What defines a Cowichan Changemaker?
Our Changemakers are the influencers, activators, connectors and innovators within the Cowichan Valley. Whether working in business or volunteering for community organizations, they are the builders and collaborators who embody new ways of doing things. Changemakers see the potential that others miss and they connect the dots between people and ideas. Join us in celebrating and learning about the people who are shaping the future of the Cowichan Region.
Bakery | The Mindful Mouthful
With the Mindful Mouthful Everyone Wins: Food with a Purpose
The cookies, dessert bars and meat pies at The Mindful Mouthful have a delicious twist! They are hand-made locally by uniquely abled adults from the Clements Centre for Community Living. These talented individuals are on a mission to promote consciousness and celebrate their ability to work and earn a living.
Before becoming The Mindful Mouthful, the project was known as Lunch on Clements, a volunteer program where people learned new skills in a teaching kitchen. Participants sold baked goods that were not only delicious but in high demand. In 2014, the Executive Director of the Clements Centre had the idea that this could turn this into a viable business with paid employees.
In 2016, with the support of Enterprising Non-Profits, Restauranteur Andrew Moyer from Ottavio Italian Bakery & Delicatessen, and a three-year grant from the Vancouver Foundation, the dream became a reality. Now in its fourth year, the program continues with 19 paid employees.
Putting Cowichan on the Map Through World Class Music Events
Greg Adams is the founder and owner of the Laketown Ranch outdoor event facility. Through activities like the Sunfest Country Music Festival, Greg Adams has brought new recognition and prosperity to the Lake Cowichan region while contributing to regional economic development. The video describes how Laketown Ranch has evolved into a major destination that attracts over 10,000 people for Sunfest, which features some of the biggest names in country music.
The Cowichan Valley
Cowichan is a Happening Place to Live, Work and Invest In
“Cowichan: Hipper than You Think” celebrates a new generation of business owners and trendsetters attracted to the lifestyle, recreational and cultural amenities in the Cowichan region. This catchy music video features more than a dozen businesses across the region and offers a quick glimpse of Cowichan’s appeal as a destination for cycling, rowing, festivals and culinary experiences. Read the article here!
Merridale Cidery & Distillery
Embracing their passions and traditions to become a tourist destination
Imagine walking with your children through an apple-filled orchard on a warm summer’s afternoon. The children are wide eyed, on the lookout for the next set of fairies as many have been known to hide among these very apple trees. You wind yourself around the back of the property and then your residence for the evening comes into view. A picture perfect yurt, with every comfort you could imagine included. A family stay at Merridale yurts isn’t an adventure, but rather a place to stop, breathe, cuddle, talk, think, reflect, and reconnect.
Merridale is a 20 acre boutique farm set in the beautiful Cobble Hill region of the Cowichan Valley. Located a 17 minute rural drive out of Duncan, this destination cidery and distillery is the perfect place to stop for lunch and to stay for the evening when you’re in the Cowichan region.
Riot Brewing Co
Brewing the Cowichan Dream
It takes passion and skill to start a craft brewing operation – and in Chemainus, they’re having a riot building a new marketplace for homegrown ale.
Former Vancouverite Aly Tomlin, one of the first female brewers in the industry, and long-time friend Ralf Rosenke decided in 2010 to take the leap and chase their dream of starting their own brewing company. After overcoming multiple obstacles and acquiring a new business partner, Morgan Moreira, everything came together for the grand opening of Riot Brewery Co in Chemainus in November 2016.
In just under two years, the brewery has built a reputation both locally and internationally. Most recently, Riot Brewing earned a gold and a bronze in the 2018 World Beer Cup making them the only Canadian business to receive two awards in this competition.