Here at ILiveInEastVan.com we love featuring local East Van businesses and makers. Today we would like to introduce you to Marina Hebert and her new business, Me & Monty Dog Spa Products. As a dog owner, Marina’s product caught our eye. Marina lives in East Van off Commercial Drive with her partner, daughter, Isabel, their dog Monty (pictured) and a rotating cast of foster animals. Marina has a passion for animals and animal welfare and has been volunteering in this area for several years. Her professional background is in non-profit administration and development which should bode well as she embarks on this new adventure featuring natural care products for dogs. She has been making soap as a hobby for a number of years and began taking classes at Vancouver Soap Making School. She considered starting a business after adopting her Chihuahua, Monty. Marina had difficulty locating natural, organic grooming products for him that were dog-safe. So Marina embarked on a course at EMBERS Eastside Movement For Business and Economic Renewal Society from which she continues to receive mentorship as her business grows.
Marina sources all her products locally and purchases organic whenever possible. We like that Me & Monty Dog Spa Products do not contain any palm oil, artificial scents, preservatives, sulfates or animal ingredients. Marina currently makes 3 products, bar soap, dog shampoo and nose & paw butter. All the products are 100% safe for consumption should the dogs lick or ingest any of the product. Prices range from $14 for the 5 ounce bar soap, $14.50 for the nose & paw butter and $13.50 for the 8 ounce dog shampoo and $26 for the 16 ounce bottle. You can find Me & Monty Dog Spa Products at The Bloom Bloom Room in New Westminster, The Moonlight Dog Cafe and Long Live Cats and Dogs on East Hastings Street. You can also purchase products online via her Etsy Shop with pick up available in East Vancouver. You can also expect to see her products available at local groomers soon. Should you be one, she offers free sample packs to try out her products. We invite you to check out Me & Monty Dog Spa Products and look forward to seeing more of Me & Monty Dog Spa Products in and around the City.
Photo Credit: Karla Wakefield Photography
Many people are aware there has been an evolution in the craft beer industry in East Vancouver. At the same time, cocktails have been making a big come back as evidenced by some recent articles in BC Living and the Westender about the best cocktails, best bartenders and now you can even find a Vancouver Distillery Tour. This new tour is brought to you by the ladies of Off The Eaten Track Culinary Walking Tours. One of the stops on their tour is a personal favourite Odd Society Spirits which is located at 1725 Powell Street just East of Commercial Drive. Off Society Spirits has been quite inventive with their concoctions made from their East Van Vodka, Wallflower Gin and Crème de Cassis. For those wanting to try their hand at making their own cocktails, Odd Society Spirit, outside of having some great spirits, has some very tasty recipes on their website. These are definitely worth giving a try.
In case you haven’t noticed, there has also been a recent influx of local entrepreneurs making bitters and elixirs like East Van’s Graveley & Sons. You will find many of them at the various artisan and craft fairs around Vancouver. Of course, putting together some of these concoctions may be a bit daunting for some of us seasoned wine drinkers looking for something different every now and again. Well help is now here for those that wish to make and mix their own cocktails at home. Sips Cocktail Emporium is an online store created by an East Van couple, Darcy Broatch and Jordie Yow. They have turned their passion for cocktails into an online store that includes everything one would need to make the perfect cocktail. Located in East Vancouver, they have everything but the kitchen sink really and the booze of course. That’s on you. Their website GoodSips.Ca carries a selection of bitters sourced locally and abroad, syrups, cocktail shakers and every other accessory you could imagine. In a mere few weeks, Darcy and Jordie will be taking their passion to the next level and opening a physical location in Mount Pleasant at 339 E. Broadway. After which, they will start holding workshops so you can taste, smell and see everything first hand. We are looking forward to this great new addition in East Vancouver. In the meantime, we invite you to check out their online store which has all the accessories for the perfect cocktail! Cheers.
Photo Credit Above: Sips Cocktail Emporium
Photo Credit Below: RD Cane
We had the pleasure of attending the opening of a new spot in town, Colony Main Street. This is a 130 seat neighbourhood bar located at 2904 Main Street (at 13th Avenue) former space of Mr. Brownstone. This 2,000 square foot space has an unfinished design which includes cinderblock walls and an original exposed beam ceiling and some very unique lighting fixtures. We quite like the beer board, which had a Pizza Farina feel to it with handwritten offerings on a roll of brown Kraft paper.
