Former Greyhound staff create parcel service. (File photo)

Former Greyhound staff create parcel service in Salmon Arm

Business Spotlight/Leah Blain

When Greyhound announced they were cutting their service in western Canada, it wasn’t only the passengers who were surprised by the news.

Warren and Cheryl Keen, who had been Greyhound agents for over 25 years, the last nine of those years in Salmon Arm, had no prior warning.

“We heard a tip from another agent that they were shutting down but we didn’t believe it. We thought it was a joke, and then we got our termination notice. We were stunned like everyone else.”

A company, Rider Express, based out of Regina, was going to take over where Greyhound left off but that hasn’t really fallen into place as they never did establish a regular Trans-Canada route. That not only left a lot of passengers without transportation, but also customers who used the bus for parcel delivery.

Passenger service is regulated by the government so there wasn’t much Warren could do about that, but he had an idea about the parcels.

Related: Column: ThinkMonkey changes location

“We got together with other former Greyhound agents to work together as a team. We keep our separate identities but we’re a team. Right now people can send parcels from Revelstoke to Penticton and north to 100 Mile House. It will get there the same day or overnight and our rates are very reasonable.”

With the increased out-of-town deliveries, Warren has had to buy another delivery truck.

V&C Courier does a lot of deliveries within Salmon Arm as well, including flowers and legal documents.

But Warren says he feels for all the people who are missing the passenger service, especially over Christmas and New Year’s.

“I feel very strongly that we need a passenger service. I talked to Greg Kyllo (MLA for the Shuswap riding) and I’m hoping something will happen in the new year.”

Warren says before Greyhound closed down, on a typical day they would have anywhere between 100 to 200 people go through the station.

“At Christmas we would have eight to 10 buses a day. We had a lot of people going through here.”

They rented the former Greyhound building but Warren says it feels very different in the bus terminal now: “It’s kind of funny standing there and no one is coming in anymore.”

Warren says he has a wish for 2019.

“I’m a dreamer but I like to see it come to fruition. It will take some work but I hope next Christmas we’ll see good passenger service that people can rely on.”

V&C Courier delivers Monday through Friday. They don’t always have someone at the station so it’s best to contact them for information or before dropping something off.

For parcel delivery, call 250-832-3131 (the former Greyhound number) or Warren’s cell at 250-832-0727.

Domino’s Pizza moves downtown

Domino’s Pizza is now open at its new location at 181 Trans-Canada Hwy., right across the highway from Ecotreats.

The new store is bigger than its former location near the uptown Tim Hortons and Subway.

“The old store was outdated and we had to decide is it better for us to move or shut down for three months and completely renovate?

“We decided we didn’t want to close our doors, so we moved our store to a new spot,” says general manager Ashley Ogloza.

Ashley and her husband, Bryce Dipalo, took over the store on Jan. 1, 2018, making next Tuesday their one-year anniversary.

But they’ve been working for Domino’s Pizza for many years.

One of the features of the new store Ashley is particularly excited about is the welcoming space they have for their customers.

“It’s much bigger. We have three booths that fit four people. In the old store everything was hidden, but with the new store everything can be seen.

“The production line is in view and we have steps for kids to step on so they can see. It’s an interactive business. It’s very big and open. That was very important to us.”

Ashley can’t say enough about their great staff. She says they’re so dedicated they even offered to work on Christmas, but Ashley and Bryce said everyone could have that day off to spend with their families.

Their regular hours of operation are 11 a.m. to midnight, Sunday through Thursday, and on Friday and Saturday they remain open until 1 a.m.

And just as a point of interest, their most popular pizza is the Extravaganza.

“It’s got a bit of everything on it – a little bit of meat, veggies and extra cheese.”

Domino’s offers carry out and delivery. To contact them, phone 250-832-4030 or visit Domino’s website at dominos.ca.

Send your business news tips to leahblain.shuswapmarketnews@gmail.com

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