Helen Holte

A colour photograph of Helen Holte reclining in an armchair, wearing a plaid shirt and slacks. There is a side-table beside her, with snacks on it.
Helen reclining.

“You’re not really a Bowen Islander until you have had two cups of Helen’s coffee in one day!”

– Quote from the Bowen Island Discussion Forum after Helen’s passing in 2004.

First arriving on Bowen as a summer vacationer with her family in the ’30s, Helen Holte returned to the island later in life when she married the taxi driver, Ralph Holte. In her spare time she became a founding member of the Historians. However, Helen’s primary focus on the island was Bowmart. She and Ralph started the island’s favourite coffee place and/or grocery store with business partner Alec McLennan. Helen ran the store for more than three decades, finding a place in the hearts of islanders with a fondness for coffee, candy, and home-cooked meals in the process.

To read more about other extraordinary women from Bowen Island, head back this way.