Archive for February, 2015

Dunbar and 27th Redevelopment

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

Dunbar Life redevelopmentThe 4200 block of Dunbar, know as central Dunbar or Dunbar Heights is undergoing change. The existing block currently occupied by some of our favourite single-storey retail stores is being redeveloped with a four-storey, mixed-use building containing a grocery store and retail uses on the ground floor and a total of 46 dwelling units (ground to fourth floors), all over three levels of underground parking providing a total of 165 parking spaces having vehicular access from the lane.

This proposal does not include the Royal Bank on the corner of Dunbar and 26th. The retail space will be the location of the new and expanded Stong’s Market and Dunbar Insurance. Stong’s will stay in its current location at 4560 Dunbar Street until February 28, 2016.

While this new development is exciting, we want to acknowledge and thank the stores that have left an important legacy in the community as some relocate in Dunbar, some move out of the community and some close forever.

Small businesses are the backbone of our community. We hear so many Dunbar residents say this is the reason they love this neighbourhood. They know their local merchants and can get anything they want here, including personal and attentive service. To all of the merchants over the years who chose to contribute to making Dunbar one of the best places in Vancouver to live, we sincerely thank you all.

4205 – RBC Royal Bank SINCE: 1993
STATUS: Open, not moving
NOTES: Mark Johnston, Branch Manager confirms that RBC has been serving Dunbar since 1929 (86 years) and will continue to serve Dunbar through the development as they are not moving.
4219 & 4235- Dunbar Cycles SINCE: 1927
STATUS: Closed and moved to 195 West Broadway

4229 – More Bikes SINCE: 2014
STATUS: Looking for new location in Dunbar
PAST TENANTS: Peekaboo Baby Boutique, Newcastle Locks & Letters
NOTES: Lucy and Don Chang set up their second location here last year. They would like to thank Dunbar for welcoming and supporting their family bike shop into the neighbourhood. Please continue to support them at their UBC location at 3332 Shrum Lane. Their family has lived in Dunbar for over 25 years and will continue to support the cycling community.

4231- Beantown Coffee House SINCE: 1998
STATUS: Looking for new location in Dunbar
NOTES: Watch for the grand re-opening in late spring!

4243 – Splash Toy Shop SINCE: 2000
STATUS: Closing February 22
NOTES: Beth McKercher brought much joy to families for 15 years and always gave back to the community. She will miss the wonderful business neighbours and customers that they had over the years.

4255 – Hospice Opportunity Boutique SINCE: 2012
STATUS: Moving to 2236 West 41st Avenue in Kerrisdale
PAST TENANTS: Jools, Thompson Sales & Service
NOTES: The Vancouver Hospice Society is dedicated to supporting people on their final journey by establishing hospices, respite care, day programs and bereavement services in our community. The thrift store is a way to support programs and services. Their other shop Hob Too is located at 3470 Dunbar St.

4263 – Skinetics Skincare and Spa SINCE: 1983
STATUS: Moved to 4166 Main Street
NOTES: Diane Buchmuelle was hoping to make it to 35 years so she could retire. After 31 years she was sad to have to leave the neighbourhood. She enjoyed her 31 years on Dunbar and thanks everyone for their support.

4265 – Brick Oven Pizza SINCE: 2000
STATUS: Closed

4273 – Chloe Angus Design SINCE: 2010
STATUS: Moved to 45 East 6th Avenue #100 PAST TENANTS: A Touch of Wool

4275 – Carson Books SINCE: 2001
STATUS: Moved to 4340 Main St
PAST TENANTS: Champlain Design
NOTES: Tim Carson felt part of the community and had regular and loyal customers that he will really miss. Some have followed him to his new store at 4340 Main St.

4293 – 4Cats Arts Studio SINCE: 1999
STATUS: Moved to 3354 Dunbar St
NOTES: Scott and Mel Baker are grateful to find their glorious new studio. They invite you to stop by and see it.

4295 – Dunbar Insurance SINCE: 1990
STATUS: Moved to 4446 Dunbar St – located beside ‘The Shop’
PAST TENANTS: MacGregor’s Dry Goods
NOTES: Danny Buntain and staff are excited about the new development coming to the Dunbar community over the next year and half. They invite you to come enjoy a coffee on them at their temporary location while our new office is being built! The Buntain family have been offering insurance services to the Dunbar community through Dunbar Insurance Agency Ltd. since the early 1990s. They look forward to continue being a part of this great community.

4560 – Stong’s SINCE 1931
STATUS: Staying in current location until February 28, 2016
NOTES: Stong’s Markets Ltd. – Dunbar’s home-grown grocer since 1931 – is pleased to announce the company has secured its tenure at its current location (4560 Dunbar Street). They will move to the new and expanded space at 4200 Dunbar when the project is complete in 2016.

