Fraser Valley Focus
Small Business Management in a Pandemic, with Tony Malyk

Small Business Management in a Pandemic, with Tony Malyk

October 20, 2020

If you own a small business, right now, you’re holding on to every single spare penny. You’re stretching your staff like never before. You are under constant pressure to perform well with few resources. And, you’re looking to plug every hole in your business.

Perhaps this sounds familiar: you are a “trades” guy who wants to be your own boss, and provide a better future for your family. You are “all in” financially and emotionally. You are very good at your trade, but your business frustrates you. Your hours are long, and you hardly see your family. Profits are disappointing, and you worry about cash flow every day. It’s time to fill the business knowledge gap that is holding you back!

My guest today understands the special challenges faced by trades businesses, because he himself comes from a blue collar background. For over 30 years, he has built profitable and effective businesses, with hands-on experience in sales, operations, customer service, and management processes.

He’s also the instructor of a new business management training program at Fraser Valley Continuing Education in Langley, where they cut through the “fluff” and get down to real skills to manage your small business better, or move up in a larger one. He is also a well-known volunteer with the Rotary Club of Langley, he is a Past Assistant Governor in District 5050 of Rotary International and is an experienced training facilitator, helping to train over 500 Rotary Club Presidents annually.

 He is also the author of “Leaky Bucket of Profits: plug the holes that drain your business of cash, profits, and your happiness.”

Learn more about Tony's classes at Fraser Valley Continuing Education:

And you can contact Tony, buy his book, and subscribe to his email newsletter through his website:


Weddings During A Pandemic: Fashion and Fun with Heidi Tobler of Everything But the Groom

Weddings During A Pandemic: Fashion and Fun with Heidi Tobler of Everything But the Groom

October 13, 2020

When was the last time you visited the one-way section of the Fraser Highway in downtown Langley? It’s full of some of the cutest vintage shops, galleries, and yes, one very well-known bridal shop, Everything But The Groom!

Owned by Heidi Tobler, EBTG is about to celebrate their 15th anniversary! Let’s talk with Heidi about how the industry has changed in 15 years, what’s currently popular with bridal wear, what it takes to survive as a small business in downtown Langley, and why customer service is more important than ever.

Minimalism and Downsizing Your Entire Life with Shannon Persse of Mint Tiny Homes

Minimalism and Downsizing Your Entire Life with Shannon Persse of Mint Tiny Homes

October 6, 2020

Today, let’s talk about minimalism! If you’re one of the many people who’ve spent the last 6 months going through every closet, every drawer, every toybox, and your entire file cabinet, tossing out anything that isn’t essential, you may already be feeling the freedom that comes with minimizing the stuff in your life. If you don’t want to stop there, how much further can you take this minimalism thing?

Today we’re talking with Shannon Persse of Mint Tiny House Company. She and her husband Brian have spent the last few years building tiny homes and sending them all across Canada and the USA. She knows a thing or two about how to get by with less baggage! Shannon has some great insight for us about what motivates people to go tiny, and how to find out what’s really important.

Common pitfalls in relationship marketing, teaching as a marketing tool, and the Gratitude and Appreciation Summit with Jeanette Martin and Kathy Fester

Common pitfalls in relationship marketing, teaching as a marketing tool, and the Gratitude and Appreciation Summit with Jeanette Martin and Kathy Fester

September 28, 2020

In this conversation, we talk with Kathy and Jeanette about teaching as a marketing tool, the NUMBER ONE marketing action you should be doing - or is it the mistake you're making? - as an independent consultant, the "rules" about relationship marketing, and several common pitfalls that many of us still trip into when marketing our own businesses.


At any time, but especially now, it’s always the most effective thing to focus on what we CAN do, rather than what we CAN’T do, right? Meet Jeanette Martin and Kathy Fester, two locals from the Fraser Valley that have created the very first Gratitude and Appreciation Summit, coming this weekend, October 3rd, 2020.

What is this Summit? What this is really about is putting relationship marketing into practice and creating human connections. If you’re the kind of person who finds some business networking events hollow, perhaps not making true connections with people who share your values, then this event is perfect for you! Imagine an event where the attendees are business people and community members who bring their personal values, tools, and stories of gratitude and appreciation into their life and business practices. We do the best business with people who think like we do! Here’s a unique chance to listen to fantastic speakers who are using the values of gratitude and appreciation to grow their businesses, and to make connections with the other attendees who crave the same sort of opportunity.

