Father's About Town

June 11, 2016

As seen in the Valley Voice June 2016 Issue


When I ran into Sheila & Richard Badman, Publishers of the Cowichan Valley Voice last Sunday celebrating at Hudson’s on First this past Mother’s Day, we spoke about how busy the holiday was honouring mothers. This made me think about my dad, and all those creative Fathers in this community which is full of craftsman and artisans, innovators and traditionalists. Time and time again, I have come across family businesses, like my own, where our Father’s have passed on their passion for detail to us, their children, who are proud to carry the torch. 


Take Jeremy, son of Stephen Schact, who I ran into at last week’s Farmer’s Market. This father & son team are behind the award winning Ampersand Distilling Company, (www.ampersanddistilling.com) located on a five acre organic farm in the Cowichan Valley. Jeremy, like his dad, has an engineering background, and the two of them have hand built their distillery to craft 100% organic BC grown wheat spirits. Certainly something to be proud of.



The Ampersand Gin, is already a legend among Mainland Mixologists. There is also Ampersand’s Per Se Vodka which Jeremy claims, “is best enjoyed sipped solo”. Please note, the Tasting Room at the distillery is by appointment only but they can be found every Saturday at the Duncan Farmer’s Market from May to September. Plus, bottles can be purchased at the Cowichan, Duncan and Cobble Hill Liquor Stores. 


Or… You could always pop into Hudson’s on First for a Cocktail! We have a classic 1915 Brunch Toaster, destined to be a new Father’s Day Favourite, called: The French 75… Ampersand’s Gin, Cointreau, Segura Viudas Brut Reserva, Lemon. 


[Shout out to the Ladies! Stephen’s Wife and Jeremy’s Mom: Ramona Froehle - Schacht manages the Organic Farm and Jessica McLeod, Jeremy’s partner is very much a founding member in the Family Business.]


Also, last week I stumbled upon Carsen, Son of Geir Ogland from Drumroaster Coffee (www.drumroaster.com) at their Cobble Hill Roastery and Cafe, who has taken their family business to new heights. My Mom and I were honoured to witness Carsen tasting freshly steeped samples of Acevedo, Hula and Columbian ground beans, recently shipped in after Carsen’s return trip from the Gilberto Rojas’s farm in the Americas. The best of the beans make up the La Florida blend that taste like chocolate, vanilla and even strawberry. My Mom’s favourite! 


 Geir installed his first espresso machine in 1972 and owned a number of cafes over the years building a successful, ’sustainable & community-focused’ family business. Which is how Carsen learned his craft as an ethically sourcing coffee buyer and master roaster. This is how he carries forward his father’s simple yet effective mission, “To provide really great coffee.” 


I’m proud to say I have known the Ogland Family for decades… I worked as a Barista for them at The Coffee Mill, in Mill Bay when I was a student and have stayed loyally connected. We buy their beans for Hudson’s on First, and daily use the La Marzocco Espresso Machine (affectionately nicknamed by my parents ’The Ferrari’) that we purchased from their Equipment Boutique. Even now as I write this I sip my favourite afternoon pick me up - a Classic Iced Coffee made with Drumroaster’s Espresso Roast, a simple syrup and fresh cream. Pop in anytime this summer for a cool treat! 


[Shout out to the Ladies! Patricia Oglend, Geir’s wife and Carsen & Courtney’s Mom, perfects the recipes for the Café treats that go with their delicious coffee. Sister Courtney heads Drumroaster Coffee’s barista training programmes.]


As for me, I don’t know who I would be without my

Father? Clause Hans Flemming is first and foremost a craftsman, an architectural millworker by trade, the owner/operator of www.chfcontracting.com, and the man who taught me that anything worth doing, was worth doing well! 


Back when we opened our restaurant: Hudson’s on First (www.hudsonsonfirst.ca) in November 2012 we received, thanks to my Dad, a Commercial Development Award of Excellence by the City of Duncan by Hon. Jean Crowder, the present day Member of Parliament for Nanaimo-Cowichan. The restoration of our heritage house was a labour of love, and to this day I give credit to my Father’s appreciation of wood that gives our property it’s glow in the afternoon light, it’s warmth on a cool evening, and it’s general homey feel. Something we try to emulate with our personal yet professional service, and our traditional yet innovative local product menu. 


In the end, it’s my Dad’s attention to detail that has made me a perfectionist. A trait that has served me well as a restauranteur, and member of this business community. The lessons I learned through his generosity of spirit, time and kindness as a person, husband and parent, serves my daughter, co-workers and friends. Thank-you Dad for giving me life and always being there as a solid foundation for me, my family and team. 


[Shout out to the Ladies! Petra Flemming, my Mom has been a God-send in too many ways to list. Mylie my Daughter, is the best little helper a Mom could have! Love to you both!!]


Last month, Hudson’s on First was honoured to celebrate Mother’s Day with so many of the lovely Mother’s from the Cowichan Valley. This June 19th I’d like to remind you that we have a perfect Patio for a Beer Brunch, Lunch or Dinner for a memorable Father’s Day meal as well. Here’s to treating all the fathers out there for sharing their passions, instilling their work ethics, and supporting our dreams! 



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