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Figaro’s Garden Centre Hosts Urban Bird Walk May 27th

22 May

Figaro’s Garden Centre is hosting a free one hour urban bird walk Saturday, May 27th.  Experienced guide, Sydney Burstein, will take you on a tour of the neighbourhood through the eyes of a birding enthusiast.  You are invited to come along and get to know some of Vancouver’s feathered friends that you share a home with. The event kicks off at 9:30 am from Figaro’s Garden Centre rain or shine. To reserve your spot, visit Eventbrite.

Italian Day Returns To The Drive Sunday June 11th

22 May

After 3 years without the Italian Day Festival due to the pandemic and other gathering restrictions, Italian Day returns to The Drive Sunday, June 11th.  This 14 block vibrant street party will take place on The Drive from the Grandview Cut to Venables.  Italian Day is filled with food, entertainment, and loads of things to do, see and experience.  Grab some friends and stop at one of the many outdoor patios set up for the day, or take in one of the many food trucks lined up and down Commercial Drive.  You will certainly not go hungry while you wander and take in all the sights and sounds.

Italian Day kicks off at Noon and the party runs till 8:00 pm. Just a reminder that vehicle traffic on Commercial Drive is blocked off, so it is best to take transit, walk or cycle in. For those cycling to Italian Day, we expect a Bike Valet will be set up again at 1st Avenue & Commercial, but this hasn’t been confirmed yet. We invite you come out and celebrate all things Italian. Italian Day represents the largest one day cultural street festival in Vancouver. Stop by and see some of the magic of this great street festival. For more information about Italian Day, visit them online at www.italianday.ca.

Got Craft Spring Market At The Croatian Cultural Centre May 6& 7

15 Apr

Got Craft celebrates its 16th year in Vancouver as one of BC’s largest curated markets. Their Spring Market will take place on May 6th & 7th at the Croatian Cultural Centre from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.  The event will feature over 95 makers, designers, creative entrepreneurs along side some kidpreneuers under the age of 16 years.  You can expect to find a variety of goods including clothing, jewellery, art, homewares, greeting cards, ceramics and much more.  There will also be a selection of food trucks on hand including NaMi Vietnamese and The Brownie Bakers.   For those early birds, the first 50 people through the door each day will receive one of their legendary swag bags.  Tickets for the event are $5 and available online, kids 12 and under are free. This is a perfect weekend to pick up something special just in time for Mother’s Day.

Summer Farmer Markets In East Van

30 Mar

Vancouver Farmers Market kicked off its summer season with the popular Trout Lake Farmers Market at John Hendry Park. This market happens every Saturday from April 1st to October 28th from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm. Riley Park Farmers Market also officially kicked off its summer season on Saturday, April 1st at 50 E 30th Ave & Ontario Street. Riley Park Farmers Market runs from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. As of Sunday, May 27th, the Mount Pleasant Farmers Market kicks off and will run every Sunday at Dude Chilling Park at 8th Avenue and Guelph Street from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm until October 29, 2023. All the markets feature awesome local vendors with fruits, vegetables, flowers, beverages, bread, condiments and a selection of food trucks and so much more. Be sure to stop by and support your local producers. To see a full listing of all markets hosted by Vancouver Farmer Markets, visit eatlocal.org.

First Pick Handmade Spring Fashion Pop Up At The Heritage Hall March 25-26

16 Mar

First Pick Handmade is returning to the Heritage Hall for a 2 day Spring Fashion Pop on March 25th and 26th. The event will feature 28 local and BC-based designers and artists. Stop by and meet the creators of locally made fashion, accessories and art.  Some of the makers and designers that will be on hand include Jillian Isabel Atelier, Morena Clothing, Prim Stargazer, Studio Eighteen, Deluxe Kitsch, Bukuro Bag Company, Zula Jewelry, After Times Art and many more. Whether you are looking for something for your home, for yourself, or a gift, there will be lots to choose from. We encourage you to stop by and check it out all the talent between 11:00 am and 6:00 pm. Admission is $3.00 per person at the door, or online.

