Hit and miss season for local business

Rocky Mtn ChocolateUneven weather for the winter season has translated to uneven sales for local businesses in Sun Peaks. While Vertical Café recorded their busiest season yet, others were disappointed by a lack of visitors.

Shannon Gadsby, owner of Vertical Café, speculated that Sun Peaks’ consistent snow coverage and poor conditions elsewhere had led to a boost for her café.

“It’s been a great season. It’s been our biggest season since we opened four years ago.”

Gadsby puts the success down to the café’s great staff, and the introduction of freshly squeezed juices and smoothies to the menu, which has proved popular.

And while Gadsby said the peak Christmas season was busy, she was more surprised by the amount of people around Sun Peaks in February: “It felt like a lot more people were up here.”

Across the village stroll at Jardines, owner Dennis Smith admitted it was not a “normal” season.

“It was one of those challenging seasons. People come from all around the world to enjoy that dry, champagne powder in Sun Peaks, but we didn’t have that this year. We were still extremely busy, but it definitely affected how and what people purchased.”

Smith said one of the challenges for his store was keeping enthusiasm up for guests: “We tried to remind people how wonderful Sun Peaks is compared to other places.”

Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory manager Lucy Guido said her winter season had been up and down. Until the end of February, business had been tracking better than last season, with chocolate fudges and toffee and chocolate apples being the most popular sellers.

But Guido said March was much slower than previous years, and she had expected business to be busier for the Dew Tour and during Spring Break: “Spring Break should have been a lot busier, but the village was really quiet.”