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Vancouver Farmer Markets Kick Off Summer Season

30 Apr

Spring is here which means lots of local products at our farmer markets in East Vancouver. Each of the markets hosted by Vancouver Farmer Markets has a lot to offer in the way of locally grown produce, handmade goods, artisan breads and baked goods, locally made jams, cheese, free range and organic eggs and of course wineries, breweries as well as spirits to name just a few.  Trout Lake as many readers may know is the largest market in East Van and with Covid protocols, do expect a bit of a line up.  Mount Pleasant Farmers Market which is in Dude Chilling Park is a smaller market, but we love that it’s on a Sunday. Riley Park Farmers Market is next to one of the most beautiful community gardens we’ve seen and happens year round every Saturday from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. The Main Street Farmers Market is currently closed due to construction. We have set out below the dates when the markets begin and end for the Spring/Summer season. We encourage you to stop by and support our local producers this season.

Trout Lake Farmers Market
9:00 am – 2:00 pm
Every Saturday: May 1, 2021 to October 30, 2021
Location: Lakewood Drive & E 13th Avenue

Mount Pleasant Farmers Market
10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Every Sunday:  May 23, 2021 to October 31, 2021
Location: Guelph Street between 7th & 8th Avenues (on the paved play area between Mt. Pleasant Elementary and Guelph Park/Dude Chilling Park)

Riley Park Farmers Market
10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Every Saturday: All Year Round (Sumer Kick Off May 1st)
Location: 30th Avenue and Ontario Street

Main Street Farmers Market
Currently Closed Due To Construction

Fluevog Shoes Hosts A Virtual Spring Shopping Party April 29th

22 Apr

The Cultch invites you to their first virtual fundraising party with Fluevog Shoes. On April 29th from 6:00 – 8:00 pm you will be invited to purchase shoes during this Zoom event with the one and only John Fluevog in attendance. The bonus, is that 50% of the proceeds go directly to The Cultch and supporting the arts. An RSVP is required so to grab your spot, visit The Cultch.

As an added bonus, you will also have the opportunity to purchase and enjoy a bottle of wine from Liberty Wine Merchants who have curated a selection of discounted wines exclusively for this event. A list of wines will be provided with your RSVP confirmation.

Skout & Y Brands Sample Sale April 14-16, 2021

14 Apr

If you are looking for a great deal, we invite you to check out the Sample Sale being hosted by Skout & Y Brands between April 14 and April 16, 2021. Note shopping is by appointment only between 9:00 am and 6:00 pm to ensure COVID protocols are being followed. To book your appointment to shop for Skout products, email “hello@skout.ca” and for Y Brands, email kathy@ybrands.ca. Cash and credit cards are accepted. Location is 1355 Parker Street, Vancouver.

#TakeOutBC Support Local Restaurants

1 Apr

This past year certainly feels like a roller coaster ride with many ups and downs. So many local businesses and organizations are struggling during this pandemic. We’ve already seen a number of restaurants shut their doors permanently. Just the other day, we learnt a long-standing Greek restaurant in SE Vancouver shut their doors on March 5th. We expect there will be more to come, but of course we hope not. With the most recent Provincial Health Orders, we have learnt there is a temporary hold on indoor dining until April 19th and possibly beyond. It is now take-out and delivery for restaurants save for those that have an outdoor patio.

We know the rapid changes in Provincial Health Orders has made it difficult for many businesses to pivot on a dime leaving them holding inventory, cutting staff, etc. We appreciate not everyone is in a position to support local restaurants due to their own personal circumstances. For those that can, we encourage you to support local where and when you can. Whether it’s take out, delivery or patio dining. There are so many great spaces around the City and some hidden gems. Did you know a personal favourite Via Tevere Pizzeria on Victoria Drive has an outdoor patio in the back of the restaurant? Add to that, they have a great online ordering system. If it’s great coffee you seek, did you know Platform 7 Coffee on East Hastings has an outdoor space behind their restaurant? There are a also number of areas along Commercial Drive that have carved out sections for outdoor patios and, of course, some have always had them like Havana Restaurant. Main Street and Fraser Street have also created many outdoor spaces for patio dining. We hope you will join us in supporting our local restaurants and #takeoutBC when and where you can.

