In this week's column, Roxanne Hooper talks about a few new businesses, about the chamber, and about a two-day market aiding Basics for Babies.

In this week's column, Roxanne Hooper talks about a few new businesses, about the chamber, and about a two-day market aiding Basics for Babies.

Networking group spawns new City shop

In this weekly column, Roxanne looks at business happenings in Langley. She'd love to hear tips from you at rhooper@langleyadvance.com

Megan Parker and Kristy Powers met a year ago through the Fraser Valley Boss Ladies, a local networking group for female entrepreneurs that had been founded by Parker.

During the past year, that networking group has grown to more than 1,800 members, and Powers jumped aboard to help Parker with managing the networking group, planning events, and helping members.

“Through working so close together,” they conceived of the idea for a new retail business in downtown Langley City, said “hey, let’s do this,” and officially opened the doors on their new undertaking this past weekend.

The Local Space officially opened Saturday, amid some fanfare, in the ME Plaza on Fraser Highway.

“The Local Space will be Langley’s first storefront that retails only 100 per cent local products from all over the Lower Mainland,” said Parker, who also owns a marketing and events business.

In addition to being a retail space, their new store will also host “intimate” events and workshops, from calligraphy to website building, and public speaking, Parker said.

“We will have a good mix of everything to appeal to everyone in the community,” said Powers, who is a photographer specializing in personal branding.

Let’s see what this duo comes up with. There’s already a few workshops lined up, including Shopify 101 being held tonight (Thursday).

Thrift store opens on border

Also on the grand opening scene, there’s another local store that opened this week on the Langley-Surrey border.

For the Love of Thrifting, as the name implies, is a thrift store that officially held its grand opening Wednesday.

The store carries what Kelly Voros describes as “high-quality new and used clothing and home decor items,” with all proceeds from their sales going to benefit City Dream Centre (www.citydreamcentre.com).

That’s a Surrey developed to support underprivileged and vulnerable families in the Lower Mainland struggling with poverty, homelessness, addiction and even incarceration. Voros said. It is a member of the U.S.-based faith-based outreach organization of La Dream Centre Network.

“This will be our first store, but we plan to expand as the need keeps growing,” Voros said. “Our future stores will include opportunities for job training and work experience for those transitioning out of poverty, addiction, or homelessness.”

Chamber wants to hear from City businesses

It worked so well the first time around, they’re coming back again.

I’m talking about the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce’s travelling Meet & Greet events, where they visit various neighbourhoods in Langley speaking to business owners about area specific concerns.

Well, the chamber is making a return visit to Langley City on Thursday, April 6, to chomp down on some appetizers at Match Eatery & Public House and to listen to members of the downtown business community, said chamber president Scott Johnston.

“The chamber put on several successful networking open house events last year, so we are continuing them again this year as a way for our board of directors to connect with chamber members in their own neighbourhoods,” he said.

This event gives members who do business within the City borders a chance to meet their chamber community director, Mike Morrison “and get their questions answered,” Johnston explained.

The open house, which runs from 4 to 6 p.m. is free to registered guests. To register, people can call the chamber office at 604-371-3770,  email: events@langleychamber.com, or visit www.langleychamber.com.

And while focused on the chamber front, don’t forget that they’re hosting a special lunch with Chef Vij.

The Austrian-trained chef, restaurateur, cookbook author, Food Network host and judge, as well as past dragon on Dragon’s Den is sharing his success story and the lessons he’s learned in his career with those in attendance at Friday’s lunch.

This special event, called An Entrepreneur’s Journey: In Conversation with Chef Vij, runs Friday, March 31, starting at 11:30 a.m. at Coast Hotel & Convention Centre. Cost for members is $60, and $75 for non-chamber members.

Also on the books is the chamber’s monthly Lunch & Learn. The next one is Wednesday, April 12, at the chamber office, from noon to 1:30 p.m. The topic on the books for April featuring Kelly Robertson, founder of Cloudburst. She’ll speak to planning a online marketing strategy.

And also on tap with the chamber is their ongoing Coffee & Conversation series. In April, there will be two Langley politicians taking a turn talking to chamber members.

This session, like the Lunch & Learn, is held in the chamber’s boardroom (#207-8047 199th St.) from noon to 1:30 p.m. The first speaker on the agenda in April is Deputy Premier and local MLA Rich Coleman (who recently had a seat at the chamber’s Langley Leadership dinner), who will be having a chat with some of Langley business community on Tuesday April 4. Then, following up on that, the chamber will host Langley-Aldergrove MP Mark Warawa on Thursday, April 20.

Bloom benefits babies

And, if you’re looking for somewhere to shop this weekend, that benefits Basics for Babies – such an option is presenting itself in Fort Langley on Friday and Saturday (March 31 and April 1).

Bloom Market, which has been running seasonal markets out of the Fort Langley Community Hall for several years now, brings back Bloom Baby & Kids Market this weekend.

Admission is $2, with kids 12 years or younger getting in for free. All proceeds go to Basics for Babies, which provides formula, diapers, and other infant necessities to struggling parents throughout the Lower Mainland.

This second annual baby market will be focused specifically on locally made and designed items for the “little humans” in our lives, from fashion and decor pieces, to accessories, treats, and toys.

Langley Advance