Meet Rayna Corner With Town Hall

By Leeann Froese It’s Saturday – that means it’s time to introduce you to a new personality #withTownHall This does not mean they work as part of our team, or are our client (although they could be). We just interact with so many amazing people that we want to expand networks and introduce them to you, and you to them. This week we introduce you to Rayna Corner can you please say hello?IMG_2591 Rayna is the proprietor of Quench! Wines  – a Vancouver Island & Gulf Island agent for boutique wineries and breweries from various regions of BC. She considers herself to be a wine nerd, word nerd. She loves cooking, reading & her dog, and is a fledgling runner. Can you please say hello with a comment below – or go give this post a like or share on Facebook or Twitter.

Celebrating Our Women In Business #WithTownHall

 

By Amy Chen

Happy Business Women’s Day! 

TH Business Women Flashback 65 years today, the American Business Women’s Association was founded by Hilary A. Bufton Junior with a mission to bring together businesswomen of diverse occupations and to provide opportunities for them to support each other personally and professionally. Thirty years later in the 1980s, president Ronald Reagan officially declared September 22nd as a national holiday to recognize gender equality and the contribution that women make in the business world.

Now, why is this important to Town Hall (and maybe you, too)?

According to Canadian Statistics:

  • Number of Canadian women in business is drastically growing
  • Self-employed women grew by 6.4%, accounting for one third of all self-employed persons
  • On average, women in business do not make as much money as men
  • Women perceive more barriers doing business than men
  • Love is what drives majority of women entrepreneurs in their business

With a number of our clients and team members being women, we want to celebrate Business Women’s Day by highlighting the leadership and dedication of our Town Hall women in business. Most of all, we invite you to help us celebrate and recognize these incredible women for their hard work and achievements. They inspire us and allow us to take great pride in the work that we do for them. Thank you ladies for everything that you do! Here’s what ten of our empowering Town Hall Women in Business shared when we asked them their greatest challenge and reward as women in the industry:

 

Angie Quaale Angie Quaale, owner, Well Seasoned Gourmet Food Store

Challenges: “I don’t think I face specific challenges because I’m a woman. I know plenty of male and female entrepreneurs. Their challenges are unique to the business, and not their gender.”

Rewards: “Meeting food producers that raise or grow food. The passion involved in that process is completely inspiring to me.“  

 

Christine Coletta Christine Coletta, owner, Okanagan Crush Pad

Challenges: “I didn’t really face many as the wine industry is made up of family business with many dynamic women taking lead roles. It was not a male dominated environment and neither was the restaurant industry, which was my previous career. Frankly, the biggest challenge was the confusion over my name, which is when I officially started using “Christine” to avoid receiving calls and mail addressed to Mr. Coletta. The assumption was that I was a male… I quickly set that straight.”

Rewards: “Watching the growth and knowing that I played a vital role in changing the direction of the BC wine industry along with the many people that became my friends. It was hard work, but we shared some wonderful experiences and have great war stories to tell.”

 

Darnelle MooreDarnelle Moore, owner, Eastside Fitness

Challenges: “One of the biggest challenges is to let people know that a female operated fitness business does not mean we are for women only. To let people know that women can and do lift some pretty heavy weights (and they don’t “bulk up” when they do so) and that men don’t have to lift heavy weights all the time to improve their health/fitness. They could benefit from movement pattern corrections, which might involve some pretty basic “unloaded” body weight exercises. One of my pet peeves in the industry, regardless of the fact that I’m a woman, is that the fitness industry is categorized under “Recreation and Entertainment”. To me, that implies fitness is not taken seriously as a preventative health measure! I would love to work towards changing this officially!”

Rewards: “I think seeing people move beyond their original fitness goals, beyond the obvious ones like losing weight or running a 5km to where they realize the real benefits of a full, balanced exercise regime.  Seeing people become stronger (physically and mentally) and in a place where they enjoy working out. I especially love when I see a client make a self-correction in a movement pattern we have been working on. It’s a sign to me that they are aware of how their body is connected.”

 

Jenny Garlini Jenny Garlini, office manager, Blue Grouse Winery

Challenges: “My biggest challenge right now is splitting my time between my kids and my work. I have two kids that are four and six years old, and I want to be involved with school/preschool as much as I can. The other big challenge working for a small business is that you have to wear many hats. It has been a big challenge to not only manage a tasting room, but also make sure bills are paid, schedules are done, edit a website, put out a newsletter, start a wine club, make sure the lawns are cut, and the list goes on and on.”

