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

Questions remain following Friday crash

Questions remain following Friday’s dramatic crash on Sooke Road. The three-vehicle incident… Continue reading

B.C. SPCA Wild ARC seeking donations to replace roofs

Donations made to the roof campaign will be matched up to $10,000

Final push to fund new ultrasounds at Victoria hospitals

Victoria Hospitals Foundation’s Beneath the Surface campaign nears goal of $500,000

VIDEO: Surveillance camera catches Sooke Rd crash

New details emerge into crash that sent three people to hospital

Shovels in the ground for Sooke library by 2019?

New timelines announced for new library construction

B.C. RCMP turn to Const. Scarecrow to shock speeders into slowing down

New addition will watch over drivers from a Coquitlam median for first-of-its-kind pilot in Canada

Admitting mistakes is the first step

On Friday afternoon a dramatic three-vehicle crash took place on Highway, an… Continue reading

B.C. home to 1/3 of Canada’s overdose deaths in first 3 months of the year

There were 1,036 overdose deaths in the first three months of the year, with 94 per cent accidental

B.C. candidate moves from hospice care to council race

He beat terminal cancer twice and entered hospice when he decided to run for council.

Canadian tobacco exec pushes back against vaping health concerns

A warning from Interior Health about the unknown health risks of vaping is getting a partial rebuke

Ministry of Agriculture commits $300,000 to help B.C. farmers obtain land

B.C. Land Matching Program supports access to affordable farmland for young farmers

Canadian air force short 275 pilots

Attrition outpaces recruitment and training claims Air Force

Teacher suspended after physically shushing, saying ‘shut up’ to student

Grade 5 student reported feeling ‘confused and a little scared’

Most Read