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Indigenous café opens in Port Alberni – Alberni Valley News

Jan 24, 2024

Kuu-us Café and Gifts raises funds for Kuu-us Crisis Line Society

A new café and gift store that opened in Port Alberni at the beginning of the year offers a unique menu of traditional Nuu-chah-nulth food—and raises funds for a local non-profit.

Kuu-us Café and Gifts, located on Gertrude Street, officially opened to the public on Jan. 15. Todd Flaro, manager of the store, says the response from the community has been positive so far.

“And the food’s amazing,” he said. “We’ve sold out every day we’ve been open.”

The café is located in the former home of Pot Luck Ceramics, in a cottage at 4473 Gertrude Street. Pot Luck Ceramics, owned by Helma Swinkels, was a “profit for non-profit” enterprise that raised funds for Ty Watson House Hospice. The volunteer-run Pot Luck Ceramics was forced to close in 2020, a victim of the COVID-19 pandemic. Swinkels reinvented the store into a smaller social enterprise called Bibi J’s, but by 2022 she was looking to retire.

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