AgreemenT #40026059



The Alliance of Beverage Licensees



Fine Wines

& Ales


Tapping into

Summer 2013

• Stop Thief! Reduce Theft in LRSs

• Increasing Store Sales per Square Foot

• That’s Entertainment







Quarterly Publication for the

Alliance of Beverage Licensees

2nd floor 948 Howe Street, Vancouver, BC V6Z 1N9

T 604-688-5560 F 604-688-8560

Toll free 1-800-663-4883

2012-2013 Board of Directors

President Ron Orr

Past President Al McCreary

Vice President Jonathan Cross

Vice President Poma Dhaliwal

Vice President Mike McKee

Treasurer Roger Gibson

Executive Director Ian Baillie

Directors Al Arbuthnot, Brady Beruschi, Sandy Billing,

Don Calveley, Al Deacon, Mariana Fiddler, John Lepinski,

Gavin Parry, Kurt Pyrch, Danny Rickaby, Stan Sprenger

Director at Large Dave Crown

The Publican Editorial Committee Damian Kettlewell,

Ralf Joneikies, Mike McKee, Gary McPhail,

Ron Orr, Brian Riedlinger, Cheryl Semenuik, Jeff Tennant

Designed, Produced & Published by:

EMC Publications

19073 63 Avenue, Surrey BC V3S 8G7

Ph: 604-574-4577 1-800-667-0955

Fax: 604-574-2196

Publisher Joyce Hayne

Designer Krysta Furioso

Copy Editor Debbie Minke

ABLE BC Editor Ian Baillie

Copyright EMC Publications




19073 63 AVENUE



The statements, opinions & points of view expressed in

published articles are not necessarily those of ABLE BC.

Advertisers are not necessarily endorsed by ABLE BC.



10 18

10 Increasing Store Sales per Square Foot

18 Tapping into Trends

21 Trends in Food & Beverage

24 Featured LrS manager:

Holly Stone at Firefly Fine Wines & Ales

28 Three Cheers for Charity

30 Stop, Thief! How to Reduce Theft in LRSs

34 Beer & Fruit Pairing

36 That’s Entertainment

42 Vancouver International Tequila Expo


LRS Manager

Holly Stone

at Firefly

Fine Wines & Ales

30 36




4 President’s Message

6 Executive Director’s Report

8 What’s New?

9 Spotlight on Bitters

15 Liquor Sales & Trends

16 Wine Report

17 LCLB Report

22 Product Showcase

26 Names in the News

27 BCHF Update

41 ABLE Benefits

44 Human Resources

45 LDB Report

4 The Publican

President's Message

by Ron Orr

BC’s election is behind us and the beginning of the next era for the liquor

industry begins. There is a new platform of elected officials who will determine

the rules and regulations affecting our businesses for the next four years, and

it is incumbent upon ABLE BC and its members continue to reach out to all

MLAs to ensure that they are aware of the issues facing our industry. We all

must work diligently and strategically to ensure any new policy is based on

solid business logic that is conducive to growth and stability, while avoiding

the unintended consequences that sometimes occur when legislative change

is made in isolation.

Over the past several months leading up to the election, ABLE and its members

have been politically engaged as we tried to ensure that prospective MLAs

were aware of the issues facing us on a daily basis. I am very pleased with

the work that has been done, since a number of key relationships have been

developed, but more importantly, there has been a great deal of open and

honest dialogue with the politicians. There can be no question that MLAs are

highly aware of the challenges we face, but at the same time, we cannot deny

that there are competitive and political forces in play that could negatively

impact our business.

Even prior to the election, our industry faced what seemed like a tide of continual

change. Most importantly, we have now transitioned back to the GST/PST tax

regime. This is a significant change that certainly is not conducive to business

growth on any level. We are faced with a revenue/gross profit decline of 2.6%

while incurring additional expenses as a result of the loss of input tax credits.

As business owners, it is imperative that we understand the full implication

of this tax change in order to make the necessary adjustments to ensure our

financial viability is protected.

It is also important to acknowledge the appointment of Blain Lawson as General

Manager of the Liquor Distribution Branch. This appointment is significant in

that it now provides the LDB with the stability and mandate to move forward

with a renewed business plan. Given the significant level of retail experience

that Mr. Lawson brings to the LDB, it is certainly expected that we will see

this experience flow out to the government liquor stores (GLSs). In fact, many

members will have already noticed a slightly more proactive sales and marketing

approach taken by GLSs. We should not be surprised by any signs of increased

business development strategies coming from this channel.

At the same time, the LDB (and government) must recognize the significant

financial contribution that the LRS channel brings. We know that LRSs represent

very cost-effective profit for the LDB, and the financial viability of this channel is

critical for maintaining their profitability. Going forward, I hope to see a much

better recognition of the value LRSs provide as we try to balance the relationship

with LDB as our exclusive supplier as well as a significant retailer. It is time for

both the government and the LDB to view LRSs and LPs as partners and allies

in the business of liquor retailing. Unshackling the restrictions placed on our

businesses can only lead to growth and profitability for all parties involved.

I am similarly pleased with the progress made on our membership development

and benefits program. So far, we have conducted five membership meetings in

our current term. These meetings are proving to be very beneficial on several

fronts, as we are hearing firsthand about the daily challenges imposed on

members as we try to run our on-premise and retail store businesses. The success

of these meetings and our outreach strategy is reflected in the growth of our

new member numbers. It is particularly encouraging to hear from operators

that allowed their memberships to lapse and are now returning to ABLE. They

recognize the alignment they have with ABLE and the value that the Association

can bring to its members. We firmly believe there is strength in numbers, and

will continue to seek out new and past members.

I would be remiss without making mention of the Automatic Roadside

Prohibition Regime (ARP) and its current status within the court system. As

you all know, the ARP program has proven to be the most impactful piece of

legislation to affect our LPs (and to some extent, LRSs) that we have seen in many

years. Beyond the obvious and immediate impact to our businesses, it was felt

that there were other implications that could arise as the government moved

closer and closer to a potential infringement of our society’s Charter of Rights.

Despite our inherent opposition to impaired driving, ABLE felt it imperative to

support the legal challenge to the ARP Regime on constitutional grounds. You

probably have noticed that on the recent liquor license renewals, the LCLB is

now asking licensees if they have been penalized under the ARP program. We

now know that the administrative charge under the ARP program can have

implications far beyond the obvious penalties outlined in the program, and

can actually affect your ability to own and operate your own business. This

goes far beyond the original mandate of the program with respect to impaired

driving, and is a prime example of the need for a judicial review of the program.

The case has been heard in the BC Court of Appeal and interested parties are

now awaiting the court’s decision. Regardless of the decision, members should

recognize that ABLE took a position on behalf of its members and has seen the

issue to the end.

I would also like to thank all of those members who are communicating with

the ABLE team. We do want to hear from you and are here to assist you in any

manner we can. Please keep calling.

I wish you the best for the summer season. Let’s hope for a long, dry summer

with many thirsty patrons.

Dear Members,

Over the last few weeks, I’m sure you received a phone call at home or a knock

at the door from a political campaign asking for your vote. During the election,

ABLE BC worked hard to create connections and working relationships with

candidates from all parties, and as the 2013 provincial election comes to an

end, I am happy to say that we have created key networks to help advance

our message and our industry. ABLE BC is well-suited and ready to work with

the 40th government of BC over the next 4 years.

As this election brings changes our way, it is important to reflect on a few

other changes made earlier this year. We saw nine policy changes in February

followed by implementation and changes to taxes on growlers. The most

difficult change for our industry to take on was reverting back to the PST/GST.

Throughout March, we received many questions from members about this

transition; the confusion amongst the industry due to a lack of industry specific

information became very apparent. To help our members, ABLE BC created

a PST Guide supplemented with information from LDB and PST experts from

the Ministry of Finance. I hope this guide was helpful and eased the transition.

Knowing what is important to our members and how we can best help is

extremely important. Over the last few months, we have been encouraging

members to complete our Winter 2013 survey to do just this. Members

6 The Publican


Director's Report

by Ian Baillie

responded and provided us with significant information that will be helpful

in creating a better industry association for you. According to recent survey

results, one of the most important benefits for members is a better rate for

credit card processing. We have signed a new deal with Global Payments to

help save you money! Government regulations were a top concern of members

followed by fairness with the LDB.

Learning specifics on how regulations are affecting members is best done

through regional meetings - direct meetings with owners and operators

throughout BC. Our most recent meetings in Kamloops and Kelowna were a

huge success with members and non-members coming together to share their

challenges, concerns, and feedback on how we can move forward together as

an industry. In the past eight months, we have held member meetings on the

Island, in the Interior, and the Lower Mainland. Thank you for making these

meetings a success! We look forward to our next regional meetings in the

North and the Kootenays.

We have been working towards strengthening ABLE BC through new members,

new associate members, and new benefits for our membership to use and

enjoy. This is an ongoing, but crucial task to benefit you, your business, and our

industry. Please take a few moments to encourage non-members to connect

with us, because together, we are stronger. Let us know how we can help!

The Publican


What's New?

by Debbie Minke

Twisted & Bitter are Victoria Spirits’ handmade bitters crafted in small batches in their copper

pot still. These highly concentrated tinctures of herbs, spices, fruits, and spirits add character and

complexity to food and drink without sweetness. Available in Orange, Rosemary Grapefruit, and

Black Pepper flavours at select stores across BC. 150ml $10 Wholesale

Beer, Cider, RTDs

Ward’s Cider is made with a blend of Bramley, Jersey Chisel,

Bulmers Norman, Porters Perfection, Lord Lambourne, Belle de

Boskoop and a touch of Cox’s Orange Pippin apples using an old

family recipe. It’s full of flavour and pleasing aromatics - off-dry, crisp,

and refreshing - and it’s gluten free. 6 x 355ml cans $10.70

Licking Limes is the latest vodka cooler from Vancouver’s Jaw

Drop Coolers Co. 7% triple-distilled Canadian vodka is teamed with

a “just squeezed” flavour that is juicy and clean all the way through.

Enjoy the distinct Tahiti lime aroma. Squeezing melons is a juicy,

red watermelon vodka cooler bursting with natural “field ripened”

flavours and a hint of fizz. Both 4 x 473ml cans $9.99 Spec

William Premium Cider is certified organic and gluten free. Made

with 100% Canadian apples, this English-style cider is subtle and

restrained, light and dry, with excellent effervescence. No artificial

flavours are used. 4 x 473ml cans $9.99 Spec

ginga ninja ginger Beer offers a light body and low bitterness,

which allows the fruity, yet subtly spicy flavours and aromas of

ginger to shine in this golden ale. The light malt character gives this

beer a great ability to pair with a wide range of foods. It is incredibly

refreshing by itself or even a great starting point for a beer cocktail.

6 x 341ml bottles $12.25 Listed

mOA methode is a German-style pilsner from New Zealand that

offers high bitterness balanced with a full mouth-feel. Citrus hop

characters dominate the aroma with notes of yeast. 4 x 330ml cans

$13.99 or 750ml bottle $8.99 Spec mOA Imperial Stout, noir,

Pale Ale, and Blanc evolution are also available.

echigo Koshihikari rice Beer is brewed using German malts and

hops, along with the Japan’s famous Koshihikari rice from Niigata

Prefecture. It’s clean and simple, yet packed with a delicious rice

flavour, complementing sushi, sashimi, and yakitori. 500ml bottles

$5.25 Spec


Hayman’s Sloe gin is a traditional English Liqueur created by infusing

sloe berries, the fruit of the blackthorn tree, with gin using a long

standing family recipe. A popular drink since the 19th century as a

digestive and winter warmer, the rich, red ruby liqueur offers smooth

and intense bittersweet fruit flavours. 700ml $34.99 Spec

Crema di Limoncetta offers a full, enveloping taste and moderate

alcohol content. Made with Sicilian lemons, fresh cream and other

exceptional ingredients, its recipe originates from the ancient traditions

of Southern Italy. 500ml $29.99 Spec

8 The Publican


Imbue Bittersweet Vermouth features aromatics of elderflower, dried tangerine, vanilla,

and provincial herbs. It is made from Oregon Pinot Gris grapes and fortified with brandy

made from those same grapes. Reticent pear, lemongrass, and honey grace the broad palate,

and it finishes on a slightly sweet and pleasingly bitter note that lingers. 750ml $41.99 Spec

Ch. Sainte roseline Perle rosé is a beautiful pink, lively, fruity rosé from Provence. The

nose of red fruits offers a hint of spice, and it pairs well with grilled entrées, cheese, and

chocolate desserts. 750ml $19.99 Spec

Long Flat red moscato 2011 is crafted from Australian Black Muscat grapes. It has a light,

refreshing, fruity taste that’s a real crowd pleaser on a hot summer’s day. Great value. 750ml

$12.99 Spec

Piccini Toscano Bianco 2011 is a fruity blend with a lively palate. Citrus fruit and mineral

undertones tantalize the drinker. Toscano rosso 2010 combines Sangiovese, Malvasia

Nera and Ciliegiolo grapes to produce this rich, dark wine full of plum, berries, and fresh

acidity. Both 750ml $11.99 Spec

Yalumba Organic Viognier 2011 from Southern Australia is straw coloured with green

hues. It shows a varietal and alluring earthy nose upfront before settling into the pretty

aromas of white flowers, jasmine, and honeysuckle with hints of fennel. The palate is a

beautiful layering of distinct flavours starting with fresh apricot nectar, leading into a creamy

mid palate with bright citrus and Asian five spice on the finish. 750ml $16.99 Spec

Pech-Céleyran Blanc 2011 is 80% Chardonnay and 20% Viognier. It features aromas of

white flowers, peaches, and a touch of citrus. It’s fresh and fruity with a generous, round

mouthfeel, with citrus, melon, pineapple, and apricot notes on the palate. 750ml $15.99 Spec

Scribble Hill Sauvignon Blanc 2011 is light bodied and clean, with fresh, crisp acidity.

