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Feeling the squeeze: Penticton tries to explain choosing lemonade stand over The Peach

City also awarded Sudbury Beach concession to Nauti Dog Café operated by the Gallaghers
The city of Penticton didn’t renew the lease of the Peach to Diana Stirling and instead gave it to a company out of Alberta. (The Peach photo)

The City of Penticton has released information about why they awarded the contract to run the Peach concession to a new operator, Family Squeezed Lemonade.

Diana Stirling, who has been running the popular Peach ice cream concession took to Facebook Sunday night to say she was heartbroken to learn she was not chosen to run the Peach.

“Despite all best efforts, plans, investments, ideas and a big peach of a vision, the Peach as you know it today was not awarded the contract by the city of Penticton for the next three years,” Stirling announced on the The Peach Facebook page Sunday night. Stirling also owns Local Landing Adventure Park and Lickity Splitz and is co-owner of Coyote Cruises.

The Peach’s crazy shakes and cones that have birthday cake, sprinkles and brownie toppings were legendary across B.C. and Canada and drew line ups all summer long. The Peach has been a major tourist attraction for decades.

READ MORE: The Peach is no more - Penticton awards lease to lemonade company

Once the news broke, Pentictonites expressed their outrage even creating a petition on that has garnered over 2,500 signatures in eight hours to keep it The Peach.

Family Squeezed Lemonade is a family-run business with operations in several cities across North America and as close as Kelowna, said the release. The company is based out of Alberta but has family operated businesses everywhere including the Okanagan, said the city press release.

The menu will include fresh-pressed fruit and herb lemonade, handmade family frozen iced pops, street bubble waffle sundaes, ice cream or cookie dough waffle cones and cookie dough ice cream burritos.

“We are excited to be in Penticton and bring all things local and peachy with our intentionally created Okanagan treats,” said company representative Jennifer Andrews. “Hiring local people, using local ingredients, and supporting local businesses has always been our passion.”

The decision to award the Peach concession to a new tenant for 2022 followed the city’s public Request for Proposal Process (RFP), which attracted a total of three bids, with the successful bid going to the highest bidder and best proposal, said city staff.

The decision was not made by city council but by staff alone.

The process for renewing and selecting tenants for each of the city’s three seasonal concessions occurs every three years.

For 2022, there were three submissions for the Peach concession, with each application evaluated by a committee, with a decision based on the following four criteria - business plan, experience, products and pricing and license fee. Based on these criteria, the successful proponent was Family Squeezed Lemonade, said the city’s news release.

In addition to awarding the 2022 Peach concession contract, the city has also awarded a contract to run the Sudbury Beach concession to the Nauti Dog Café, to be operated by Randy and Karen Gallagher, May through September and offering cold beverages, baked goods, lunch options and ice cream.

READ MORE: Penticton’s Nautical Dog Café closing its doors at Skaha Marina

Skaha East concession has not been awarded to anyone yet, said the city.

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Monique Tamminga

About the Author: Monique Tamminga

Monique brings 20 years of award-winning journalism experience to the role of editor at the Penticton Western News. Of those years, 17 were spent working as a senior reporter and acting editor with the Langley Advance Times.
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