Rewards: “Seeing the whole picture. I love being a part of each aspect of the winery that I listed and more! I get to see and make decisions on things that will make Blue Grouse grow and be successful. I love seeing the sales grow, new wine club members signing up and knowing that we have made a new customer that will love our place in the Cowichan Valley as much as I do.”  

 

Judy Kingston Judy Kingston, owner, Serendipity Winery

Challenges: “Getting the farm started is my biggest challenge as a woman in the winery industry. As most would know, the farm is a really male dominated industry. So, when I first moved from Toronto to start Serendipity, there were a lot of non-believers. I was a Torontonian, a lawyer, and a woman that had no idea how to drive a tractor nor did I know anything about farming.”

Rewards: “Since Serendipity started, my biggest reward is proving everyone wrong. I succeeding at farming and transformed from the Toronto, lawyer woman that everyone doubted to the farmer and owner of Serendipity, 2013 Winery of the Year from New York International Wine Competition.”  

 

Judy Poole Judy Poole, branch manager, Poole and Associates Wealth Management

Challenges: “The biggest challenge working in this industry has been balancing the expectations of the various firms that I worked for, especially in a male dominated industry and with the unique way that I, as a woman, work with clients. My philosophy puts building trust and truly understanding client’s needs first, but the corporations put sales results first. Fortunately, I have found an independent home at Raymond James where my philosophies fit.”

Rewards: “Without question, the biggest reward has been watching my clients’ lives evolve, helping them to navigate the rough waters of life! Children have been born, grown up, educated, marriages, divorces, and widowhood. I’ve been at this a LONG time!”  

 

Marina Knutson Marina Knutson, owner, SpierHead Winery

Challenges: “I co-own a winery with my husband so my challenges are no different than his. The ongoing challenge I see is balancing roles as husband and wife while owning a small business and continuing to be parents of four children.”

Rewards: “It’s always a success to see my wines do well and win awards. Also, I’m pleased to see more women wine makers as equal partners. This means I have more opportunities to meet new groups of women in the hospitality and wine industry. Prior to the wine industry, I was an occupational therapist, so another reward is being able to learn more than I ever thought.”

 

Pinki Gidda Pinki Gidda, wine shop manager & marketing, Mt. Boucherie Family Estate Winery

Challenges: “As a family-run business, we have to do everything ourselves and wear many hats. While it’s a great learning experience that I am able to get my hands in everything, it is slightly challenging at times because I often wish I have more time to spend with my customers, rather than working behind the scenes.”

Rewards: “One of my biggest reward is meeting people from all over the world and seeing our business grow with everyone’s support.”  

 

Tarrah MacPherson Tarrah MacPherson, vice president of operations, Summerhill Pyramid Winery

Challenges: “I don’t really feel any significant challenge as a women in the industry. The support I have received coming on board here at Summerhill has been tremendous. My environment has been collaborative and inclusive right from the start. And this is the mantra we are passing on to our teams to be successful.”

Rewards: “Well, to start, I love my job. I feel really good about the achievements we are making as a team and as a company. As an organic winery contributing to the sustainability of our planet, we feel we are pioneers among our peers. As the worldwide wine industry continues to trend upwards, we feel we are well positioned to continue as a leader in our industry. A really great place to be.”

 

Leeann Froese We will end with our own Leeann Froese, owner, Town Hall Brands

Challenges: “The biggest challenge is living up to my own pressures – trying to oversee the business, family, volunteer obligations and carve out time for myself. It’s a challenge for me to be a leader in these varying aspects while still trying to look ahead and grow.”

Rewards: “My biggest rewards come when I hear from clients saying what a difference we have made for them, how we are vital to their teams, or from press saying that some of our best practices are their favourites. And I get huge satisfaction from the smiling faces of my team. I push them, hard; to work to output their best and learn and grow, and hope that they are happy with their role and work.”

Do you know any of these women or know a woman in business you would like to recognize? Let us know or give them a big high five and thank you.

Meet Raj Thandi With Town Hall

By Leeann Froese

It’s Saturday – that means it’s time to introduce you to a new personality #withTownHall

This does not mean they work as part of our team, or are our client (although they could be). We just interact with so many amazing people that we want to expand networks and introduce them to you, and you to them.

This week we introduce you to Raj Thandi – can you please say hello?

Raj Thandi

Raj is the girl behind the blog Pink Chai Living.

She is also a writer, crafter, amateur chef, fashion lover, and entrepreneurial mama.
Pink Chai Living is a place she shares her experiments, adventures, and musings on living life with an Indian touch.

She is also the founder of Pink Chai Media, a social media marketing firm she runs with her husband.

Can you please say hello with a comment below – or go give this post a like or share on Facebook or Twitter.