Enjoy flavours of tropical fruits including guava and passionfruit. Scribble Hill Shiraz 2012

has a spicy, peppery edge to soft cherry fruit - a vibrant and modern-style Shiraz with a

toasted oak background. Both 750ml $18.50 Spec

Painted Wolf’s ‘The Den’ Pinotage 2011 is a juicy, fruit-packed, smooth wine with a

smorgasbord of red and black summer berries. All Painted Wolf wines purchased benefit the

highly endangered African wild dog. A donation from each bottle sold is made to respected

conservation organizations. 750ml $15.99 Spec

Fattoria Colombara gozzi garda Cabernet 2008 is dark, ruby red in colour with aromas

of blackberries, plums, and graphite minerals. Long, ripe fruit flavours dominate, with a rich

mouthfeel and balanced finish. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon 750ml $17.95 Spec

Sledgehammer Forged red 2011 is a big Californian wine that’s rich and smooth. This

Petite Syrah driven red blend offers medium sweetness and pairs well with big steaks. 750ml

$18.99 Spec

Circus Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 has youthful freshness and a smooth texture with red

fruit, spicy roasted herbal flavours and tobacco. Its excellent structure and rounded palate

features smooth tannins and a spicy, lingering finish. 750ml $ 12.99 Spec

Spotlight on Bitters

by Trevor Kallies

You’ve seen the bottle. It’s usually small, dark

brown, and has an oversized label that extends

over its shoulders. The yellow cap typically has

dark magenta stains on it. If the year were 2003,

the odds would be pretty good that no bartender

has looked at it in some time. And if they did, they

probably wouldn’t quite know what to do with it.

That bottle is Angostura bitters.

Virtually every back bar in North America has this

iconic bottle of bark and spice steeped alcohol.

Peruse almost any cocktail book in print, and

you’ll find a reference to dashes or drops of that

flavourful liquid.

Don’t be confused: a bitter and bitters are two

very different liquids. A digestive bitter is a

potable liquid easily and readily consumed at

full strength or mixed, such as Campari, Aperol,

Amaro, or Zwack. Cocktail bitters are not so

potable (although many now consume them en

masse). They start with an alcoholic base, which

has been flavoured with herbal essences and

spices. They typically have a bitter or bittersweet

flavour. Numerous brands of bitters were formerly

marketed as patent medicines, but are now

considered to be digestifs. They commonly have

an alcoholic strength of approximately 45% abv

and are used as flavouring in cocktails.

The use of bitters in cocktails leads to a broader

topic. Looking back at what has been noted as

the first reference of the word cocktail in print, we

find the following editorial reply to the question

“What is a cocktail?”

“Cock-tail is a stimulating liquor, composed of

spirits of any kind, sugar, water, and bitters - it is

vulgarly called bittered sling, and is supposed to

be an excellent electioneering potion, inasmuch

as it renders the heart stout and bold, at the same

time that it fuddles the head. It is said also to be

of great use to a democratic candidate: because

a person, having swallowed a glass of it, is ready

to swallow anything else.” (May 13, 1806, edition

of The Balance and Columbian Repository, Hudson,

New York)

As bartenders, we live for that definition, as it

speaks to the true nature of the drink. One cannot

have a cocktail without bitters.

The US government classifies bitters as a nonalcoholic

product (wait, aren’t they 45% abv?) so

they can be purchased at stores not licensed to

sell spirits. This applies in Canada as well where

one can find bitters sitting on the shelf somewhat

close to the pop aisle. Since they were classified

as non-spirit, bitters were never prohibited while

the Volstead act was in play. You could legally

get the defining ingredient of a cocktail during

Prohibition, but not a cocktail.

In some cases, a drink can be defined by the

bitters the recipe itself calls for. There is no Sazerac

without a few dashes of Peychaud’s bitters. A

Trinidad Sour (a relatively new cocktail created by

bartender Giuseppe Gonzalez) calls for one ounce

of Angostura bitters. Before its time, it was almost

unheard of to call for an actual measure of bitters,

a dash or two was enough. Another classic cocktail

defined by its bitters use is a personal favourite

- the Pink Gin. Bitters are used as the starter

ingredient, where a healthy dose of Angostura

bitters is poured into a mixing glass before adding

a generous measure of gin. The resulting drink is

so named from the colour imparted by the bitters.

When made well, it’s a lovely cocktail.

Whichever recipe you choose to make, there are

an abundance of brands now readily available

either online or in stores. Angostura is found

everywhere, and even the premium and local

brands such as Bittered Sling Bitters and The Bitter

Truth are finding their way onto shelves in local

grocery stores. The best part is experimenting.

The price at first may seem daunting for some

varieties, but the shelf life is seemingly forever

and the flavour is quite pleasing. Bitters can truly

change the character of an old favourite cocktail.

The Publican




by Tim Vandergrift

10 The Publican Publican

Photo courtesy of Crow & Gate Pub

How do you measure success in your LRS? There are a lot of metrics available

- sales increases year-over-year, unit sales per transaction, average transaction

value, net income as a percentage of total sales - all of these are good tools

that you should be using to track, measure, and record your store’s growth.

One measure of your store’s productivity that you can’t afford to miss is sales

per square foot. Determining this is simple: divide annual sales by the total

square feet of retail space. You can drill down further by dividing your sales into

categories, like wine, beer, liquor, refreshment beverages, etc.

Even in the simplest form, it’s one of the most important numbers you can

track. By measuring your annual sales per sq. ft., you can get a sense of how

efficiently you are translating your real estate into sales. Real estate ranks just

behind payroll as most businesses’ largest expense. More sales per square foot

= more profit, and unless you can expand your store or build out a new space,

all of your sales come from a fixed amount of real estate.

If your sales per square foot compares well to other retailers in your category,

and if the number is steadily increasing, your operation is on the right track. If

not, there are some strategies you can follow to get those numbers moving.

Comparing Your Numbers

According to Colliers, Canadian retail stores generate an average of $580 per sq.

ft. Luxury or specialty retail stores usually come in considerably higher: Tiffany &

Co. generates more than $2,000 per sq. ft., Vancouver’s own Lululemon $1,936,

while Apple clocks in at an astounding $6,050 per sq. ft.! All of these numbers

are a bit difficult to relate to LRSs, as they either include businesses that have

low profit requirements, or those which have very high-ticket items in small

footprint stores (Apple and Tiffany).

A better target for liquor retailers comes from the BCLDB. In their 2012 annual

report, they measure sales per square foot in the government liquor stores

at $1,262. Most of their stores have good, high-traffic locations and reflexive

consumer loyalty, so while your LRS’s numbers might not get quite this high,

this figure shows how much money can come from a given trading area and

customer base.

Goal Setting

Once you’ve calculated your own sales per square foot, it’s time to set a goal.

Rather than trying to make the leap to the top of the retail heap, it’s better to plan

for manageable growth numbers. A 5-10% increase is a great starting point, and

is achievable in most circumstances. You can also set a “stretch goal” - something

more ambitious as a challenge for your business and your employees.

Product Mix

Courtesy of James Bradley Consulting Inc.

After you have calculated your number and established a goal, it’s time to look

at your product mix to make sure you’re carrying the items that match the needs

and desires of your consumers.

If your customers are in an above average income bracket, stock up on exclusive

single-malt scotches and cognacs, and provide an extensive selection of higher-

The Publican


end wines. If your demographic is young, you’ll have more success with lower

priced wine and a wide selection of beer. Novelty packaged products will sell

well to these consumers too. If one of your SKUs is moving extremely slowly and

aging in inventory, discount it, sell it, and make space for a higher turnover item.

Motivating Staff

Next, it’s important to make sure your staff is motivated to sell. Consumers

don’t want an employee hovering over them while they shop, but everyone

appreciates a well-trained, knowledgeable salesperson who can help them

choose the right product. If that salesperson can also suggest accessories,

add-ons, or impulse items with the purchase, those numbers go a long way to

bringing up the average ticket. Remember, nobody can sell standing behind a

checkout register, so make sure your staff feel empowered to go to where the

customers are - out on the sales floor.

It’s important for your staff to understand your sales goal, and how they can

help. Regardless of how good your employees are, or how engaged they are

in the business, you need to articulate the vision that they will follow. Part

of that will come from supplying them with monthly or weekly tracking of

year-over-year sales numbers, charted against your primary and stretch goals.

These tracking numbers shouldn’t be viewed as a form of negative feedback,

or a goad. Instead, make sure they understand that it’s a way of charting sales

efforts - to keep goals top-of-mind - so they can track what’s working for the

store and adjust on the fly.

The best way to motivate employees is by sharing success with them. Review

the tracking numbers with them on a regular basis, and ask for their input.

While you run the business, they’re the ones on the sales floor and may have

some very useful insights.

12 The Publican

Rather than trying to make the leap to

the top of the retail heap, it’s better to

plan for manageable growth numbers.

A 5-10% increase is a great starting


Part of your plan should include a percentage of the sales increase going back

to your staff. This can be in the form of a direct cash incentive, a team event,

or another reward such as merchandise, clothing, etc. Whatever incentive you

choose, it’s important to make it a tangible reward that all of your employees

can buy into, and the goal must be realistic. If a goal seems unattainable it can

backfire and sap motivation. By breaking goals down into small wins, like the

weekly or monthly numbers, you can recast even your stretch goal as a series

of achievable steps.

The Planogram

Effective merchandising makes the best use of available retail space, and tries

to trigger customers’ impulse purchases and encourage them to buy up. You’ll

need to analyze your store’s merchandising to see how it influences customer

behaviour, and from there figure out the best product placement and displays

to increase sales. It’s no coincidence that large retailers dedicate huge resources

to merchandising and display activity, but even with slightly fewer resources

you can use one of their best tools: the planogram.

A planogram is a diagram that shows the

placement of products on your shelves and in your

sales area. It’s a kind of high-detail roadmap of

your sales space. This sounds simple, but it’s very

powerful, allowing you to optimize shelf layout

and try new configurations on paper, before you’re

committed to them.

While there are software programs available for

generating planograms, they can be expensive

and some have steep learning curves. It’s perfectly

acceptable to generate planograms of your space,

shelving units, and sales areas with a pencil and

graph paper - photographs of the shelves and

sections can really help when you are sketching

things out. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but it

should be as accurate as possible.

Once you have your road map, it’s time to look

at how you can improve shelf layout to allocate

facings for each product category, brand, and SKU,

based on space-to-sales ratio. This will help your

consumers find the products they want, which will

improve the selling potential of every square foot

of space, and increase the visual appeal of your

store. As a visual aid, it can also help you relate

products and determine the best positioning for


The planogram doesn’t get used once and then

filed. When you settle on a layout, the planogram

can be used as a guide by brand-new employees,

letting them face shelves and replenish products

easily. The best way to clean and dust a shelf is to

strip it bare first, and with a planogram in hand it

can go back up as quickly as it came down, facing

correctly and looking great.

