Market Day is one of the summer’s busiest days in downtown Courtenay. Photo by Ron Pogue

Downtown Courtenay businesses rack up the Readers’ Choice awards

The recent Comox Valley Record Readers’ Choice Awards have made one thing abundantly clear: locals love downtown Courtenay!

With almost 2,000 entries and more than 150,000 total votes cast, downtown businesses walked away with 24 Readers’ Choice Awards, while another 33 were recognized as finalists in various categories.

“I’m incredibly proud – but not surprised – that so many downtown establishments were acknowledged for their excellent service and products,” says Jenny Deters, president of the Downtown Courtenay Business Improvement Association (DCBIA). “It’s just such a great, encouraging, cohesive community that we have here, and we make each other stronger. I think the fact that we were so well represented in the Readers’ Choice Awards exemplifies that.”

This is the third year that the Comox Valley Record has recognized local-favourite businesses in categories from food, people and places to arts and entertainment, sports and recreation. With more than 125 classifications, readers were asked to vote upon such things as “Best Place for a Wedding,” “Greatest Place to Work,” “Best Dance School” and even “Best Burger.”

“To have our local community honour us by including Atlas in the Readers’ Choice Awards means the world to us,” says Sandra Viney, owner of Atlas Café with her partner Trent McIntyre. “It takes a team for Atlas to shine; we are so grateful for this recognition as it is a reflection of their dedication.

Atlas Café took the top prize for both “Best Place for Lunch During Work” and “Restaurant with Best Vegetarian Fare,” and the popular restaurant was a finalist in the Breakfast/Brunch, Fine Dining and Martinis categories.

“We are blessed to be a part of such a wonderfully supportive community,” she adds. “Downtown Courtenay rocks!”

Deters – and apparently a large swath of the Comox Valley populace – couldn’t agree more.

“Whether you’re looking for a place to grab a drink, be pampered, find that perfect gift or meet up with one of our amazing professionals, you can do it all in downtown Courtenay. As businesses, we know that downtown is a special place, and it’s nice to see that the public feels that way, too.”

Other Readers’ Choice winners from Downtown Courtenay included: 5th Street Florist, Bigfoot Donuts, Butcher’s Block, Cakebread, Coastal Community Credit Union, Darryl Robbins Notary Public, Darryl Robbins Accountant, Design Therapy, Downtown Courtenay, Finders Keep Hers, Gladstone Brewing Co., Graham’s Jewellers, High Tide Public House (formerly Billy D’s Pub & Bistro), Hot Chocolates, Jim’s Clothes Closet, Kradles 2 Kidz Boutique, Laughing Oyster Bookshop, Mackenzie Gartside Mortgage Broker, Michaels off Main, Mudsharks Coffee Bar, Piercy’s Funeral Home, Pizzeria Guerrilla, Podlings, Rawthentic Eatery, Roots the Salon, Searle’s Shoes, Second Page Used Books, Square 1 Travel, Too Good to be Threw, Union Street Grill & Grotto and Whale’s Tale Toys.

To learn more about downtown Courtenay, visit www.downtowncourtenay.com.

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