Jeanette Martin is the energy behind MYBC Consulting, which stands for “Move Your Bum, Chum” Consulting, by the way! She teaches social media for business through Fraser Valley Continuing Education, and she offers private virtual marketing and relationship-building consulting to clients around the world. Kathy Fester, of K.I.T. (“Keep In Touch”) Communications, has been a K-to-12 teacher for over 30 years, and now specializes in speaking and teaching about relationship marketing. She is also an advocate for fine arts and music education, and uses her approach to arts education to coach clients across Canada, and internationally. Both now work together on the Gratitude and Appreciation Summit.

Mental Health for Moms with Kristyl Clark of

Mental Health for Moms with Kristyl Clark of

September 21, 2020

It can easily be argued that perhaps the most stressed out, exhausted, forgotten, and un-helped group in the last 6 months has been Moms. No matter how equitable your partner, and even if you are normally a Mom who works inside the home, any Mom knows that spending 24/7 with your children can be unhealthy for not only the Mom, but the children as well. When you take into account things like school closures, the fact that you can no longer simply take children with you everywhere you go, the disruption in childcare, and the description to child-focused activities and lessons - including playground closures - the last six months have been anywhere from difficult to downright impossible for most Moms.

Today we’re talking with Kristyl Clark, who is a Fraser Valley-based blogger and the owner of the blogazine She’s written a number of posts about the mental health of Moms during COVID. She also has excellent articles and resources for Moms that are always helpful, in case you haven’t visited her website.

Kristyl’s family includes her Hubby Jason, her own two Valley Girls Molly and Zoe, and her pups, Tucker and Hazel. Kristyl and her family always seem to always be out on some sort of crazy quest, from impromptu helicopter rides and wild river rafting adventures, to top-secret paranormal investigations and living the high-life of the Fraser Valley region.

Modern Modular Construction: Interview with Landon Sheck of

Modern Modular Construction: Interview with Landon Sheck of

September 1, 2020

By now, we are all sick of looking at the same four walls. You wouldn’t be the first one to fantasize about putting a little one-room building in your yard, a place to serve as a separate office, a rec room for your noisy teens, or even a meditation studio. Or perhaps (like me!) you want to downsize from your large home and move into a tiny house full time, making your life more about what’s outside your home, rather than the stuff that’s in it!

If full-time life in a tiny house is too great a leap, and you just want an extra room, that’s where Aux Box comes in! You’ve probably seen their little rooms on property in the Fraser Valley and didn’t even know it. Their all-in-one solution delivers a prefabricated standalone single room building to your property. No construction noise or mess, no substandard construction hassles, no mysterious costs. 

Bio of Landon Sheck

My guest today is Landon Sheck. Raised in Chemainus, “the little town that did” on beautiful Vancouver Island, a town that knows how to reinvent itself. Landon and his business partner Morgan Seeber build the energy efficient Auxbox indoors, and deliver them for one-day installation to any site in the lower mainland. Landon brings all of his hands-on construction experience and passion to his exciting new business, Aux Box.

Neighbours Helping Neighbours: Get To Know The Fat Cow And Oyster Bar

Neighbours Helping Neighbours: Get To Know The Fat Cow And Oyster Bar

August 28, 2020

This week we have another excellent example of small and local businesses that are keeping themselves afloat during COVID by helping other small and local businesses!

Emmy and Chris Roper, the owners of the Fat Cow and Oyster Bar in north Langley, off 201st ave and 96th ave, faced the same challenges that all small businesses did this past March. But, they met the challenge a little differently.

Sure, they offered takeout and pickup meals, like other restaurants. But they had two other projects that were different than any other restaurant. The first is that they continued to make free meals for seniors, which they then delivered. They did this out of their own pockets, even when they had to lay off most of their staff due to the pandemic, and when sales at the restaurant were down by over 65% from normal. They continued this until their restaurant re-opened for dine-in business.

The second is that because they normally worked with small producers and farmers, they realized these farmers no longer had any way to get their products to market. So, they started a new website called, where you can order local produce plus gourmet grocery items that they source through their wholesale channels, and have them delivered to your door. 

On top of all of this, this past Sunday August 23rd, they hosted a fundraiser for another local business, Chuckling Duckling Farm, who suffered a devastating fire on June 16th, and who are working hard to rebuild their physical location as well as their regular business. (You may have heard their story last week on this very podcast.)

