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BIZ BEAT: Vintage collectibles store finds a home in Port Alberni

New food truck joins the ranks at Clutesi Haven Marina
Inky Cauldron owner Suzy Merriam collects vintage and eclectic items in her new shop on lower Johnston Road in Port Alberni. (TERESA BIRD/ Alberni Valley News)


Alberni Valley News

Suzy Merriam is a “finder of things.” As the owner of the new vintage and collectibles shop The Inky Cauldron, Merriam says she has been a collector her whole life and enjoys helping others find their own treasures.

“I have a knack for being able to find something for someone,” says Merriam who scours estate sales, shops and keeps a watchful eye online where she also advertises what she is looking for. “Things find me.”

The Inky Cauldron sells art, antiques and vintage collectibles, including mid-century modern decor, furniture, jewelry, toys, dishes and more. Merriam’s husband Adam helps out at the shop and has contributed some of his own collection – acquired over the past 40 years – to the shelves. The store carries collectibles of Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, Masters of the Universe, Transformers, Fisher-Price toys, G.I. Joe and more.

“There is something for everyone,” says Merriam. “It’s a mixed cauldron.”

The Inky Cauldron is open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Wednesday to Monday and is located at 5057 Johnston Road, across from Alberni District Liquor. Find them on Facebook at Inky Cauldron Vintage.


The food truck pod at Clutesi Haven Marina has added another truck to their ranks. Canadian, Eh! offers a range of Canadian classic foods including beaver tails, Nanaimo bars, Saskatoon berry pie, butter tarts, poutine and pea soup. Burgers, bagels and sandwiches are also on the menu. Owner Henny van Nieuwburg makes all the food herself, including the breads using locally milled flours. She also uses meats from Hertel’s Meats and Pete’s Mountain Meats.

“I am trying to support local as much as possible,” says van Nieuwburg, who opened the food truck about three months ago after relocating from Tofino where she lived for 30 years after immigrating from Holland.

The truck is open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. from Tuesday to Sunday. Follow the truck on Facebook at Canadian EhTake out.


Antidote Distilling is also getting into the food truck business with a replica of a Citroen 1969 HY Van, decked out for events and markets. Antidote recently won two gold, a silver and a bronze for their spirits at the World Spirits Competition in San Francisco. Antidote will be located at the corner of Johnston and Adelaide once construction is complete on the new building there. In the meantime, their gins are available at local liquor stores.


Alberni Brewing has also been giving back to the community with their monthly burger fundraiser to support Tseshaht First Nation in building a memorial for those who attended residential school. Since starting the fundraiser in October, Alberni Brewing has raised more than $1,895 by donating $5 from each burger sold on the last Monday of the month.


Stuart Aldred is thanking the community for their support of McHappy Day at McDonalds.

Aldred is owner-operator of McDonalds restaurants in Port Alberni, Comox and Courtenay. The three communities raised $17,444.36 to support Ronald McDonald House BC.

“Your support helps local families who depend on Ronald McDonald House BC while their child is receiving care,” said Aldred in a press release.

“Since 2017, this has included 29 families from Port Alberni and 52 families from the Comox Valley who have stayed at Ronald McDonald House BC.

Only 575 steps from BC Children’s Hospital, RMH BC keeps families close to treatment while saving families in our community $3,000 - $6,000 per month in accommodation, food, gas, and other expenses.”


Teresa Bird is the Alberni Valley News publisher. Do you have a business tip for her? Email her at

Henny van Nieuwburg serves up a burger at her Canadian Eh! food truck at Clutesi Haven Marina. (TERESA BIRD/ Alberni Valley News)