Booksmyth Quality Used Books proprietor Stephen Fowler and Fish and Whistle Barbershop owner Ethan Melle have teamed up in the Nelson Trading Post location. “It’s the best waiting room in town,” laughs Melle, who approached Fowler with the idea a while back. The shop opened earlier this month. Photo: Darren Davidson

Booksmyth Quality Used Books proprietor Stephen Fowler and Fish and Whistle Barbershop owner Ethan Melle have teamed up in the Nelson Trading Post location. “It’s the best waiting room in town,” laughs Melle, who approached Fowler with the idea a while back. The shop opened earlier this month. Photo: Darren Davidson

BUSINESS BUZZ: Glovers hit the small screen, barber teams up with bookstore

Startups, moves, and other Nelson business news from Darren Davidson

by Darren Davidson

Back when old growth was something left on your chin after a long winter and cork boots were suitable dancing footwear at the Salmo Hotel, Gary Glover fired up his own logging company.

Lots has changed in the West Kootenay forestry sector since. If local TV viewers want a feller-buncher view of the fairly real drama that B.C. logging contractors like the 77-year-old bush boss and his boys Shane, 45, and Chad, 42, deal with day-to-day, tune on in to the Discovery Channel every Monday at 7 p.m.

The Glovers are now co-stars of Discovery’s Mud Mountain Haulers, currently in its second season.

Having sprouted up from Discovery’s load of blue collar reality TV shows like Gold Rush, Moonshiners and Deadliest Catch, Mud Mountain Haulers, according to the network, is “a character driven docu-series about steep slope logging in the highlands of British Columbia. It follows a compelling cast of loggers and log haulers who battle treacherous terrain, unpredictable weather, and complex machinery to get their logs to the mill.”

“I think it’s awesome,” says Shane. “It’s good exposure for the company, employees are having fun with it, and we’re having fun with it too.”

The show’s first season focused on Kamloops area logging brothers Craig and Brent Lebeau. The Glovers begin to appear throughout the second season. It started Nov. 7 and was kicked off with a bash for the Glover work crew of 40, plus family and friends, at Nelson’s Adventure Hotel. Discovery crews have been out shooting in the Salmo zone the last few weeks for season three, which runs next year.

Shane says the Mud Mountain opportunity comes at a good time. With the lumber market in a dip and the province’s old growth moratorium making waves through the industry, the sector, especially smaller operation in this neck of the woods, have been grappling with some challenging conditions. So the show is good press not only for Glover, but the forest industry too.

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There’s $40,000 up for grabs for a lucky start-up this Thursday at the Kootenay Investment Challenge. It’s being held at the Nelson Innovation Centre and online.

The finalists are Darren Peloso of VersaFile Inc., Sami Majadla of CertiCraft Technologies Inc. and Leeza Zurwick of Happy Gut Pro. The business mind behind Canada’s biggest network of angel investors will be a guest speaker — Valhalla Private Capitol Chair and CEO Randy Thompson, who’s helped place $39-million in 136 angel start-up deals over the last 19 years.

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Longtime local culture veteran Stephen Fowler has teamed up with barber Ethan Melle. The Winnipeg transplant opened up Fish and Whistle Barbershop in the front corner of Fowler’s eclectic Baker Street bookshop and performance space, Booksmyth Quality Used Books, early this month.

“It’s the best waiting room in town,” laughs Melle, who’s been trimming locks and whiskers for four-and-a-half years. No doubt — there are nearly 30,000 books in the store’s inventory. If you can’t find at least one to flip through, well, lucky you’re getting all that hair cut out of your eyes’ way. Melle named the store after a classic John Prine tune — noted by Rolling Stone as one of Americana giant’s essential 25.

Located in the Nelson Trading Company since February 2020, Fowler says the store, which he bought from David Bracewell back in 2010, is a literary reflection of the community itself.

