Editorial: Business booming along the Avenue

New stores, restaurants and services reflect a vibrant community

If there’s any question Oak Bay enjoys a vibrant  business community, a look along the Avenue this week should provide the answer.

In addition to recent moves by longstanding businesses like Buddies Toys and Abra-kid-abra, the village has also seen a flurry of new business activity.

Hide + Seek Coffee pours a welcome brew for patrons, while next door, 4 Cats Studio lends an artistic touch to a space locals have been watching with great interest for some time.

We welcomed a chiropractor to Monterey Mews last month in Wholistic Chiropractic and Wellness, while down the road, S & B Windows and Doors helps residents get the look they love for their homes.

One of the biggest additions locals have keenly watched develop is the 6,000-plus-square-foot Red Barn Market on Oak Bay Avenue at Redfern Street.

And if the crowds during their Thursday opening – a day before the store was supposed to throw open its doors – were any indication, the community welcomes its arrival.

The strength and vibrancy of local business relies upon the support of local patrons. Both Red Barn – bringing more than 50 jobs to the community – Buddies Toys and others are key members of Think Local First, which emphasizes the importance of keeping at least some of your dollars here at home.

As a long-standing member of the local business community ourselves, that is something with which we heartily concur.

Beyond that, though, we appreciate the diversity local businesses provide – virtually everything you need in one place, as Oak Bay Business Improvement Association president Liz Smith has said.

And what a different place Oak Bay would be without it.