If You Love Licorice, You Have To Check Out The Commercial Drive Licorice Parlour

12 Nov
LicorceParlourSignI recently had a nice trip down memory lane with Mary Jean Dunsdon (also known as Watermelon).The name Watermelon comes from 20 years of selling watermelon at Wreck Beach over the summer months. This is one energetic, eccentric and passionate enterpreneur, also one that has her hands in a number of pots, but her mainstay is licorice. Mary Jean owns the Commercial Drive Licorice Parlour, 1002 Commercial Drive and let me tell you this woman knows licorice.  Mary Jean opened her licorice parlour in October of last year and fell into some dedicated licorice lovers. The previous tenant of her space, Dutch Girl Chocolates, had carried licorice to a loyal faithful fan base, although many people didn’t know it. A number of people were in withdrawals when Dutch Girl Chocolates closed its doors, so much so, Mary Jean put up a sign that said we are bringing the licorice back. As Mary Jean tells me some people really love their licorice. But then she didn’t really have to sell me.  What landed me in the Licorice Parlour was hearing that they carried salted licorice with many varieties from Europe. That’s all I needed to hear.  I have vivid childhood memories of Christmas in East Vancouver.  Each year, my grandfather would send a big brown parcel filled with delectable treats from Germany. My favourites were the licorice many of them salted, not an easy find in Vancouver. That hunt for salted licorice took to me see to Mary Jean on a rainy weekend over a cup of tea, licorice, of course.
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If there is a type of licorice you like, the Licorice Parlour is likely to have it and I’m sure they will have flavours you will love that you haven’t even discovered yet.  If you require gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, they have that too.  If you want to know about the medicinal properties of licorice they can tell you that as well. They now have 65 types of licorice in store.  They sell for $2.50 for 100 grams. With Christmas coming up, why not bring a fun and original house warming gift. The ladies at the Licorice Parlour can put together a take out box of many varieties of licorice from about $8 for a small to $15 for a large which they guarantee will be a hit. Did you know licorice elevates your mood?  It certainly did mine after my taste testing. 
Now licorice is not all they have in store. At the Licorice Parlour, you will also find ice cream with cocoa, lavendar and licorice. Delicious I might add and dairy free.  Quinoa waffles which are gluten free and dairy free and made with Mary Jean’s homemade almond milk. You can purchase her waffles in store fresh for $3.00 or frozen to go for $2.50 each.  They are also available at Little Nest and Commercial Street Cafe. Did I mention this woman is passionate about food? She is aware of everything that goes into what she makes, she is a health nut in a sweets store and she’s in the best shape of her life.  Although I think the hula hoops have helped a little with that.  When you walk in the store, you will certainly find a very retro feel to the store with the black & white checkered floors, record player in the corner and the hula hoops hanging in the store. If you want to tighten your core muscles, Mary Jean is firm, hula hoops are the way to go. You are welcome to come down and take one for a test run any time. The hula hoops are available for purchase and the prices range from $25 – $116. 
 
This is definitely a spot worth checking out if you haven’t already. Once you have, I’m sure you will be back. I know I will be. Licorice Parlour is open 7 days a week from 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Photo Credit: Maria Coletsis  
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