Small Towns Get Hip


Small towns get hip – with business opportunities, cafes, hop farms and art galleries. There was a time when making the move to small-town British Columbia meant sacrificing the excitement of a hot new restaurant, cutting-edge art galleries, and even a decent cup of morning coffee. But that, of course, has changed. The first wave of successful professionals to come to the Thompson Okanagan pulled out unproductive tree fruit and replanted the orchards with vinifera grape varietals and produced –within a generation-some of the finest wines in the world. From that point, the entire cultural scene of BC Interior towns changed. Chefs from some of the finest kitchens in Vancouver moved away to pursue the dream of opening their own room in a town where doing so didn’t require wealthy backers to make a go of it. On Vancouver Island, brewmasters were turning out award-winning stouts and pale ales a decade before the ‘craft beer revolution’ started in more urban areas of the Lower Mainland. Even BC’s coffee roasters got in on the action at an early stage—Invermere based Kicking Horse Coffee is now sold at high-end grocery stores in Brooklyn and San Francisco. Then, of course, there are the thousands of young families right-sizing.