Meet Jeannette Montgomery With Town Hall

By Leeann Froese

It’s Saturday – that means it’s time to introduce you to a new personality #withTownHall

This week we introduce you to Jeannette Montgomery – can you please say hello?

Jeannette Montgomery

Jeannette writes ad copy, editorial, and freelances for a number of publications. On Twitter she is @okanaganwriting

She is the Okanagan correspondent for EAT Magazine, works with Culinaire Magazine as Okanagan contributor, and Yukon North of Ordinary for their special South Okanagan Extraordinary issues and to write for the Air North in-flight magazine.

As a freelance writer she writes copy: websites, wine labels, newsletters, ad copy, etc.

Can you please say hello with a comment below – or go give this post a like or share on Facebook or Twitter.

Meet the People #withTownHall Behind The Bottles at the 2014 Colour BC VQA Fall Release Trade Tasting Event in Vancouver

The end of summer in British Columbia marks a time to celebrate the beautiful colours and flavours of our local fall grape harvest.

On September 17, the British Columbia Wine Institute is hosting its annual Colour BC VQA Fall Release Tasting Event to bring together 90 passionate BC wineries and local trade in exploring the bountiful wine growing regions of BC, while tasting the bursting flavours of BC VQA’s fresh new releases. Talented winemakers and winery team members will be onsite to unlock your palates with a cornucopia of flavours that will lead us into the Fall. There’s really no better way to celebrate the season than with like-minded wine enthusiasts who share the same passion, industry, goals and stories.

FaceBookCover-Grapes

Whether you are a winemaker, sales specialist, winery owner, media, or wine buyer, this is a must-attend trade only event that provides an easy, one-stop opportunity to connect with prospective suppliers, industry partners, and media on the latest trends, insights, products, and winemaking techniques.

But with more than 350 BC VQA wines on showcase, how can you make the best out of a mere four-hour tasting event? Read on for some tips from our team…

Do your homework.

 This means…

o   Find out which wineries will be at the event

o   Research the wineries

o   Make a list of the people, wineries, and products you want to see

o   Jot down questions you have for the principals

o   Allocate total time you want to spend at the event and at each individual booth

o   Bring your business cards, a fresh palate and open-mind to share your passion with like-minded wine enthusiasts

To start, we have highlighted a few winery clients in the room with unique stories and flavours that you will not want to miss.

 

Summerhill Pyramid Winery, Kelowna, BC

 “A gathering of farmers, winemakers, artists, environmentalists, visionaries, and wine enthusiasts who think outside of the bottle to create organic wines with a story.”

 

Ezra Cipes

Meet Ezra Cipes from Summerhill Pyramid Winery

  • Experience the debut tasting of 2013 Summerhill Vineyard Riesling
  • Understand the benefits of biodynamic farming in creating a diversified and healthy ecosystem that promotes healthy crops and balanced wines
  • Become enchanted with the history of Summerhill, including their leading sparking wine program and learn the story behind the magic of the pyramid

Founded with the 1991 vintage, Summerhill Pyramid Winery, in the Okanagan Valley, BC, is Canada’s largest certified organic winery, BC’s first Demeter certified biodynamic vineyard, and Canada’s foremost producer of sparkling wine.

Winemaker Eric von Krosigk oversees the portfolio of BC VQA wines that have earned the winery the title of ‘Canadian Wine Producer of the Year’ from the International Wine & Spirits Competition in London, England. The winery, owned by the Cipes family, is also home to the Sunset Organic Bistro, a two-hundred seat restaurant with a panoramic view of Okanagan Lake, serving food grown and raised by local organic producers, including Summerhill’s own on-site permaculture-style vegetable garden.

More background reading on Summerhill Pyramid Winery’s organic and biodynamic farming practices can be found here.

For more information, visit www.summerhill.bc.ca Like Summerhill on Facebook or follow the winery on Twitter @summerhillwine.

Who to meet:

Ezra Cipes is proud to carry on the family legacy at Summerhill Pyramid Winery as CEO. Like his father Stephen, Ezra has a multitude of passions and talents. At Summerhill Pyramid Winery, Ezra Cipes is responsible for day-to-day operations, marketing, and leadership. He is a talented musician, and has completed courses in vineyard management and in permaculture design.

What you will taste:

  • 2008 Cipes Blanc de Noirs $34.90 – A magical transformation to sparkling white wine from black grapes
  • 2013 Summerhill Vineyard Riesling $29.90 – Made with 100% estate-grown biodynamic fruit. Fermented with wild yeasts from the vineyard.
  • 2013 Alive Organic White $19.95 – Supremely versatile, every day white wine.
  • 2011 Alive Organic Red $24.95 – Bold, deep and smooth.

