Naomi and Ed Nicholson have opened Port Alberni’s first Indigenous-themed guest house as part of their Secluded Wellness Centre on Pacific Rim Highway west of the city.
Chims Guest House—“chims” is a Nuu-chah-nulth word for “bear”—is a beautiful, self-contained unit . It will be listed on Air BnB for now, says Naomi.
“We want to fill a niche of indigenous tourism,” she said before a grand opening ceremony on July 11. “I’m a First Host customer service trainer; in the curriculum they talk about having a name, decor, teaching people something about the language—indigenous tourism is just booming,” she adds.
They hope to offer Indigenous experiences to their guests by pairing with The Owls Path Tourism, a First Nations travel agency located in the Alberni Valley.
At age eight, Manbir Narang starting doing yard work. At 13, he started his own yard care company. A year later, Southside Yard Care has a partner in Javin Sachdev, and two employees are keeping yards neat and tidy in Central and South Port.
“I started this company because I wanted to work hard and achieve something on my own,” said the young entrepreneur. “I want to work hard and make people happy. My work has made many people happy and they have kept coming back.”
His partner is 13-year old Javin Sachdev.
“He’s like a little brother to me,” says Narang. “He works very hard and has a strong work ethic.”
In addition to yard work, Narang works full time managing Granny’s Chicken and Royal Canadian Pizza. He says he learned about hard work and business from his father Bhupinder Narang.
“My grandpa Satpal Narang and dad taught me everything I know,” says Manbir. “I wouldn’t be where I am without their teachings.”
The company currently serves central and south Port Alberni but is hoping to expand, says Narang. They offer commercial and residential services, free estimates, and discounts for seniors and repeat customers. They offer mowing, trimming, weeding, gardening, raking, shoveling, dump runs, moss removal and more. Call 250-720-5509.
And while one businessperson is starting their career, another is celebrating the completion of theirs. Scotiabank manager Cherie Williams is retiring from the bank after 27 years. Williams started her career in Port Hardy, then served in Parksville and Nanaimo before coming to the Port Alberni branch 10 years ago.
Passionate about the outdoors are Jeff Waldren and Richard Williams, owners of the new No Boundaries Adventure Gear shop at Harbour Quay. They carry camping and outdoor gear and clothing. They also have e-scooters and e-bicycles for rent and sale and they offer guided day and overnight hikes. Call 778-419-GEAR or see www.noboundariesadventuregear.ca
Hanyi Health Centre has moved to Port Alberni from Vancouver. Acupuncturist Lawrence Xue En Liang was a doctor in China for 13 years before coming to Canada in 2004. He ran his acupuncture clinic in Vancouver for 10 years before relocating to Port Alberni. Liang says he and his wife were looking for a slower lifestyle. Liang has opened his clinic in his home at 2729 Anderson Road, with appointments available Monday to Friday 10 am to 7 pm. He offers acupuncture, Tuina and herbal treatment. Call 778-421-4363 for an appointment.
Last month, this column listed the summer patios that have opened at local restaurants. With so many restaurants in town, it was inevitable at least one would be missed. Apologies to Bare Bones Fish and Chips, who of course do have a patio right on Johnston Road, but were not mentioned previously.
Pacific West Home Solutions held a Traeger barbecue cook off the end of June. Three grill masters competed for the honours and Dave Cusson came out on top, winning a Traeger Timberline 850 barbecue. More than 200 people came out to the event to try the food, enjoy the beer garden and raise money for Ty Watson House. Pacific West owner Dave Beecroft hopes to make it an annual event. www.pacificwesthomesolutions.ca