The Blind Bay Village Grocer Team

James Inglis

James is the President of BBVG and has over 20 years of retail management experience. He is a people person and looks forward to working with his team and helping his loyal customers each day. He is proud of BBVG’s large selection of local and made-in-BC products such as meat, produce, coffee, baked goods and dairy. James is known to go above and beyond for his customers by delivering groceries to them and he even helps them with chores such as garbage and snow removal. In his spare time, James loves to be outdoors with his family fishing, hunting, mountain biking or skiing. He also loves coaching hockey and baseball.

Mervin Ocampo
Store Manager

Mervin joined us in May 2022 as a butcher, where he worked for 18 months, he was then promoted to Meat Manager, and is now our Store Manager.

Mervin is originally from Manila in the Philippines where he met his wife and built his family. He migrated to Canada at the age of 35.

Mervin loves working at Village Grocer as it allows him to engage with the locals so he can learn their meat preferences. Mervin wants his customers to know that each and every meat cutter in his department is more than willing to cater to their every need even if they think it is impossible! His team will do their best to deliver such a request. For instance, they can customize orders to based on the size of the oven, or the number of guests attending a meal. He also wants his customers to know that his department carries a huge selection of fresh in-store made sausages and they are still adding new flavors as new ideas come from their playful minds!

In his spare time, Mervin, his wife and two children love to explore BC, picnicking at Blind Bay/Sorrento Community Park, in the summer and cooking and trying new foods (except garlic!).

Mervin and his team can be reached at 250-804-4972.

Kieran Toole
Assistant Store Manager & Data Analytics Generalist

Kieran is our hard working Assistant Store Manager & General Analytics Generalist, originally from White Rock, but he has spent most of his life in the Shuswap and considers it his home. Kieran goes above and beyond for his customers and can provide custom floral orders or order in cases of fruit for customers during canning season. His department offers seasonally grown produce locally, from apples, cherries and stone fruit grown in Oliver to corn grown in Tappen. They also make their own homemade salsa! When asked what he loves about working at BBVG, Kieran said “our friendly staff and the opportunities for growth.”. In his spare time, Kieran loves to go mountain biking, reading and relaxing around a campfire with friends.

Doug Nakano
Liquor Department Manager

Doug used to manage Blind Bay Village Grocer for many years and since then, has been with us as a contractor and advisor. He has most recently assumed the role of one of our busiest areas, the liquor department.

With 29 years of experience in the food service industry, he specializes in delivering and maintaining excellent customer service. Doug believes that leadership is not a position or title, it is action and example.

Brenda Szlabon
Perishable Manager

Brenda is originally from Langley. She loves exploring what the Shuswap has to offer and finding great spots to walk her dog. She has over 30 years of retail experience and most notably, she was the manager at our sister store in Sorrento. Brenda would like everyone to have the best shopping experience in the store and if she can help in any way, please let her know. She hopes you will always leave with a smile on your face!

Lee Toole
Perishable Manager & Technology Generalist

Lee is our hard-working Perishable Manager & Technology Generalist, originally from Port Alice. He wants customers to know that we have a wide variety of Asian and other ethnic groceries and cuisine available in our store. Lee prides himself on going to extreme lengths to satisfy our customers’ requests and looks forward to conquering the unique set of challenges he is faced with daily. He also loves the people he works with. In his spare time, Lee enjoys hiking, mountain biking, quadding, playing guitar and is an avid computer techie.

Candace Ahlm
Produce Manager

Candace was born and raised in the Salmon Arm/Shuswap area.

She loves working at Village Grocer as she appreciates the collaborative and customer-focused environment. The opportunity to engage with customers, curate an exceptional produce selection, and work alongside a dedicated team makes every day rewarding for her. The emphasis on community and quality aligns with Candace’s commitment to provide outstanding service in the grocery industry.