Pets Beautiful

Saturday, February 7th, 2015

Keeping Dunbar’s Pets Beautiful Since 1969

Pets Beautiful - grooming- PALLA MEDIA Dunbar LifeNot many businesses can claim to have a cat for a manager; however, Slinky at Pets Beautiful on Dunbar Street fills this role. Slinky is a 17-year-old Persian with plenty of personality and has been with the business his entire life. Along the way he has witnessed a few changes in the company’s history.

Terry Chan is the sole proprietor of this pet grooming business, which has been a Dunbar village fixture since 1969. Remarkably, the shop has only changed ownership three times. Chan purchased the business after training alongside April Ross, who owned Pets Beautiful for nine years after she took over from the original owner Jeannine Cross.

Sometimes a career unfolds in the most unlikely way. In 2003 Chan got her first puppy, a Shih Tzu/Terrier mix named Furball. Confident that she could take to the task, she attempted to groom him.Pets Beautiful - Terry Chan - PALLA MEDIA Dunbar Life

“I started out like many pet owners. I tried to give my dog a haircut.” Following a botched job she had a new respect for groomers and went in search of a job to learn this skill.

After being professionally trained, she discovered she had a knack for cutting dogs and cats’ fur. She worked at another Vancouver groomer and then worked with Ross for a year and half at Pets Beautiful. In 2014 she took over the business. Chan says she has been loyal to the successful formula of the business, and continues to follow the popular grooming styles she learned from her former employer.

While Chan works alongside other staff she is solely responsible for the grooming. She says, “This is my guarantee of quality and service.” She books a maximum of 10 dogs a day to ensure adequate time is devoted to each haircut.

Pets Beautiful - entrance - PALLA MEDIA Dunbar LifeWhat can Fifi expect from a pet grooming appointment? Prior to being bathed, she will receive a pre-clip. Then she will be dried, brushed out, receive a haircut, and have her nails and ears cleaned.

The shampoo selected depends on your pet’s skin type. It is always best to forewarn a groomer if your pet has sensitive skin; however, Chan will make special note to use a mild shampoo if she notices dry or patchy skin.

With Dunbar’s proximity to Pacific Spirit Park there are plenty of opportunities for dogs to be sprayed by skunks. This occurs more often during the summer months. This is where Pets Beautiful comes to the rescue and eliminates the nasty smell with a de-skunking bath.

If your pet has matted fur Chan will try her best to help and in a worst case scenario a shave may be required.

How often should your dog be groomed? Ideally every eight to 10 weeks to help keep its coat in top condition.

Summer and Christmas are Pets Beautiful’s busiest times of the year. Appointments can be made in person or by phone.

In addition to grooming, Chan manages the bookkeeping and orders products. The shop’s retail section is stocked with pet toys, leashes, collars, dog treats and food for cats, dogs, birds, rabbits and guinea pigs. Chan seeks out healthy grain-free ingredients as much as possible.

Having a love of animals, and also a sense of humour are important qualities when working all day with four legged friends. In addition to her dog Furball (who is now 12) she has a 3-year-old cat named Kit Kat and a 13-year-old cat named Shorty (courtesy of its short tail). And of course there is Slinky, who also serves as the shop’s 24-hour security guard.

Slinky has his own fan base. Chan says, “Everyone wants to know Slinky.”Pets Beautiful - slinky - PALLA MEDIA Dunbar Life

Most commonly he can be found lounging on the front desk or sitting in the shop’s front window. He constantly seeks attention and there seems to be no shortage coming his way. His senior status and relaxed disposition appears to command a deep respect from the other dogs and cats who come in for grooming, and lends an air of calm to the surroundings.

Are you looking to board your dog? While Pets Beautiful does not offer on site boarding services Chan offers what may be even more desirable for many pet owners – at home boarding as long as your dog is compatible with her dog and cats.

Chan describes Dunbarites as being very laid back and not in a rush. She likes this attitude very much. She has a wide range of clients although she does mention that Dunbar residents are extremely loyal to her business.

Pets Beautiful - exterior - PALLA MEDIA Dunbar LifeHow does Pets Beautiful build its client base? Word of mouth tops the list. After all, when you have a flattering hair cut people comment, don’t they? The same is true with dogs. In Dunbar’s parks and on trail walks dog owners chat, admire a good cut and swap tips too!

Pets Beautiful
5620 Dunbar Street
Vancouver BC V6N 1W7
Telephone 604-261-5310

CrossFit Empower

Saturday, February 7th, 2015

Transforming I Can’t Into I Can

CrossFit Empower Corey Lapell PALLA MEDIA Dunbar LifeYou may have seen CrossFitters running up and down Dunbar Street hoisting heavy weights – and smiling.

