Archive for February, 2014

Mardon Insurance Richmond

Monday, February 17th, 2014

Mardon Insurance has been a community fixture for 43 years. The first Mardon office opened in Vancouver in 1928 as E.P. Mardon Insurance, followed in 1971 by the opening of the Richmond location. The company has seen substantial growth over the years and now operates seven independent brokerages throughout the Lower Mainland and one in Toronto. Mardon Insurance has seen

At the helm of the Richmond office is Thomas Forbes, Manager of Commercial Insurance, and Kristin Erickson, Manager of Personal Insurance and Marine. Erickson joined the company in 1995 and Forbes came on board in 1996.a number of name changes over the years, yet what remains constant is its dedication to providing quality advice on an extensive range of insurance products to help protect you, your family and your assets.

From business to home, auto, marine, and group coverage, Mardon Insurance represents some of the largest international, national, and regional insurance companies in Canada, and is able to offer clients a selection of the most comprehensive packages at the best price possible.

While we all know it is essential to protect your assets, Mardon Insurance will work with you to determine how much coverage you need, along with recommendations on deductibles, and various other considerations of which you may not be aware. For instance, if you rent an apartment you may question if you really need tenant insurance. However, what if there’s a water leak in your unit? Or if you or accidentally cause a fire that spreads to other units in your building? What if someone slips and falls, hurting himself in your living area? As a tenant, having the appropriate amount of liability coverage is paramount.

The AbsoluteHOME package is a comprehensive package which exceeds the industry standards, and includes theft of belongings from your vehicle, business property on premises, coverage of some business property off premises (such as a laptop computer), spare automobile parts, bodily injury and property damage liability and replacing the locks on your home and car.

In addition, Mardon Insurance can also help customize your policy with a wide range of optional coverage including bylaw and sprinkler bylaw coverage, earthquake, extended coverage for bikes, jewelry, wine, fine arts and furs, glass extension, higher liability limits through an umbrella policy, home-based business, identify theft, parents in a nursing home, personal watercraft and students away from home.Being situated in a waterfront community, the Mardon Insurance team is extremely knowledgeable about boat and marine insurance. The company offers a variety of policies including boat, live aboard, marina, shipbuilder, specialty coverage and yacht club.Mardon Insurance seven independent insurance brokerages are located throughout the Lower Mainland, and noteworthy, they are not controlled by any single insurance company.Thomas Forbes says as a child he was a “Navy brat,” and moved from coast to coast. Originally from Halifax, he laid anchor in Steveston as a young adult. He was attracted to the waterfront village, which reminded him of home and he found the people to be much like Maritimers.
His first job in Steveston was waiting tables at the Charthouse Restaurant (where he met his wife who was also a server). Forbes changed careers and started at Mardon Insurance as a commercial lines broker. Within a short time he was promoted to Manager, Commercial Insurance (Richmond), the position he still holds today.

When looking for an insurance broker Forbes recommends first and foremost finding the right fit for your needs. For simplicity’s sake, he advises clients to keep their insurance policies under one roof, and to keep it local to save running around. He stresses that Mardon Insurance prides itself on customer service, and they strive to be the best insurance brokers by making the process easy for their clients.

Richmond’s Mardon Insurance team are all trained insurance brokers. A number of the staff has been with the business for many years, including Maxine Krowiak and Doreen Woon, who have both worked at the business for approximately thirty years. That is employee loyalty bar none.

Forbes shares a few tips to help protect your home and car. During the cold weather, ensure your outside taps are shut off to prevent pipes from cracking. When driving always follow the speed limit, and drive according to weather conditions – slow down and leave adequate time to safely reach your destination. Never leave valuables in your vehicle. If you are undertaking a renovation ensure that your contractor carries contractor insurance.

Mardon Insurance’s brokers play a key role in protecting a client’s assets. Forbes says, “it is a privilege to be entrusted to assist clients if the worst situation were to happen. ”

Mardon Insurance (Richmond)
145-3900 Steveston Hwy
Richmond BC V7E 2K2

Bean and Beyond Cafe Bistro

Monday, February 17th, 2014

Davood Khatami and I met the morning after a big party hosted at Bean & Beyond Café Bistro. Khatami is in his element when his restaurant is filled with people talking, laughing and socializing.