Okanagan Crush Pad, Summerland BC

“Home of Canada’s first purpose-built custom crush facility with signature wines fermented and aged in concrete wine tanks.”

Rebeka Eriksson, Alison Scholefield and Amy Hollenbach from Okanagan Crush Pad

Rebeka Eriksson, Alison Scholefield and Amy Hollenbach from Okanagan Crush Pad

  • Enjoy the sparkles and bubbles of The Bub while meeting the Bub herself, Alison Scholefield
  • Taste Haywire’s signature Rosé – Summerland in a glass
  • Learn about Canada’s first custom-crush facility and concrete wine tanks

Haywire is an old Canadian term that refers to wire once used for baling hay, which tended to tangle in a chaotic way. It is also an apt description of winery owner Christine Coletta and Steve Lornie’s transition from the city to owning a vineyard and winery. The learning curve was steep, but as the first wines hit the market (in 2010) it became apparent that the journey was the reward. Since planting the 10-acre Switchback Vineyard, Christine and Steve have gone on to open Canada’s first purpose-built custom crush facility (Okanagan Crush Pad Winery in 2011) and have now begun planting the first 20 acres of vines at their 312-acre Garnet Valley Ranch. Haywire is committed to crafting wines that tell the story of the new Okanagan.

For more information see www.haywirewinery.com and like Haywire on Facebook or follow on twitter @haywirewine

Who to meet:

Alison Scholefield is arguably the youngest winery principal you will find in the room and she has been in the wine industry since birth. Now as the winery ambassador and sales team liaison for Haywire and Okanagan Crush Pad, it’s her job to communicate with customers, the public and wine club members. You can ask her about where to find the wines, and anything that’s happening at the winery. Also find out why Haywire’s sparkling wine ‘The Bub’ was named after her.

Rebeka Eriksson and Amy Hollenbach are Haywire’s friendly, skillful and customer-oriented sales agents. From the wine cellar to the retail floor stock, these two have everything you need to know about customer needs. Whether it’s product knowledge, wine pairings, customer service, promotional tactics, or purchasing opportunities, Amy always has new and innovative insights for you to take home.

What you will taste:

  • 2013 Haywire White Label Pinot Gris $19.90 – Bursting with citrus notes, intriguing sweet and savoury herbs.
  • 2012 Haywire White Label Pinot Noir $22.90 – Gently aged in old French oak barrels. Loaded with bright cherry aromas and flavours.
  • 2012 Haywire Pinot Noir Rosé   $19.90 – One taste and you’ll vote it ‘Best BC Rosé of the Year’.
  • 2012 Haywire ‘The Bub’ Sparkling Wine $24.90 – Filled with love and sparkles. A lively expression of Okanagan freshness and a tribute to the lovely Alison.

 

Mt. Boucherie Family Estate Winery, West Kelowna, BC

“Our roots run deep. We have been here since the beginning of the Okanagan wine industry and are proud to own and manage some of the oldest vineyards in the valley.”

 

Jim Faulkner, winemaker for Mt. Boucherie, seen here #withTownHall

Jim Faulkner, winemaker for Mt. Boucherie, seen here #withTownHall

  • Taste award-winning VQA wines while celebrating the bounty of family-grown vineyards
  • Meet witty and talented winemaker, Jim Faulkner to learn the inspiration behind every wine bottle
  • Gain insight into viticulture techniques and tips on maintaining a historic family-owned vineyard

Mt. Boucherie Family Estate Winery‘s award-winning wines reflect the bounty of the Gidda family’s 100 percent estate-grown grapes, family-owned and operated since 1968. Mt. Boucherie has evolved from a masterful grape grower into one of British Columbia’s premier wineries, which opened its doors in 2001. Mt. Boucherie’s goal is to produce the finest white, red and dessert wines for every palate. Led by winemaker Jim Faulkner and his team, the winery produces a diverse and delicious range of reds, whites and Icewines. Incredibly food friendly, the variety of Mt. Boucherie wines available ensures there’s a bottle to match any palate, plate and mood.

Their history and passion for wine is yours to enjoy. Your way.

For more information on Mt. Boucherie, please visit mtboucheriewinery.com, and Like Mt. Boucherie on Facebook or follow Mt Boucherie on Twitter.

Who to meet:

Jim Faulkner has lent his passion and exquisite palate to the cellar at Mt. Boucherie since 2009. As a wine enthusiast, Jim studied business at Calgary’s SAIT Polytechnic in addition to the winery assistant program at Okanagan University College. With decades of experience in winemaking and an eye for the unique terroir on Vancouver Island and in the Okanagan Valley, Jim has created many award-winning wines for Mt. Boucherie, many of which he credits to be from the high quality of vineyards, welcoming environment, and supportive team efforts.

