It appears that the year will be ending on an high note for Keremeos’ beleagured downtown business section, as four new businesses prepare to open their doors.
Just in time for Light Up weekend, coming at the tail end of Buy Local Week, the bakery is scheduled to open this weekend, and classes are forming at Mainevent Boxing and Hardknuckles Cafe. “Paw Spa”dog groomers has a Saturday kickoff, and Mark Mudahy will be opening his cafe in the former Keremeos Variety premises on January 2.
We are hopeful that commerce in the village has turned a corner this year, as it certainly appeared that there was more foot traffic in the business core this year than in the past few years.
A key property – the former Pasta Trading Post – also sold this summer, with prospects for a new business to operate out of those premises next year.
Finding a niche market will be critical to these new businesses’ success. It is notable that none of the four are offering services already available in the downtown section.
Restaurants that offer alternatives to what is already available in the village have the potential not only to attract locals, but draw people from outside the region. As an example, we have only to look at the success had by the Chaicomdee family in the operation of the Benja Thai Restaurant, which in the space of a few short years has become a business synonymous with Keremeos.
It all adds up to a reason for business optimism in the Lower Similkameen as 2014 approaches.
With some hard work, attention to the market, along with the support of the local community, we envision a new period of prosperity and vitality for Keremeos’ business block in 2014.