BIO of Emmy Roper

Emmy was born and raised in the Fraser Valley, and is trained as a professional dancer. Emmy danced for the Vancouver Grizzlies and the Queen of England before starting a career in the restaurant industry in 2008. Her first restaurant job was where she met her husband Chris Roper. She excelled at every position she was thrown into, and it wasn’t long before she was running the restaurant on her own. In 2012 she co-opened The Fat Cow and Oyster Bar with Chris, and seamlessly took over as General Manager. Emmy is passionate about food, wine, and raising her family. When you come to The Fat Cow and Oyster Bar you will see her love spill out into the dining room. She has trained and assembled a fantastic team to offer an extraordinary dining experience here in the Fraser Valley.

Duckling or Phoenix? The Story of Chuckling Duckling Farm in Fort Langley BC

Duckling or Phoenix? The Story of Chuckling Duckling Farm in Fort Langley BC

August 19, 2020

If you need to hear a powerful story of a phoenix rising from the ashes, this week’s episode will give you a lot of reasons to be thankful.

There are many reasons to start a business, but most of us create them to solve problems. Often, it’s because we couldn’t find a solution already out there, so we make our own. That’s exactly what happened to Leah Chevallier, of Chuckling Duckling Farm in Fort Langley. Her sensitive skin sent her on a hunt for quality skin care, but she wasn’t able to find something that was locally made, extremely high quality, and that came from a company that valued low-footprint packaging and manufacturing methods. Chuckling Duckling started in the heart of Fort Langley BC, and is part of a very small community of business owners in the area. They have all grown to support each other in ways that you can’t even begin to imagine. And Leah is here to tell us about the ways that has helped her in this especially tough year.

Leah’s story is an especially passionate one, because what happened to her earlier this year, during the worst of the COVID-19 lockdown, is the stuff most business owners have in their nightmares. On Tuesday, June 16th, her business suffered a devastating fire that destroyed virtually everything in the shop, including not only her inventory, but her manufacturing setup as well. Today, let’s hear from Leah about how she not only coped with this loss, but is now growing because of this situation, with the incredible help of her neighbours and fellow business owners. A true Fraser Valley success story!

Housing in the Fraser Valley

Housing in the Fraser Valley

July 7, 2020

It’s very possible that you’ve spent more time at home this year than you have in the last few years combined. Most of us have been self-isolating, and nesting into our houses, apartments, condos, and any other place we call home. And it looks like we’re going to be spending a lot more time there in the next few months. This has been an excellent opportunity for all of us to re-evaluate our priorities and examine what we need from our homes, everything from rearranging furniture for the 100th time, all the way to deciding if we want a new home of a different sort. What if we want a larger home, or possibly want something smaller as we age and the kids leave home? And, what about those who have chosen a less traditional definition of their home? What are our options?

Many of us have heard about options like tiny houses, co-housing, or perhaps we want something more rural and large enough to accommodate all the members of our extended family under one roof. What trends currently affect the housing market, and what are the possible options for housing that our experts have seen lately?

Today’s guest is a woman passionate about housing. She now spends her time working to bring experts in housing and economics and lifestyle together to help people understand the broader range of options. I’m so glad to be here today speaking with Liza Rogers, the Founder of WREN, the Women’s Real Estate Network, and the producer of the Victoria Real Estate Investment Expo.

The Future Of The Events Industry In The Fraser Valley, Interview With Brad Styba of TRADEX and Barb Nelson of Events Plus Management

The Future Of The Events Industry In The Fraser Valley, Interview With Brad Styba of TRADEX and Barb Nelson of Events Plus Management

June 23, 2020

When was the last time you went to a concert? A huge rock concert in an arena, or a small jazz quartet at a local club? What about a movie in a theatre? How about a food festival? A trade show or conference? Comic book festivals, wine and beer competitions, and yes, even the PNE are all put on hold this year. And many of us really miss those attending those events! The event industry in Canada is a $2 billion a year industry and employs over 12,000 people. This does not include the closely affiliated tourism industry, which is worth an additional $104 billion per year, and supporting the employment of roughly 1 in 10 people nationally in Canada. More than 22 million people came to Canada last year to attend events and contribute to the local economy. This industry has come to a screeching halt, which has cost many secondary and tertiary businesses dearly in the Fraser Valley.

Today we’re going to talk to two industry experts, people who have worked in this business for a very long time in the FV. Brad Styba is the Managing Director, Events & Business Development at TRADEX, which at 120,000 square feet is the largest events venue of its kind in the Fraser Valley. Barb Nelson is the owner of Events Plus Management, which is the owner of the Fraser valley Wedding Festivals and The Westcoast Small Home Expo, as well as other events. Barb is a Langley Native, and has been in the business for over 20 years. She has been involved with several organizations that run festivals and conventions all over the Valley.


Disclosure: Some promotional mentions may be in this podcast. Host is affiliated with the guests and their companies.

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