Willows Park Grocery, Oak Bay’s longest-running business, has new owners.

Big Brother runner-up, Karen Singbeil, buys longest-running business in Oak Bay.

Willows Park Grocery, operating since 1912, has been bought by Karen Singbeil, of Big Brother fame.

Karen Singbeil spent 69 days this year locked in a house with 16 strangers, under constant surveillance and completely isolated from the outside world. She walked out of that house $20,000 richer, as runner-up of Big Brother Canada, Season 5.

As one who has a proven track record of achieving success from challenge, the mother of three is on to her next adventure – right here in Oak Bay. Karen Singbeil and her husband, Bruce Singbeil, have just taken over the Willows Park Grocery, Oak Bay’s longest-running business.

“The store has been here for 105 years,” says Karen Singbeil. “We are so excited to be in a store that has a long, long history with a community that loves it.”

The Singbeils’ vision for the corner store is to have community support by listening to what the neighbourhood wants. With schools and offices close by, Willows Park Grocery will be offering a selection of foods that are easy to grab and go, including sandwiches, hot dogs, taquitos, and baked goods.

“Unfortunately, we are not going to be carrying Indian food. That was specialty to Sarge (the previous owner),” says Karen Singbeil. “But I have looked into seeing if I can find some place that will do samosas and pakoras for us.”

The couple bring varied experience to their new business – both of them having been self-employed their whole lives. Karen Singbeil was a realtor for the last 21 years, but for the period before that she says: “30 years ago I owned a store similar to this in Scottsdale Arizona, so now you could say we have come full circle. We are on to our final and last stage, here on Vancouver Island in Victoria and we are so excited to do it. I hope you guys come and visit.”

The store is continuing to operate as Bruce and Karen Singbeil redecorate the interior.

Their hours are Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 6 p.m., and Saturday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

keri.coles@oakbaynews.com

Just Posted

Speed skating a family affair for View Royal twins

Kieran and Kyle Brown set to compete in B.C. Winter Games

Belmont Student Voices: Influential teachers, good or bad, play a crucial role

Chances are you’ve had an influential teacher at some point in your… Continue reading

Hatley Castle 8K takes place this Sunday

Royal Roads race is the fourth in the Vancouver Island Race Series

Grade 11 student gains leadership experience in 4-H club raising goats

Mira Finkelstein enjoys spending time mentoring younger members of the club.

Watch for high winds today and tomorrow

A wind warning is in effect for Greater Victoria. According to Environment… Continue reading

WATCH: Vancouver Island man catches dashcam video of near head-on crash

Video shows oncoming van cross over centre line

B.C. files new legal action against TransMountain pipeline

Province tries to uphold City of Burnaby bylaws, provoking Alberta

BCHL Today: Powell River stuns Vernon and BCHL grads lead Team Canada

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

Reports of money laundering in B.C. real estate ‘troubling’: attorney general

News report alleges people connected to fentanyl trade are using B.C. real estate to launder money

OLYMPIC ROUNDUP: Two more medals for Canada, and men’s hockey loss

Team Canada shines on the speed skating track, but fall short against the Czechs in hockey

Air ambulance used parking lot for patient transfer because it was most efficient option

Lack of certification for helipad at Comox Valley Hospital not a factor in decision

Letter: West Shore needs vested interest to achieve rapid transit

Mayor Stew Young is at odds with the CRD board over its… Continue reading

RCMP member challenges court to prevent further disciplinary action

RCMP member launches appeal to avoid new hearing over alleged harassment

Port of Vancouver program examines impact of marine noise on local whales

Man-made noises can interfere with orcas’ ability to hunt and communicate with other pod members

Most Read