Business

Crepes trump Coke

French WWOOFer Ilya Bassain makes a crepe at Alpaca Quest. - NEIL HORNER PHOTO
French WWOOFer Ilya Bassain makes a crepe at Alpaca Quest.
— image credit: NEIL HORNER PHOTO

It won't be long until you'll be able to get a Coke at the building that once housed the iconic Coca-Cola Diner in Qualicum Bay.

But the newly-opened Alpaca Quest Gift and Coffee already has far more to offer than just soda.

Owner Sue Werbowy said the cafe opened just three weeks ago and has already made a name for itself with its delicious crepes, which are made right out front, so everyone can see.

The Werbowys, Jim and Sue, purchased the building in 2007 and wanted to use it to host a day program for brain injured people. However, because of driving distances involved, it didn't work out.

The couple owns Alpaca Acres at Arrowsmith, where they raise alpacas for their prized fibre, which is lighter than down and is used in duvets.

They are enthusiastic supporters of the Willing Workers On Organic Farms (WWOOF) movement, hosting people from around the world, both at their farm and now at their restaurant.

The restaurant is largely laid out like a large, multi-level living room, with comfortable furniture designed to make people feel at home.

"The idea is people can sit and talk and visit," Werbowy said. "We want them to be comfortable. We are going to start bringing in musicians or painters to share what they do. We want people to be able to walk in with a book, have a cup of tea, some warm bread and jam and feel comfortable. We are shooting for people to walk in and say, 'Ahhhhh.'"

To this end, she said, if groups want a living room-like venue to rent for an afternoon, this option will be available.

She said her plan is to offer three or four very high quality pastries, as well as soups and homemade bread on offer, but what's really making news in the area are the crepes.

"We fell in love with crepes," she said. "We were in Las Vegas and there's a part that's set up like a French village. They had three crepe makers and people were lining up for 10 minutes and they could watch the crepes being made in front of them."

This feature, she said, is front and centre in Alpaca Quest.

And the Coke? Werbowy said it will be available, along with other fizzy drinks, in the near future.

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