Providing specialty services in Lake Cowichan and the entire Cowichan Valley, come on by if you’re in town – what we can do just might surprise you!
Gerard’s Specialty Foods Ltd. is a family operation, started in Lake Cowichan in the summer of 2012. Our Founder, President and CEO, Gerard Burg (Gerry) was a Master Pastry Chef, with over 60 years experience and actually developed his concept of ‘beef strudel’ in his native country, the Netherlands.
He was born in 1934 and lived in Holland during the Nazi occupation. He began his training at the age of 14 years. By the age of 19 years, he won First Prize in the prestigious Brussels Fair, with a 5 foot chocolate and sugar statue of a bull fighter on horseback and a bull. Gerry went on to Africa where he was a Chef on the famous Blue Train. Meanwhile, his family has emigrated to Canada; he joined them in 1958 and quickly acquired his first job as Chef in the Royal York Hotel in Toronto. He went on to own three companies, taught at Georgian College and finally moved to Vancouver Island in 1998.
He continued with his craft, creating breathtaking wedding cakes, crafted in the old style of European masters. (some of his amazing cake samples are still on display in his office.) But he had always dreamed of creating a business with his delicious strudels and with the help of family, he finally pursued his dream in Lake Cowichan.
Gerry’s brother-in-law is our Vice-President, Graham Brawnell. Born in Vancouver, he grew up on a cattle ranch in B.C.’s Interior. He eventually owned Tinit Manufacturing and from this business he gained manufacturing knowledge to Gerard’s’. He is in charge of Inventory, Shipping and Receiving.
Secretary-Treasurer and Office Manager is Gerry’s widow, Glenda, who brings organization to our company. She has had a varied career, including real estate and civic celebration management. She has written a book about her family’s adventures on their cattle ranch.
Glenda’s son, William Osborne, who was trained by Gerry to assume the leadership, is now our President and CEO. He joined the company with an interest in franchising our company in the future. He was our Director of Sales & Marketing.
William’s partner, Dana is our Director of Product Development and is currently overseeing Sales and Marketing until we appoint a replacement.
Gerry’s twin, Father Joseph Burg, has joined our Board of Directors.
Leon Signs was established in 1964 by George, Dorothy and son Jack Paton. In 1994 grandsons Brian and Barry Martin assumed ownership and brought their sister Shelley on board to be office manager. While the basic principles of quality design and materials remain constant, the methods of sign production have changed greatly in the last twenty seven years. While lettering quills and mahl sticks are still used, the reliance now is on technology. From simple vinyl cutting plotters to large format printers, Leon Signs has maintained its position at the forefront of the industry. At Leon Signs we have been creating and manufacturing products for commerce, industry and home for over fifty-five years. Our goal is always to produce the best quality possible and to enjoy doing so. We use “up to date” equipment, software and materials to achieve the first aim, and living on Vancouver Island gives us a head start on the second. Four generations of success is your guarantee!
At Buddies Natural Pet Food, we use human grade whole, raw foods to create our Raw Pet Food for Dogs and Cats. Sourcing our foods locally, as much as possible, and seasonally with love in the Cowichan Valley. We believe in a balanced, species-appropriate diet for dogs and cats. A diet that has fresh unadulterated whole foods to fuel their bodies.
We believe that living bodies have everything needed to fight disease and that when given a good nutritional foundation that animals are able to live long and healthy lives, while also being able to combat any diseases that may arise.
We would not presume to be able to survive and thrive off of a diet of kibble and water alone; so why is it that we think our four-legged friends can? Kibble was created in the 1950’s, and since then there has not been enough time for Dogs and Cats to evolve enough to be able to digest the ‘food’ that is conventionally given to them. Having a species appropriate diet takes into account what they would naturally eat in the wild, and then creating the closest thing we can to that.
We at Buddies have always worked diligently at developing a variety of different protein-based raw food blends, that contain the right amount of balanced ingredients for your animals at an affordable price. At Buddies Natural Pet Food, we want to see all our buddies’ live long and comfortable lives.