Copper Island Fine Homes crew include: Tammy Packer, Melody Thomson, Loree Mitchell-Banks, Kathy Moore, Jeremy Hanson, owners Tracy and Greg Vistisen and Rob Burt. Missing: Dean and Heidi Friesen, Chuck Beaton and Tim Lukashuk. (Photo contributed)

Business spotlight: Copper Island Fine Homes brings home gold and silver

By Leah Blain, Observer contributor

Copper Island Fine Homes Inc. won top accolades at the Canadian Home Builders’ Association Central Interior’s 13th Annual Keystone Home Builder Awards of Excellence held at Thompson Rivers University ballroom.

Local builder, Copper Island Fine homes Inc., based out of Blind Bay, captured the prestigious Gold Award for Customer Service and gold for Best Renovation over $300,000.

Additionally, they also won silver for Best Home and Best Home Design in the $500,000 – $750,000 categories.

Greg Vistisen, owner and president of Copper Island Fine Homes said it was incredible to be recognized by their peers and customers with these honours, adding the key to excellent customer service is ‘simple and obvious.’

“It’s really about taking care of the little things. It is about sweating the small stuff,” says Greg. “We are so proud of our amazing team and couldn’t do this without the dedication of our local sub-trades and suppliers who whole heartedly support our efforts. With their support our company has grown and allowed us to really strive to create the best in home building in the Shuswap and Salmon Arm area.”

The Lotus Collective

March 17 is the date set for the grand opening of the Lotus Collective at 140 Hudson Street NE. Shauna Lewis will be joining the collective with her Smudge Whole Food Noshery.

“I can’t name anything normal, it’s against everything I believe,” says Shauna. The date for the grand opening coincides with her fourth anniversary of her business across the street, GrAttitude Hot Yoga. Shauna has a background in, and a passion for, whole-food nutrition.

“Cooking healthy food for people is my passion and educating people on whole healthy food. People think vegan and vegetarian food as not tasty. I can make it tasty.”

People can expect everything from mushroom coffee and turmeric tea to plant-based smoothies, breakfast and lunch bowls to meal kits for dinner.

“There isn’t anything like this in Salmon Arm,” says Shauna, “but these trends are coming around. There is a vegan trend for 2018 and I think Salmon Arm is growing in awareness of health.”

Shauna will be supporting local organic farmers for her products. There will be 12 seats inside or people can enjoy their grab-and-go food and drinks in eco-friendly packaging.

The Smudge Noshery will be part of the collective which includes the current businesses: Rhea Sanjenko’s Lavender Lotus (sugaring -hair removal technique, lash extensions, massages, integrative health and wellness coaching, and the Lavender Lotus natural skin care line), and Kate Bischke’s Shuswap Float & Wellness Ltd (offering several energy and massage techniques).

The Smudge Noshery will be opened from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday beginning March 17 (although the schedule may change).

For more information visit their Facebook pages.

Women in trades

Okanagan College is offering a free information session for women interested in learning a trade. The Women in Trades Training initiative is open to women of all ages, backgrounds and skill levels. The program itself is 12 weeks, beginning in April.

The information session takes place on Wednesday, Feb. 28 at 5 p.m. at the Salmon Arm Trades Centre, 5450-48th Ave (in the industrial park). At the info session you will meet with Women in Trades staff, tour the shop, get details about the program and funding. All attendees will be entered to win a draw for a door prize, light refreshments will be served.

For more information go to: or call toll free 1 877 755 2266 EXT. 4825

Jade Buffet on vacation

The Jade Buffet of China, 100 Trans-Canada Hwy, is closed for a few weeks so the owners can enjoy a vacation.

They reopen on March 1.

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