Speaking of beer, there is a great selection which includes local craft beer makers Red Truck Beer and Parallel 49 Brewing. You can expect deals on beer on Tapped Out Tuesday where most beers are $3.00 as well as daily $4.00 beer specials. Mind you, if get a chance to try the Bourbon Sour, we highly recommend this tasty cocktail. On the food front, there are some serious burgers on the menu including the BBQ onion ring burger, but we opted for the Crispy Chicken Burger which hit the spot. What was impressive and not one to rave about fries, but their Stadium Fries, these were not ordinary fries. They were extra crispy with lemon, pepper and garlic, hands down the best fries we’ve tried. The Wok Fried Squid with potato flour, garlic, chilies and pea shoots had some serious kick. Although not gluten free, for those that have a sensitivity to wheat/gluten it may be an option.
The Colony On Main is a definite spot for sports viewing, but will also be home to live music, comedy and trivia nights. The trivia nights will happen every Monday starting Monday, May 11th. There will be prizes to giveaway, so bring your team. You can’t miss this spot, it’s situated nicely next to Parallel 49 Coffee/Lucky’s Doughnuts. They are open 7 days week from 11:30 am to 2:00 am.
Today we would like to introduce to someone doing creative work here in East Van, Dan Emery and his creation East Van Light. Dan designs and builds vintage industrial lamps with a beautiful and simple modern design. Dan comes from the film and television industry, but over the last 10 years, he also kept busy buying and renovating homes with his girlfriend. They worked together stripping homes to their frames and redesigning, rebuilding and revitalizing them into beautiful new spaces. After one particular renovation, they were left with some nice scraps of birch. They also had a nice antique reproduction Edison light bulb kicking around at home. A light went off in Dan’s head and an idea of designing vintage industrial lamps was born. His first pair of prototype lamps were developed.
A year and a half ago, Dan and his girlfriend moved from Montreal to Vancouver and settled in East Van, in the heart of Commercial Drive. Dan said he was impressed with the “wonderful culture that embraces and supports a ‘Buy Local’ philosophy”. This support of local and artisanal businesses inspired him to get East Van Light ramped into gear.
As you can see from the photos, Dan likes producing clean, minimal, designs that allow each component of the lamp to be showcased and enjoyed. He combines premium local salvaged wood bases with high quality reproduction hardware so that each lamp delivers a warm functional light. At the same time, his goal is that each lamp has a “refined old world aesthetic that inspires the work, repose, curiosity and conversation of those around it.” Dan says that he “strives for his lamps to be subtle in their support of the spaces they inhabit, while simultaneously engaging the audience that surrounds them.”
Dan will premiere East Van Light at the 2015 Spring edition of Got Craft? this weekend at the Maritime Labour Centre. Got Craft? is Vancouver’s largest indie craft fair and for this event he teamed up with a local East Vancouver carpenter, Brad Seiber, of ReForm + Design Woodworking, who is responsible all of the amazing woodwork that goes into the lamp bases. Together they purchased the entire trunk of an old slow growth BC Black Walnut tree, sourced from an old Scandinavian tree salvager who saved it from being torn down, and slowly and carefully dried these giant cuts of lumber in his barn out in the Fraser Valley for the last 7 years. Dan worked with the raw slabs to ensure the beautiful features, grain patterns and characteristics of this exceptional wood is showcased in each and every handcrafted lamp that he designs. Dan is passionate about providing high quality handcrafted lamps and is excited about launching East Van Light at Got Craft this weekend. You can expect to find Dan and 75 of his lamps at the Maritime Labour Centre this weekend from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm. If you are not able to attend Got Craft? in person, you can also view a selection of Dan’s lamps on his Facebook page.
Photo Credit: Jenny Lyseng
We love finding out about new businesses making their way in East Vancouver. Today we would like to introduce to Alisha Danielle and her company, Raw Soap Skincare. After some health issues in her 20s, Alisha became very aware of all the chemicals being absorbed through the skin in many of the day to day personal care products we use. She slowly began to eliminate a number of products from her daily routine and replace them with better options. Many of the alternatives she found with all natural ingredients, came at a steep price. So Alisha did her research and started making her own moisturizers, soaps, scrubs and shaving creams and gave them away as gifts. Everyone loved the products, low and behold a business was born, Raw Soap Skincare. Alisha’s soap and skin care products are natural, organic, ethical, eco-friendly vegan, fair trade and sustainable. Her mission is to create products that promote inner and outer balance, while giving back to our worldwide community. Raw Soap Skincare will donate 5% of their profits to a different not-for-profit charity each month. Until April 31st, Raw Soap Skincare is donating that 5% to thewaterproject.org. An organization unlocking human potential by providing sustainable water projects to communities in sub-Saharan Africa.
