Leaving behind corporate careers in big city Vancouver to open an authentic gelato shop in Kelowna may sound like a dream, but for Kevin Bojda and Victor Laderoute, it is the reality.
Kevin and Victor moved from downtown Vancouver in February 2017, opening QB Gelato at 1884 Dayton Street in June of the same year. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, you have to try their delicious treats! They also make more than ‘just’ gelato. Serving lunch Monday through Friday, they specialize in soup, bread, and an ever-changing dessert menu, as well.
Through all that they produce, Kevin and Victor are committed to supporting local and using real, raw fresh ingredients. Their soups and gelato are all made from scratch. In fact, they’re pretty unique in this regard, with only 2% of the overall gelato industry committed to this practice.
That commitment is part of what inspired the couple to move to the Okanagan. The availability of local ingredients – from fresh milk to a plethora of herbs, berries, fruit, nuts, and wine - meant Kelowna was a perfect spot to turn their gelato dream into a reality.
Of course, it wasn’t solely the local ingredients that brought Kevin and Victor to the Okanagan, as they admit to being attracted to the topography of the area - the mountains, the valley - and of course, the lake! When they’re not at QB, they love exploring the entire Okanagan. Whether it is discovering new wineries, hiking trails or farms.
Like many locals and visitors, the duo is a fan of the culinary and beverage scene in Kelowna. You might find them at Fixx Café enjoying a Wards Cider, at a big, established winery like Mission Hill Family Estate Winery, or at a more boutique spot like TH wines in Summerland. Ultimately, they are passionate about supporting local and enjoying the beauty our region has to offer.
Not that it was all plain-sailing for the couple, as they admit to some initial trepidation at leaving Vancouver’s LGBT2Q+ community behind to move to a smaller centre. However, they have been pleasantly surprised by Kelowna’s thriving LGBT2Q+ scene and inclusive atmosphere, noting that:
“There are so many incredible champions in this community from Tor Broughton speaking to what it is to be a transgender youth, to Loyal Wooldridge elected as the first openly gay man to sit on Kelowna City Council. It is an inclusive community!”
The couple believes that they “couldn’t be happier” here in Kelowna, and we certainly couldn’t be happier to have them. QB Gelato hosted MX in October 2018 (MX is Kelowna’s premium networking event for the LGBT2Q+ community) and they were a smash hit!
So, according to Kevin and Victor, what should visitors know before they come to Kelowna? “Support local! Take the time to find the local gems and speak to the small business owners and inquire who they recommend. You’ll be surprised by what you uncover.” You could do worse than to start at QB Gelato!
Dustyn Baulkham is a mover and shaker in Kelowna’s LGBT2Q+ and arts community. He is a Bachelor of Management Graduate from UBC Okanagan and former banker turned community builder. Dustyn is the Executive Director of the Arts Council of the Central Okanagan as well as the founder & visionary at Rebellious Unicorns which produces FruitCake, MX, Peak Pride, Dirty Mutter & Cub Crawl. Over the years he has been involved in LGBT2Q+ community all over Canada including President at Kelowna Pride, Board Member at Vancouver Pride and Treasurer at Fierte Canada Pride.