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Cascadia Liquor Stores


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#1 Caramia

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Posted 15 August 2009 - 07:44 AM

On this thread I was talking about how much I like the idea of small village liquor stores that sell local product. My dream store is Cascadia - which focuses on local and sustainably produced beers, wines and spirits - many of which are hard to find.

On August 27th at 7:00pm there's a council meeting for the rezoning of about 1/3 of where Rogers Video is now (It would be a sub-lease from Rogers). For all of you who are passionate about local craft beers and amazing wines from the Pacific Northwest, come down and lend your support in front of Council - especially if you live in the Quadra-Hillside Neighbourhood!

I think some of you might be there anyhow to see Vic Hockey Fan address council regarding the blue bridge.
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#2 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 15 August 2009 - 07:48 AM

On this thread I was talking about how much I like the idea of small village liquor stores that sell local product. My dream store is Cascadia - which focuses on local and sustainably produced beers, wines and spirits - many of which are hard to find.

On August 27th at 7:00pm there's a council meeting for the rezoning of 1/3 of where Rogers Video is now (It would be a sub-lease from Rogers). For all of you who are passionate about local craft beers and amazing wines from the Pacific Northwest, come down and lend your support in front of Council - especially if you live in the Quadra-Hillside Neighbourhood!

I think some of you might be there anyhow to see Vic Hockey Fan address council regarding the blue bridge.


Do you know what liquor-primary business (bar or pub) this store is associated with? All CB&W stores are tied to another license within a 5km radius. Reading between the lines, it looks like the Cascadia at Town & Country is tied to Canoe.

#3 Holden West

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Posted 15 August 2009 - 07:59 AM

^According to the City's website it is the James Bay Inn.

http://www.victoria....n061109_cnc.pdf

EDIT: I'm wrong--this was an earlier failed application.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
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#4 Caramia

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Posted 15 August 2009 - 08:02 AM

Yes Cascadia is part of the Truffles Group - Cascadia in Town & Country, Canoe, Habit Food Services at Royal Roads and Butterfly Gardens are all owned by Don Calveley.

Not all liquor stores are created equal, but I'd rank Cascadia up there in the top three with the Cook St Liquor Store and the new Spinnaker's Store in James Bay.

I've had a look at the plans for the interior design and that pleased the hell out of me too! West Coast Modernism all the way - oversized beams, polished concrete floor, local slate on the walls. The materials for construction are all locally sourced recycled, or reclaimed wherever possible.

Great find Holden! But that was a different application - totally different people, and a very different type of liquor store. I believe that was the Alberta Liquor Barn that bought up licences across BC a couple of years back. A lot of the people who were opposed to that rezoning are supporting this one - including Cafe Fantastico.
Nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one's mistakes.
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#5 Holden West

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Posted 15 August 2009 - 08:08 AM

My mistake--I assumed it was the same ownership coming back with a different concept.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#6 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 15 August 2009 - 08:15 AM

It still must be tied to a liquor-primary, so it still could be in an arrangement with the JBI ie. the JBI gets a monthly cheque for the favour, that's how some of them work, like the one in Ramada 123 Gorge Rd., or the one in the Dalton Hotel, although they both also pay rent for the spaces.

Liquor Barn, what a stupid name if you are trying to sell your store to a wary council. Might as well call it "Liquor free-for-all!" with the slogan "No one sells more liquor for less money to almost anyone!" or "if you're workin' and your breathin', you're LBs kind of people! - conveniently located near 3 pawn shops and two bail-bondsmen!"

#7 Caramia

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Posted 15 August 2009 - 08:21 AM

No, there is no relationship with the JBI. You were right the first time VHF - The relationship is with Canoe Brewpub.

JBI/Liquor Barn was a previous applicant and that application was turned down. They are almost the polar opposite to Cascadia in all respects, even the type of product they focus on. Misinformation about who is behind the application is one of the challenges this rezoning faces.

Cascadia's focus is evident from their name - it is the Pacific Northwest, smaller wineries and breweries, and they feature products that are organic or do especially well with sustainable farming practices. One thing a lot of people don't realize is that if you don't produce enough beer to sell to ALL the gov. liquor stores, you can't sell to any. This effectively locks the small breweries out of the market. Cascadia provides an outlet for these smaller craft breweries. I expect them to have pretty much all the local brews - except Canoe's. Regulations don't allow them to sell their own product.
Nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one's mistakes.
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#8 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 15 August 2009 - 08:49 AM

Right, that makes sense now. Canoe has two liquor-primary licenses. Remember, Holden, you raised eyebrows when they moved the Soundgarden LP to Canoe, and they did indeed tell you that a liquor-store was not out of question? Well, here it is.... a few kms away.

#9 Caramia

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Posted 15 August 2009 - 09:00 AM

They've done something a quite unusual with the sublease.

When this first came up, some of the neighbours were concerned because while they knew that Don ran a quality business, there was no way to guarantee that a few years down the road he wouldn't sell (or get hit by a bus) an it would end up in the hands of someone less sensitive to the community needs.

Well now there is a guarantee - the terms are sewn right into the sub-lease. Examples of things that are in the lease: Among other things, the store has to close when Fairways closes, they can't get bigger, they can't sell singles, they have to run a limited recycling program, and they have to meet at least once a year with the neighbourhood group to review if there have been any issues.

Apparently it took them around 6 months to arrange for these restrictions to be encoded into the lease and overseen by the Liquor Board - the process has just finished, only a couple of weeks before the hearing. My understanding is that this is the first time this kind of certainty has been enshrined in a Liquor Store's lease in Victoria. If someone wants to change it, it would have to go to another public hearing.
Nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one's mistakes.
Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900), The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891

#10 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 15 August 2009 - 09:22 AM

^ Sounds good. I can support it.