Vancouver Etsy Co. Presents Maker Supply March 11th at the Heritage Hall

2 Mar

Vancouver Etsy Co. presents Maker Supply on Saturday March 11th at the Heritage Hall. Expect to find over 40 local small businesses including designers, artists, makers and creatives. You can expect to find jewellery, body care, fashion, pet accessories, cards, items for the wee ones along with edible items. Some of the makers on hand include East Van Jam, Kaaj Artisan Chocolates, East Van Bees, The Salt Dispensary and Portside Cakes. Makers will have products available as well as packaging supplies, displays, crafting material and more. This is a one day event on Saturday, March 11th at the Heritage Hall and goes from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. Admission is FREE and dogs are welcome.   Donations to BC Children’s Hospital and/or the Vancouver Food Bank are also welcome. You can RSVP at Eventbrite for a chance to win Market Cash to spend at the event.

New In Town: To Live For Bakery

23 Jan

This weekend we had the pleasure of checking out the newly opened To Live For Bakery located at 1508 Nanaimo Street at Grant Street. This is the brain child of Vancouver based vegan food blogger and business owner, Erin Ireland. Erin has had a passion for plant based cooking and baking for some time. You may have seen her vegan banana bread, then named To Die For Banana Bread, which was a part of her ongoing business evolution. Erin operated her bakery business from a commissary kitchen and supplied over 150 cafes.   Erin has taken the next logical leap and embarked on a bricks and mortar vegan bakery which opened last November in East Van. We’ve been hearing good things, so we stopped by this weekend to check it out. We had the added pleasure of chatting with Erin herself who was handing out samples of carrot cake to those waiting in line. We can attest that the carrot cake was light, flavourful and oh so delicious.  We also sampled the hazelnut mousse cake, only available to the end of the month, croissant and cinnamon bun.

To Live For Bakery has lots to offer including coffee, sweet and savoury treats, bread and beautiful cakes. Erin has chosen a bright white modern décor accented by natural wood.  There is seating inside, but fair warning this is a busy spot, so be prepared for a short wait. The line moves fairly quickly and the samples certainly help, but the short wait allows you to view all that’s on offer. In good news, more seating is planned for the outdoor space in the summer.  We love seeing these community spaces pop up in East Van neighbourhoods and wish Erin nothing but success and look forward to our next visit. To Live For Bakery is open 7 days a week from 7:00 to 5:00 pm.  Stop by and check out this great new local spot.

Gourmet Warehouse Lines Up Delish Cooking Class In The New Year

28 Dec

Gourmet Warehouse has some great new cooking classes lined up for 2023, but fair warning many of the upcoming classes are already sold out. So if something piques your interest, we recommend registering. If you haven’t already experienced one of their classes, it is a great way to spend an afternoon or evening with some like-minded food lovers. If you have participated, you know it’s a great way to pick up some knowledge and some great tips in the kitchen. Added bonus is after each cooking class all the participants are offered a 10% discount for purchases made the day of your class. We have set a few of their upcoming classes that caught our eye.  For a full line up of all the classes Gourmet Warehouse is offering visit Cooking Classes.

Pasta Like A Pro: Southern Italia – February 23, 2023

If you love fresh pasta, this class is for you. You are invited to roll up your sleeves and learn how to make some Italian staples from scratch. This is a hands-on class in which Chef Deniz while guide you through each step. You’ll leave this class with the working knowledge of how to make your own dough, form authentic Italian pasta shapes, create a timeless ragu, plus garnishing the Mediterranean way. We’ve set out the menu for this class below:

MENU

• Winter Salad with Caramelized Squash, Goat’s Cheese Truffles, Winter Greens,
and Fine Balsamic, Crostini
• Hand Shaped Orecchiette with Light Sausage Ragu,
and Roasted Rapini, Parmesan Reggiano
• Fresh Maccheroni Cacio Pepe with Pecorino Romano and Burnt Hazelnuts
• Vanilla Gelato with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Maldon Salt

Modern Peruvian – March 7, 2023

Acclaimed local chef Shelome Bouvette invites you on a journey of flavours through Peru. You will be introduced to classic Peruvian comfort food with a contemporary twist. We’ve set out the menu below:

MENU

• Huacatay Vinaigrette Quinoa Salad with Mango, Avocado, Roasted Pepper, and Rocota Chili
• Verduras Causa – Whipped Beetroot and Potato, Lima Bean Puree, Aji Salsa, Pickled Beet, Huacatay, and Yam Chips
• Nikkei Ceviche – Wild Sockeye Salmon, Ginger, Avocado with Passion Fruit Ponzu, Wasabi Aioli, and Nori
• Lomo Saltado – Skirt Steak with Onion, Tomatoes, and Peppers with Kennebec Fries

Cheesemaking 101: Mozzarella, Bocconcini & Burrata – March 5, 2023

You are invited to learn how to create your own  mozzarella, burrata and bocconcini using store bought milk. This class is led by Paula Nelson-Maddison who will teach you the science behind cheese in this 2 hour taste, touch and feel demonstration class. Paula will also show you unique and creative ways of serving these cheeses. For this demonstration class, each student will take home a kit so you can make 4 pounds of cheese at home along with online support.

