Have you seen the Speedy Glass vehicles around town? The ones with the smiling man holding the windshield? Well that is nothing compared to the smiles you'll get when you arrive at Speedy Glass on Beverly Street in Duncan...
Meet Ken Matthews and Leah Lowrey.
Speedy used to be Apple Auto Glass over on TransCanada Highway. And before that, they were Standard Glass. They have moved to a bigger, better location in the old Canadian Tire building on Beverly Street. But they are still the same fantastic people. Ken has worked in the glass business for more years than he cared to share with me (LOL) but has owned the Duncan Standard/Apple/Speedy Glass for eight years. Leah joined him four years ago. Besides the two of them, there are three other employees at Speedy Glass in the Duncan location. Whenever I walk in their door, I feel like I've walked into a "family" business - because they really are family to each other. They are a small but productive company that will treat you like family the minute you walk in the door. Leah and Ken are very proud of their business and are letting the world know by branching out into the Social Media world so they can tell everyone just how proud they really are. Follow them on twitter @Speedyglass1 or "Like" them on their Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Speedy-Glass-Duncan/149282215093073 ) - they will thank you.
Ken has invested a lot into his company. Time, energy and equipment are things he knew right from the start was expected of him. And he's done it all. He is always trying to stay ahead of the curve and have the best equipment on hand to do the job right. He has this really cool piece of equipment he showed me that "cuts" the windshield out with no damage to the vehicle. It's fascinating to watch and really, really slick! With this kind of dedication to doing the job right it is no wonder they are so well respected in the community.
Ken recently purchased two (yes 2) Fits from us. He uses them as courtesy vehicles. You've probably seen them around town with the aforementioned smiling faced man on them. If you bring your vehicle in to get a new windshield, it has to stay the proper amount of time to dry and be acceptable to Ken and Leah before they give it back to you. BUT they will put you out in one of their Fits so you can have no disruption to your day. The use of the vehicle is free, they only ask that you put in the gas you use. And with the Honda Fit you will find the amount of gas used minimal indeed. What drove Ken to buy the Fit? Well his parents own one and LOVE it. So it seemed like a natural "fit" for Ken to purchase them too. They are so fabulous that, on occasion, Leah likes to "borrow" one when she can. But don't worry, she pays for the gas she uses too ;-)
When they lend out the Fits to their customers, inevitably the customer comes back and talks about how great the vehicle was. They talk about the space and how surprisingly roomy they are. They talk about how fantastic they were to drive. How little amount of gas it used. How comfortable they are. Find out for yourself. Need a windshield in your present car? Take it to Speedy and ask to use the Fit. Don't need a windshield? Come on in and test drive a Fit at Discovery. Have some fun, set a challenge, and get the sales person to show you all the different ways the seats fold and flip around.
A little more about Ken. Ken is a diver. He dives all around Vancouver Island and has also been to some pretty exotic place to dive. He's passionate about the sport. Chat with him about diving and you will see his eyes light up and his face wear that irresistible smile. I just know you'll smile along with him.
Leah? Well she is one of the loveliest people I know. She's affectionate and caring. And she wears her heart on her sleeve. I haven't known her for long, but I can already tell that if you are a friend of Leah's she would give you the shirt off your back if you need it.
Ken and Leah are dedicated to giving back to the Duncan community as much as you give them. They work tirelessly to support events and organizations. For example, they were a big component of the Halloween events at Providence Farm. This holiday season they have elected to support the food bank. If you bring in a food donation to "Fill the Fit" they will deduct $10 off your chip repair bill. Bring in a can of soup, and you get $10 off? No, really, it's totally true! This is the kind of people you will find at Speedy Glass.
Looking for some really wonderful people to help you fix something on your car. Come see us (LOL), but since Discovery Honda doesn't do windshields, we definitely recommend that you head on down to Speedy Glass and meet Ken and Leah... they are amazing and a couple of my Cowichan Honda Heroes.
Hand up if you've been to Rocky Creek Winery. If both of your hands are still on the keyboard you should probably head out to your car right now and drive on down to Cobble Hill so you can - Meet Mark and Linda from Rocky Creek Winery.
You will probably never meet anybody more proud of being Cowichan Valley sustainable than these two lovely people. And even though they are transplants from "away", they are very proud to call the valley their home. It is very important to Mark and Linda to keep everything they can local. They are one of the few wineries that doesn't subsidize and import grapes from other vineyards. All the wine they produce is made from the grapes from their own vines. They are hard, hard workers and do it all with their very own hands (with help, of course). They plant and prune and harvest and create and bottle... all on their properties in Cobble Hill and around the valley. Watch this great video for some fun moments with the couple. They have a bright and airy tasting room where you always get met with a smile. The tasting costs a mere $3, but I guarantee you go away not only happy but with much more appreciation of what a good wine is all about (and if you are anything like me, with more than one bottle of wine as well). In the tasting room, above the door to the backroom is a shelf with all their award winning medals proudly on display. They take a great deal of pride in producing a quality wine that everyone can enjoy. And if my taste buds are anything to go on, they have most definitely succeeded.
