The travelling ladybug rocks from Ladybug Coffee in Kootenay Bay have been spotted all over BC in recent weeks. (Ladybug Coffee file)

The travelling ladybug rocks from Ladybug Coffee in Kootenay Bay have been spotted all over BC in recent weeks. (Ladybug Coffee file)

Travelling ladybugs bring smiles to Kootenay residents

Did you know, a group of ladybugs is called a loveliness?

If you’ve been hiking or shopping anywhere between Cranbrook and Kootenay Bay in recent weeks, you may have noticed a new kind of ladybug making their way around. Not the kind with wings, but ladybugs that have travelled around the Kootenay region from the east shore of Kootenay Bay in the form of rocks.

Megan Rokeby-Thomas owns Ladybug Coffee at the Kootenay Bay Ferry Terminal. When COVID-19 left her with no choice but to close her coffee shop, she wasn’t sure what she would do with all of her free time. She decided to spread some cheer through a mix of art and nature.

“Before COVID, I was working at the shop for 14 hours a day, most days getting there at 4:30 or 5 a.m. to start baking,” said Rokeby-Thomas. “We were shut down and all of the sudden, I wasn’t sure what to do. I went down to the shop on the first week and I was just kind of sad. Then, the second week, I decided I would paint a few rocks to put outside of the store; I needed something to do. I painted the rocks to look like ladybugs to reflect our coffee shop’s name.”

When restrictions started to ease and B.C. residents were told to get outside and go hiking, Rokeby-Thomas decided she would place the ladybug rocks along trails and give them away to families to hide.

Since then, she’s painted, hidden and given away hundreds of ladybug rocks, bringing a smile to the faces of many past, present and future customers.

“When we were allowed to reopen, and the province encouraged travel close to home with phase three, we decided to expand our ladybug reach and bring them to Cranbrook,” said Rokeby-Thomas. “A lot of locals take the ladybugs home and so many kids become attached to them. Otherwise, most people find them and hide them for someone else to come across.”

She adds that keeping track of the ladybugs’ journeys is part of the fun. She encourages anyone who finds a ladybug to take a photo and post it on the Ladybug Coffee Facebook page.

“We just started up an Instagram account (@kootenaybayladybug) to share their journeys,” explained Rokeby-Thomas. “We don’t really care where they end up, as long as they make people smile. So far they’ve been spotted in Nakusp, the Okanagan, Alberta and even on the Island. I think a lot of grandparents have taken them to bring to their grand children when visiting. We encourage anyone to do the same.”

READ MORE: Birthday wishes come true as Kimberley girl reunited with her cat

Rokeby-Thomas says that her new goal is to paint 500 rocks per year, every year, and continue to see where they end up. She has some of her employees painting rocks, and many people have volunteered to do so as well.

“We hope to have some painting parties down the road as well,” she said, adding that when travel starts to open up country-wide eventually, there’s no telling where the ladybugs may end up. She hopes this project can continue to bring smiles to people near and far for years to come.

“My husband and I have owned Ladybug Coffee for two and a half years now. We’re open every day from 6:30 to 3, and our signature meal is our breakfast sandwich. We just love the east shore, it’s such a magical place. COVID has been hard for all of us, there are so many artisans, campgrounds, tourism sectors, and not many people have been able to come and enjoy what Kootenay Bay has to offer.

“Not only that, but last year we experienced the ferry strike, so it’s been a hard couple of years for many of us. We just wanted to make people smile and show how great a community we have.”

She echoed the same for Cranbrook and the surrounding area, which is why they chose to drop off ladybugs throughout the City and on local trails.

“We chose Cranbrook because everyone there is so nice,” Rokeby-Thomas said. “We’ve been visiting for years. Many people travel from the Kootenay Bay to Cranbrook and vice versa. It’s a natural fit. Plus, it’s such a beautiful, scenic drive. It seemed like the perfect pairing.”



corey.bullock@cranbrooktownsman.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

 

The travelling ladybug rocks from Ladybug Coffee can even be spotted outside of the Townsman office. (Corey Bullock/Cranbrook Townsman file)

The travelling ladybug rocks from Ladybug Coffee can even be spotted outside of the Townsman office. (Corey Bullock/Cranbrook Townsman file)

Just Posted

The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League met for their AGM and announced a number of new initiatives, new awards and changes in their executive committee, as well as the starting date for the 2021-22 season. Paul Rodgers file.
KIJHL announces start dates for 2021-22 season

Season set to begin Oct. 1 with league still following all health guidelines

Calvin Dickson photo.
Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for East Kootenay

Conditions favourable for the development of thunderstorms, hail and heavy rain

The Independent Investigations Office of BC is looking into a Castlegar incident. File photo
Police watchdog investigating Castlegar incident

IIO: Woman sustained a reportedly self-inflicted injury

After being forced to cancel in 2020 due to the pandemic, the Wasa Triathlon is being organized for August. Bulletin file photo.
Information released for Gerick Sports Wasa Triathlon scheduled for August

In 2020 the COVID pandemic forced the Gerick Sports Wasa Triathlon to… Continue reading

The latest EKASS survey confirms a steady decline in substance use among EK youth over the years. (image compilation via Pixabay)
Latest survey shows steady decline in adolescent substance use over the years

Starting in 2002, the survey has been conducted every two years to monitor changes in substance use patterns, attitudes and behaviors amongst East Kootenay youth.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

B.C. ambulance station in Revelstoke is expected to get a new system called the Scheduled On-Call (SOC) this fall. (Liam Harrap - Revelstoke Review)
B.C. ambulance changes could put Revelstoke residents at risk, warn local paramedics

Paramedics said to expect a substantial increase in ambulance response time starting this fall

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. watching U.K.’s COVID struggles but don’t think province will see similar pitfalls

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

Most Read