Maximizing Merchandising

You should pay special attention to the most

powerful sales areas of your store. We’ll assume

you’ve already got impulse items and accessories

at your register and in facings at the line for the

The Publican


Despite a myriad of challenges facing the hospitality industry, lottery

sales have remained strong over the past several years. Last year, the

entire network generated $206.5 million in sales, and BCLC paid out

$12.8 million in commissions as well as an additional $1.5 million

in bonuses.

At BCLC, we’re always looking for new ways to increase the value of

our partnership. Whether through product enhancements - such as

the recent Keno facelift, which included the removal of the “No Bonus”

feature - or improvements to our retailer bonus program, which now

maximizes the amount paid to our entering and exiting retailers, we’re

hoping to create a more mutually beneficial relationship.

Recently, we caught up with Jolly Coachman Bar Owner Marilyn

Sanders to discuss some of the challenges she’s had to overcome as a

bar owner in recent years, and to find out how she leverages lottery to

help counteract some of the difficult times. “The drinking and driving

laws crippled our industry,” described Marilyn. “Smoking bylaws were

mild in comparison. Then we had the hockey lockout. All of these

things have made a major impact on business, especially for bars,

pubs, and liquor stores.”

Many people would agree a positive attitude can go a long way in

not only surviving the ups and downs of owning your own business,

but also remaining successful and thriving in challenging times. For

someone like Marilyn, that means taking advantage of every open

door, including the opportunity to sell lottery products.

“A lot of people shut the door due to the 5% commission,” says Marilyn.

“This is unfortunate because many just aren’t aware of the incremental

benefits that can come with offering lottery, such as the chance to

receive a sales bonus or earn higher commissions on Pull Tabs. In

some cases, they may not see how lottery can fit as an overall part of

their entertainment package.”

Lottery retailers receive a 5% commission on the sale of all lottery

products, with the exception of Pull Tabs, which earn 10-13%.

Hospitality retailers also have the opportunity to earn a bonus on their

annual sales and are provided with all the equipment required to sell

lottery, including a Self-Service Terminal (SST). “The SST has been

a huge success in taking the load of operating lottery off my busy bar

staff,” explains Marilyn. “In many ways lottery really runs itself now.”

When asked if she thinks lottery drives customers to her bar, Marilyn

admits that is a tough thing to measure. “It’s difficult to say for

sure,” says Marilyn. “That said, whenever we place an ad in our local

magazine, we always dedicate a portion of that space to our lottery

offerings. If someone enjoys gambling and is deciding between our

establishment and another, lottery could be the tiebreaker.”

14 The Publican


Raising the Bar: Exploring the Benefits

of Lottery in a Hospitality Setting

Can lottery give your business the competitive

advantage you’re looking for?

According to Marilyn, offering lottery is also about adding to the

entertainment experience that makes her customers want to come

back to her establishment. “I look at lottery as part of the overall

pie. Beverages, food, and lottery - they all work together to make up

our full entertainment package. We pay attention to the details in all

components of our business - regardless of the margins - because, in

my experience, that’s what gets us the best results.”

Marilyn Sanders has been a bar owner since 1996, starting with Kennedy’s

Pub from 1996 to 2003, and then the Jolly Coachman from 2003 to the

present. Marilyn sat on ABLE’s Board of Directors for 5 years, and has

served on the BCLC Hospitality Network Council.

A huge display with many cases in a

prominent location looks impressive,

and has inherent pull for customers.

counter - these are low-hanging fruit for add-on sales. There are other areas of

your store that can also have a very powerful influence on sales per square foot.

End-aisles in particular are highly visible and can stand out from the rest of your

shelves, drawing attention and showcasing products. Your end caps normally

showcase a single SKU, with multiple facings giving it serious visual impact.

Alternatively, you can showcase a category of products (e.g. Single Malt Scotch,

or Australian Cabernet), but keep in mind that one of those products will sell

better than the others, diluting the positive effect of your overall display.

However you organize your sales space, something to keep in mind is the

venerable wisdom of “stock sells stock”. A huge display with many cases in a

prominent location looks impressive, and has inherent pull for customers. A

smaller display of a few bottles projects a story of slow sales and less desirability.

If you have a display of a dozen bottles, you may sell 11 of them. If you have a

display of 144 bottles, you might sell over a hundred - what shows, sells.

Interestingly, specialty retail has seen a trend over the last decade towards more

minimalism, partly driven by a clutter-free design aesthetic, and partly driven

by reductions in inventory necessitated by recessionary pressures. However, a

backlash has developed. The New York Times reports that major US retailers saw

positive consumer sentiment towards shorter shelves and less crowded aisles,

but they also saw steady sales decreases. In other words, consumers enjoyed

the uncluttered experience, but spent less.

Experts reason that while consumers might find it pleasant and relaxing in

the streamlined environment, without extra choices stacked around them, or

aisle displays that they have to dodge past, they stick to a shopping list and

forego impulse items.

According to Paco Underhill, retail anthropologist and founder of Envirosell

Consulting, “Historically, the more a store is packed, the more people think

of it as value - just as when you walk into a store and there are fewer things

on the floor, you tend to think they’re expensive.” Accordingly, stores have

begun stacking merchandise into aisles, crowding shelves, and even raising

shelf heights.

US discount retailer Dollar General has raised their standard store shelves

from as low as 62 inches to a full 78 inches, in an effort to gain more sales area

without increasing their square footage. They saw a jump from $165 per sq. ft.

to $201 - a very good return on 18 inches of shelf height!

Square Foot Momentum

Once you have calculated your sales per square foot, set a sales target and

shared it with your staff, analyzed your product mix, planogrammed your

store, re-merchandised for effective sales, and charted your results, you need

to immediately start the process over again.

Sales per square foot is a running measurement that needs to be calculated

and compared to previous results on an ongoing basis. When you’ve mastered

this number and have firm goals and up-to-date tracking of your results, you’ll

be sure to see positive growth and greater profitability.



For Total BC Market Year-to-Date Ending February 2013


Litre Sales

% Change Gross Sales % Change Marketshare

BC Liquor Stores 72,515,688 -2.3% $310,335,742 -2.0% 30.3%

LRS 106,840,398 0.7% $454,839,856 1.0% 44.4%

Licensee 53,924,863 -2.9% $203,273,462 -1.7% 19.8%

Other 13,246,932 -1.5% $56,544,316 5.5%

Product Total from All Sources 246,527,881 -1.1% $1,024,993,376 -0.7%



Litre Sales

% Change Gross Sales % Change Marketshare

BC Liquor Stores 10,540,638 -2.4% $344,830,755 2.2% 49.0%

LRS 7,462,111 4.3% $235,469,148 9.2% 33.4%

Licensee 2,767,498 -1.1% $90,126,824 0.2% 12.8%

Other 1,394,832 2.0% $33,911,472 4.8%

Product Total from All Sources 22,165,079 0.2% $704,338,200 3.9%



Litre Sales

% Change Gross Sales % Change Marketshare

BC Liquor Stores 28,968,180 0.4% $410,590,017 1.8% 47.3%

LRS 14,617,820 7.3% $190,694,535 8.1% 22.0%

Licensee 7,437,814 -0.4% $124,627,209 -0.4% 14.4%

Other 6,683,283 5.9% $142,156,112 16.4%

Product Total from All Sources 57,707,097 2.6% $868,067,872 5.1%

Refreshment Beverage


Litre Sales

% Change Gross Sales % Change Marketshare

BC Liquor Stores 8,509,039 2.1% $39,583,897 1.8% 32.4%

LRS 13,334,572 8.9% $64,120,954 8.1% 52.6%

Licensee 2,041,737 -0.3% $10,276,903 -0.4% 8.4%

Other 1,662,565 7.8% $8,014,034 6.6%

Product Total from All Sources 25,547,914 5.7% $121,995,788 5.1%

Note: (1) Measured in Gross Retail Sales Dollars. (2) Report includes all liquor sales from BC market. Source: BC Liquor Distribution Branch

The Publican


16 The Publican

Wine Report

by Tim Ellison

Rethink Rosé - The Next Big Thing AGAIN?

You used to hear it all the time: Think Pink! It was the battle cry for sommeliers

around the world enticing drinkers to experiment with rosé wines. Increasing

numbers of people turned to wine as their beverage of choice when dining

and entertaining, awakening a burning desire to be the first to catch the next

big trend. Oaky Chardonnays, Aussie Shiraz, Californian Cabernet Sauvignon,

and Argentinean Malbec have all had their day. As operators look for new

and exciting products to stimulate both guests and sales, an obvious point of

differentiation to promote is colour. For a lot of people there are basically three

types of wine: red, white, and pink. Rosés enjoy an enviable middle ground

between the polarizing red and white factions. They offer the berry flavours and

weight of a light red along with the refreshing food-friendly acidity of whites.

The first pink wave was monopolized by huge-volume commercial attempts

and was a big disappointment. The lowly zinfandel grape was utilized, as there

was no real market for the red wine the grape was capable of producing at the

time. With all that sugar, which usually translates into powerful, high-alcohol

reds, a lower alcohol version was developed with partial skin contact and

tons of residual sugar. The resulting wine was pink, sweet, and often tasted of

bubblegum and watermelon. It’s good fun for an afternoon on a sunny patio, but

it’s nothing you would stay loyal to. Serious wine experts and critics dismissed

this rosé as inconsequential, and slowly but surely the popularity waned. Now

top sommeliers are again leading the charge with rosé, but this time there is

one big difference. These are a lot more serious wines.

First, the grape material has taken a big step up. Look for 100% varietal rosés on

the market now. Not only are traditional grapes like Grenache being employed

successfully, around the world a wider variety of fruit is being used to create

today’s rosé. Try delicate and light strawberry-scented Pinot Noirs and Pinot

Menueres to the red currant and leafy Cabernet Sauvignons. Cabernet Franc,

Gamay, Merlot, Tempranillo, and more all get a turn creating everything from

light quaffers to mid-weight wines, perfectly suitable for an afternoon’s repast.

Look for unusual grape varieties indigenous to the region. The most famous

are from France, particularly the southern areas, but there are lots of sources.

Consider the hotter Mediterranean producers, particularly Spain, Greece, Italy,

and Portugal. These are often satisfying wines made with food in mind.

The other big improvement these days is closure. It is important to remember

that most rosés are made for drinking now. Nothing is quite so tragic as digging

in someone’s cellar and stumbling upon a decade-old bottle of White Zinfandel!

Most producers are using Stelvin screw cap closures to avoid cork taint and

pretty much guarantee that the wine will be in good condition upon drinking.

Rosés are all about being fresh, fruity, and delicate - and that requires freshness

in the bottle. Always look for the most recent vintage and keep stock rotation

moving. Keep inventory at a minimum to avoid wine languishing in storage: in

fact, 3-6 months on the shelf is pushing it. If you are offering rosés by the glass,

keeping every bottle fresh is of utmost importance. Employ a vacuum system

or use inert gas to prevent the deterioration of the wine and loss of fruitiness

through oxidation so you can extend the shelf life for 3-6 days.

Service temperature is also worth noting. Rosés show best chilled to a

temperature of approximately 12-14°C, depending on grape type. The lighter

and more delicate the grape, the cooler the wine should be served. So a Pinot

Noir rosé would be served a few degrees cooler than one made from Syrah.

Have an ice bucket or insulated cooler that you can offer if guests are sitting on

a hot patio or if there is direct sunlight coming through your windows.

Not only should basics like correct service temperature be observed, there is

a distinct advantage in serving wine in a glass suitable to its type. The right

glass will highlight a wine’s strengths and camouflage its weaknesses. For rosés,

use a white wine type glass with a mid-size bowl and slightly tapered sides,

and ensure it is clean and polished. A modicum of staff knowledge about its

producer, area of origin, flavour profile, method of production, and a couple

of table side talking points about food and wine pairing goes a long way too.

That’s another big advantage of rosés. They have the juicy, delicate fruitiness of

an easy drinking patio wine, but also possess the weight and acidity necessary

to be especially food friendly. Seafood, salads, spicy Thai, and Indian dishes pair

well with rosés. White meat such as chicken and pork pair nicely too. Try rosé

with BBQ pulled pork sandwiches or ribs and baked beans. It’s even delicious

with the humble hamburger.

With the warmer weather here for a while, it’s time to re-think rosés, and you

and your guests can be on the leading edge of the next big thing.

Tim Ellison is a Certified Chef-de-Cuisine and Sommelier and holds the prestigious Diploma of Wine and Spirits from

the WSET (UK). He is currently Director of Food and Beverage Service at Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts, and is the

instructor for its Wine Studies Programs. Visit

Over-Service and Intoxication

LCLB Report

by Karen Ayers

During the past year the most frequent contravention

within Liquor Primary establishments

was permitting an intoxicated person to remain.

