A Kamloops councillor and his business partner have purchased venerable Zack’s Coffee Teas and Gifts downtown, assuming control of the store at Victoria Street and Fourth Avenue on April 1.
Denis Walsh said he and Todd Mason wanted to purchase the coffee shop to make improvements and inject optimism for the future of the downtown core.
“We feel that that location is underperforming and it has lots of potential,” Walsh told KTW.
Walsh also owns MovieMart at St. Paul Street and Fourth Avenue.
Mason said minor improvements have already be made, including seating, a new front display and cooler space. Major renovations have been teased down the road, though no details have been provided as to what to expect at the coffee shop in the future.
“It’s going to be more vibrant,” Mason said.
Meanwhile, the coffee shop has come under some fire on social media for posting a sign that state said it will not be honouring gift certificates issued prior to April 1, when ownership changed hands.
Walsh explained the business sale did not include money from the gift certificates that was received by the previous owner, Blackwell Roasting Company.
Walsh said it was a detail missed during completion of the sale.
“It’s the previous owner that accepted that money and they haven’t reimbursed us for the money they received for those gift certificates,” he said.
Asked if it is fair for customers to lose out in that situation, Walsh likened it to a company that closes it doors and moves out of town. He said he does not know how many gift certificates are in circulation, though Mason said the previous owner’s son, who managed the coffee shop, told him not many certificates have been sold.
Walsh said the business will collect names and phone numbers of customers with gift certificates. Once a list has been compiled, he said he will contact the previous owner and ask to be compensated so the gift certificates can be honoured.
Walsh said customers can call the coffee shop at 250-374-6487 or pop into the café to provide their information.