be planted by the TreeRover. They will receive a video clip of their seedling being planted to share with friends.”
The second and third versions of the TreeRover will be capable of traversing more difficult terrain, typical of replanting sites and will provide a cheap and efficient alternative to traditional hand planting methods.
Hmmm maybe this group actually built phase one…
Rhodes and Birch both hold Diplomas in Electronics and Computer Engineering Technology (Renewable Energy option) from Camosun College and are currently working through the Electrical Engineering degree program at UVic. Two co-op work terms in the marine and forest technology fields have provided them with valuable experience in technical environments.
“Growing up in BC, we have both spent a lot of time in the outdoors. We have always wanted to put our education to use by helping to preserve the environment. Tree planting is an extremely labour intensive process and if it could be automated there is potential for huge improvements. We did some research and found that there is a serious need to increase reforestation rates. Future models of the TreeRover could outperform traditional planting methods and help significantly with reforestation efforts.”
In addition to being inspired by Camosun College faculty members, some of their motivation has come from local company, FTS (Forest Technology Systems). FTS builds and maintains equipment for environmental monitoring and remote data collection and plays an important role in the prevention of forest fires. “Their dedication to protecting the environment through the use of technology is something we find admirable.”
Art Atelier is taking shape at 546 Yates Street (Two doors up from Ferris’ Oyster Bar), and it’s opening to the public this Saturday, April 18th at 7pm with a free event Victoria residents and visitors will love…
Victoria: Past, Present and Future will celebrate Victoria as seen through the eyes of over 20 of Victoria’s top Fine Art photographers through over 100 images. This is an extensive photography exhibit that plans on evoking emotional connections, nostalgic memories and shared experiences. The community can get involved by voting for the Viewers’ Choice Award up until the end of the show on May 22nd.
IT’S ALL IN THE NAME
The owners, artist Guillermo Mier and photographer Laurie June, are thrilled to add Art Atelier 546 to Victoria’s rich art culture. It will include a working studio space (“Atelier” means “workshop” in French), with alternating exhibits in multiple medias featuring Canadian and international Fine Art and photography. The gallery is also equipped with a projector and sound system, allowing them to host art films, presentations and talks that are current and intriguing, adding another vibrant touch to Victoria’s unique downtown.
Co-Owner, Guillermo Mier
Co-Owner, Laurie June
THE ARTISTIC PATHWAY
Laurie and Guillermo crossed paths in 2013, got married and started collaborating on multiple pop-up art galleries before finally opening something permanent.
Guillermo Mier’s artistic background consists of working with texture and pigments over wood panels. Each panel goes through several stages of preparation and he uses Canadian Birch mainly, primed with shellac several times. Guillermo picked up a talent for art at an early age in Chile and travelled to Brazil and Spain before heading to Canada 22 years ago. He spent a few years in the Yukon before finding his home on Vancouver Island.
Laurie studies photography, art history and cello. Travelling the world and raising five children gave her the inspiration she needed to take the leap towards professional photography. She has a background in film and digital photography.
“Everyone and everything in Victoria inspires us,” commented Laurie. “We love walking around downtown day and night and are constantly observing people, buildings, and the general downtown landscape. The city intrigues, amuses, inspires us.”
Getting ready for the unveiling at 546 Yates Street.
WHAT TO EXPECT
“The purpose [of the event] is to showcase new and unknown talent. We want people to know to expect interesting and intelligent art in many mediums,” commented Laurie. “Victoria is an evolving city, especially downtown. We need to articulate what is important to us about Victoria. For example, The Johnson Street Bridge project… Images of the blue bridge will be archived at the first show along with street scenes, shipyards, marinas and architecture.”
Sponsored by Phillips Brewery and GMC Projects Inc, the opening night will have the room bustling full of photographers, artists, art lovers, buyers and the media. It runs from 7pm to 10pm, open to all ages, and light snacks and refreshments provided.