“There are books here you can’t find anywhere else,” says Fowler. Like Melle’s real-deal barber chair, while some of the tomes are a little dog-eared, they’re well-worn for a reason. As the Booksmyth motto says: “If it doesn’t look good, it better be good.”

The Nelson Trading Post venue has also been home to numerous performances since Booksmyth moved in — poetry, music and live theatre. In fact, there’s a row of baby blue seats from the David Thompson University Centre, where Fowler trained for his time in theatre — 15 of them in Vancouver — over 40 years ago.

As for being right on Baker’s front row during his day-to-day barbering performances, with nothing but a big window between him and passers-by, Melle says the location is great for business.

“It’s fantastic exposure — I’m very happy to be there.”

“Plus,” Fowler adds,”he’s bringing people in, who might not otherwise come by.”

Now that’s what you call read ‘em and sweep.

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There’s a new chapter unfolding for the family owned property at 471 Baker St.

The building was built in 1921. For a while it was the only grocery in town, an Overwaitea (the chain started in 1915). The address has been in the McLaughlin family since 1983, when it became the home for McLaughlin Printing.

Pat and Sue McLaughlin have sold the ground floor to local lawyers Mike Tucker and Trent Zoobkoff, of SMT Lawyers, formerly Spilker McNally Tucker. The firm will be moving in to one side of the building in the new year. Hall Printing will be on the move too. Owned by Ingrid and Ron Hope, and helmed by their son Mackenzie, the Hall team will be headed over to 2-320 Vernon St. in January. Chris Campbell’s Potorium cannabis shop will be staying in the vicinity.

The purchase is a big deal for the local lawyers — Trent is a South Slocan kid from way back. Mike, who hails from Middlesborough, U.K., has planted firm family roots here too.

The McLaughlins will hang on to their top floor Baker Street Central two-unit condo, which is available on Airbnb and VRBO.

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Come get your after-the-grind groove on at the Chamber’s monthly Business after Business bash, this Thursday, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Val Seminuk’s Kootenai Moon Furniture on Hall Street. They’re celebrating their 25th year in town.

Speaking of anniversaries and super successful local women-owned businesses…

Cheryl Coté was all of 15 when she landed her first job in retail, working at Mallards Sports. After stints as a dental hygienist, aerobics instructor, then Body Shoppe boss, Coté re-sharpened her entrepreneurial edge and launched Esprit De La Femme Lingerie 20 years ago this month, back in 2002.

It’s been at the corner of Ward and Baker ever since. With the help of co-owner Jody Deverney, who started at the shop in 2007 when she was still a student in Selkirk’s Digital Arts program, the pair have kept the drive alive through a heap of challenging times. The ladies moved on from “lacy and racy” by opening EDLF Swimwear and Loungewear last year.

“I love helping people,” says Coté of the time and care it takes to thoughtfully fit their wares for everything from post surgery, sports purposes and first-timers too. Many of the shop’s original customers have since had families of their own, and now, EDLF’s business caters to a multi-generational demographic.

“Someone sees themselves differently after they come to visit us,” she adds. “Intimate apparel is called intimate for a reason. There’s a lot of trust between the customers and staff in this business.”

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Some new-owner and new-business yarns The Buzz will have for you next month… There’s new owners at Kootenay Columbia College of Integrated Health Sciences, formerly the Academy of Classical Oriental Sciences.

Do your holiday hordes need a place to stay? Send them to the completely reno-ed Stirling All Suites Hotel…the place is magnificent, so are the views out the back…

Congrats too to Sarah Campbell and Christopher Millin and their new Baker Street venue, Levity Micro Gallery — a mini-ode to micro pop surrealism. Levity opens its Magical Micro Minis exhibit Friday, Nov. 25 from 7 to 10. Speaking of micro, drop on by Horse and Snake Vintage Clothing on Vernon. Very cool, very curated.

Christmas is coming. Make sure and shop local y’all. Have a good one.