Over-service and intoxication are key public safety

issues, due to increased potential for violence,

impaired driving, physical harm, and negative

health and societal effects.

The Liquor Primary Terms and Conditions Guide

states that Liquor Primary establishments must

not serve a person to the point of intoxication.

In addition, you must not allow a person who is

under the influence of alcohol to enter or remain

in your establishment. You must also refuse

them service, ensure they are removed from the

licensed area and see that they depart safely.

Knowing how to recognize when a customer

is becoming intoxicated is important. Signs of

intoxication include:

• Red or bloodshot eyes

• Dishevelled appearance

• Odour of liquor

• Unsteadiness on feet

• Staggering

• Exaggerated care in walking

• Slurred speech

• Fumbling with small objects such as money

• Lack of alertness

• Exaggerated emotions

• Aggression

• Irrationality

There are ways to dissuade customers from

drinking too much. Consider actively marketing

non-alcoholic beverages, such as mocktails. Also

consider increasing food options as another way

to minimize risk. Customers take longer to drink

their beverage when they are eating. Either way,

chat with your customers before taking their order.

Ask them whether they have eaten or whether

they had been drinking elsewhere. If they had

been drinking, you will have to carefully assess

whether or not to serve them liquor.

maximum Drink Sizes

One of the ways to promote moderate

consumption is by following the maximum

allowable drink sizes. The maximum drink size per

person is 3 oz. (85 ml) of distilled spirits, 24 oz. (680

ml) of draught beer, two standard sized bottles (or

cans) of beer or cider, one large-size bottle of beer

or cider (up to 24 oz. - 680 ml), or 10 oz. (285 ml) of

wine. Pitchers or other multiple serving containers

totalling up to 1.5 litres of draught beer may be

shared by two or more patrons. You cannot sell or

serve whole bottles of distilled spirits, but you may

serve wine by the bottle if it is to be consumed by

at least two people with food.

minors as Agents Annual report

The results of the Minors as Agents Program for

the fiscal year 2012/13 are just in. Between April

1, 2012 and March 31, 2013, the LCLB conducted

555 inspections and the overall compliance rate

was 71%, compared to 86% for 2011/12.

One reason for the drop in overall compliance was

the expansion of the program to include higher

risk restaurants (49% compliance). Liquor was sold

to minors in: 90 LRS outlets (out of 326 visited), 7

government liquor stores (out of 85 visited), 36

food-primaries (out of 71 visited), 16 rural agency

stores (out of 50 visited) and 4 manufacturers (out

of 11 visited), 4 special occasion licenced major

events (out of 6 visited), and 2 Liquor Primary

establishments (out of 6 visited).

These results demonstrate that there is more work

to do on the part of both industry and government

to prevent the sale of liquor to minors in licensed


The Publican



by Chris McBeath

18 The Publican Publican

Although “tried and true” practices may still hold

sway in smaller markets, woe be to those who

don’t keep one eye on the horizon. After all, bigpicture

trends have a way of filtering down to your

counter, especially if you’re in an urban centre that

caters to an international clientele.

As independent breweries take full advantage

of BC’s recently revised liquor laws, they’re not

alone. Other suppliers are growing their brand

recognition into self-styled tasting bars, cafés

and destination eateries. London has just opened

its first copper-pot gin distillery in 200 years - a

sign of specialty houses to come; and Anheuser-

Busch, partnering with other global breweries,

is opening up a new chain of Belgian Beer Cafés

in many airports, serving only their own brands.

Even unlikely candidates like Vogue magazine

have jumped onto the in-your-face, multi-level

branding wagon by establishing their own F&B

outlets in upscale fashion houses. Social media

calls this dimensional marketing, which these days

even the smallest retailer needs to heed.

The Five Favourites

1. microbrews rule

Craft beer volumes are growing exponentially

worldwide, and nowhere is this better seen than

in the Pacific Northwest. In Portland, craft beer

has about 40% of the beer market; in Seattle it’s

nearer to 30%; and in BC we’re talking only 20%.

Microbreweries see an enormous potential here,

especially now that BC laws have relaxed.

In 2013, expect to see more than a dozen craft

microbrewery start-ups around the province

alongside the three major brewery expansions

in the Vancouver area already underway - by

Steamworks, Mark James Group, and Central City.

Central City’s 65,000 sq. ft. expansion is one of

the biggest and triples the brewery’s production.

Garrick’s Head Pub in Victoria has also just finished

significant renovations, virtually doubling its size

and ballooning its selection of suds to 44 varieties,

including 22 from Greater Victoria breweries.

“We see beer going like wine did, in that consumers

are looking to enjoy a variety of flavours and

experiences that come from different regions,” says

Tim Barnes, VP, Marketing & Sales of Central City.

“Craft beer consumers spend up to 20 minutes in

their purchase decision looking at the labels, QR

codes, and learning about the product before

they purchase, so it’s a very involved process. It’s

a very different market from someone who heads

for the cooler for a regular six pack. Crafters really

like to experiment.”

Central City’s new brewery, which includes an

on-site tasting lounge, is set to open mid-July. Not

only will it help the company expand its popular

Red Racer line into new markets, it will set the

stage for a new series of high-end products as well

as the introduction of 750ml packaging. “Much

like VQA wines, for our seasonal offerings we’re

creating a themed beer series, that celebrates

different beer types and origins.”

2. Tap into Demand

Tap proliferation isn’t limited to beer. With

innovative dispensing systems wines, spirits,

and cocktails are getting in on the tap act. They

will even deliver product at your patrons’ tables.

In terms of wine, tap on demand is very much

part of the culinary culture. Its rapid growth has

prompted several restaurants and pubs to invest

in various inert gas systems to extend the life

of an opened bottle of wine. Keg wine is a hot

contender. Proponents report that the product

remains in its original condition for at least six

months, a quality that realizes about a 10 - 15%

saving over purchasing wine in bottles, and as

much as a 50% saving in waste. Keg wine appeals

to the triple-line sensibility - a real people pleaser

for patrons looking for variety; an earth-friendly

product since kegs are reused and bottles are

unnecessary; and cash savings for both the

proprietor and consumer.

3. Food Sharing

According to research companies JWT and

Technomic, small plates for sharing and snacking

are big business. The trend has even earned a

descriptor, “the snackification of North America”,

and refers to a movement of dining habits that

can no longer be defined as breakfast, lunch and

dinner. Consumers want their meals and snacks

when and where it’s convenient. They want

options that meet their dining and social needs,

such as late night choices to share among friends.

Pubs are starting to promote value-oriented snack

items and bar plates during late hours to cater to

younger customers; and chefs are paring down

entrées into small plates, while looking to street

trucks for snacking inspiration. Take note, more

than one-third of consumers expect to eat more

healthy snacks over the upcoming year, so content

is as important as flavour and visual appeal.

The Publican


4. Unexpected Artisan Flavours

Described as “giving the tongue a little more entertainment”, Tom Vierhile, Insights

Director, Datamonitor Research, says that food and drink must embrace quality,

authenticity and a 3-D effect involving touch, feel, aroma, and more. As a result,

mixologists are pushing new boundaries and evolving consumer expectations with

fresher and more ethnic flavours. Considered “bar chefs”, many are teaming up with

local producers for farm-to-glass herbs, fruits, and vegetables.

Craft beer consumers spend up to 20

minutes in their purchase decision

looking at the labels, QR codes, and

learning about the product before they


5. Digital Drinks

Consumers love their mobile moments, so engaging with them via social media

platforms and technology is fast becoming a must-do. Wine, cocktail, and beer

lists presented on digital tablets put descriptive information, photos, and even

food-pairing suggestions at guests’ fingertips in bars and restaurants, while in-store

tablets and digital kiosks provide product details, ratings, and serving suggestions at

retail stores. Smartphone apps, along with QR codes on everything from packaging

to menus, can immediately connect consumers to interesting drink information.

Baum & Whiteman, international food and restaurant consultants, adds food for

future thought with another digital dimension. Consider this: The Japanese buy

everything from underwear to lobster from vending machines, but that’s only

scratching the surface. In other parts of the world, vending machines now produce

everything from freshly baked baguettes in France to a Lay’s machine in Argentina

that churns out warm, salted chips from real potatoes and sells them by the bag.

Touch screen beverage vending machines are about to make their debut in New

Orleans cabs! However, nothing beats Coke’s novel creations. In Korea, the “happiness

company” has an interactive dance machine where you imitate dance steps shown

on a large screen and the machine rewards you with bottles of pop; in Singapore, you

hug a vending machine lovingly and out comes some Coke. Some trend watchers

suggest that robot sales are coming to a corner near you as the new competitive

edge. So be sure to stay plugged in!

20 The Publican

Also watch for...

1. Soda Fountain Specials

Soda fountain favourites for grownups: floats, shakes, parfaits, and smoothies

laced with bourbon, peppermint rum, aquavit, Benedictine, or Chartreuse

along with flavoured syrups. Can wine-pops be far away?

2. Sugar is Sweet

The sweet trend continues, with varietals like Moscato showing up in table

wines and in pink sparklers across the country. Red blends also proliferate,

as do ciders that are broadening their appeal with their food-friendly

flavour profiles.

3. Wonderful Whiskies

Canadian whisky is making a comeback with products such as Lot No. 40,

Alberta Premium Dark Horse and Crown Royal Black. Look for critically

acclaimed products now coming from countries with little or no tradition

of whisky making, including Australia, India, Belgium, Sweden, and France.

4. micro-distilled Spirits

Canada is catching up with the US and Britain where the trend toward

smaller, independent spirit makers has reached maturity. Expect to see better

selections of boutique gins, rums, and absinthes amongst products from

Okanagan Spirits and Victoria Spirits in the West to Prince Edward Distillery

and Ironworks Distillery in the East.

5. natural Wine Bars

Natural wine has been gaining popularity as a healthy, environmentallyfriendly

alternative to mass-produced wines. Well established in Europe

and California, the concept is now crossing the border - natural wine bars

such as Hawksworth in Vancouver and Montreal’s Les Trois Petits Bouchons

are among the first in Canada.

6. new Life Inside

Eco products are morphing from something you can recycle to something

you can plant. Seeds are in everything from chopsticks to pencil stubs. Even

Molson Canada beer coasters are made of seed paper that will grow into

a tree when planted.



by Ann Mack

Here’s a forecast of key F&B trends that will drive

or significantly impact consumer’s mindset and

behaviour in the year to come.

ALLergen-Free: With food allergies rising

worldwide (a 2011 study found that as many as 1

in 12 American children may have a food allergy,

twice as high as previous studies found), we’ll

see “allergen-free” becoming as ubiquitous as

gluten-free. Products will multiply as more brands

build facilities dedicated to manufacturing foods

free of allergens like dairy, peanuts, egg, soy, and


CHIA SeeDS: Make room for another superfood:

Chia seeds, once part of the Aztec and Mayan

diets, offer protein, antioxidants, and fiber as well

as omega-3 fatty acids.

DeSALInATIOn: With forecasts of serious

freshwater shortages by 2030, and improved

technologies helping to lower production costs,

nations are investing in seawater desalination.

FAUX meAT: Meat substitutes are gaining

adherents among the masses as more people

cut down on meat for budget, health, or

environmental reasons and as faux meat gets

tastier and more convincing.

FOOD SHArIng: One of our 10 Trends for 2013

outlines the rise of peer-to-peer services, from

car-sharing to accommodation-sharing. One

of the newer categories is food-sharing, which

encompasses both meal co-ops - services like

Mealku in New York and Super Marmite in Paris

that enable sharing of home-cooked dishes - and

concepts like Feastly that bring disparate diners

together in the homes of amateur chefs.

HUmAne FOOD: Consumers will become more

concerned about the humane treatment of the

animals they eat, a trend that’s already underway

in Europe. Watch for animal advocates to bring

new issues to light and mainstream consumers

to pay close attention.

menU-Free DInIng: As more restaurants try to

be all things to all diners in this era of fussy eating

- catering to a multitude of dietary restrictions

and food allergies - some are going in the other

direction, adopting a limited-options approach.

mID-CALOrIe FOODS: The concept isn’t new

(and some previous offerings have bombed), but

food scientists are doing better at producing tasty

products that compromise between all or nothing.

With consumers wary of “light” and diet foods but

looking for healthier choices, it’s a potentially

lucrative niche.