CrossFit Empower coach and owner Corey Lapell has transformed many of his clients’ lives, starting with his own. He recounts how debilitating back pain made it impossible for him to lift his newborn baby. This was a life altering moment and he decided to take responsibility for his body and end his pain.

2005 was the year he stumbled upon CrossFit’s website, and made it his mission to rehabilitate himself at home in his garage. He marvels that his fitness plan didn’t involve a paid subscription, and best of all, he got results. He says, “I quickly exceeded the fitness levels of my youth.”

Greg Glassman founded CrossFit Inc. in 1996 in Santa Cruz, California. In 2005 the first affiliate gym opened in Seattle and they spread like wildfire. Lapell reports that there are now over 10,000 CrossFit affiliates worldwide.

After working at CrossFit in Surrey and apprenticing as a paid coach at CrossFit East Vancouver for three years, Lapell opened his own gym in March 2013, which he prefers to describe as “a playground for adults.”

He targeted Dunbar as the ideal location. Lapell was looking for a neighbourhood with a slightly older demographic than the usual CrossFit profile. He is not shy to admit that he is in his early 40s and wanted to offer an alternative to this age group. Little did he know that his clients would span the ages of 10 to 70+ years old.

He makes the distinction between franchises and affiliates. Affiliates are independently owned. In the case of CrossFit, owners receive trainer certification and pay an annual fee to use the company’s identity and program.

CrossFit Empower interior PALLA MEDIA Dunbar LifeCrossFit empower follows ‘headquarters’ workout of the day (WOD). This includes a series of constantly varied, functional movements performed at high intensity.

In layman’s terms, CrossFit is a combination of weightlifting (barbells, dumbbells, kettle bells, medicine balls, sledgehammers, tractor tires and sandbags), gymnastics (rope climbing, gymnastics rings, pull up bars, parallel bars, and body weight exercises) and metabolic conditioning (skipping, rowing, running, cycling and jumping). Workouts blend these combinations together in an infinite variety of ways.

Lapell says, “We might run outside unladen or carry a medicine ball, a kettle bell, dumbbells, weight plates, a partner, weight vest, sandbag, barbell, who knows? Is it regular? Everything in CrossFit is irregular but I would say it is not uncommon. All CrossFit gyms follow a constantly varied model.”

At CrossFit Empower you will also find more community spirit than you ever thought possible. It is a neighbourhood hub. While the coaches suggest members work out a minimum of three times a week, many attend much more frequently. This is like the “Cheers” of the gym world, where everyone knows your name.

“Recreating your body and transforming your soul” is a large part of CrossFit Empower’s core philosophy. On the website members attest that this program has transformed their lives.

“There is no greater joy for me than working with people whose bodies and spirits are as broken and fragile as mine once was, and watching them soar to heights they hadn’t dared hope for,” declares Lapell.

There are countless success stories, and Lapell is incredibly proud of each CrossFitter. Everyone earns a name, which is selected for him or her by other members. For example, Lapell’s name is “WOD Father.” It is almost like you take on another persona when you are assigned an alias.

This business is a family affair. Lapell’s wife Sunghee is also a CrossFit coach. Not to be left behind, their 12-year-old son Kaelin has been working out for several years.

Lapell is devoted to his work. He says he frequently spends 16 hours a day at the gym with his wife and son often by his side. Their story of working out together as a family is not uncommon. In fact a number of families (sometimes with babes in arms) and couples maximize their time together by squeezing in a workout in this social environment.
The active facility is open seven days a week. The first class begins at 5:30 a.m. (and yes, it is busy!) and the last class is held at 8:00 p.m.

While it can be a daunting prospect to join a gym, fear not. Lapell and his coaching team (Coaches Jen “All Star,” Leon “The Touch,” Sunghee “Hee Hee” and Yvan “The Law”) specialize in adapting CrossFit training for all ages and fitness levels. They emphasize form before intensity to avoid injuries. Their goal is to see members succeed and stay fit.

CrossFit Empower exterior PALLA MEDIA Dunbar LifeCrossFit Empower currently has 90 members, and each person has a great story to tell of how they have gained energy, strength, confidence, and found fitness levels they never knew lurked within.

Deana Clark’s (also known as “Adventure”) story is an inspiration. She is a petite 66 year old who discovered CrossFit in May 2013. In this short time she has achieved phenomenal results – she can now deadlift 185 pounds and perform five consecutive pull-ups. Awesome.

At CrossFit Empower it’s all about empowerment. It’s about achieving your maximum potential and moving from I can’t to I can.

CrossFit Empower
3321 Dunbar Street
Vancouver BC V6S 2B9
Telephone 778-873-4427