He refers to the years he spent growing up in Iran, followed by time spent in Europe where coffeehouses serve as social hubs to meet, talk, write or read. When I compared Bean & Beyond to the television show “Cheers” (where everybody knows your name) Davood Khatami appeared flattered, as this is his vision for the intimate café. I pointed to a table by the window where I frequently see the same customers seated, and based on my descriptions he was able to name them all. This is Davood Khatami’s greatest pleasure; he loves getting to know his customers. Bean & Beyond has the feel of a Commercial Drive coffeehouse where socializing and soccer set the tone. He deliberately does not offer Wi-Fi in order to encourage a social environment.

Davood and Eileen Khatami bought the business in April 2008. Eileen Khatami is a Richmond native and convinced her husband to set up shop in Steveston. Over the years they have made changes including a major renovation, expanding the menu and obtaining a liquor license two years ago. They recently added “bistro” to the business name to distinguish it as being more than a coffeehouse.

After leaving war torn Iran in 1984 Davood Khatami spent a number of years in Europe, including time in Germany. In 1991 he came to Canada and established himself. He worked at a number of restaurants including The Boathouse, The Sandbar, White Spot and for a short while he owned a diner on Bridgeport Road in Richmond before purchasing Bean & Beyond.

The couple have four children under the age of 12; therefore Eileen Khatami is busy running their household in addition to doing all of the baking for the restaurant.

The busy little bistro is open daily from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Food is made daily, by hand, using only the freshest ingredients including Richmond’s Rabbit River free range eggs. The brunch menu includes Belgian waffles, breakfast panini, Eggs Benedict, quiche (made daily) and bagel and lox.

The lunch menu features a variety of popular grilled panini sandwiches such as rosemary ham with Emmenthaler cheese and roasted chicken with mango, red onion and tomato. Other offerings include curry chicken wraps with spring greens, chicken cashew spring green salad with tomato bruschetta and grilled focaccia, and a homemade soup of the day. The tempting baked goods include squares, cookies, shortbread, loaves, scones and muffins.

Community spirit is extremely important to Davood Khatami. Bean & Beyond has established a friendly soccer rivalry over the last four years with Steveston Barbers. The barbershop’s owner, Iain MacKelworth, and Davood Khatami had traded playful insults leading up to the England vs. Germany game at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. After England lost, MacKelworth had to don lederhosen and wave a German flag while dancing in the intersection of No. 1 Road and Moncton Street.

Building on this theme, this past spring the two merchants challenged one another’s businesses to an indoor soccer match at Sportstown, which became known as the Beanfica-Barberlona Charity Soccer Match. The teams were comprised of customers and special shirts were made for this fundraising event, with proceeds going to the Richmond Society for Community Living. They plan to make this an annual tournament and the next match takes place in March.

On Canada Day (as part of the Steveston Salmon Festival) Bean & Beyond hosts their biggest event of the year, a barbeque, which requires a work force of ten people. Davood Khatami is extremely enthusiastic about this event and would like to see the village bustling like this more frequently.

The World Cup is always a busy time at the bistro. Televisions are fired up and fans sit around eating, drinking beer and cheering for their favourite teams. October is another favourite month as Oktoberfest is celebrated with gusto. On set nights Bean & Beyond partners with Jens Hertha’s Steveston business, D-Original Sausage Haus, and offers beer, pretzels and bratwurst.

Monthly live music nights are also on the ‘menu.’ Check out the bistro’s Facebook page for regular updates on all scheduled events.

In addition to these special public ticketed dinners, you can book Bean & Beyond for private evening functions. If you are seeking an intimate venue to host a birthday, office party, meeting or private dinner Davood Khatami is at your service and will cater the event.

Tasty food, great coffee, and plenty of atmosphere are all part of the Bean & Beyond experience. Davood Khatami and his staff are guaranteed to welcome you warmly, and they may even recruit you to join the Bean & Beyond Café Bistro soccer team!