TeFF: Consumed for thousands of years in

Ethiopia, this super grain has been slowly gaining

favor outside the Horn of Africa, due in part to

its exceptional nutritional quality. Teff is glutenfree,

full of essential amino acids, high in protein,

calcium, and fiber, and is low in fat. As consumers

embrace ancient grains like quinoa and millet,

we’ll see more interest in teff flour and recipes

that incorporate the tiny grain.

See how you can incorporate these trends into

your operations this year.

Ann Mack is the Director of Trendspotting at JWT, the world's best-known

marketing communications brand.

The Publican


Product Showcase





“Radler”, the German derivative

for “Cyclist”, originated in

Bavaria where bicycle riding

became a popular pastime.

Cyclists wanted to enjoy a lowalcohol

beer without resorting

to “light” brew. That was when

the “Radler” was born - a halfand-half

mix of beer and juice/


Stiegl Radler is half Stiegl

Goldbrau Lager & half

grapefruit juice made with

purely natural flavours. Lower

in calories and it’s light and

refreshing! Only 2.5% and 75

calories per half pint.

The purity of Stiegl with pure

grapefruit juice.

Available June 2013

500ml cans $2.99

SKU 319327


22 22 The Publican





With the planting of ciderspecific

apples from Europe

on our Kelowna family

estate in the early 1920s, our

great grandfather George

Washington Ward began a

rich family tradition in the art

and appreciation of cider.

Made with a blend of

Bramley, Jersey Chisel,

Bulmers Norman, Porters

Perfection, Lord Lambourne,

Belle de Boskoop and a

touch of Cox’s Orange

Pippin, Wards Hard is a

unique proprietary cider

full of flavour and pleasing

aromatics. Off-dry, crisp and

refreshing and pairs perfectly

with BBQ ribs and Asian


5.5% alc/vol

gluten Free

6 x 355ml cans $10.70

SKU 144543


1884 reSerVADO

mALBeC 2011

red Wine


90 pts.

“Crazy Value” - Anthony

Gismondi, Vancouver Sun

British Columbia’s bestselling

wine from Argentina

over $11.99 retail.

“Cracked black pepper,

blackberry and black plum

followed by prolific roasted

coffee and brown spice.

Sweet and concentrated,

layered with savoury

components. It has a

long, bright finish trailing

bittersweet cocoa flavours”

Please contact us for shelf

talkers, neck hangers and


750ml $16.99

SKU 770925





red Wine


“The Powerful One”

The perfect wine for the

Motorcycle Enthusiast

90 pts.

“The Cabernet offers up

aromas of spicy black

currents, grilled bell peppers,

bittersweet cocoa, dried herbs

and an earthy meaty core.

It’s a succulent wine that is

hearty and laden with toasted

brown spices, black fruit and


A wine for grilled meats or

aged cheeses”


12 x 750ml $14.99

SKU 206300



Beer - Double IPA


Tricerahops is double

everything you already

love in an IPA. More hops,

more malt body, and higher

gravity define this Double

IPA from Ninkasi Brewing.

It’s fiercely flavourful,

guaranteed to satisfy.

Double IPAs are noted for

their hop profiles. Earthy

and floral hop aroma and

flavor are abundant in

Tricerahops. The bigger

body and higher alcohol

balance the large volume

of hops to create a beer

that is very flavourful while

still being balanced and

drinkable. At 8.8% the beer

can be deceiving as it is very



650ml $6.50

SKU 303057




red Wine


Wine Diva: “This new

Spanish offering is

affordable enough for a

crowd and will please them

too. It’s very new world

style, a fruit bomb of sweet

cherries, currants, white

pepper, vanilla and baking

spices. The palate follows

suit plus spiced cocoa on

the finish. It’s a mediumbodied

wine.” 88 pts.

Anthony Gismondi:

“Australia meets Spain

with this slightly sweet,

soft, round, easy-sipping,

friendly red. The attack is

juicy with simple, sweet,

spicy with a warm finish. A

classic barbecue red.”

85 pts.

750ml $10.98

SKU 016865


BeACHCOmBer SUmmer




Silver medal winner at the

2012 Canadian Brewing


Beachcomber Summer

Ale from Vancouver Island

Brewery is an unfiltered

ale styled after a German


Pouring a glowing golden

yellow, this ale combines

aromatic notes of citrus,

tropical fruit and spice. These

flavours combine to create a

thirst-quenching beer with a

clean finish, perfect for those

warm summer days.

6 x 341ml $11.99

SKU 222950

50L Keg $186.00

SKU 222968





Tall Timber Ale by

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The Publican 23

Firefly Fine Wines & Ales

by Chris McBeath

When asked what makes Firefly in Maple Ridge so different from other retail

outlets, Manager Holly Stone doesn’t miss a beat. “Because we are 80% Spec,

we carry stock that you won’t find in a more mainstream liquor store. We thrive

on practically everything new.”

When queried about her biggest challenge, Holly’s response is equally quick.

“There are so many breweries - and wineries - springing up now, my biggest

dilemma is how to fit all their products into the store.” It’s a quandary that

Holly and her staff of five seem to relish, and it’s what has turned Firefly into a

regional go-to destination as much for its specialty products as for the overall

purchasing experience.

With more than 14 years in retailing, (7 in the liquor industry), Holly’s experience

stands her in good stead to keep the Firefly hopping. She helped open the store

in October 2009 as assistant manager, and her appointment to manager last

October recognizes her drive, commitment, and hard work - all of which she

juggles with the needs of a 5 year-old daughter and 2½ year-old son.

24 The Publican

“I guess retailing is my specialty,” she says modestly. “I’m as passionate about

the process as I am about the products themselves. In fact, in terms of product

knowledge, our staff is hard to beat. Each of us has a particular love - whether

it’s for regional craft brews, wines, or spirits - so as a team we have a strong

base to help patrons, including professional chefs, with pairings and other

serving suggestions.”

This has resulted in some innovative customer-friendly features. One is

Firefly’s food-pairing wall where wines are displayed as recommendations to

complement beef, poultry, fish, and pizza. With the growing popularity of beer

and cider pairings, lagers, ales and stouts will often find their way to the wall,

though they are usually tied in with calendar events such as St. Patrick’s Day,

Thanksgiving, and Valentine’s Day.

We’re constantly trying new products,

attending seminars, and upgrading our


Firefly also hosts regular tastings of both wine and beer, and puts

a priority on getting to know customer preferences. Staff uses

social media such as Facebook and Twitter to promote specials;

these mediums are quicker and easier to manage than blogs, and

have far more immediate impact. The store’s large, walk-in fridge

is another unique feature with shelves that are stacked with

perfectly chilled, ready-to-go selections of craft beer and wine.

“The newness factor keeps us forever interested and enthusiastic,”

Holly continues. “We’re constantly trying new products,

attending seminars, and upgrading our knowledge - in our own

time - so that working here is a way of sharing our bliss. It makes

for busy days and keeps us all very positive.”

Without doubt, craft beers are Firefly’s biggest draw. According

to Holly, it has the region’s largest selection as well as a vast

array of wines (including hard-to-get batches from some of

the Okanagan’s smaller wineries), and a growing selection

of whiskies and ciders, both of which are becoming hot

commodities with Millennium drinkers.

“We carry almost 800 varieties of craft beer and are the go-to

place for beer aficionados, because they know they can always

find their top choices alongside new adventures,” explains Holly.

“We’ll try anything new, and their input helps us decide the shelf

life of a particular line. That’s no easy task, because in all honesty,

there aren’t many craft beers out there that aren’t really good.”

This is a hard-won opinion since Holly admits to not drinking or

even liking beer before she got into the liquor industry. “I realized

that I didn’t like beer because I was drinking the wrong ones,

but you acquire a discerning palate. Now, dark smooth beers

are among my favourites.”

Although Firefly Maple Ridge operates autonomously from

its counterpart in Vancouver (each outlet serves very different

markets), Holly certainly sees the value in exchanging ideas

and concepts. Currently, she’s reviewing the set-up of Firefly’s

Vancouver wine club for Maple Ridge. However, she might give

hers a beer twist, especially since she already has an online

ordering system that suds-lovers use to get “first dibs” on fresh


“I love the retail management side of the business,” Holly

enthuses. “There’s always something to research and learn, so

that even during slower times, it can be incredibly busy. I guess

you could say I’m hooked on feedback. Finding a new winery,

or discovering a new taste that we can share with customers

is such a joy!”

The Publican


ABLE welcomes the following new members:

Brick House Bar & grill in Fernie; Fringe Café in

Vancouver; Hops Cold Beer and Wine in Fort St.

James, Pint Public House in Vancouver; Sandpiper

Pub and Sandpiper Liquor Store in White

Rock; Thompson Hotel & Conference Centre in

Kamloops; ULounge Bar and UL Liquor Store in

Surrey; and Westsydor Pub and LrS in Kamloops.

From the Donnelly Group, these LPs in Vancouver

are now ABLE members: Bar none Cabaret, The

Bimini, The Butcher & Bullock, The Calling Public

House, The Lamplighter Public House, Library

Square Public House, and The Queen’s republic.

New associate members include Authentic Wine

& Spirits merchants in Burnaby and Island ATm

in Victoria.

In conjunction with the launch of their

Beachcomber Summer Ale, Vancouver Island

Brewery has partnered with Surfrider Vancouver

Island in support of their Combing the Coast beach

cleanup initiatives. This beach cleanup program has

been hitting Island beaches monthly over the past

five years in an effort to clean up and reduce debris.

26 The Publican

Names in the News

by Debbie Minke

BC Business recognized Summerland’s Okanagan

Crush Pad (OCP) as one of its top innovators of

the year, while the Thompson Okanagan Tourism

Association (TOTA) awarded the winery its

Technology & Innovation trophy.

Congratulations to Vancouver’s Sylvia Hotel, which

celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. The iconic

property can lay claim to many industry firsts.

It installed one of the first elevators in Western

Canada. It opened the first cocktail bar in Vancouver

in 1954, and until 1958 it was the tallest building in

the West End with Dine in the Sky on the 8th floor.

It was also one of the city’s first pet-friendly hotels.

In addition to the restaurant, Sylvia’s Lounge

continues to entertain patrons who enjoy the large

picture windows and cozy fireplace.

Steamworks Brewing Company announced that

for the first time in 17 years, they are welcoming a

new brewmaster. Caolan Vaughan will be taking

over the reins from long-time brewmaster Conrad

gmoser. With his international experience in

the craft beer market, Vaughan brings his own

modern twist to craft brewing. With his role in

the design and commissioning of Steamworks'

new 50 hectolitre brewhouse located on the

Vancouver/Burnaby border, Vaughan is already

busy practicing his skills.

Culmina Family Estate Winery welcomes Pascal

madevon to their team. He is a classically trained

winemaker and viticulturist with over 20 years of

experience in Bordeaux and the South Okanagan.

Congratulations to Scot Curry (Alta Bistro,

Whistler), and gez macAlpine (Keefer Bar,

Vancouver) for winning Canada’s Iron Bar

Competition. This event, hosted by the Canadian

Professional Bartenders Association and

sponsored by Nons Drinks, challenged each of

the contestants to create a short drink containing

a minimum 15ml of Giffard’s Menthe Pastille. Curry

and MacAlpine will be competing in Giffard’s

Grand Final in Angers, France this month.

If you have any noteworthy community contributions,

please email the details to Debbie at

BC Hospitality


by Renee Blackstone

The BC Hospitality Foundation is getting good support from the province's

licensed establishments who know of its work, as it continues to raise funds for

grants to those who face a financial crisis due to medical or health problems.

“The BCHF has been a beneficiary of third-party events, and we're very grateful

for that. It's helped us to increase our bottom line, but we know we can do

a lot more and are trying to get the word out to those establishments that

may not yet be aware of what we're all about,” says BCHF Executive Director

Alan Sacks, adding “We would like to be the beneficiary of events that need

or would benefit from having a charitable component.”

Among recent events that helped raise the funds and the foundation's

profile was a benefit held at The Brewhouse in Whistler. The event garnered

a Mountain FM interview and a story in Pique Newsmagazine explaining the

foundation's work as well as support from the Restaurant Association of

Whistler. “The turnout was good and demonstrates the kind of exposure we'd

like to see more of,” says Sacks.

