Zem Tran is ready welcome clients at her new shop Allure Beauty Shop. The nail salon can accommodate groups and events such as weddings. TERESA BIRD PHOTO

BUSINESS BEAT: Lower Johnston area of Port Alberni blooms with new business

Uptown area sees upbeat attitude



Carley Bowyer has opened Smoothology in the Adelaide Plaza.

“I saw a need for a healthy, convenient option,” says Bowyer, who offers a variety of smoothies, without sugar or juice fillers, that are vegan and dairy free. To complement the smoothies, popcorn prepared in avocado oil adds a little crunch.

“This is like fast food, but a little more guilt-free,” says Bowyer. How fast? Very fast. Bowyer says customers can be in and out in five minutes with a smoothie and popcorn in hand.

Kids needing a quick snack after school have been a big part of her business.

“Kids’ smoothies comes with a free popcorn and it’s great for after school activities,” says Bowyer. “That’s been the best part, the reaction of the kids.”

Moving forward she hopes to expand her options with feature flavours. Learn more on Facebook or call 250-735-3127.

Smoothology is connected by a doorway to Cloud Nine Spa, owned and operated by Bowyer’s sister-in-law Rebecca Cameron, certified spa therapist. Cloud Nine offers relaxation massage and facials using organic products. Cameron moved her business to the new location in January and along with Smoothology celebrated a grand opening in February.

Call Cloud Nine at 250-731-7840 or on Facebook.


Also new to the back side of Adelaide Plaza is Wolf’s Breath Vape Shop, moved from their previous Johnston Road location.


Across Johnston Road, Allure Beauty Spa has opened next to Boundless Beauty. The new spa, owned by nail technician Zem Tran and partner Eric Bondy, offers manicures, pedicures, lash extensions, waxing and tinting.

“Port Alberni needed a nice place to get nails done, some place specialized and professional,” says Bondy. “A lot of people go out of town for nail services and now they don’t need to.” The couple are from Nanaimo, but have a bought a home in Port Alberni and are in transition to moving here full time.

The freshly renovated shop includes several nail stations and six pedicure chairs. They can accommodate groups for weddings, parties, and events. Call 778-419-4545 or learn more on Facebook.


Just down the street, Marshall Lampson Lawyers and Notaries have moved two doors to the west side of AV Financial. Owner of the building and of AV Financial, Aaron Vissia has renovated the space that was formerly Paws Awhile, to match his offices. AV Financial will expand their offices into the space previously occupied by Marshall Lampson.


At the corner of Johnston and Gertrude Street, Darryl Smith has moved his home business to a storefront with Treasure Trunk Liquidators. Smith has operated Mountainview Computers for 27 years, 15 of those in the Alberni Valley.

“I was driving by and saw the corner space was available so I decided it was time to open a store,” says Smith who added he had been planning to open a store in the near future. With two warehouses totally 4,700 square feet full of items for sale, he won’t have any trouble keeping the store stocked.

“The concept is to offer liquidation items at low prices,” says Smith who has been buying and selling since he was about 12 years old.

“When my wife sees 100 dozen sunglasses arrive at the front door, she’s not surprised,” he laughs. With so much stock, Smith plans to turn over the stock frequently.

“The beauty is never knowing what you are going to find,” says Smith, “Tell me what you’re looking for. Chances are I have it.” He adds he likes to barter, all prices are negotiable.

He works with individuals, such as estate sales, but also business to business and recently liquidated two local businesses that closed.

The store is open Friday to Sunday from 10 am to 4:30 pm or by appointment through Facebook. He will hold a grand opening later this month.


Lots is happening in the Uptown area as well. Healthy Habits has announced they will move in to the former Pine Restaurant on Upper Third Avenue this summer after completing renovations. The health store is currently “a popup shop” up the road from the Pine, in the corner location at Third and Mar next to Flooring Depot.

Just down the hill on Third, Flandangles Kitchen and Gifts Shop has opened a sister shop next door. After some renovations, Gibson’s Fine Linens opened in late April. The new store carries kitchen, bed and bath linens and accessories. Owner Chris Washington saw the need for such a store in the community.

“It’s just one more thing to keep people shopping locally,” says Washington, who is planning a grand opening for later this month. Call 250-724-5851.


The iconic Donut Shop at Harbour Quay has a new owner, but she’s not new to the shop. Jan Marchant has worked in the shop for 14 years and when previous owner Mike Barrowcliff decided to sell, she took the opportunity. Marchant says she won’t be messing with the success of the shop and plans to continue the same offerings of fresh doughnuts and coffee from 7:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. everyday. Call 250-723-2213

The entrance to Harbour Quay has a fresh new look, with new siding and façade to the building on the corner. Portal Curios and Oddities has reopened after being closed during the renovations. The Blue Door Café continued to serve their historic breakfasts during the upgrades. New signs for the businesses are coming soon.


And while you are shopping locally, look for the Proud Advertiser sticker with the Alberni Valley News logo displayed in the window.

Those businesses support the vibrancy of our community by supporting your local newspaper, Alberni Valley News, with advertising both in print and online. Without local businesses, many of the services and amenities enjoyed by Valley residents would not be available, including your newspaper.


Carley Bowyer prepares healthy smoothies and popcorn at Smoothology. TERESA BIRD PHOTO

Look for this sticker at businesses in the Alberni Valley.

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