#11 Caramia

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Posted 15 August 2009 - 09:27 AM

Sweet!
Nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one's mistakes.
Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900), The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891

#12 Bernard

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 02:12 PM

I am very impressed with the existing Cascadia, it has been the sort of wine merchant approach that I have been missing since I left the UK in 1992. I would love to see one in the Quadra Village.

It is a shame that the bizarre provincial regulations have basically kept us from being able to have high quality purveyors of wines.

#13 Chris J

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 04:24 PM

I live in the Quadra/Hillside neighbourhood. I never speak out on liquor store applications, but I dont support them either.
My question for Caramia is how much of their stock is local craft beer and wine? How much of their sales would be the same old garbage?
I ride my bike to the govie when I need beer. I am not generally a NIMBY, but I have not heard enough yet to think that access to a good local craft beer is worth having a liquor store in this neighbourhood.
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#14 Bernard

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 04:32 PM

I live in the Quadra/Hillside neighbourhood. I never speak out on liquor store applications, but I dont support them either.
My question for Caramia is how much of their stock is local craft beer and wine? How much of their sales would be the same old garbage?
I ride my bike to the govie when I need beer. I am not generally a NIMBY, but I have not heard enough yet to think that access to a good local craft beer is worth having a liquor store in this neighbourhood.


Based on their existing store, they have a better selection of Northwest wines and beers than government liquor stores tend to have.

They host wine tastings of interesting northwest wines.

#15 Chris J

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 04:34 PM

im just saying that doing that kind of thing is a great tactic to get neighbourhoods to accept you. a wise business strategy. is it a business strategy, or is this place truly different?
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#16 Bernard

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 04:36 PM

im just saying that doing that kind of thing is a great tactic to get neighbourhoods to accept you. a wise business strategy. is it a business strategy, or is this place truly different?


Having met the people running the place, these people are interested in a high quality product, they really impressive with their passion of local products. They have not 'dumbed down' the one near WalMart.

#17 Caramia

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 07:16 PM

It is a fair question Chris. Cascadia is a specialty liquor store. It features the organic as well as the local. So we can expect to see non local international organic wines along side with the local wines & beers. Also, as part of their ongoing training, staff research different products and then those products will be featured for a period. So some of the product will also be driven by staff interest. As Bernard said, if you visit their other store you can get a feel for what kind of product they sell.

On a personal note, I've found that the Truffles Group's business ethics are at the top end. Don Calveley's history is certainly serving him in good stead - he is one of the most respected business people I've ever encountered.

Wherever he opens up a business, he gets right into the local community. Downtown, where he runs the Canoe Brew Pub he has sponsored Green Drinks and Tour De Rock. At Butterfly Gardens he hosts and caters the fundraisers for the Victoria Hospital Foundation. And of course, without his sponsorship of the Victoria Youth Empowerment Society, we would have had to cancel programs. (My own personal reason for thinking he's a pretty good guy). It isn't just that he throws money at causes. He does a lot of the grunt work as well. When he does a fundraiser for YES, he's on the phone selling tickets. When he bought behind Streetlink, he got on the Streetlink board to start helping there. I know he has been looking at how he can get involved in Quadra Village, and has already had preliminary discussions about that.

I'm involved with another similar business which shall remain nameless. In my experience, where the other business spends most of it's marketing budget on print advertising, with some left over for sponsorships, Canoe, for instance, does the opposite - reserving the lion's share for sponsorships and the leftovers for print ads. Not great news for unemployed ad sales people, but excellent news for the local non-profits.

I think this place is really different. As Bernard said, there is a passion here that isn't just top down. Part of it is probably because of the relatively high wages they pay their staff, and the amount of training the staff get. I've found that the employees are also passionate about local and organic wines and beers. The manager is a master sommelier. It shows.
Nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one's mistakes.
Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900), The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891

#18 Caramia

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 07:27 PM

Chris, one thought! For a more impartial test - try Googling "Cascadia Liquor" and see what comes up.

You'll find references to their ties to local and small producers and to their support of local charities, and that is pretty much all that comes up.
Nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one's mistakes.
Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900), The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891

#19 G-Man

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 07:56 PM

I live in the Quadra/Hillside neighbourhood. I never speak out on liquor store applications, but I dont support them either.
My question for Caramia is how much of their stock is local craft beer and wine? How much of their sales would be the same old garbage?
I ride my bike to the govie when I need beer. I am not generally a NIMBY, but I have not heard enough yet to think that access to a good local craft beer is worth having a liquor store in this neighbourhood.


I couldn't disagree more! Our village is only lacking a CBW.

As a pedestrian commuter who walks through the village I usually stop at the butcher and Fairways on the way home for food but if I want a bottle of wine I either have to go out on my lunch to buy it or walk out of my way to the bc store or to Rosie's.

If we truly want to encourage a smaller carbon footprint we need our neighbourhood centres to be more fullsome, for this reason alone I think that North Park Village is far more comprehensive a neighbourhood centre.

#20 pseudotsuga

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 09:39 PM

There are lots of nearby places to purchase alcohol -
but unfortunately apart from Logans they are terrible to walk or bike to. I'll drive to Hillside Liquor Store rather than bike to the closer BCL on Blanshard.
A good store at fairway would fantastic.

G-Man : I'd say the village also lacks a bank. RBC left a full service ATM after shutting down, but for some reason that dissapeared a few months ago. :(

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