Marina Oldfield Lindsay of Muffet and Louisa prepares to toast guests in welcome during a Sidney-wide business open house on Nov. 25.

Marina Oldfield Lindsay of Muffet and Louisa prepares to toast guests in welcome during a Sidney-wide business open house on Nov. 25.

Beacon-area biz hosts open house

Evening event also kicks off raffle supporting hospital foundation

A handful of businesses are keeping their doors open late Nov. 25 for a Sidney-wide open house.

“It’s the kickoff to Christmas shopping. By that date our stores are decorated. It’s a way to entertain your clients before they get into the mayhem of their own Christmas parties,” said Muffet Billyard-Leake, owner of Muffet and Louisa.

“We do it every year on the last Friday of November. This year there are 30 merchants on board. It will include everybody from the top of the avenue to the bottom, basically.”

The open house stemmed from an August meeting. Beacon Avenue merchants had begun to converse on a regular basis, and created a loose affiliation that has blossomed into planning events together.

“We have great communication and we’re trying very hard to give more profile to the stores on the side streets,” Billyard-Leake said. “In Sidney, people tend not to go down the side streets, but there’s some great merchants there.”

Muffet and Louisa began years ago hosting their open house, which includes snacks and discounts for starting Christmas shopping early, and many merchants look to follow suit.

The evening also marks the start of the store’s raffle supporting the Saanich Peninsula Hospital Foundation.

“I think that it’s going to be lovely — we’re hoping for a nice night,” Billyard-Leake said.

The retail open house runs next Friday from 5 to 8 p.m.

reporter@peninsulanewsreview.com