Petition To Bring Non-Food Vendors Back to BC’s Farmer Markets

23 Feb

One of our favourite vendors at the Vancouver Farmers Market is East Van based The Front Yard Flower. Co. As the name depicts, it initially started with growing flowers in the front yard of Rose Dykstra’s childhood home. Her business has grown substantially over the years and has evolved to include growing flowers on a farm in Richmond.   There is a large financial investment in doing this, along with time.  Rose Dykstra along with other small businesses sell their items at the many farmer markets around Vancouver.   In March of 2020 when the COVID restrictions hit, many non-food vendors were shut out of the farmer markets which caused angst and hardship for many of the vendors.  The ban lasted from early April 2020 to June 2020. Rose’s flower business had to suddenly pivot to e-commerce and with a perishable item this was no easy feat.

The ban for non-vendors had been lifted over the summer and fall. In mid-December the ban on on-food vendors went up again. This was at a time when many of the non-food vendors rely on sales from the Christmas period to support their families. As of today’s writing, the current ban continues with no sign it of being lifted.

Vancouver Farmers Market has done a great job of adhering to COVID protocols in an outdoor environment.  Rose Dykstra doesn’t see why she and other non-food vendors have been shut out the markets.   On this point, we do agree.  We are big supporters of local business. As we think about this issue, we know people are still having birthdays, anniversaries and celebrating new babies. What does this mean? People are still buying or sending gifts, often in lieu of in person celebrations. We see it regularly on our walks. Gifts are being delivered in person with masks, dropped at the door, then a brief interchange before saying a few words and leaving the gift behind.

In our view, by including non-food vendors you are including them in the BC economy by allowing them to work and to continue to sustain themselves, their families and any employees they may have.  If you can’t get it locally, where will people turn? For many items, our guess is Amazon. We’d much prefer people support local vs. Amazon. As it comes to flowers and Rose’s business, really could we not all use some flowers to brighten up the spaces we are all stuck in during this pandemic that just seems to go on and on?

If you are in support of bringing back non-food vendors to Vancouver Farmer Markets, feel free to add your support to the Petition at Change.org.

Sauvignon Blanc Cheese Tasting March 28, 2021 With les amis du FROMAGE

19 Feb


On the success of their recent Facebook Live tasting event, les amis du FROMAGE has lined up another event for cheese and wine lovers. Host Allison Spurrell will again be leading this 1 hour tasting which features the wine varietal Sauvignon Blanc. The tasting package is featured for 2 people and includes:

Cheese (8 types)
Crackers
Olives
Accompaniment
Tasting menu

Heads up, the wine is not included in the ticket price, but they have partnered with Marquis Wine Cellars who have helped choose the best pairings as well as a discount. After you purchase your ticket, you will be contacted by les amis du FROMAGE with a discount code for the suggested wines which we’ve set out below.

The Sauvignon Blanc Cheese Tasting event happens Sunday, March 28th at 6:30 pm. To purchase your ticket, visit les amis du FROMAGE. Note, cut off for ticket sales is March 21st.

Local Love This Valentine’s Day

10 Feb

We know not every one gets behind Valentine’s Day. Some see it as a made up day. Even if that’s your view, considering what a struggle this past year, why not show someone special a little love just because. It can be your partner or a good friend who has been a great support for you this past year, your sister, mother, brother. Or what about that next door neighbour or isolated senior? Whomever it might be, there are so many ways to say “I Care”. As we love our local businesses, we wanted to highlight a few you can throw your support behind this Valentine’s Day.

Soprasotto

Pizza Love

A few East Van pizza joints (and likely more) are doing heart shaped pizzas for Valentine’s Day. Check out Lombardo’s Ristorante and Soprasotto on Commercial Drive and Pizza Farina on Main Street.

Flowers

Who does not love to get flowers? There are so many great options in East Van whether it’s local florist shops like the Flower Factory at 4285 Main or Full Bloom on Commercial Drive. If you are lucky enough to have a neighbourhood corner store, be sure to check them out. They often have a nice selection on hand. If you are in River District this Sunday, you can also stop by the Brock Floral Cart which will be on site at the foot of Kerr Street near Romer’s Burger Bar. This is a mobile floral cart that will have a selection of flowers available from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm or until sold out. It won’t be quite as pictured, but you get the idea.

Sweet Treats

Oh Sweet Day

So many great local businesses are offering sweet treats for Valentine’s Day whether it’s chocolates at Beta 5 or the Purdy’s outlet store on Kingsway. If it’s cookies you are after, Oh Sweet Day, Bench Bakehouse and many others have a great selection. To see a full list of our Favourite East Van Bakeries, click the link. If you are looking for sweet treats for the kids (big and small), don’t forget the Licorice Parlour. They’ve added some new items so not just licorice.

Jewellery

White Sapphire Anna

If this is the year, you are going big on the jewellery front, we invite you to check out Era Design Jewellery at 1795 Venables Street near Commercial. They design some beautiful jewellery whether custom or ready made.

