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Comox Valley scores high with magazine readers
According to BC Living's readers, Comox Valley businesses offer outstanding food and entertainment compared to the rest of Vancouver Island.
Comox Valley establishments topped the list for categories like best café, best desserts, best local festival and best bar/pub in the magazine's 2013 People's Choice Awards for Vancouver Island.
Like last year, the Atlas Café took top honours for a Vancouver Island café this year, but it was also voted best breakfast/brunch establishment and was runner-up for best restaurant this year.
"Team Atlas were thrilled to hear the news that we have been acknowledged by our customers by winning the BC Living People's Choice Awards," Atlas co-owner Sandra Viney says. "To know that our guests have taken the time to vote after their Atlas experience is so heart-warming and so appreciated. We are very fortunate to have such a dedicated, loyal and passionate team and for them to receive this recognition means the world to us."
Comox's Blackfin Pub owner Edd Moyes is delighted to have topped the list in two categories, best bar/pub and best patio.
"We knew we were a finalist back in August but we were up against some pretty good competition in our categories, especially from Victoria," says Moyes, noting the Blackfin beat Canoe Brewpub for best patio, which also overlooks a marina.
But, Moyes adds he doesn't like to rely on the Blackfin's view of the Comox marina, pointing out the staff make the difference over the long term.
"They have to deliver on the food and they have to deliver on the service," he continues. "If we don't have that combination, we can't keep relying on the view to keep loyal customers coming back and to keep our new visitors coming back and talking about us."
Meanwhile, Hot Chocolates earned the top spot in the best desserts category. Vancouver Island MusicFest won best local festival again this year, and the Waverley Hotel in Cumberland moved up from third-best live music venue last year to best on the Island this year.
The Kingfisher Oceanside Resort & Spa earned best spa and the Comox Community Centre won best fitness centre.
The Comox Valley also placed second in a number of categories: Edible Island for best health-food store, Level 10 Eurospa for best hair salon, Polka Dot Pants for best clothing store and Miracle Beach for best camp site. Locals Restaurant took third place for best restaurant.
Some larger businesses in the Valley scored well for various locations, too: Thrifty Foods won best grocery store, and Quality Foods placed second; Valhalla Pure Outfitters placed second for best sports store; Home Depot and Canadian Tire placed second and third, respectively, in the hardware store category; and London Drugs won best beauty store with Shoppers Drug Mart taking third place in that category.