Local business story of the year: Kamloops’ North Shore sees development boom – Kamloops News

Castanet is revisiting the top stories of an eventful 2023. Today, for our Kamloops business story of the year, we look at a trend of increased development activity taking place north of the river.

A drive along the Tranquille corridor past a number of construction sites confirms a trend seen in City of Kamloops data — the North Shore is alive with development, even on track to outpace other parts of the city.

Joshua Knaak of ARPA Investments, the development firm behind several projects on the North Shore, said he’s seen the area change since the company’s first neighbourhood build got underway about seven years ago.

“One of the things that’s funny is now we’re starting to hear questions about parking, where are people going to park. I think that’s a terrific issue to have here on the North Shore, because if we have parking issues, it means we actually have attractions,” Knaak said.

“Obviously it’s something that needs to get resolved, but I think that it’s a great problem to have.”

The City of Kamloops’ development, engineering and sustainability division reports that in 2021, it received 13 development permit applications for the North Shore and 39 for the rest of the city.

In 2022, the city received 18 North Shore development permit applications and 42 for the rest of the city.

As of last month, the city said it has received 21 development permit applications for the North Shore so far this year, compared to 19 for the rest of the city.

Jeremy Heighton, executive director of the North Shore Business Improvement Association, said he expects about seven buildings to go up in the area in the next couple of years — potentially as many as 11. He noted developments take some time to rise, and the process behind those specific builds started years ago.

“We’re seeing a draw to the North Shore for a number of reasons. Number one, when you’re putting [tens of millions] into a project, I think you need to know the community is going to embrace that project,” Heighton said.

“Here on the North Shore, I think we’re very open to the next steps.”

That observation is shared by Knaak, who moved his family to the North Shore in 2016, where they “fell in love with the neighbourhood and with the potential that we saw.”

Knaak said he noticed underused land on the North

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How Mike’s Hot Honey built a $40 million a year business

Mike Kurtz doesn’t like to travel without his briefcase. 

The crimson Franzen case is the same model as the iconic briefcase from Quentin Tarantino’s film “Pulp Fiction”. But unlike in the 1994 film, everyone knows exactly what’s inside. 

That’s because Kurtz is eager to show off how he had the suitcase wired to light up just like in the movie, with the built-in bulbs illuminating the amber hue of bottles of hot honey that bear his name. 

Indeed, the reason Kurtz brings the suitcase with him while he travels is so that he can spread the gospel of Mike’s Hot Honey, the spicy honey that has taken pizzerias by storm.

He loads the briefcase up with five 12-ounce bottles before every trip. Kurtz likes to give a bottle to the taxi driver who takes him to the airport, and then hands out a few to the check-in agents who handle his bags. By the time he gets to the security line, his briefcase is empty. 

Kurtz likes to give out bottles of honey from his “Pulp Fiction” inspired briefcase.

Raffi Paul, Mickey Todiwala | CNBC Make It

“I think there’s something about briefcases. You don’t see them around too often,” Kurtz says of his favorite marketing prop. “So whenever you do, there’s this subliminal message sent out to the people around you that whatever’s in the briefcase is of value. It’s gotta be important if you’re carrying it in a briefcase, right?”

Even now, nearly 20 years after he first started experimenting with making hot honey in his college apartment, Kurtz has an obvious passion for the product. And it’s his enthusiasm that inadvertently spawned a business that has captured a 2.5% share of the $1 billion U.S. honey market.

Here’s how Kurtz built up Mike’s Hot Honey from just a hobby into a company poised to bring in more than $40 million over the next year.

‘You know what? This might be the life for me’

A college-aged Kurtz in Brazil, where he found the inspiration for Mike’s Hot Honey.

Mike’s Hot Honey

From an early age, Kurtz had a desire to be a “condiment man.” He had a chance run-in with Larry Raymond, co-creator of the popular Sweet Baby Ray’s barbeque sauce, during his freshman year of college. The interaction, he says, left him feeling inspired. 

“I realized that condiments truly elevate food,” Kurtz tells CNBC

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