Archive for August, 2015

Steveston Winemakers

Tuesday, August 11th, 2015

web_Steveston_Winemakers_glass_Palla_Media_StevestonThere’s a Whole Lot of Winemaking Going On

Steveston Winemakers recently made a short move from Moncton Street to First Avenue. The new location opened in early June and owner Sandi Wosk couldn’t be happier.

She feels the First Avenue storefront is well suited to the neighbouring businesses and she is enthusiastic about a change for Steveston Winemakers after 15 years. Wosk says, “We have a very loyal clientele.” When she was faced with closing, moving out of Steveston or searching for a new space she discovered there really was no option. Her customers made it clear that Steveston Winemakers is an integral part of the community and they wanted to see the shop around for many more years.

“We are in love with the village and the people who make up this wonderful community,” she says. She takes pleasure in the relaxed atmosphere where people have the time to stop and chat.

web_Steveston_Winemakers_Sandi_Wosk_Palla_Media_StevestonShe indicates some Steveston Winemakers customers have been with them since the business opened in 2000. Customers are provided with the ingredients, equipment and advice they need to make their own wine on-site.

The prospect of making your own wine appeals to clients for a number of reasons. There is certainly a cost savings when a bottle of wine can be made for as little as $3.33 to $8.00. There is also the satisfaction of having crafted it yourself and raising a glass at the dinner table to toast your success.

web_Steveston_Winemakers_pour_Palla_Media_StevestonA batch consists of 30 bottles, which clients have a hand in starting and finishing. By law, customers must start fermentation by sprinkling the package of yeast into a large plastic bucket called the primary fermenter. From there the staff take over and do the processing.

Fermentation usually takes 11 to 12 days, and then the wine is racked. This is the stage when liquid is siphoned from the primary fermenter into clear glass containers called carboys. The client receives a call when it is time to come in and bottle, cork, shrink-wrap and label their batch. Then the bottles are ready to take home to be cellared in a cool, dark environment.

Pre-assembled winemaking kits from some of the world’s top commercial wine producers allow customers to create wines using varietal grapes from America, Argentina, Australia, Chile, France, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, South Africa and Spain.

web_Steveston_Winemakers_guys_Palla_Media_StevestonIf you are a novice, where do you begin? The Steveston Winemakers friendly team will help hone in on your preferences. The B.C. Liquor Control and Licensing Branch does not permit U-Vins to offer samples other than a 3 millilitre taste when bottling; therefore the decision depends on a number of questions and advice from the staff who, over the years, have sampled many of the wines.

Wosk acknowledges with a laugh, “Research and development is part of the job.”

Questions may include, what kind of wine do you drink currently? Do you prefer red or white wine? Does your palate lean towards aromatic, dry or fruity flavours? When do you want to consume it (some reds for the holiday season are already on the shelf). Do you have a special family occasion coming up? The descriptive promotional brochures also help narrow down the choice, and get the taste buds dancing.

Through the magic of customizing wines Steveston Winemakers can help alter the batch to your taste. If your wine of choice is Shiraz web_Steveston_Winemakers_interior_Palla_Media_Stevestonbut you prefer it a little more peppery the staff can make adjustments during fermentation. If you are not a fan of oaked wine they can leave it out, or bump it up if you adore it. Some customers have even added jalapeno peppers to their batch of Gewurztraminer.

August is never too early to start thinking about the holiday season ahead. Wosk says, “There is still time to make wine, but at the same time not a whole lot of time to waste!”

As we head into the crisp autumn months Wosk suggests trying your hand at fermenting fortified wines. Sherry, port and dessert wines are all perfect for stocking the cellar, holiday entertaining and gift giving.

The thought of capping off a hearty autumn meal with a glass of orange chocolate or caramel specialty port in hand makes kissing summer goodbye sound downright tempting.

Throughout the year Steveston Winemakers offers new customer promotions and sales on certain products. From coasters to napkins, aerators, corkscrews and wineglasses, gifts for wine lovers can be found in the retail section of the store.

web_Steveston_Winemakers_exterior_Palla_Media_StevestonWosk assures those who have never ventured into the realm of winemaking that the quality of the grapes and vinting has come a long way since the day of granddad’s homemade wine. She points out, “We have access to the world of wine and quality” with some major wine producers, including Peller Estates and Constellation Brands, behind the kits. Comfortably at home in the new location, Wosk is honoured to be a part of Steveston’s business community.

She concludes, “Steveston merchants are truly a special group. We are all working together for the betterment of the village, and everyone delivers the best that they can. People are very proud of their businesses.”

Steveston Winemakers
12115 First Avenue
Richmond BC V7E

Russel Sean Fitness

Tuesday, August 11th, 2015

web_RSF_Before_After_Palla_Media_StevestonBefore and After ~ Geoff Bryant

Prior to joining Russel Sean Fitness, the struggle of remaining consistent and making a more physically active and healthful lifestyle more of a priority was definitely a reality for myself. My attitude to staying on top of my health in the past was usually secondary and like many of us we prioritize other people, work, and every other “to do” item which comes ahead of exercise.

I first came to learn about Russel and his fitness services through a fellow member and friend. After hearing about Russel’s fitness concept of intensive group exercise I automatically assumed it would not be for me. I had never participated in group exercise before and had preferred working out in a traditional gym environment. Six months later, I still wasn’t working out and was lacking energy and motivation – I was ready to make a change.

