Year in Review: Out with the old, in with the new for businesses in Semiahmoo Peninsula

White Rock Brake and Wheel is closing at the end of August after a remarkable 46-year-long run as a family business. (Sobia Moman photo)
Mary's Garden owners pose for a photo in front of their storefront on their last day. (Photo: Anna Burns)
White Rock-South Surrey Meals On Wheels coordinator Pat Patton (at right) joins volunteers picking up meals from outside the Evergreen Campus of Care kitchens. Alex Browne photo

It was a year of change – including many endings – in the White Rock and South Surrey business community.

Throughout 2022, the cities bid a farewell to numerous established businesses and organizations for reasons linked — unsurprisingly — to costs.

Uptown landmark, White Rock Brake and Wheel closed shop after nearly 50 years in operation by generations of the same family. The old-school car shop closed its doors at the end of August due to the rising cost of leasing the Prospect Avenue property.

The shop was started by the late Eric Ellingsen, a White Rock native, in 1976. After graduating from Semiahmoo Secondary, Eric got his certification from a local car dealership, leading him to lease the property that would become the Ellingsen’s shop for the next 46 years.

One thing’s for certain, the handshake agreement with a lease signed on the back of a napkin the business started with is not as common a practice as it once was.

READ MORE: ‘Old-school’ White Rock business of 46 years says a final farewell

Next to depart was the vital Meals on Wheels program for the South Surrey and White Rock community.

Meals on Wheels delivers low-cost, hot meals to a largely senior clientele who are unable to cook for themselves or to leave their home for food. For many clients, the interaction between the volunteers delivering their meals three days a week was their only conversation of the day.

Because they were a small organization and not officially registered, Meals on Wheels did not qualify for many grants. The money they received was nowhere near enough to have a significant effect, Pat Patton of MOW told PAN in October.

With gas prices reaching record highs this year, leading to fewer volunteers, and food-prices rising, the writing was on the wall for the 50-year-old non-profit service.

READ MORE: Inflation, lack of volunteers shuts down Meals on Wheels in South Surrey, White Rock

Since then, the clients from the organization have been taken on by Cloverdale Kitchen’s mobile meals program.

If you’re not reminiscing on the good ol’ days yet, recall that a well-known South Surrey produce farm bid its founding family farewell after it was sold to new owners. Mary’s Garden had been in the Nootebos family since 1966.Jack and Mary Nootebos operated the farm until 1995, when their two sons took over.

At the end of October when the final member of the Nootebos family involved with the business, closed the doors for the last time.However, Mary’s Garden will continue to operate under the same name, run by a different South Surrey family.

READ MORE: Nootebos’ family closes Mary’s Garden for the final time

White Rock Medical clinic was also scheduled to closed its doors Dec. 29 after a whopping 77 years of serving the community. All the doctors at the clinic have reportedly decided to stay local, moving on to work at different practices and leaving none of their current patients without a doctor.

local businessSurreyWhite Rock