Jay Valeri and Lyndsey Bell own Bigfoot Donuts in downtown Courtenay. File photo

Jay Valeri and Lyndsey Bell own Bigfoot Donuts in downtown Courtenay. File photo

Courtenay donut shop wins Small Business BC Award

Bigfoot Donuts has won the Premier’s People’s Choice category of the Small Business BC Awards, as announced Thursday, May 6.

The award category is presented to a business that can demonstrate it has the loyal support of the community. The criteria to win the People’s Choice is to gain the most votes.

“Pretty exciting stuff,” said Jay Valeri, who co-owns the downtown Courtenay business with his wife, Lyndsey Bell. “It really shows the community support, and brought it back to the Comox Valley, so we’re pretty excited for that one.”

Before opening the business in May of 2017, the couple had studied different subjects at school. Lyndsey’s background was First Nations and finance, while Jay’s was computer mapping. Come vacation time, they would search out bakeries and donut shops in the U.S.

Valeri said they both have nostalgic feelings when it comes to bakeries.

“My wife remembers going down to the old Courtenay Bakery on 5th Street, and seeing the old school-style cases, the environment and the vibe when you walk into a bakery. We wanted to bring that to our shop, too,” he said.

Along with donuts, Bigfoot also serves soup and sandwiches. For May, they put together a maple walnut Pershing doughnut to honour the memory of prominent community member Wayne Bradley, who passed away in early April.

READ: Courtenay doughnut shop serves up sweet tribute to a friend

“We work hard to try and keep things exciting and applicable for all ages, and any demographic,” Valeri said.

The annual Small Business BC Awards consist of only six categories. Besides People’s Choice, Bigfoot Donuts was also a finalist in the Best Youth Entrepreneur and Best Community Impact categories.