The 2-millionth man

Reg Barber, far left, is surrounded by staff at Last Call Liquor Mart after he became their 2,000,000th customer.

When Reg Barber went wine shopping for his sister, he wasn’t expecting to make local business history.

Barber officially became the two-millionth customer of Last Call Liquor Mart on June 18, roughly around 11 a.m.

Last Call, owned by Vassilaki and Sons Investments, first opened in 2004 when the family was still in the nightclub business. In February, the store moved across the parking lot in Peachtree Square (where Walmart is) to 2897 Skaha Lake Road, nearly tripling in size. The cooling units went from 21 fridge doors at the old location to 57 in the new and, with more space, the owners were able to expand on high-end products.

For the past 16 years, each transaction, including the number of customers, has been recorded electronically and staff knew they were approaching the 2-million number. For being that milestone customer, Barber was offered a $500 gift certificate or a trip-for-two to Las Vegas.

He chose Vegas, a place he’s always wanted to visit.

“I came in with a list for my sister,” he recalls. “I was looking around, taking my time. I got her a bottle of wine, some gin smashes and I got myself some beer. When I went to the counter, I saw there were a lot of people, not sure what was going on. ‘You’re the two-millionth customer.’ OK, wow, I”m a little embarrassed, but this is great."

It was a happy moment because on the previous day, his grandmother died. Doll Barber was a 102-year-old, great-great grandmother from Olalla.

Reg Barber was born in Penticton, moved away for about 10 years and recently returned to his hometown to take a job as a safety manager with the Penticton Indian Band.

He’s not sure when he will be able to take the trip to Las Vegas due to COVID restrictions, but a tougher decision will be who he’s going to take as his travel companion. (“I may have to buy some extra tickets.”)

“This is the first time I’ve won anything this significant. I won $50 on the lotto once ... that was my max," he jokes.

Having only recently returned to Penticton, it was only the third or fourth time he had been to the new Last Call, a family-owned business.

He’s now a regular.