Mark and Linda started small. In the basement of their previous home in Ladysmith, which Mark (an engineer) designed specifically for producing wines using his own recipes, they began their Cowichan Valley wine making journey. Their two teenage daughters are willing (okay, not always) helpers in their family's adventure. You could try the bottles of wine named in honour of their girls; but I will warn you, don't pick one over the other, there is a tiny bit of competition going on there... no really there is. And the new red wine for this year is named after Mark, it's unique and wonderful just like Mark - I bought a bottle of this too. I'm waiting for the wine named for Linda, they are open to suggestions about names btw.
This amazing family got into the wine making industry because Mark has always had a love of making wines in his basement and was continuously being told they were better than anything you could buy. Linda embraced his love because she simply says she enjoys a great glass of wine herself and she wanted to stay in the valley she fell in love with. They had this "great idea" that they would get to travel and learn all about wines and other vineyards. Not so much! Hasn't happened yet anyways. The last trip they had was to Seattle, with no stop at vineyards. Travel hasn't been a real option since they have become so involved in their own winery. It's a lot of time consuming, hard work. Perhaps in the future??
Mark and Linda have just recently purchased their second Pilot from Discovery Honda. They loved their first Pilot so much that when the opportunity came up to get a newer one for lower payments, they jumped at it. Before the Pilots,the Rocky Creek logo was on a Ridgeline. It was a great vehicle for them, but they found the lack of storage for wine being left in the back was a hindrance. The Pilot was the perfect alternative. It provided them with the back compartment for storing cases of wine in their travels, but it also gave them the same towing capacity of the Ridgeline. Towing a trailer is necessary for moving grapes around in the vineyards. Mark and Linda have a history with Honda. The very first brand new vehicle Linda owned was a Honda Civic, they still miss that car. Their eldest daughter is learning to drive now, but you won't see her driving their much loved Pilot. Mark and Linda absolutely love the workhorse they have purchased in their Honda. It does everything they ask of it and more. When family is out visiting, they have a comfortable, roomy people mover; when they need to pull a trailer through the vines, they have a powerhouse engine; and when the winery goes on the road to shows and tastings, they have a transport truck. The only thing the Pilot doesn't do is "forget" to take all the wine out when it comes in for servicing - the darn thing is always empty!
Mark and Linda... two amazingly lovely people with warm hearts, wonderful wit, and a passion for making great wines. For the smiles they gave me, for the fabulous wine I bought from them, for their dedication and appreciation of their Honda: they are my Cowichan Honda Heros.
Meet Robin Duke. No wait, that's not right... Meet Robin Duke! Much better.
Do you know Robin? Perhaps you know her Fit? Or maybe you know her dogs? Or maybe you know Power Lunch? Get to know Robin, she's a Cowichan Honda Hero.
Robin has lived in the Cowichan Valley off and on all her life. She is very proud to once again call it home after living in other places like London, England, and Banff. I guess the beauty and bustle of those places just can't compete with the tranquility and scenery of the Cowichan Valley, can it Robin?
Robin is the proud owner of Power Lunch on Canada Avenue. It's this great little place nestled in a strip mall amongst a clinic, dentists, a vet, and chiropractor, to name a few. It's a quaint cafe that provides many people with some of the best sandwiches and coffee in Duncan. She also caters functions. Robin has been the owner/operator of Power Lunch for a year and it has been growing in popularity and support under her competent guidance. She has a staff of 7 and, you can ask them, they all love working for Robin. But then who wouldn't?
Robin's little red Fit is a common site in and around the Duncan area. But don't worry, she won't be delivering your sandwiches in it. Robin's Fit is known with a smile as the "Dog Car". And it most definitely is that. With a regular population of 5 wagging tales and licking tongues, you can see Robin zipping around town with a smile on her face. She loves her Fit and she loves her dogs. This is Robin's second Fit, she enjoyed her 2007 so much when it came time to get a new vehicle she went for the same car (even the same colour). And why wouldn't you? Is there another car that can provide her with the fuel economy and room for all those dogs quite like the Fit? Robin's fondest memory of her Fit: when she was able to "fit" $1,500 worth of light fixtures, in their boxes, into her car - with room left over! Was it a tight fit for the dogs in there too, Robin? We love it when she brings in the car for service because we get to see her smiling face. The detail boys, not so much... vacuuming dog hair... well you understand... lol.
Robin has always been a bit of a car girl. Did you know that she used to own and race Corvettes? Can you picture her behind the wheel of one of those muscle cars after seeing her in her Fit? LOL - I can. And I can picture the biggest smile on her fabulous face while she's driving it, fast and sure.
That's a bit about Robin and her Fit. She is one of most approachable people I know. So if you go on down to Power Lunch, say "Hi". Or if you see her with her dogs, ask to meet them, she loves showing off her "children". Ask her whenever you see her because the dogs change up all the time. Robin is often a "foster parent" to different abused or abandoned dogs.
Robin Duke is one of my Cowichan Honda Heros!