When Ron Buschgens began looking around for a business opportunity on Vancouver Island while he was still living in Australia, he had no idea that his future would land him in Sidney.
Or that a former neighbour in Queensland, Australia would be the one to get him here.
Buschgens is the new owner of Lolly Gobble Sweet Shop in downtown Sidney. He purchased the business in September of 2015 and officially took over the candy store on January 1, 2016. Turns out, he knows the previous owner — Ann Roche — quite well.
A native of Calgary, Buschgens moved to Australia in 1994 to work as an institutional designer right out of university. He would meet his future wife, Kaylie there and move to a neighbourhood on Magnetic Island in Queensland.
It was there that he met a neighbour — Roche — who even helped them design a new home. The two families would eventually move away from each other and it wasn’t until Buschgens, who was now working in the construction industry, began contemplating a move to B.C. and Vancouver Island that they would be reunited.
He said he was looking to buy a business for his wife, figuring he could remain in his field after a move back to Canada. That’s when he discovered Lolly Gobble listed for sale — and lo and behold, it was owned by their former neighbour.
“She also sold us on Sidney,” Buschgens said of Roche. “It’s a wonderful place to live.”
He added Roche has been helpful with the transition, as well as in planning for some updates to the shop later this year. He said he is enjoying a different career, running the shop until his wife can join him (they have a daughter who is finishing school in Australia). Buschgens said he might even stick with the candy shop after all.
“I’ve never had a shop before, but I’ve always thought that it would be fun to have a retail store. It’s a very positive environment here and I enjoy going to work again.”