Another event for which the foundation is the primary beneficiary is Brewery

and The Beast - a Festival of Meat planned for June, in Vancouver. More details

about this event are posted at

The BCHF has given out several grants recently. One went to Karen Olynk,

a 25 year-old server who has worked for White Spot, Smitty’s, and Christie’s

Carriage House Pub in Victoria. Karen received $3,000 from the BCHF to assist

her while she undergoes four to six months of chemotherapy treatments

for Hodgkin’s lymphoma. In a thank you letter to advisory board member

Jeanie Crane, Karen wrote, “I want to say the biggest thank you for all you

have done. I am so grateful for the foundation and the funds you have sent

to me. The kindness and generosity warms my heart and proves that helping

one another in this uncertain world has not disappeared. May your heart be

filled with many blessings.”

Another beneficiary is Nicole Carter, a 39-year-old server at Joe Fortes Seafood

& Chop House in Vancouver, who was given $2,500 by the BCHF to support

her during her recuperation from a badly broken ankle. Part of the money

matched the $1,000 raised by the restaurant.

In other BCHF news, a new fundraising event called the BC Hospitality Games

will be held later in the year. The foundation is looking for committee members

to help organize sponsorships, solicit team participation, organize volunteers,

and put on an after-games party. Please contact the BCHF if you can help.

Volunteers are also working hard on the foundation's other major fundraisers,

including the annual golf tournament on July 15 at Westwood Plateau, and

Dish 'n Dazzle on May 30 at the Pan Pacific.

For details on any aspect of BCHF work and/or events, please contact Alan

Sacks at

Renee Blackstone is a freelance journalist who sits on the BCHF advisory board.

The Publican




by Terri Perrin

BC Pubs and LRSs Put the “Fun” in


When it comes to giving back to their communities,

BC’s pubs and LRSs are champions of charity. From

sponsoring sports teams to donating to silent

auctions, or hosting special events, members of

the Alliance of Beverage Licensees of BC (ABLE) are

an energetic, creative, and kind-hearted bunch!

28 The Publican

Dave Crown is general manager and owner of

the Crown Group, which operates several Lower

Mainland pubs - The Lennox Pub, Seymour’s Pub,

The Jolly Coachman Pub, and Rhino’s Pub & Grill.

While Crown is proud of all that his company

does to support the community as a whole,

he is particularly pleased with their collective

efforts to raise money for Canuck Place Children’s

Hospice. This is a non-profit organization that

offers comprehensive healthcare in a home-like

environment to over 450 children and teens with

life-threatening illnesses and their families from

across BC. There is no cost to the families for

Canuck Place programs and services..

The hospice is partially funded with money raised

through 50/50 draws during NHL hockey games,

and when there is no hockey, this revenue source

disappears. During the season-long 2004/2005

NHL lockout, Crown approached ABLE to see if its

members could work in a spirit of collaboration

to help the charity. They did not disappoint. That

season, tens of thousands of dollars were raised

for Canuck Place. This fall, when the NHL faced

another months-long lockout, Crown rallied ABLE

members for support, and more than $20,000 was

raised for Canuck Place.

“Aside from its significance for the community, I

think fundraising gives our employees a sense of

purpose, and it certainly brings them together,”

observes Crown. “We have contests on who can

sell the most 50/50 tickets. It creates some friendly


The Berezan Hospitality Group also got on board

the Canuck Place fundraising bandwagon. Owner

Ralph Berezan organized 50/50 draws in three of

the corporation’s pubs - the Wheelhouse Pub, the

Golden Spike Pub, and B’s Public House. These

three establishments collectively raised over

$16,000. As a real show of community compassion,

their first 50/50 draw winner, Kyle Chapman,

donated the $3,000 he won back to the charity.

While the Canuck Place fundraising was organized

through the Berezan Group’s head office, dozens

of other requests come through at the grassroots

level. Each of the organization’s 10 liquor stores

and four pubs as well as a resort, wedding venue,

casino, and retreat hostel were encouraged to

choose charities of their own to support.

In addition to raising money to support a variety of

community causes, it gets people who might not normally

come to a pub to come out and enjoy themselves.

Samantha McQuade, assistant manager at

Berezan’s Wheelhouse Pub in Surrey, notes that

they get plenty of requests for support, and in

order to make their decisions, they ask for all

requests in writing. “We meet weekly at head

office to decide which programs to take on,”

explains McQuade. “Most of the larger charity

events are handled through head office, but local

programs are dealt with at each location. For the

Berezan Group, fundraising is about more than

just the tax receipt. It is nice to feel like part of the

community, and the patrons love the fact that we

are open to their ideas.”

However, fundraising isn’t just a game for large

corporately-owned establishments! One of the

most popular ways to raise money for charity

in the city of Merritt is to host a steak dinner

fundraiser at the Grand Pub & Grill. This familyrun

business managed by Dana Egan hosts

about 36 of these fundraisers annually, and raises

thousands of dollars for both registered charities

and urgent community needs, such as caring for

victims of fire, illness, or other tragedies. “These

dinners create a very positive image for the Grand

Pub,” describes Egan. “In addition to raising money

to support a variety of community causes, it gets

people who might not normally come to a pub

to come out and enjoy themselves. It warms my

heart to know that what we are doing is of benefit

to individuals in our community - especially with

the way the economy has been in the past few


Fundraising? Keep it Legal!

Scott McQuade, owner of Scotties Liquor Store

in Squamish, states that fundraising becomes

particularly meaningful when there is a direct

connection between the staff and the chosen

charity. “We recently raised over $50,000 to help

the families of two very sick local children,” he

explains. “Both of these kids are related to past

or current employees in some way, so raising this

money was great for staff morale, and truly made

a difference for these families.”

McQuade adds that community support can be as

simple as donating a few bottles of wine for a silent

auction or as intensive as helping to organize

events that engage both staff and the community.

In this community of 17,000, Scotties Liquor Store

has been a major sponsor of the Squamish Days

Loggers Sports Festival (held the August long

weekend) for the past four years.

And one must not forget the significance of

supporting the efforts of employees who volunteer

or participate in sports. Whether you choose

to put your business’s name on a hockey jersey

or allow some flexibility with staff schedules to

accommodate volunteer (or sports) commitments,

it does pay off. As an example, McQuade proudly

reported that one of the members of his team,

Shanda Dosanjh, is a volunteer extraordinaire in

their community. She was recently awarded the

2012 Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year

Award. Recognition like this is positive public

relations that money just can’t buy!

Most types of revenue-generating gaming in BC - such as raffles, 50/50 draws, sports pools, meat draws, bingos,

poker games, and other games of chance - require a licence. If your pub, liquor store, group, or organization is

planning to hold a gaming event for the purpose of raising funds to benefit the broader community or a third

party, you must apply for one of several different classes of licences. Here are some things you need to be aware of:

• A licence must be applied for well in advance of the proposed gaming event.

• Licensees are responsible for, among other things, following the guidelines and standard procedures related

to the gaming event, and for using the proceeds to support the eligible programs stated in the licence.

• The class of licence you'll want depends on how the group or organization is structured, how much money

you expect to raise, the value of your prizes, and the price of your tickets.

For more information, visit

If you are donating liquor for an auction or gift basket, the LCLB requires “that the auction is taking place

at an event licensed under a special occasion licence, in a permanent licensed establishment, or if no other

liquor is being sold or consumed, in an unlicensed venue. The donated wine/liquor must be commercially

made (i.e. no homemade or UVin wine), and the auctioned liquor must not be consumed at the event.”

The Publican




30 The Publican

by Joanne Sasvari

Great Canadian Liquor Warehouse

Darryl Lamb is flipping through the pages of his “rogues gallery”, a binder full

of images printed off the security cameras at Vancouver’s Legacy Liquor Store.

It’s a montage of people stuffing bottles in their bags and pockets, down their

pants and under their arms, before making a dash for the doors. Some are

stopped in time; others are not. None, needless to say, are welcome back. “It’s

a big problem,” says Lamb, the store’s general manager. “If you’re not vigilant,

they will rob you blind.”

When it comes to retail theft, the numbers are staggering. Worldwide, retail

losses due to “shrinkage” exceeded US $119 billion in 2011 alone, representing

1.45% of total retail sales. That’s the highest number ever recorded by the Centre

for Retail Research’s annual Global Retail Theft Barometer.

In BC, things are slightly rosier. A recent provincial government report noted

that property crime, including theft, is at “its lowest point in approximately 30

years”. Yet the same report pointed out that theft accounts for 48% of property

crimes and one in three Criminal Code offences, that 98% of those thefts are

under $5,000, and that property offences still report the lowest clearance rates

of all crimes. All of that means theft continues to be a serious issue for BC’s

independent liquor retailers. As Lamb points out, “You can’t mitigate it. It’ll

never be zero. There are always people in a desperate situation.”

So, what can you do to prevent your stock and your profits from vanishing

before your eyes? Here’s what the experts have to say.

To Catch a Thief

Loss prevention is big business, and a growing one. According to the Global

Retail Theft Barometer, spending on loss prevention soared 5.6% in 2011 to a

whopping US $28.3 billion worldwide. And no wonder. As Kerry Beatty, owner

of Watchdog Loss Prevention, points out, “Theft really varies. Any retail business

has it, and obviously the ones that have it the worst are the ones that make

it easiest.”

Certainly, investing in security cameras and identification tags is a good idea.

However, there are also some common sense things retailers can do to protect


themselves. The best solution to the problem of theft is implementing a multilayered

plan that incorporates both loss prevention equipment and savvy staff.

Vancouver Police Department Const. Anne Longley suggests retailers start by

taking what she calls “the customer service approach”. Every customer should be

approached by a staff person “to let them know they’ve been seen,” she says. “It’s

a very non-confrontational way that people can realize, ‘I’m not anonymous.’ ”

The staff is the key…. What you think

you’re saving in staff members, you’re

losing in theft.

The Publican


32 The Publican

It’s important, Longley adds, to train staff in recognizing shoplifters’ patterns,

such as constantly moving eyes looking for security cameras. They should know

the different types of shoplifters, including professional thieves, desperate

drunks, illegal minors, and impoverished seniors looking for holiday gifts.

Employees should also be trained in what to do if they spot a thief.

Just as importantly, a store should have enough staff to handle any problems

that do arise. “The staff is the key,” notes Lamb. “What you think you’re saving

in staff members, you’re losing in theft.”

Store Layout

Even though Beatty’s job is installing security systems, he knows that’s not the

only way to beat a thief. “Poor sight lines and poor customer service would be

two of the biggest contributors to customer theft,” he describes.

From the till, an employee should be able to see to every corner of the store.

That means keeping displays, posters, and shelving units low and angled so

people can’t vanish down an aisle. It also means keeping the store clean and


In addition, the till should be located near the door so every customer has to

walk by a salesperson to leave. What should not be by the door, however, are

valuable or desirable products that could attract “grab and run” artists. Instead,

those products should be locked up or put out of reach, so customers have to

ask a staff member to access them.

High-tech Solutions

Technology offers a number of solutions for retail theft, such as radio frequency

identification (RFID) tags, which range from simple paper stickers to large

clunky plastic monitors that set off alarms if they are not deactivated before

leaving the store.

Most stores also have a security system. The problem is, many of those systems

aren’t up to the job. Often, Beatty finds, cameras are poorly located, the

instruction manuals are missing or the system is too poor in quality to do the

job properly. If your security camera provides nothing but grainy, blurry, black

and white images - or worse, if it still records on video cassettes - it’s time for an

upgrade. Even the lowest megapixel versions of today’s digital security cameras

provide six times the resolution of standard cameras.

“You must have at least one and preferably two cameras for identification,”

Beatty explains. “Have cameras at the back exits and receiving doors to monitor

what is going on outside the door.” He also advises to make sure that any camera

located near the entrance isn’t looking down at the door, where it can easily

be defeated by a baseball cap.

Staff Issues

Not every thief comes in off the street. In fact,

statistics show that about 35% of store theft is

committed by employees. “Unfortunately, if you

are in business long enough, you will have staff

theft, and the longer they get away with it, the

bolder they become,” Beatty says. “When the

systems to deter and catch them are not in place,

they are more likely to start stealing.”

Beware of employees who pay too much attention

to security systems, who “reorganize” record books

or who arrive early and/or stay late. Keep an eye

on what goes into garbage bags and make sure

boxes are broken down before they leave the

store. Stay on top of inventory, so you can catch

any suspicious patterns before they become big


It helps to hire the right people in the first place.

Always do background checks and call references.

Then give your staff reasons to stay loyal. As Lamb

points out, “It’s all about morale. If people hate

where they are or feel unappreciated, that’s where

you have a problem.”


Say you catch a thief stuffing a bottle in his

backpack. What do you do now? Longley

recommends calling 911 if you catch a theft in

Even the lowest megapixel versions of today’s digital

security cameras provide six times the resolution of

standard cameras.

progress. “It doesn’t matter if it’s a bottle of wine,”

she says. In the meantime, staff should collect as

much information as possible for the police and

any potential prosecution.