Currently Raw Soap Skincare is only available online through Etsy and the product line ranges in price from $3.75 – $5.00 and includes:
VanCity CocoCamoNilla Soap
Hornby Honey Be Like Lemonade Soap
Tuff City Green Tea Soap
Commercial Drive Rooibos Goddess Lemongrass Exfoliate Bar
Sea To Sky Fly High Sunrise Exfoliate Bar
Mt Pleasant Peaceful Pumice Exfoliate Bar
The Grove Rosemary Reefer Exfoliate Bar
P.Dot Lavender Pop Exfoliate Bar
In the coming months, Alisha plans to expand her product line to include sugar scrubs, body butters, shaving cream, lip balm, a special homeopathic salve for sore muscles as well as bath salts and herbal facial steamers. You can also expect her products at some select retail locations in the coming months. If you live in East Vancouver and make your online Etsy purchase, you can pick orders directly from Alisha and forego the shipping costs. We invite you to check out this great new product line made right here in East Vancouver which means you will be supporting local with every purchase made. Right now, for every order over $25.00, free shipping is currently available if you use the Code HONEYBEE.
Coming soon an East Van community kitchen space at 477 Powell Street The Uncommissary. From what we are hearing this will be an amazing creative space. Organizers of this space, Luc and Lisa Leimanis, are on the hunt for local food companies wanting to join a community kitchen that provides some of the usual items including stoves, ovens, prep tables, walk-in coolers and freezers, storage, dishwasher and parking. That call went out and the response was swift being there is a lack of community kitchen space in Vancouver. Their plan is to have three stations within the community kitchen that is well stocked for foodie professionals to make their wares. They will also have space for two food carts and other food production companies. Also on the drawing board is a store and café called The Uncommon which will be open Monday to Friday. The store will sell the products that are made in house and where possible they will work those products into the menu in the café. The aim is to be open some Saturdays for community BBQs. The Uncommon will also be available for rent in the evenings for pop-up events as well as some in store events that they plan to host. At present, they are working through the regulatory process and renovations, but plan to be up and running (provided all goes smoothly) in June. We look forward to welcoming this new venture to East Vancouver. Watch this space for updates.
We would like to introduce to a great new store in East Vancouver called Second Nature Home brought to you by social entrepreneur, Elizabeth McKitrick. Second Nature Home is a retail store entirely focused on eco-friendly and organic products for the home. If you get a chance to talk with Elizabeth, you will quickly realize she is passionate about the environment and living a sustainable life.
Second Nature Home has an amazing array of items for the home including locally sourced products for the home, curated decorative arts as well as a great vintage section. What we loved was the refilling station for laundry soaps, shampoo, dish detergent, body wash and hand soap with products from local companies, Sapadilla Soap Co., Pacific Coast Soapworks and Gingko & Maple. Their products are made from natural and organic ingredients with essential oils. Elizabeth has bottled product lines available for sale, or you can bring your own containers to the shop and fill them there. The beauty of this, of course, is no plastics to recycle. The added bonus is the wonderful aromatherapy of the soap products themselves, including lavender-lime, grapefruit-bergamot, rosemary-peppermint (some unscented options available too).
Second Nature offers custom gift baskets for any occasion that can be put together with local organic products, and coming soon is an online gift registry. Oh and did we mention bicycle delivery to the local neighbourhood–a trial service will be rolled out this summer, beginning in the Trout Lake/Cedar Cottage area. When it comes to being a socially responsible company, Elizabeth not only talks the talk, she walks the walk. Second Nature Home provides valuable skills development opportunities and mentoring for immigrant women and supports community ecological activity.
Second Nature Home is located at 1827 Victoria Diversion which is the one block stretch that connects Victoria Drive and Commercial Drive located next to the Croatian Cultural Centre. Second Nature Home is open Tuesday to Saturday 10:00 am to 6:00 pm, but open Fridays until 8:00 pm and Sunday 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm and closed Mondays.