MENU

• Fresh Mozzarella, Pesto and Sun-dried Tomatoes, Artisanal Crackers and Bread

To see all the classes being offered and or to register, we invite you to visit GourmetWarehouse.ca.

Photo Credit: Gourmet Warehouse

Shop Local: East Van Stores That Support Local Makers

8 Dec

There are lots of opportunities to shop local this holiday season. There are, of course, lots of holiday markets this time of year, but if you prefer a more low key shopping experience, we invite you to check out some of the local East Van stores which regularly stock items for many local makers. We’ve set out a list of some of our favourites below. Whether you visit them in person or online, we are sure they appreciate your support in shopping local.

Arts Off Main (1704 Charles Street)

Arts Off Main is just a few steps from Commercial Drive and is a collective art gallery that features local artists. You will find paintings, art cards, jewellery, ceramics and more.

Esthette Lifestyle Shop (3567 Commercial Street)

Esthette Lifestyle Shop is located directly next door to Second Nature Home on Commercial Street (not Drive) in Cedar Cottage. This boutique features ethically sourced, small batch handmade goods.  Lots of items for the home, gifts for all ages including books, stationary and puzzles.

Second Nature Home (3565 Commercial Street)

Second Nature Home is a home décor boutique located at 3565 Commercial Street in Cedar Cottage.  The store has a wide range of items outside of home décor including  jewellery, gifts for the foodie in your life, something cute for the new baby or new mom and much more. They usually have extended hours running up to Christmas. Be sure to pay them a visit.

Giving Gifts (4570 Main Street)

Giving Gifts is a very cool space located at 4570 Main Street. The store tucked between 30th & 29th Avenue is made of up 5 rooms packed with items from 100 local as well as fair trade artists from around the world.  It is a gift giving boutique so you will easily be able to pick up a few gifts for just about any age.

Jackson’s General Store (1490 Dumfries Street)

Jackson’s General Store located at 1490 Kingsway (at Dumfries) near Knight Street. This space is the epitome of cool with a distinct retro vibe. Store owner, Mike Jackson, has created an eclectic mix of unique items in store which features clothing, gourmet food, books and if you are looking for a candy fix that is a blast from the past, this is your spot.

The Coast Goods (1302 Victoria Drive)

The Coast Goods is a sweet shop nestled away in the heart of the residential area at 1302 Victoria Drive. This is great neighbourhood shop that focuses on ethically sourced home decor and giftware again supporting our local independent artisans. Be sure to check them out and give them a follow on Instagram.

Olive & Wild (4391 Main Street)

We would be remiss if we didn’t mention this beautiful shop located at 4391 Main Street. They have an amazing array of home decor items and lots of great things on hand for gift giving. They feature local as well as international artists.

Why is it important to shop local?  “for every $100 spent with a BC local business, $64 is re-circulated back into our BC economy versus $14 for multi nationals. Why? Because locally owned businesses circulate more dollars in the community compared to multinational organizations.”

First Pick Handmade Holiday Market At The Heritage Hall December 10 & 11

8 Dec

First Pick Handmade is back at the Heritage Hall, 3102 Main Street, on Saturday, December 10th and Sunday, December 11th with their Holiday Market.   First Pick Handmade’s Holiday Market will again feature items from a variety of makers that include non-binary, all sized-clothing and objects that are not mass produced.  Founder and creator, Janna Hurtzig, curates only high quality and sustainable products.  You can expect to find a wide range of products including jewellery by Irit Sorokin, ceramics by Oh Hello Leigh and Abder Atbi, paintings by Janine Breck Art, accessories by Winterluxe Recycled Cashmere and clothing by Serenity West and Street and Saddle and much more. Whether you are looking for something for your home, for yourself, or as a gift, there will be lots to choose from with all of this talent under one roof. Stop by and check it out between 11:00 am and 6:00 pm December 10th & 11th. Admission is $3.00 at the door or online.

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