Whatever you do, don’t chase or tackle the thief

yourself. You have no way of knowing what

motivated that person to steal, how desperate

they may be, or whether they are carrying a

weapon. As Longley says, “You don’t want to put

yourself in harm’s way for a bottle of booze.”

Due diligence is key in reducing theft. Make sure

you’ve done everything possible to protect your

staff, your store, and your merchandise.

The Publican



by Adam Henderson

If you like beer, you’ve almost certainly noticed it’s

a boom time for the craft brewing industry. This

renaissance has brought new breweries, new styles,

and a welcome focus on beer and food pairings.

With summer approaching, it’s a great time to check

out some pairing concepts, and how you can match

a couple of beer styles with fruit that will be readily

available all season.

To make things a bit easier, we will focus on two

beer styles that are easy to find during the summer:

traditional pilsners, and Belgian-style witbiers. If

you want to branch out, it’s easy to do - just have

fun with it.

When trying to find a beer for a fruit or fruit-based

dish pairing, consider:

Impact - How strong is the beer, and how full is its

flavour? You don’t want your beer or your food to

outmuscle its partner.

Balance - Is the beer mostly balanced, sweet,

or bitter? Generally, balanced beers won’t work

well with really sweet foods or really bitter foods.

However, with sweet or bitter beer you have the

option of trying to compliment the food (sweet with

sweet, bitter with bitter), or contrast it (bitter with

sweet, or vice versa).

Flavour - What’s the main character of the beer? Is

it hoppy, malty, sour, yeasty, fruity, etc.? This is the

fun part. You may wish to pair a Chocolate Stout

with cherries, or a yeast-driven Hefeweizen with

spicy Mexican food.

34 The Publican


Pilsner is a word everyone knows, but most are not

really familiar with the traditional style, as it’s been

somewhat corrupted by large breweries over the last

70-80 years. Pilsner is the original lager style, a classic

originating in what is now the Czech Republic, and

further popularized by the Germans. Traditional

pilsners can be either Bohemian (Czech) or German,

and although they are slightly different, both offer

a relatively light, clean body, restrained maltiness,

and a dry snappy hop finish cleansing the palate.

Traditional pilsner can be perfectly paired with fresh

melon and prosciutto. The juicy melon flavours

will shine with the clean body of the beer, and the

carbonation of the pilsner will lift off any fat from

the prosciutto. Another great match with pilsner is a

grilled cheese sandwich made with old cheddar and

fresh apple slices. The sharp freshness of the apple

compliments pilsners nicely, and again the snappy

hop finish will help clean your palate of the cheese.

For dessert, a well-balanced pilsner will even work

with the perennial summer favourite, strawberry

and rhubarb pie.


Witbier-style beer originated in Belgium and

employs a large percentage of wheat in the grist,

often as much as 50%. However, the name means

“white” not “wheat”, and refers to the colour of

the finished product. These beers are light and

refreshing, and the addition of orange peel and

coriander in the brewing process provides enough

complexity to make them very interesting. Often

bartenders will pair witbier with lemons or oranges

by putting slices of these fruits in the beer glass.

Please don’t do that - it sullies the beer, or at best

distorts it. However, you can take a cue from this

practice and use fresh fruit outside of the glass.

Fruit salad is a terrific pairing with witbier. Fruits that

match especially well include melon, pineapple,

and blood oranges.

One of the most enterprising uses of fruit in witbier

itself is watermelon. Produced by a few breweries,

and one Vancouver-based brewer, these flavours

work exceptionally well together. They can easily

be duplicated with a regular witbier and actual

watermelon. Watermelon and feta salad is a simple

and refreshing dish that pairs extremely well with

the crisp and fruity citrus notes of a good witbier.

Just don’t go too heavy on the feta.

This summer, offer your customers a new tasting

adventure by pairing beer and fruit. They’ll be


Adam Henderson is a Certified Cicerone, BJCP Certified Judge, and Founder

of Copper & Theory, Artisan Beer Supply Co.

The Publican





36 The Publican

by Carol Schram

When it comes to bringing traffic into BC’s licensed

establishments, bar manager Dréa Philip of the

Harewood Arms Pub in Nanaimo sums it up without

wasting words: “You have to give people a reason to

come into your bar and spend their money.”

Advancements in technology and a strong desire

for engaging activities are the two biggest trends

driving entertainment offerings around the


Television: The Bigger the Better

Live sporting events are a big draw at many bars

and pubs. Technological upgrades have been key

to encouraging customers to leave home and join

the party.

Harewood Arms did their most recent television

update before the start of the 2012 NFL season,

while the Barley Mill Brew Pub and Sports Bistro in

Penticton has recently turned up the juice with a

new 80-inch TV and enhanced audio system. “We

carry UFC as well,” says Barley Mill’s events/marketing

manager Kori Iceton. “People come out in flocks for

that. There are now only two places in Penticton that

show UFC. We’re packed for those nights.”

In downtown Vancouver, Red Card Sports Bar +

Eatery at the Moda Hotel opened just before the

2010 Olympic Winter Games. They feature 18 HD

TVs and two giant projector screens. “Every one

of our TVs is controlled by an individual cable box,

meaning we can please every sports fan by putting

them in front of their game,” explains Colette Lynch,

food and beverage sales manager for the Viaggio

Hospitality Group, which operates Red Card. “Our

sporting events are fan-driven.”

Operators throughout BC were thrilled to have the

NHL and Vancouver Canucks back on the menu

after the league’s work stoppage ended in January.

“People held a grudge at first,” describes Barley Mill’s

Iceton. “We did a free hockey pool to get them to

come in every week and put in their picks and

watch the game. We also upgraded to the Centre

Ice package, so we have every game, no matter

what the time zone.”

“Hockey has made a big difference since it has been

back,” agrees bar manager Ron Grossman of the

Paddlewheeler Pub in New Westminster. “We’ve

done it a bit differently this year, giving away lots

of jerseys and tickets. It usually fills up pretty well

for the games.”

The Paddlewheeler has also remodeled its old

pool room. “It has one big screen and two 55-inch

TVs back there. It’s a room for private functions

or meetings but I’m noticing quite a trend on the

hockey games now. People like to sit back there.”

Keep the Music Playing

Old-style pub games like pool and darts are on

the way out, but interactive activities are thriving.

At the Harewood Arms, you can play music trivia

on Wednesdays or sing your heart out at karaoke

on Fridays. The Barley Mill has offered karaoke in

Penticton for more than 13 years. They’re currently

hosting two karaoke nights, including a Karaoke

Star Search competition that runs in conjunction

with local radio station Sun FM.

Barley Mill also does a Music Bingo night, and at

the Paddlewheeler they’ve been passing out bingo

cards and dabbers for the past eight years. “We get

a lot of the regulars that come out for it. They play

20 seconds or so of a song. Under the B-I-N-G-O it’ll

The Publican


have the song and the artist, so you’ve just gotta find it. It keeps people sticking

around and it’s fun. It’s always a good laugh,” describes Iceton.

Live music remains a trusted draw. The Barley Mill brings in bands during the

busy summer months, while Harewood Arms has live music every Saturday.

They’re adding younger bands to their roster in an effort to bring in the college

crowd. “We have a very strict no-cover policy,” explains Philip. “That helps with

them choosing us over other bars - the fact that they don’t have to pay to be


38 The Publican

Advancements in technology and a strong

desire for engaging activities are the two

biggest trends driving entertainment

offerings around the province.

When there’s a break in the sports action at Red Card, they fire up their new

TouchTunes digital jukebox. “We have had it since mid-September and our

customers love it!” enthuses Lynch. “Our house music plays through the system,

and it sees a lot of traffic in the evenings.”

The TouchTunes system allows venues to control the music that’s played in their

establishment through access to a huge song library. Bar managers customize

their music choices to fit the format of the venue, then customers have the

opportunity to pay to select exactly what they’d like to hear. Revenues are

shared between the venue, the jukebox provider and royalties to the artists.

“The jukebox is very cost-effective,” reports Lynch. “Customers love to be able to

control the choice. We have one guest who likes to come in for the occasional

early afternoon beer, and he feeds the machine to listen to heavy metal. He tells

us that without a heavy metal bar in Vancouver, this is his favourite place to be!”

Think Outside the Box

Just down Granville Street from Red Card, you’ll find The Bottleneck, a new bar

located next to its sister establishment, the legendary Commodore Ballroom.

“Technically, the room is set up so that almost any type of experience is possible,”

describes promotions manager Juliana Moore. “{It has} multiple video screens,

projectors, various DJ setups - even a makeshift stage for live music. Sound,

visuals and flavours overlap, so we’ve been able to get really creative with our

events. Think David Bowie sound over Blade Runner visuals with rosemary

fried chickpeas taste.”

Moore says The Bottleneck strives to bring the element of surprise. “Most of our

events aim to capture an event and its mood in the least obvious way. We’ve

done pizza and movie nights, the Roaring Twenties, a Johnny Cash tribute show,

and after-parties for all sorts of bands. Right now, we’re focused on Wednesday

night trivia and showing HBO’s Game of Thrones on Sundays.”

Remember the Audio

As a brand new establishment, The Bottleneck incorporated its entertainment

and technology decisions into its overall design process. This is ideal, according

to Dave Turner of Best Buy Canada.

“I don’t think that a lot of pub and bar owners look at this stuff early enough.

It’s usually, ‘Okay, I’ve got the design’, then they contact us to see what they

can shoehorn into the location instead of looking at how the flow goes, where

people are sitting, sightlines, and all that kind of stuff.”

Turner says the movement towards installing bigger, better TVs is basically

complete. Venues are now turning their attention to versatile video walls,

outdoor screens in their patio areas, and centralized video switchers that allow

owners more control over the content on the televisions, including advertising

and promotion. Audio was largely forgotten during the video upgrade era, so

sound systems are now being upgraded to catch up with the visuals.

Whether it’s a hi-tech interactive projector entertaining guests at your front

entrance, or a low-tech trivia night, entertainment is all about giving patrons

a good reason to join the fun.

The Publican





Great audio/visual entertainment

provides the perfect complement

to your house specialties

Your menu and in-house entertainment system work in

tandem to give your restaurant, bar or pub a special vibe.

We can help you whip up great dining entertainment using

the latest HDTVs, sound systems, projectors and digital

menu boards. We match our products and services to your

needs as meticulously as you pair food with drinks.




• Digital menu boards

• Background and zone audio systems

• Indoor/outdoor audio/visual systems

• Commercial grade systems

• Complete customized

audio/visual design layout

• Professional installation




– Wall or ceiling mounting

– Calibration


– Mounting

– Screen install (fixed/manual/motorized)


– Design and install of ceiling or wall

speaker systems


– Installation and programming of sources

(cable boxes, blu-ray etc.)

– Panel wiring across floors

– Wire concealment


– Design and install of multi-panels

Email us at or call us at 1.877.423.3429 to discuss you business needs today.

ABLE Benefits

by Ian Baillie

Being a member of ABLE BC just got even better! Members find the most value

in ABLE’s advocacy role by having someone defending their interests in the

face of changes to our industry. If the government suggests Sunday openings,

ABLE will be leading discussions on why this would be harmful to independent

stores and an unnecessary expense to taxpayers. Since the 0.05 legislation was

passed, ABLE has been working on a legal case debating the legality of the ARP

regime. While advocacy on your behalf is the most important benefit to joining

ABLE, it’s nice to have a few perks on the side. Here are a few more benefits that

ABLE members can take advantage of for their businesses:

• Preferred Credit Card Rates: ABLE BC has signed a new contract with Global

Payments providing our members with the following competitive rates. Since

Visa changed their charges on April 1, 2013, you have 90 days to sign out of

your contract and switch to a new supplier.

Visa: 1.59% MasterCard: 1.61% Debit: 0.05¢

• Esso Gas Program: Do you need to travel long distances for your business?

Gas has been increasing in price with little sign of coming down. By signing

up with the Esso Gas Program, you can save 2.3¢ per litre of gas any time you

visit an Esso station.

• ABLE Builder Communications: ABLE Builder Communications is a texting

service that allows us to send you texts containing important information you

need to know. These texts will only be sent for urgent matters. Please provide

the ABLE BC office with your mobile number to receive these instant messages.

• CONNECT Tradeshow: CONNECT is the new tradeshow bringing together

the hotel, liquor, and restaurant industries. Access to the tradeshow will be free

for members and individual educational sessions and events will be discounted.

