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Shuswap beachfront café auctions off hard-to-find hot sauce for charity

Community-minded Canoe Beach Café to hold second auction online for fans of the fiery sauce
Kim Stasiuk (left) from Shuswap Paws Rescue Society receives the $120 donation from Joyce Dunlop, raised from Canoe Beach Café’s Sriracha hot sauce auction for charity. (Jimmy Dunlop photo)

A shortage of a popular sauce in the Shuswap had residents bidding on the hot commodity, all in the name of charity.

Jimmy Dunlop, co-owner of Canoe Beach Café, was reading about the shortage of Sriracha hot sauce last week, specifically the name brand Huy Fong, “which is apparently considered the best,” he said, when an idea formed.

He checked the café’s fridge and found a large-sized bottle of the sauce he had purchased for a dish the café no longer serves.

Dunlop posted a photo of the sauce to social media with a caption joking “I know what I have. No lowball offers,” and pledging the value of the best bid would be donated to Shuswap Paws Rescue Society, a local, 100 per cent volunteer-run animal rescue. The café also donates its bottles and cans to the rescue for return.

“Just my sense of humour,” said Dunlop. “Over the next few days, there were dozens of replies which made it interesting trying to keep up with people’s bids.”

Dunlop thought to cap the auction at the highest bid at the time, $50, when he took a closer look at the bottle and, although it was full, saw the seal underneath the cap was broken.

“I felt horrible but then I thought, let’s have some fun with this. I commented to all the bidders about the new developments that the bottle had been opened, equating it to how a ‘game-used’ NHL hockey stick only grew in value,” he laughed.

Bidding went on and the eventual winner, Joanna Bickle, topped off her own leading bid of $100 with $20 extra in the spirit of charity, donating a total of $120 to Shuswap Paws.

“When I saw the opportunity to bid on the bottle I thought it would be a fun way to donate to a good cause and get something I haven’t been able to get in a while,” said Bickle. “My husband and I have been strong supporters of the SPCA before and I love animals.”

“Even if it’s the last bottle I ever get, it’ll be a good story to go with it,” she laughed.

Canoe Beach Café will be hosting a second Sriracha auction this week, selling a bottle of the sauce donated by Tee Bruce-Gallant, with the profits again going to Shuswap Paws.

Dunlop said if anyone has a bottle they’d like to auction off for charity, Canoe Beach Café would happily facilitate the sale.

This is the Dunlops’ seventh year running the cafe and water sports rental unit, and Jimmy and his wife Joyce are known for giving back to the community. Their Canoe Cares Project, which rewards kids and adults with free ice cream for getting caught doing good deeds, aligns with their promise to ‘not only take care of our little piece of paradise but those within it.’ The pair also give free ice cream to expecting mothers on ‘Moms to Be Mondays’ and to first responders on Fridays.

The couple recently announced their business is up for sale or partnership.

“To our amazing customers…don’t worry. We are not going anywhere until we know you will be in good hands,” reads the Canoe Beach Café and Water Sports Facebook post.

Interested parties can inquire directly at 403-618-9704 during open hours or at

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Rebecca Willson

About the Author: Rebecca Willson

I took my first step into the journalism industry in November 2022 when I moved to Salmon Arm to work for the Observer and Eagle Valley News. I graduated with a journalism degree in December 2021 from MacEwan University in Edmonton.
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