Love Songs

Jill Barber

If you are looking to set the mood with beautiful love songs, you will want to catch Jill Barber’s live streamed performance from The Cultch on February 14th.

Whether you celebrate the ‘day’ or not, be sure to show your local businesses some local love this weekend.

Virtual Cooking Class With Just Giulia February 12th

9 Feb

Giulia Lombardo invites you to join her for a virtual cooking class this Friday, February 12th. Giulia is going to teach you how easy it is to make fresh pasta. You can follow along step by step as she cooks, or watch her cook and then try it on your own after the cooking class. The menu for this upcoming class is:

Squash and Mascarpone Filled Heart Shaped Ravioli with
Sage and Brown Butter Sauce
Suggested Wine Pairing: Poplar Grove Pinot Gris

The cost of the cooking class is $20 with a percentage of the proceeds being donated to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank. The fun kicks off at 6:00 pm. To register, email her directly at justgiulialombardo@gmail.com. Note, space is limited. You can also find Giulia on Instagram @justguiliaa or check her out You Tube. We’ve included one of her delish You Tube videos below. Mangia bene (translation: eat well).

Pandemic Pivot: Loved & Local New Online Shop

1 Feb

2020 was a year of challenge and change for many and 2021 continues on that same vein.   The pandemic has many people pivoting to earn an income from a new source. Today we’d like to introduce you to Jenn Franzen who did a complete 360 and created Loved & Local.  Jenn was a self-employment travel agent for 15 years. As we all know, with the current travel restrictions, planning trips isn’t first and foremost on people’s mind nor will it be for some time. So Jenn pivoted and created Loved & Local.

Loved & Local is an online store that features gently used clothing and accessories for women, men and children.  Loved & Local also carries items from local artisans including Oona Clothing,  Mosaic Earrings, beeswax food wraps by Etta & Olive, candles by Grain & Honey and knitted toques by Littlee Lambs Boutique to name a few.

Loved & Local carries a wide range of items and yes they deliver!  They offer free delivery on orders over $20 within a 10 km radius of Loved & Local which is located in Hastings Sunrise. If you are interested in trying on a specific item, feel free to reach out to them directly.   They have also just added a weekly auction on Facebook and Instagram that runs from Thursday to Sunday with a starting bid of $1.00. For those wishing to give back to charity in an easy way, Loved & Local supports some local charitable endeavours including Victory House Mental Health Facility. They are currently selling Valentine’s Day cards made by residents. 100% of the sale proceeds go back to Victory House.

We invite you to visit Loved & Local online and give them a follow on Instagram where they post many of their newly acquired items.  As always, support local when and where you can.

Dine Out Festival February 5 to March 7, 2021

27 Jan

Dine Out Vancouver Festival is back this year for a longer run being 31 days vs. last year’s 17 days. Diners will have more time to safely explore more restaurants over a longer period of time. The festival brings together over 300 restaurants, wineries, craft breweries and suppliers for dining and culinary events. What’s new this year is a host of virtual tasting events. We invite you check them all out at Dine Out Vancouver Festival, but have set out a few that caught our eye.  

Virtual Beer Tasting

A Virtual Beer Tastings is presented in part by Canadian Craft Tours and runs from February 5th to March 6th. This event is open to those in the Greater Vancouver Regional District and includes the delivery of your supplies for the event along with a virtually hosted event which lasts 90 minutes. Cost is $90 per person plus taxes. You can add a cheese pairing for an additional $30 per person. For more information and to book your spot, visit Canadian Craft Tours.

Dumpling Masterclass with Chinatown Tours

This Dumpling Masterclass got us excited. Having once made dumplings from scratch, they were some of the best. This is a great opportunity for some hands on experience with expert guidance. During this masterclass, they will discuss what makes a good filling, how to prep the ingredients and the best way to fold the wrappers. Cost for the event is a very reasonable $30. To book your ticket, visit Peek.com.

Virtual Coffee Tasting

If you love cold coffee, this one’s for you. The Vancouver Coffee Snob and Prototype Coffee present a virtual tour into the world of cold brew coffee. You will have the opportunity to sample cold brew coffee and learn how the different non-dairy milks affect the taste. You will also get to play some trivia and test your coffee knowledge. This event runs several times between February 6th to February 21st. Cost is $90. To book your ticket which includes delivery of your supplies, visit Canadian Craft Tours.

To see all the restaurants participating in this year’s Dine Out, visit their website. Note, for those not comfortable with dining in during this time, many restaurants are offering a Take Out option for Dine Out. Visit Dine Out Vancouver Festival for more information.

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