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Kootenay Regional Business Round-Up

By Keith Powell
Clockwise from top left: Manav Basyal and Biren Majhi have opened the new Baker 89 in downtown Cranbrook. Left to right — Ram Tiwari, Biren Majhi, Manav Basyal and Sooni Tiwari (front); Wloka Farms in Creston is expanding their storage facility located right behind the fruit stand; Brian Donald is the general manager at Craftsman Collision; Last week the iconic Hudson’s Bay Store in downtown Banff closed its doors.

By Keith Powell

Cranbrook: The Baker 89 Cafe Opens

The Baker 89 is a new cafe located on 9th Avenue in downtown Cranbrook. (former location of The Cottage) It is owned and managed by Manav Basyal and his business partner and chef Biren Majhi. The Baker 89 is named after the year (1889) Colonel Baker built a house in Cranbrook, according to Manav.

The diner seats up to 40 people and specializes in an all-day breakfast menu. It also has a full luncheon menu of burgers, sandwiches and salads. All dishes are prepared under the direction of head chef, Biren Majhi, and assistant chef Ram Tiwari.

“Our chef uses only the freshest, locally-sourced ingredients to create mouth-watering dishes that will delight your taste buds,” said Manav Basyal. “From classic favorites like pancakes and eggs to creative dishes like avocado toast and gourmet sandwiches, our menu has something for everyone.”

The Baker 89 is open 6 days a week (closed Monday)— 7 am to 3 pm. Manav Baysal and Biren Majhi also operate the Tandoor Grill in Fernie.

Pictured left to right: Ram Tiwari, Biren Majhi, Manav Basyal and Sooni Tiwari (front)

Cranbrook: Craftsman Collision Comes to Cranbrook

Craftsman Collision has opened its 47th collision repair shop in Cranbrook. Craftsman Collision recently purchased the autobody on Cranbrook Street which was owned by North Star Motors.

Longtime Cranbrook resident Brian Donald is the general manager at Craftsman Collision.

“We have the same great people and many years of experience. Only the name has changed on the front of the building,” said Brian Donald. “We are pleased to be part of the largest chain of auto body repair facilities in western Canada.”

The first Craftsman Collision shop opened on Cambie Street in Vancouver in 1977. Craftsman is owned and operated by the Hatswell family, with father Bill serving as CEO and son Rick in the position of company president.

“Though we’re a small community, we get customers who have never needed repairs,” added Brian Donald. “We take the time to walk them through the process from start to finish. Under promise, over deliver.”

The autobody shop on Cranbrook was originally known as Ron’s Collision, which was started by Ron Thom back in the 1980s.

Creston: Wloka Farms Expands their Storage Capacity

The popular roadside fruit and vegetable stand owned by Frank and Barb Wloka is growing with increased demand. To better serve their customers, Wloka Farms is expanding their storage facility located right behind the fruit stand. Wloka Farms opened their fruit stand in 2014. It sits next to busy Highway 3 in Erickson, and is one of the most popular destinations for fresh Creston vegetables and fruit.

“We have great staff, and that has really contributed to our success,” said Barb Wloka, manager of the fruit stand. “I interview our staff of young people very thoroughly, and pick the best candidates who are willing to work hard serving our customers.”

Wloka Farms is located at 3524 Highway 3, right on the corner with a great selection of locally grown produce, vegetables and fruit.

Banff: Iconic Hudson’s Bay Store Closes in Downtown Banff

Last week the iconic Hudson’s Bay Store in downtown Banff closed its doors. The Bay opened in Banff in 1935 and moved to Banff Avenue (main street) in 1947. The HBC store was originally only 11,000 square feet, but doubled in size in 1978. That same year the retailer added cosmetics, children’s wear, china, hardware and sporting goods. The Banff Hudson Bay Store was the smallest in the HBC chain.

Citing “market changes” a HBC spokesperson told CBC, “While these decisions are difficult, they are the right ones for our business.’

Given the low ceiling heights in the basement and the single-level above ground, the Banff Hudson’s Bay store could be ripe for redevelopment as a multi-unit retail outlet, according to one potential developer.

Photo: Whyte Museum

About the Author: Black Press Media Staff

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