After sending Russel an e-mail, he invited me to come by and try out a class. We spoke about my fitness goals and challenges before and after my first RSF Conditioning class. After taking one class, my interest level was higher in trying out more and seeing if this would be a fit.

The variability, intensity, attentiveness and style of the trainers make Russel Sean Fitness unique and effective.

It is unlikely that most of us will have the self discipline and rigour to execute these types of fitness programs ourselves at a traditional gym. The group atmosphere, the scheduled classes, the constantly changing routines have allowed me to achieve a level of physical fitness that I of all people did not expect.


Steve’s Board and Apparel Shop

Tuesday, August 11th, 2015

web_Steves_Board_Shop_boards2_Palla_Media_StevestonStreet Surfing Steveston-Style

Steve’s Board and Apparel Shop is perfectly at home in our waterfront village alongside other businesses that conjure up images of fun in the sun (fish and chips, ice cream and outdoor patios being the other key players).

Jenny Koreshi is the owner of Steve’s Board and Apparel Shop and although Steveston’s protected harbour location is not conducive to surfing, the store offers a good selection of skateboards, longboards and boarding apparel.

A weathered retro surfboard mounted at the back of the store is a nice nod to beach culture in the space that is cheerfully painted shades of sunshine yellow and seaside blue. It would likely get the approval of surfers who invented the land version of surfing more than fifty years ago for days when the waves were too small to hang ten.

web_Steves_Board_Shop_Jenny_Koreshi_Palla_Media_StevestonKoreshi was born in Malaysia and moved to Canada in 1988. She has extremely kind things to say about her adopted country and Canadians who she finds to be incredibly friendly, genuine and open.

She recalls bringing her now grown daughters out to visit a very different Steveston almost 30 years ago. Enchanted with the area, she subconsciously filed away the idea of wanting to be part of this community.

Koreshi travelled many interesting avenues before buying the business in 2013. She attended U.B.C. where she earned a bachelor’s degree in English literature followed by a master’s degree in Jewish studies. She operated a home business for 10 years as a wedding dress seamstress and worked as a mortgage agent until she decided to follow her dream of becoming a Steveston merchant.

While the world of boarding was not familiar to her, she knew clothing and was certain she would enjoy retail. She desired the freedom to be her own boss, and explains that if it hadn’t worked out she could always transform the business into a wedding dress shop. She says, “I saw an opportunity and came with an attitude of embracing new challenges. Whatever it is, I take it on.”

One of her first memories of taking over the shop was “seeing little heads peeking in the window to see the new owner.”

web_Steves_Board_Shop_boards_Palla_Media_StevestonShe enjoys engaging with the kids who shop at her store, and says she learns a lot from her young customers. She says, “They are so lively and I feel alive with them around.”

Generally kids come in by themselves to look around and investigate the products. Koreshi laughs when she reports, “Then they will return with their mum and dad “bank” to make the purchase.” Others come in to see what is available, how much it will cost, and how much they will have to save before they can make their purchase.

Koreshi sports a tattoo on her forearm featuring the names of both of her daughters. She confesses that once she got one it was only a matter of time before she followed with a pair of colourful half sleeve tattoos. The tattoos predate owning the business but fit perfectly with her environment.

Originally the shop sold only longboards, but Koreshi saw a market for skateboards and they have proven to be very successful. She also introduced street wear and likes to support local manufacturers.

web_Steves_Board_Shop_clothing_Palla_Media_StevestonShe indicates Vancouver based Red Dragon Apparel (founded by Rob Boyce, Moses Itkonen and Colin McKay) is a popular line. Landyachtz is an East Vancouver company that creates both clothing and longboards and is owned and operated by skaters.

She carries seasonal clothing such as tank tops in the summer and in the fall and winter the selection expands to include t-shirts, hoodies and long sleeve men’s plaid shirts along with some fashionable women’s clothing.

Learning to ride a longboard helped her fully understand the product she sells. She explains the art of balance is very good for one’s health; it’s fun, it makes you sweat and your heart pump.

“Once I learned how to skate my world changed,” she says.

While a fair number of her customers are young males, she is also seeing more girls taking up skating. Many are attracted to the Australian made Penny skateboard with plastic decks in vibrant and fun colours. But it is not only youth who are attracted to skating, in fact, adults who grew up in the 1970s are also rediscovering this mode of transport from their childhood.

The multitalented business owner also builds boards. Choose your deck and she will assemble it. She will also change grip tape and clean bearings. When she builds a board she strives to offer same day service. She explains, “When a customer chooses a board they are excited and don’t want to wait until the next day.”

web_Steves_Board_Shop_exterior_Palla_Media_StevestonKoreshi is always keen to help her customers find the perfect present. She says, “I have been part of many birthday and Christmas present conspiracies.” She takes pride in knowing people travel from across the Lower Mainland to visit her shop and attributes this to positive word of mouth and social media.

The highly anticipated film Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be released this December. Steve’s Board and Apparel Shop is currently selling a variety of boxed collectors Star Wars longboard decks. If you are hoping to make a Star Wars fan very happy this may be the time to do a little early Christmas shopping.

Steve’s Board and Apparel Shop
150-12240 Second Avenue
Richmond BC V7E 3V1
Telephone 778-297-7422