An exciting surge of new wineries, breweries and distilleries are helping put Kelowna on the map and local concrete artisans, Versatile Concrete, are excited to play their part creating a distinct look and feel for these ventures.
Capping off a busy year at the Kelowna-based custom concrete company amid turbulent global times, owner and artisan Richard Dueck celebrates the mark that Kelowna is leaving on the brewing and distilling industries.
“Kelowna is becoming a destination for brewers of all kinds, and the fact that there’s so many of them adds to the draw. Wine regions as an example exist successfully because you can see so many in a concentrated region,” said Dueck.
In a rich landscape of wineries, breweries and distilleries, Dueck has been helping establishments uniquely express themselves through custom concrete features for Red Bird Brewing, Urban Distilleries, Office Brewery, Barn Owl Brewing, and Crown and Thieves.
As for why custom concrete décor, the answer is simple: the versatility. “Concrete as a medium has the sky as the limit,” Dueck explained. “There’s so much you can do with it that sets itself apart. Concrete – we can cast it into anything we want, in any manner of unique, one-of-a-kind shapes.”
It’s an effort to create unique experiences and draw with the help of local artisans. “Everyone wants to set themselves apart and create something that makes people want to come back,” said Dueck. “That’s where we come in.”
When it comes to durability or concern over scratches and staining, these drinkeries are also making a sound decision when it comes to tasting or bar elements. A proprietary finish leaves custom concrete counters with a sophisticated feel that is low maintenance and built to last.
At the same time, Dueck has seen an explosion in home improvement projects coming across his workshop. He credits this to time home during the pandemic. “People haven’t been spending their travel budgets and have doubled down on their home projects,” he explained. “Their homes have become that much more of a priority.”
One feature that Dueck has seen more interest in is arguably the coziest: the fireplace. “We’re being asked to do a lot of unique fireplace designs,” he said. With that increase, Dueck has been spending time on research and development creating new, unique textures for custom concrete fireplace surrounds. “Our designers come to us with their inspiration and we add our own element to that and help them achieve that goal,” he explained. “We endeavour to steer clear of patterns and repetitions, so each piece is unique.”
Just as previously, Dueck saw an increase in demand for concrete fire bowls, the artisan believes that these requests are a reflection of people’s need to connect with each other more than ever.
About Versatile Concrete
Versatile Concrete has 20 years experience bringing visions to life in precast concrete. Every artist has their medium and for this team, a high-strength proprietary concrete blend is it. Working collaboratively, Versatile Concrete’s specialty is bringing your out-of-the-box ideas to life.