Bean and Beyond Cafe Bistro
120-12420 No. 1 Rd
Richmond BC V7E 6N2
Telephone: 604-277-2687

Cartwheels Gym

Monday, February 17th, 2014

If you have spent any time at Cartwheels Gym you will have heard children enthusiastically call out “motorcycle” as they jump off equipment. This safe landing technique is taught to prevent injury and children can easily relate to the fun image. Motorcycle has become such a large part of their psyche that Cartwheels students have even been heard calling it out at playgrounds.

Katherine Campbell and Lisa Lacamell are the co-owners and founders of Cartwheels Gym. They opened the Richmond location in 2002, followed by the Surrey location in 2004. The business partners are lifelong gymnasts who are committed to delivering quality gymnastics and activity programs to promote health and fitness for children. Their goal is to inspire a devotion to fitness through fun, challenging gymnastics and movement activities.

Campbell is the club’s Chief Director Programs and Operations. She brings the magic alive in the gym, inspiring both the children and the talented coaching staff of 25 young women and men. As President and CFO, Lacamell manages the business development for Cartwheels Gym.

Dana Kimura is the energetic and enthusiastic program director of Richmond’s Cartwheels Gym. She has been involved with gymnastics virtually her entire life, first as a student and then as a coach. Prior to Cartwheels Gym opening, Kimura worked at Nuana Sports Academy. When Campbell and Lacamell opened Cartwheels Gym in 2002 Kiruma was thrilled to join the new business. She enjoys the sport, loves teaching and watching kids, in fact she cannot believe that she “gets paid to play with kids all day.” As the program director she is responsible for lesson plans, administration and alongside the other Cartwheels instructors she teaches classes from Parent & Tot all the way up to Gymstars.

Cartwheels Gym is mindful of what parents want and what children need; dynamic, fun programs that develop fitness levels and abilities, small classes, progress assessment and encouragement, qualified professional staff, a safe, clean and fully equipped facility, convenient family-oriented class scheduling and exceptional customer service.

Kimura is exceptionally proud of the staff; many of these young adults went through the Cartwheels program, and Kimura personally coached some of them when they were children.

Children are in excellent hands with Cartwheels qualified instructors who are required to complete a criminal record check, receive certification through the National Coaching Certification Program, possess current first aid certificates and participate in Cartwheels Gym intensive staff training sessions.

By the time your child can walk she is ready to register for the Parent & Tot class. Careful consideration goes into designing classes to build social skills and self-confidence and to develop physical and motor attributes. Music, free play, creative movement, games, themes, individual and group activity make the preschool classes plenty of fun.

As children mature more instructional time is spent on skill development. The Achievement Program is a fast paced program for boys and girls (Grades 1 to 7) who want to experience the fun and thrill of gymnastics. The Achievement Program promotes physical fitness and allows children to achieve new skills by focusing on their strengths and encouraging development of their weaker areas. The Olympic apparatus includes vault, uneven & parallel bars, balance beam as well as mini-trampoline and trampoline.

Gymstars is a program is for children who wish to advance their skills and spend more time at the gym. Students have the opportunity to participate in fun meets and attend the annual province wide Gymnaestrada event.

Cartwheels Gym also offers both recreational and competitive cheerleading classes. This program is for school aged girls wanting to get involved with one of the fastest growing female sports in North America.

These classes are a great way to keep fit and have fun as well as being a great training ground for Cartwheels competitive Adrenaline All Stars cheer program.

Holiday camps take place during the spring, summer and winter breaks. Each week is action packed with gymnastics instruction, special activities at the gym and field trips to local attractions such as Splashdown Park, Science World, Playland and the Greater Vancouver Zoo. In addition, Cartwheels monthly Kids’ Night Out is action packed with games, gymnastics and a big screen movie.

Receiving an invitation to attend a birthday party at Cartwheels is a child’s equivalent of hitting the jackpot. Parties include games and gymnastic activities led by a coach, and use of the party room to carry on the celebration.

Satisfied clients measure the success of any business. Lingly Wilson, a Steveston mother whose children attend Cartwheels Gym says, “The young coaches are good role models. This is not a competitive gymnastic club and it’s alright to not all make it to the Provincial teams but just have fun. It’s nice to see how much children enjoy being there, the hugs and high fives they give their coaches and team mates, along with the hugs when they fall.”


Cartwheels Gym
145-12417 No. 2 Rd
Richmond BC V7E 6H7
Telephone 604-275-0020