Queensborough is now home to a Lowe's Home Improvement Warehouse, the first location in B.C. for the home improvement retail giant.
The store held its grand opening on Tuesday and is continuing festivities into the weekend.
The first 300 customers on Friday, Saturday and Sunday will receive a free Lowe's reusable bag. At 1 p.m. Saturday, customers can meet HGTV's Bryan Baeumler, who will be on site to offer home improvement tips.
Lowe's head office chose the location at 1085 Tanaka Ct. (better known as the site of the old Western Forest Products mill next to the Starlight Casino) because of the large amount of surrounding retail, ease of access, proximity to a major highway and its central location in the Lower Mainland.
The store has 117,000 square feet of retail space as well as a 30,000 squarefoot gardening centre, but store manager Ramona Paul said she expects helpful and knowledgeable employees will be what attracts customers to the store.
"We live it. We hire people who are passionate. We hire experienced people without question - electrical pros and licensed plumbers and carpenters who have that experience.
But it's their passion that we look for when we hire people," she said before the opening.
Paul said Lowe's has hired 180 such people, many from New Westminster.
A New Westminster tech startup owner has been named an entrepreneur of the year by Douglas College.
Douglas College's self employment program gave the Alliance Printing Perseverance Award to Judy Hamilton, founder of TerraTap Technologies Inc., at the program's annual Entrepreneur of the Year Awards on Oct. 19.
Through TerraTap, Hamilton founded ToggleTo.com, a webbased marketing service that uses QR codes (modern day square barcodes that can be scanned with most smartphones) to help promote products and services and feed useful information about those using the codes back to the client.
Hamilton, who grew up in New West, graduated from the program in 2010 and founded the business shortly thereafter.
After three potential partnerships with some large firms were either pulled, as they implemented their own solutions, or acquired by even bigger firms, Hamilton decided to stick with her original business model on her own, which has proven to be the smarter decision.
"The business is going very, very well. We're actually at the point now where investors are knocking on our door. It's all getting rather exciting," she said
Hamilton said most of her clients now are large web-based advertising firms, but she and her three employees would like to show how fellow New West and Vancouver entrepreneurs can use the same tech service to grow their businesses.
See www.toggleto.com for more on Hamilton's award-winning business.
Like pulled pork and live near the River Market at Westminster Quay?
We've got some succulent news for you.
River Market community services manager Julie Ramirez confirms that Re-Up BBQ, a star in Vancouver's street food scene, will be setting up shop at the River Market.
Re-Up is aiming to have its first stationary location open in the 840-squarefoot space next to the Crab Shop in early 2012.
Re-Up quickly became one of the most popular and highest-rated food carts in Vancouver after the city entered its street food renaissance in 2010.
They specialize in pulled pork, home-cured bacon and beef brisket, but the River Market location will offer much more, said
Lindsay Ferguson, coowner.
"We're going to do a full-blown barbecue restaurant. We're going to have ribs, smoked chicken, a lot of different sides like French fries and coleslaw to go along with them," she said.
Beyond that, Re-Up will also begin selling its own homemade sauces and cuts of meat so customers can cook them at home.
Do you have an item of interest from the New Westminster business scene? Email Brent Richter, brichter@royalcityrecord. com, or catch up with him on Twitter, @BrentRichter.