Don Pfeffer is Mt. Boucherie’s well-versed and personable sales agent that always puts the need of the client first. With extensive experience in the winery industry, Don never fails to pair you with the glass of wine that will take your taste buds and dining experience to a new level.

What you will taste: 

  • 2012 Pinot Noir $21.00 – Lighter red. Slightly smoky with aromas of raspberry jam, vanilla bean, and candied apple.
  • 2010 Family Reserve Syrah $25.00 – Well balanced. Aromas and flavours of black pepper, dark berries, and liquorice highlights.
  • 2013 Pinot Gris $16.00 – Fruit forward with aromas of fresh pears, apple and melon. Citrus and honey on the palate.
  • 2013 Ehrenfelser $17.00 – Refreshing white with tropical notes of mandarins. Bright acidity on the finish.

 

SpierHead Winery, Kelowna, BC

Big things come in small packages – this is what SpierHead is about. All of our wines are hand-harvested by a small, dedicated team to deliver rich, yet elegant flavours and aromas to your tasting experience.”

SpierHead's Marina and Bil Knutson

SpierHead’s Marina and Bill Knutson

  • Discover why SpierHead has been gaining so many accolades of late – from BC and across the country.
  • Experience their pride and joy – Pinot Noir sourced from their estate vineyards in South East Kelowna.
  • See if you can spot winery owners Bill and Marina Knutson around the room – they’ll be happy to share details on their wine club and how to be part of very special winery-only events.

SpierHead Winery is named for its stunning location along Spiers Road on the benchlands in South East Kelowna. Part of the East Kelowna Wine Trail, SpierHead has been turning heads since opening in 2010, and was named “Best New Winery” at the 2012 BC Wine Awards. The winery’s focus is on wine produced from a combination of sustainably farmed, estate-grown grapes, and premium fruit sourced from vineyards in the Okanagan.

For more information visit www.spierhearwinery.com, Like SpierHead Winery on Facebook and follow Spierhead on Twitter.

Who to meet:

Lisa Hill is SpierHead’s account lead from Christopher Stewart Wines & Spirits. Knowledgeable and attentive, Lisa brings with her an extensive portfolio in the winery industry. Whether you are a retailer, winemaker, or wine sommelier, Lisa loves to share her tasting experience with you. Chances are, you will walk away with insight on a new wine and trend you’ve never tasted.

Winery owners Bill and Marina Knutson In addition to dealing with SpierHead affairs in Vancouver, Bill and his wife Marina spend 50 – 75 days per year in Kelowna, where Bill finds that there is never any shortage of tasks to be done in the winery and vineyard.

What you will taste:

  • 2012 Pinot Noir (White Label) $22.00 – All but sold-out, the well-received 2012 will give you a lead-in to the much-anticipated next vintage.
  • 2013 Chardonnay $23.00 – Full cluster pressing and low temperature fermentation. Hints of apricot and cool climate orchard fruits.
  • 2012 Riesling $22.00 – Clean, crisp fruit and terroir-driven flavours. Refreshingly honest approach.
  • 2013 Pinot Gris $20.00 – Rich, well balanced. Plenty of freshness to match its tropical flavours.

 

*All wines listed in this post can be ordered online through Summerhill Pyramid Winery, Haywire, Mt. Boucherie Family Estate Winery and SpierHead Winery.

And… if you are NOT attending this tasting, but want to meet or know more about any of these clients, then contact us info at townhallbrands dot com.

 

Meet Beverly Akhurst With Town Hall

By Leeann Froese

It’s Saturday – that means it’s time to introduce you to a new personality #withTownHall

This week we introduce you to Bev Akhurst – can you please say hello?

Bev

Beverly Akhurst is a yoga instructor at Eastside Fitness on Fraser St. in Vancouver.

Though teacher is the title, she feels guide is a more appropriate term as her belief is that the teacher is there to guide each student to the places and experiences that speak most, to the individual journey, allowing the students to connect to their own internal teacher so that their practice more personally fulfills their needs.

Whether your desire is to follow a physical, mental or spiritual practice Beverly welcomes you to each class as the unique individual you are. Certified as a Hatha and Yin instructor she welcomes young and old, new and experienced to explore body and soul. She believes you should give yourself the gift of being there for yourself so that you can be there for others in your life.

Can you please say hello with a comment below – or go give this post a like or share on Facebook or Twitter.