Friends — check.
Meeting place (favourite watering hole!) — check.
Really good time — check.
Safe drive home — check.
Yes, many of us like to go out and have a good time. But if you’ve indulged in alcoholic beverages, it’s not responsible to drive home — nor is it legal.
Now, thanks to some local entrepreneurs, you have another option to get home safely and get your vehicle home as well.
Wheat City Designated Driver Services — also known as Wheat City DD — began offering safe rides back in February.
Jeff Carey, his fiancée Tara Teall, and Tara’s brother, Tanner Teall, are excited about their new business venture.
"I drive truck and I heard an ad one day on the radio for a similar service that was being offered in Ontario," Carey said. "As Brandon continues to grow, I thought this would work really well here."
The key, he said, is that customers get home safely in the comfort of their own vehicle and don’t have to worry about leaving it anywhere. Drivers are insured and bondable and offer a flat rate for a direct trip within the city of Brandon (other options are also available).
You can reserve your ride ahead of time or call 204-717-5100 for immediate service.
A lifelong resident of Brandon, Carey said their business is home-based right now, but they hope it will grow with time.
"Our biggest challenge is educating everyone on what we offer," he said. "Because it’s a new type of service, it’ll take time for it to catch on."
For more information, find Wheat City DD on Facebook and on Twitter @wheatcitydd.
Solidifying new grounds
Western Concrete Products has relocated part of their business — what is referred to as the Block Yard — to a new location.
This concrete company has been in Brandon at 1920 Park Ave. since 1953. General manager Fred Kennell said the new location at 1540-14th St. East makes more sense.
"It’s a way better location for a concrete company," Kennell said. "Brandon pretty much grew around the concrete plant; when it first opened, there was field almost all around the business."
The Block Yard offers a variety of products for commercial or retail sale, including bricks, paving stones, mulch, black dirt and crushed rock.
Kennell said the three- to five-year plan includes moving the entire concrete plant.
Two years ago, Western Concrete Products amalgamated with C&C Construction Ltd. and Allen and Bolack Excavating to form the All West Group. These businesses are also operating at the new location.
Keeping kids busy
Shoppers Mall is looking for organizations and businesses that provide youth with extracurricular activities to participate in the second annual Clubs For Kids registration event.
It will be held on Saturday, Aug. 23, from 9:30 a.m. to
6 p.m. at Shoppers Mall.
Clubs For Kids is a great opportunity for any organization to receive complimentary exposure and provides a central location to gather registrations prior to the start of the 2014-15 school year.
<t-2.5>To receive a registration package, contact mall
guest services supervisor Samantha Wells at firstname.lastname@example.org or 204-728-3255.<t$>
Coffee Culture at 501 First St. is celebrating its first anniversary this month.
After taking a couple of years to put together, the popular coffee shop and eatery opened in Brandon on July 12, 2013. Franchise owner Lori Versavel says it has been an interesting year.
"It’s been a lot of fun, but we’ve also had a super steep learning curve," she said. "Overall, it’s been a really good year; I feel like I’m quite a bit more solid and things just keep getting better and better."
Versavel had been retired for a number of years from the Western Medical Clinic after working as an administrator for 17 years. She had heard from a friend about this Canadian franchise that started in Ontario. Versavel did some research, really liked what she saw and pursued it.
"People, hospitality and food is what I like more than anything, it’s a good fit," she said. "It’s been quite a wild ride, but I really lucked out on staff, we have a good team and hats off to them for helping to make it work."