Archive for the ‘Special Thanks–Capers!’ Category

Staff Cake

Photo: WV Capers staff party CAKE

Brian Turns Round

Photo: Brian Burke (one of WV Capers founders)

Brian from Back

Photo: Brian Burke and shirt (“Fish Maestro” Diane in the background)

Deck Entrance

Photos (above and below): WV Capers upstairs deck at night

Deck at Night

Posted by Brian Burke:

“We were at the [staff] goodbye and captured a few images on digital film that night [before everyone scattered in different directions]…A wobbly moon shone over us all!…Bif, thanks for remembering the organic roots! 

We were able to remove a sweet piece of the cake and shared it the following evening with Russell…We asked him what he thought might have been inscribed on Capers’ farewell cake:  he got it….And what part did we save for him?  the word “FEED”.  Let us continue to Love and Feed People!

For your archives with love, 
Brian Burke and Linda Moore (the first wave of Capers devoted employees).”

“Love is the way messengers from the mystery tell us things.”       

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Produce Half Empty

Photographer: Kay Bruhein

Photo: Almost bare “Last Days” produce shelves


Posted by West Vancouver artist Lyn Noble: 

 “Giving thanks for Capers”

(Originally published in the North Shore NewsSunday, October 07, 2007) 

Dear Editor: 

My Thanksgiving in 2007 has to start with grateful thanks to the group who for 22 years provided healthy, happy Thanksgiving dinners for our family, plus of course great food all year long.  It all began on Quadra Island, when four families, knowing “we are what we eat,” formed a land co-op to grow organic food. It was a brilliant success and evolved into running the Quadra Island supermarket, another success. With many ties to West Vancouver, they opened Capers, Dundarave in 1985. Fantastic! Now we too could eat a “100-mile diet.” It was a privilege, one to which we now sadly bid adieu, while extending our thanks to all who made Capers such a wonderful part of Dundarave. 

What’s next? Should we now consider replacing lawns with veggie gardens, grow tomatoes on the roof? Who knows what spring will bring. 

Thanks, Capers. 

Lyn Noble
West Vancouver


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BEST Fish Ever!

Diane in Deli

Photo: Diane, the “masterful fish maestro” pictured on the left of Jorge and Susan

“WV Capers fish was the BEST I ever tasted!” [See “BIG Box and Little Box Stores.”]

Here’s more from that interview:

” I’ve just sort of stopped eating fish for awhile, because I don’t want to compare it to Capers.

[Laughing.] Now you’ll forget what Capers fish tasted like!

That’s right, and so maybe later–after I forget–I can maybe try the fish again somewhere else.”

Hearing those comments I wondered: “WHY was WV Capers fish the BEST anywhere?”  So I asked Diane, THE MAESTRO behind the fish counter at WV Capers. Here’s what she said :

“Why? Because I paid lots of personal attention everyday. My suppliers supplied fresh fish caught that day. I cut my own fish. (That makes better shelf life for the store and better shelf life for the customer.)  I tasted the fish everyday! I wouldn’t sell anything I wouldn’t sell to a three-year-old! That’s off the top, but I also just love fish. I love cutting fish. I love displaying fish as beautifully as possible. That’s the artist in me. Maybe cutting fish is my art.” 

Amen to that! Skill and artistry and seventeen years experience make for a tough act to follow. Kudos to Diane!

Diane with Freckles 

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Basket for Michael 2Michael Basket 1

Photo: WV Capers Store Manager Michael with Natural Living staff, Jo and Tanya 

From Tanya (WV Capers Natural Living department now an “entrepreneur” with her own projects).
Email: tcoad@telus.net

“As a token of thanks we presented Michael with a large empty wicker basket. We told him that the basket represents him …not because it’s big, old and a little dirty, but because it’s strong, sturdy, and holds things together. To represent all of us that Michael’s held together for so many years, everyone came up and put a piece of organic produce or other food item into the basket.”

[Editor’s Note: We’ll soon see Michael in the Robson Capers store in downtown Vancouver.]

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Kay B

Photo: long-time West Vancouver resident Kay Bruheim

West Vancouver’s Kay Bruheim was at the door of Capers Community Market before the store even opened in 1984. “Organic” perked her ears.

