In 1979, Norma Kenney, locally known as “The Velvet Steamroller”, founded the Mission Heritage Association (MHA), with a mandate to preserve the area’s local heritage. Through this Association, Kenney became the driving force for preserving a particular piece of crown land that was slated for high-density development. Under the charming and persistent leadership of Norma Kenney, the MHA lobbied the government to conserve the site formerly used by the St. Mary’s Mission and Residential School; and in 1986, forty-four acres of the original land became what is now the Fraser River Heritage Park. The following year, Rob Littler, the founder of Artisan Log and Timber Homes, taught his very first log home building course. Eventually, Rob and a dozen of his eager students built The Norma Kenny House, named after Norma to honour her commitment to founding the MHA, and her perseverance in achieving the dream of having the St. Mary’s property designated as a park. This beautiful log home, located at Heritage Park in Mission BC, boasts stunning views of the Fraser Valley and surrounding mountains, most notably the majestic Mount Baker.
Now, nearly 30 years later, the we are excited that the next generation of Artisan builders is following
in our dad’s footsteps to restore the Norma Kenney House, using the same hard work ethic and high standards as Norma Kenney herself. Operating under the direction of Chef de Cuisine, Kerry D. Martin of Kela Cuisine Inc., The Blackberry Kitchen is undergoing a much needed facelift, as we re-purposes the 1200 square foot log building into a gourmet restaurant. and provide a much needed facelift to the Blackberry Kitchen. Renovations include removing the existing log floor to re-use the logs as new structural posts, and opening up the entire space to make it much more inviting and open overall. With our commitment to quality workmanship and honouring the mission of Norma herself, we are excited to introduce the Mission community to the new Blackberry Kitchen, where both the food and views still delight the senses, as you surround yourself with the warmth and light of this beautiful building.
If you are ever traveling through the Mission B.C. area we highly recommend that you stop in for a meal at the Blackberry Kitchen to enjoy one of the best home cooked meals you have ever had and take in the beautiful Fraser Valley scenery.