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

Island Health, service providers meeting to talk about used needles in Victoria

Recent public needle-prick incidents prompt call to reduce number of needles found

Announcement for Sooke Road improvement expected this week

Premier promising ‘preliminary’ work, with more on the way

Dozens rally outside Premier’s office for sick Sooke boy

Six-year-old Landen Lanthier needs $19,000 a month to treat rare form of arthritis

Sooke’s Most Wanted

The following individuals are wanted by the Sooke RCMP as of Jan.… Continue reading

Victoria airport reaches nearly two million passengers in 2017

This year expected to see additional growth

Community rallies behind Sooke boy with rare condition

Dozens called on government to cover cost of drug for six-year-old Landen Alexa

VIDEO: B.C. Lions sign defensive back T.J. Lee to contract for upcoming season

The four-year veteran had a team-high four interceptions and 49 tackles last season with B.C.

How an immigrant to Canada helped Donald Trump prove his mental health

Test that cleared Trump was developed by doctor associated with McGill and Sherbrooke universities

Premier touches on multiple topics ahead of Asia trade trip

Housing and childcare are expected to be the focus of the BC NDP’s first budget in February.

Wanted by Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers for the week of Jan. 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

UPDATE: Friends mourn boy, 15, killed in Vancouver shooting

John Horgan: ‘No stone is to be left unturned until we find the perpetrator of this heinous crime’

LETTERS: More roads? More Cars? No thanks.

Climate change is real. Ecological destruction is real. Who out there who… Continue reading

LETTERS: Sooke roads not racetracks

What can we as a community do about the blatant law breakers… Continue reading

Vernon to host largest Special Olympics B.C. Winter Games in 2019

Games to be held Feb. 21-23, with more than 800 athletes expected to take part

Most Read