Joyce Beaton

Chaos reigns at café anniversary bash

Café Brie owners mark first year in business in Qualicum Beach with ceilidh, folk concert

It only made sense for Donna  McLeod to invite the local ceilidh band Celtic Chaos to play at the first anniversary celebration of her Qualicum Beach coffee shop and diner.

After all, the group was the first to play there after she and her husband purchased Cafe Brie a year ago.

“When I bought the café, they were already scheduled to play for St. Patrick’s Day the next month,” said McLeod. “They’re welcome to come play here any time they want.”

It was a momentous evening for McLeod, who runs the family café with her husband, Blaine Griffith, and children Janean and Wayne.

She had worked in food service for years, but Cafe Brie is the first business she has owned.

“Five years ago, when I came to visit the Island with my mom, I remember coming by here,” McLeod said. “It was closed, but I peeked in the windows and told my mom, ‘Someday, I hope this is mine.’”

In December of 2014, Blaine spied Cafe Brie listed for sale on the online classified ad site Craigslist.

“I called, they hemmed and hawed, and finally we agreed on a price,” McLeod said.

She becomes the third owner of the café, which serves hot drinks and is also licensed for alcohol sales.

Cafe Brie, open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday, offers lunch specials and is available to rent for special events and parties, while boasting a big-screen television.

Saturday night’s anniversary party was headlined by three-fifths of Celtic Chaos, with Joyce Beaton on fiddle and cello, Dave Barta on accordion and Joe Spinelli on upright bass and guitar.

They quickly got the audience into a sing-along, clap-along mood with a mix of Celtic, folk and sea chanty songs.

For more information on Cafe Brie, call 250-594-2526 or visit www.cafebrie.ca.

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