Candace wants her customers to know that her department takes pride in offering:

  1. Local Artisanal Produce: They collaborate with nearby farmers and artisans to showcase unique, locally sourced fruits, vegetables, and specialty items, supporting the community.
  2. Weekly Produce Picks: Her team curates a different selection of fresh produce, featuring seasonal produce at its peak, along with suggested recipes to inspire culinary adventures.
  3. Fresh-Cut Options: For added convenience, they offer a variety of fresh-cut and pre-packaged produce options, saving customers time without compromising freshness.

Candace wants her customers to feel free to ask her team for more details of explore these offerings during their next visit to Blind Bay Billage Grocer!

In her spare time, Candace loves to spend time with her son and exploring nature especially waterfalls, boating on Shuswap Lake, embarking on scenic hikes, and connecting with the vibrant local scene by attending events that celebrate the Shuswap community!

Candace and her team can be reached at 250-675-2046 ext. 7

Stephen Johnston
Meat Department Manager

Stephen is our Meat Department Manager, originally from Owen Sound, Ontario. Stephen loves the family atmosphere at Blind Bay Village Grocer and prides himself in taking care of special requests in the meat department for his customers. In his spare time, he loves to fish, hunt and work on his vehicles and toys.


Roy is our extraordinary Chef, originally from the Philippines. He wants customers to know that there is always a new menu in the deli, samples for tasting, great presentation and it’s always fresh. Roy always has a big smile for his customers and is on a first name basis with most. He is grateful that the BBVG team is friendly and helpful and he also likes to share his knowledge with them. In his spare time, Roy loves to go boating, swimming, and creating spectacular fruit and vegetable arrangements.

Night Manager

Bill is our dedicated Night Manager, originally from Langley. Bill enjoys assisting elderly clients with carry-outs. He also enjoys the atmosphere and his short commute to BBVG. He love the sunshine, building snow castles and floating in the lake.

Office Administrator

Robin is our helpful Office Administrator and has lived in Blind Bay for 13 years. Robin loves the camaraderie at the store. She is married, has four daughters, loves to golf and enjoys the sun and lake with family and friends.

Nageshwani (Linda)
Deli Supervisor

Linda is our outstanding Deli Supervisor, originally from the Fiji Islands! She loves meeting and getting to know her customers. She has gone out of her way to make platters on the spot for them. She wants her customer to know that the deli provides catering.  In her spare time she loves cooking and jet skiing.

Grocery Clerk

Gene is our loyal Grocery Clerk, originally from South Burnaby, and has been with us for many years. He wants customers to know that BBVG offers a home delivery service for our less mobile customers. Gene always goes out of his way to help our customers and has even changed their flat tires! He loves working with all the great staff at BBVG (plus the liquor sampling when he is off duty!). In his spare time, he rides his motorcycle, walks and hikes with his dog, and explores the backroads on his motorbike or 4 x 4.

Grocery Clerk

Daniel is one of our friendly grocery workers, who loves to play soccer. Daniel wants customers to know how great the online shopping service is and that you can have your groceries delivered right to your door! What he loves most about working at BBVG is that everyone is so friendly and nice. In his spare time, Daniel enjoys fishing during the summer and playing hockey, baseball, and of course, soccer!


Jocelyn is originally from Vancouver Island and has lived here for many years. She enjoys hunting, fishing and nature in our beautiful region. Jocelyn likes working at the Sorrento store because of all the lovely faces that come through the store daily! She loves taking customers’ orders personally to best serve their request and also recommends the store’s beautiful breads and delicious donuts that are baked daily! When Jocelyn is not at work, you will find her ATVing, hunting and camping.


Sue is originally from southern Ontario and moved to Blind Bay in 2020. Sue loves dogs, crafting, scrapbooking, and card making. She also loves to paddleboard, kayak, golf and spend time with friends. Sue loves working at the Sorrento store as it is a friendly, inviting, and helpful work environment. Sue always tries to go above and beyond her customer’s expectations. Sue would like customers to know that they can pre-order any bakery products, so they can have it when they want and need it.