She and a friend were the FIRST TWO PEOPLE to enter the THEN brand new store! When WV Capers closed on Saturday October 27, 2007, Kay was one of the LAST TO LEAVE!

Text for Kay’s THANK YOU letter to Capers Community Market (originally drafted and typed on a genuine manual NOT ELECTRIC–she insists! typewriter) follows below. 

To Capers with love:

My first encounter with Capers happend one evening as I was seeing a friend off on the bus. There were these three young men inside the store, which had not yet opened, and in conversation with Russell, Brian and Jim, we were told they would be dealing in organic produce. I was overjoyed.  Since then I have found Capers to have great integrity, and their philosophy has educated so many, including very young people. I think the legacy is immense.

We are a sad lot here at Dundarave as this heart and soul of the community vanishes. It was a great meeting place. Fanny Keifer referred to Capers in that vein last night on Shaw Cable, referring to the feeling of Dundarave Villiage.

Thank you to the Founders and all the wonderful staff through the years.

My sister Billie Smith, who lives in Kelso, Washington, said that when she came to wown, she always looked forward each time to having breakfast at Capers, remembering those whole grain waffles with the organic whipping cream.  Where else but Capers would you get such wholesome treats! Capers will be missed!

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 North Shore News Friday, October 26, 2007

Dear Editor:

Just a few weeks after the merger between Whole Foods Market and Capers Community Markets became finalized, Whole Foods announced they would be closing the Capers store in West Vancouver on Oct. 27.Having worked at that location for more than six years I feel fortunate to have shared in the store’s rich history.

I’ve worked in larger stores and I’ve worked in smaller stores, but as Goldilocks would say, this one was “j-u-u-u-st right!” Yes it’s had its challenges: the lack of parking, the wonky sidewalks outside and the cramped aisles that led to its affectionately being nicknamed the “excuse-me store.” But for many, the homey feel, the funky layout and the view of the water from the upstairs balcony somehow made up for its imperfections. As you passed inside the colourful, flower-filled entrance, stopping at Gary’s lovingly laid out demo table, you felt you were among friends. For staff, the maze of inner staircases and hidden nooks and crannies has always been a real part of the building’s charm.

Many Caperite faces have changed over the years, but the warm core of the West Van store has remained intact. Much of this is due to longtime employees, many of whom actually walk the natural talk in their personal lives.

We’ve also been blessed with exceptional managers and supervisors who juggle their many responsibilities with skill and grace. Behind-the-scenes people in our offices downstairs and the rear of the store have worked hard to keep things running smoothly. And a team of bright and talented individuals at the Capers Regional office on West Fourth Avenue have long watched over our store, instigating programs to educate, connect with, and give back to our community.

Truly, the tone of Capers West Van has been very much set over the years by store director, Michael Wuest. As a leader Michael treads the delicate line between astute business professional and earthy, good-natured, always-approachable friend. He’s on a first-name basis with most of the North Shore — probably from all the time he’s spent chatting with folks while sweeping the sidewalks, or jumping in to help when one of our departments is short-staffed. Michael’s been our ballast through many a storm and has helped forge the tight connection we share with the neighbourhood.

 I will miss our many regular customers who range from teenagers to adults in their 90s. For lots of folks, a walk on the Seawalk routinely included swinging by our corner of Marine Drive and 25th Street for coffee and a power cookie. Many local seniors made us a regular stop on their daily outings. We’ve also had numerous housebound customers who have relied on us to deliver their phone orders each week.I would like to thank all the wonderful people who have supported our store for so long. Many have been shopping at Capers since 1985 when Russell Precious and Jim Mathias first opened the doors with a staff of 15. I shopped there myself for many years before deciding to apply for a job, having been impressed by the company’s ethics and the store’s appealing atmosphere. From Day 1 it felt like home.

Capers’ early motto was “to love and feed people.” I think many echo my sentiments that this simple goal has been achieved and for this my family and I give heartfelt thanks.

 Tanya Coad
North Vancouver

(Editor: Tanya Coad is the Natural Living consultant at Capers in West Vancouver.)
© North Shore News 2007

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An interview on “The View” earlier this week featured author Deborah NORVILLE. Her new book will be in stores at the end of October. That’s timely for this BLOG! Title of Norville’s book: Thank You Power: Making the Science of Gratitude Work for You!

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