• Staples Advantage Program: Running low on scratch pads, pens, invoice

books, or toner? ABLE has teamed up with Staples to provide members with

discounts on a variety of office materials and supplies.

• Unlimited Bottle Return Program: LRS operators can apply to this program,

which is jointly run by the BDL in partnership with ABLE. The program now

collects unlimited beer bottles, cans, and imported containers. BDL will provide

a pick-up service and pay you a handling fee.

• Access to Regulatory Authorities: ABLE is working on building co-operative

and open relationships with LDB, BDL, and LCLB. Building these relationships

allows us to have direct contact with the individuals implementing policies and

gives us access to accurate and helpful information for your use. Recently, ABLE

directors met with Bruce Edmundson, Deputy General Manager of Compliance

and Enforcement (LCLB), who shared information on the Minors as Agents


If you would like to take advantage of ABLE’s new and revised programs, or if you would like to become a

member to receive these and many other benefits, please contact the ABLE office at 604-688-5560 or email for more information.

The Publican




The Second Annual Vancouver International Tequila Expo (VITE) will take place on

May 24 at the Vancouver Hyatt Regency Hotel, sponsored by First Majestic, Tourism

Mexico, ProMexico, and the Consulate General of Mexico in Vancouver. Proceeds from

the event will once again benefit the British Columbia Hospitality Foundation (BCHF).

"Last year’s inaugural event was a massive success. Over 700 people joined us at the

Vancouver Convention Center in celebration of Mexico’s premier spirit, raising $5,000

for the BCHF. This year’s event will be even larger with more tasting booths, more and

better food, off-site agave spirits tasting seminars and pairing dinners for Vancouver

Agave Week (May 20-24), and more exclusive tequila brands yet unavailable in BC!"

announced Founding Partner Eric Lorenz. Ticket prices will actually decrease for the

2013 event. "We wanted to say thank you to our guests who helped us sell out last

year's tickets early - and make it more accessible for new tequila lovers this year,"

said Manuel Otero. Also of special note this year will be the restaurant area - local

restaurants offering unique, tequila-inspired cuisine will be present on-site in the

Grand Tasting Hall, including the Hyatt Regency's own Mosaic Bar & Grill.

Prizes, including a Mexican trip, will be given away, and guests will once again

decide by popular vote the Top Three Tequilas of the Expo.

Further details can be found at

42 The Publican

The Publican


Lower Your Labour Cost in Difficult Times

by Effective Forecasting

In the last 3 years, many pubs have had to tighten

their belts and cut back on staff. The increases

in minimum wage have pubs being tasked with

having to do more with fewer resources. However,

hitting your labour targets doesn’t have to be a

mystery. You can maintain both solid service levels

and a solid bottom line with a little planning and


First you must have an accurate sales forecast,

which begins by creating a sales history. This

can be accomplished as simply as logging the

sales information onto a spreadsheet, using daily

history as well as one-week sales cycles. Leave a

line to note all special events and programs on

their scheduled day and another line to note the

potential kick-in sales as a result of hosting that

event. Add events like NHL, NFL, and UFC games

as well as other unique events like citywide

conventions. Don’t forget to add any programs

you run in-house. Be sure to use a log book, which

is great for noting unusual events that affect sales,

such as drastic weather or new competition.

Compare sales figures for days and weeks with the

corresponding sales figures in previous years, and

calculate the trends. Do you see Sunday’s sales

decreasing each year? Or are you noticing your

Wednesday promotions have had a good effect on

sales? Use these trends to determine logical sales

increases or decreases and to establish a projected

sales figure for this year’s forecast.

Figure 1

44 The Publican

Human Resources

by Richard Marken

Projected Sales for Labour

Look at the historical sales records that correspond

with the upcoming four weeks. Circle the lowest

Monday, Tuesday, etc. for this time period (Figure 1).

These figures give the projected sales for labour

that you can use to build your schedules.

Remember, you can always add a couple of hours

to a shift if your sales are higher, but you cannot

get wages back once you have paid them.

Shift Start Times

Don’t rely on your sense of when you need staff

to start for their shift; it can often be far off from

reality. For example, many times I see a bunch of

5:00 pm start times and yet no real volume until

6:00-6:30 pm. The key to lowering your labour

is saving minutes at a time, so tighten up your

start times to get an accurate count of when you

actually fill the pub (Figure 2).

If you are unsure of your business flow, spend a

week or two counting your tables in 15-minute

increments. Then take a blank schedule, note

your estimated table counts going forward, and

enter the number of servers needed to service

the projected number of tables. Without using

employee names, use your table counts to note

the ideal start and end times of each shift.

You are essentially creating a schedule without any

actual names. This way you can determine needs

without juggling personal requirements.

Dinner Sales monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday

Week 1 $3,373 $ 4,177 $3,832 $6,020 $7,011 $6,781 $2,120

Week 2 $4,177 $3,225 $5,056 $5,685 $7,018 $7,730 $2,281

Week 3 $3,186 $3,378 $4,269 $5,056 $7,630 $7,604 $2,477

Week 4 $3,640 $3,990 $5,270 $5,799 $6,754 $7,118 $1,930

Figure 3

Dinner Sales monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday

Table Count 48 45 47 60 60 60 31

Shift Count 8 8 8 10 10 10 6

Projected Sales* $3,186 $3,225 $3,832 $5,056 $6,754 $6,781 $1,930

Average Wage $10 $10 $10 $10 $10 $10 $10

To establish a labour target, you need your table

counts, section sizes, and projected sales (Figure 3).

Lastly, add a section to the bottom of the schedule

that will allow you to:

• Add up the projected hours;

• Add an estimated average wage;

• Post the projected sales; and

• Post the projected labour cost.

The rest is easy. Take your projected hours each

day, and multiply them by your average wage

to get a projected cost of labour. Then, use

that labour dollar amount and divide it by the

projected sales to get an ideal or theoretical cost,

as a percentage.

Is Your Pub Too Unpredictable to Forecast?

Use these follow-up tasks to take the

unpredictability out of your labour: At your

meetings, review start times and note if they are

too early or too late. When logging out, have all

managers calculate actual labour cost at the end

of each shift.

There is no doubt that warm, attentive servers and

clean, knowledgeable cooks are more important

to your long-term profitability than hitting an

ideal number. However, you can reduce your

expenses while maintaining service levels by

implementing effective labour forecasting. Get

all your employees involved in the process. Your

team wants you to succeed. They just need to be

shown the way.

Richard has 25 years of experience working with high performance

hospitality organizations. He is the founder of Rocket Science Hospitality


Figure 2


Table Server

Friday Count Count

5:00pm 8 2

5:15pm 9 2

5:30pm 24 4

5:45 35 6

6:00pm 60 10

6:15pm 60 10

9:15pm 60 10

9:45pm 45 8

10:00pm 40 7

10:15pm 37 7

10:30pm 36 6

10:45pm 33 6

11:00pm 22 4

11:15pm 16 3

11:30pm 16 3

11:45pm 16 3

Talking Trends

LDB Report

Data based on rolling 12 months to the end of February 23, 2013

Let’s talk trends. Over the past 12 months, a number of brands have proven their

staying power and established double digit growth in the BC market. Sales and

volume statistics show an upswing in vodka, whisky of all types, anything with a

flavour profile, single serve craft beer and BC, New Zealand, and California wine.


Vodka - Despite its enormous customer base, vodka continues to show growth

across the pricing spectrum. Vodka accounts for more than one-quarter of the

spirit category growth in the past 12 months. Delicious fruit and fusion flavoured

vodkas continue to make a splash and the first low calorie flavoured vodka is

now available with 25 to 40% less calories. In an industry where things tend to

add up, it’s nice to start subtracting.

The vodka category increased 1.3% in sales and 0.5% in volume in the past

12 months.


Rising for a second year in a row, the ongoing whisky and scotch renaissance

has led to a combined 15% rise in sales and 13% increase in volume over the

past 12 months.

Whisky growth is strong and consumers are trading up. Irish whiskey and single

malt Scotch are growth drivers in the market, with a sharp rise of 16% in sales

and 7% in volume. American whiskies like Bourbon and Tennessee continue

to be at the forefront with sales up 14% and 10% in volume.


British Columbia - BC wine shows a healthy 3% increase both in sales and

volume. Wines produced here are an authentic expression of BC’s spectacular

and unique offerings; they are reliable, consistent across vintages, and a “go to”

category that consumers can always easily find. Look for an increase in organic

BC wine; it’s a growing wine production sector in the province.

new Zealand - From a small base, New Zealand wine has surged again,

continuing a double digit climb for three straight years - a rise of 22% in sales

and 24% in volume over the past 12 months.

As the New Zealand category continues to heat up, expect ongoing interest

in New Zealand’s core varietals - Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Pinot Grigio, and

the recently popular un-oaked Chardonnay. The New Zealand category has a

high-end image and consistently looks to maintain a top-shelf presence crucial

to promoting growth and preventing price erosion.

California - Californian table wine continued its upswing in the BC market,

rising 12% in revenue and 8% in volume. Consumption has increased by more

than 4% over last year. While pricing pressure continues to be a key factor at

all levels of the market, Californian wines in the $15 to $20 range continue to

grow, driving much of the category’s progress, and consumers are responding

positively. Growth in Californian red blends has increased over 59% since early

last year, and varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay have

steadied their climb at a 10% increase over 2012. >>>continued on next page


Provincial Sales Growth Rolling 12 Months Ending February 23, 2013

Beer gross Dollars Litres

% Chg % Chg

Commercial Brewery

Domestic -2.4% -2.8%

Import - 2.5% -4.2%

Cottage Brewery 27% 23%

regional Brewery 11% 10%

The Publican


46 The Publican


Provincial Sales growth by Category

Provincial Sales Growth Rolling 12 Months Ending February 23, 2013

Category gross Dollars Litres

% Chg % Chg

Spirits 2.3% 0.9%


Domestic 0.2% -3.5%



-1.5% 3.5%

Domestic 3.6% 2.8%




5.9% 13.0%

Cider 13.7% 13.0%

Coolers 0.1% -0.2%

All Categories 2.1% 0.5%

Craft - Craft brewers are ramping up activity and distribution of the single

serve craft beer is hot, as you will know. Craft beer grew sharply over the past

12 months, and category performance is strong with revenue growing 27%

and volume growing 23%.

Refreshment Beverage

The refreshment beverage category is experiencing healthy growth of 6%

overall, with ciders up 13% in sales and coolers flat during the past 12 months.

Refreshment beverage flavour trends this summer are profiles rich in berry,

pear, melon, lemon, orange, and unique pairings such as gingered pineapple,

coconut melon, both partnered with spiced rum.



Bank of Canada 39

Barnet Logic Group 12

BC Hospitality Foundation 16

BCHF Golf 27

BCLC - advertorial 14

BWI Business World 11

Best Buy 40


ContainerWorld 29

David Herman & Son 22

Elite Crete Systems BC 21

Energy Wise 16

Fortis BC 33

Granville Island Brewing IFC

Homelife Benchmark 12

James Bradley Consulting Inc. 9

Johnstone's Benefits 32

Lifford Wine & Spirits 38

Mark Anthony Group 5

Markat Wines Ltd 23

Matthews Campbell 4

McClelland Premium Imports 22, 26

MJB Law 45

Mt. Begbie Brewing Co. Ltd. 23

Northwest Stoves 46

Perseus Winery 13

PMA Canada 15, 20, 35, 37

Protonics 34

Prudential Sterling 28

Raincity Brands 22

RBC Royal Bank of Canada 41

Rising Tide Consultants 19

Shaw Cablesystems IBC

Smirnoff Ice 7

Sting Investigations Inc. 41

Sysco Van/Kelowna/Victoria 17

The View Winery 22

Time Access Systems Inc 32

Vancouver Island Brewing 23, 42

Watchdog Loss Prevention 31

WestCoast Cash Inc. BC

Western Financial Group

Insurance Solutions 6

You serve the food,

we’ll serve the entertainment.

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is surprisingly easy to earn – and keep.

• Robust WiFi

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Internet means ultra-fast everything.

• Feature-packed phones

Take advantage of scalable plans loaded with

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Ready to make the most of your business?

Call us today at 1 877 SHAW BIZ (742 9249) or visit

NHL and the NHL Shield are registered trademarks and Centre Ice name and logo are trademarks of the National Hockey League. © NHL 2013. All Rights Reserved. NFL is a registered trademark and the NFL Shield,

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