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New In Town: Oh Sweet Day! At 1st Avenue & Commercial Drive

15 Jul

 

If you love cheesecake, you will want to check out this newly opened spot, Oh Sweet Day! located at 1706 East 1st Avenue just off the Drive.  The force behind this sweet space is Fanny Lam, a self-taught home baker who turned her love of baking into a blog, then a cookbook then a storefront.  Outside of running a popular blog, writing a cookbook, Fanny has been selling her cakes for 2 years at farmer markets around the Lower Mainland. Lucky for us you can now find her signature cheesecakes as well as mousse cakes, ganache drip cakes, cupcakes, cake pops, shortbread tartlets and cookies at this sweet space off The Drive. If you are looking for gluten free or vegan options, they’ve got that too.  We invite you to stop by and check out this new space. Alternatively, you can drool over the photos on her website at Visit Oh Sweet Day! online or in person. Their hours are currently Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday 10-6 and Friday and Saturday 10-7 and closed Tuesday.   You can also find Oh Sweet Day! at farmer markets throughout the Lower Mainland.

Photo Credit: Oh Sweet Day!

NEW: Finfolk Nordic Inspired Food In East Van Craft Beer District

11 Apr

FinfolkArtWorkWe had the pleasure of popping in to check out the new Finfolk restaurant in East Van during their recent soft opening.  This is a unique space that we expect will be a happening spot in East Van’s Craft Beer District.  Finfolk has a Nordic inspired menu which was created by Jeff Bobyk, his father Karey Bobyk and their partner and Executive Chef Darren Brown.  If you are unfamiliar with the name, you will remember the food.  Chef Darren Brown has worked in a variety of kitchens including CinCin, Horizon’s and Whistler’s Quattro. So you can expect some unique high quality food but in a casual relaxed setting.

The menu is simple and straight forward, but will be evolving over the coming weeks as they get ready for the official opening in early  May.  Right now the menu includes pizza, one of which is named Hildaland which comes with lamb, potatoes, truffle cream and rosemary (pictured below). They will also be serving fresh Fanny Bay Oysters which will be delivered every Friday along with fresh organic produce from North Arm Farms in Pemberton.  If you wish to nibble, they will have some truly Nordic inspired grazing plates.  Finfolk brines and smokes all their own meats and pickles their own vegetables. As they do it all in-house, you can expect a bit bigger portions than you might find on your average charcuterie plates around town.

Last but not least, the beer! Here they are doing something a little different we like.  There are many more craft breweries popping up in other parts of the Lower Mainland making a name for themselves including the stretch in Port Moody and Four Winds in Delta. Finfolk will be bring a variety of different beers on top from other breweries to East Van. So you don’t have to travel to Port Moody to try Twin Sails beer, you can try it right here in East Van.  We understand the selection will be rotating, so expect it to change.  This is definitely a spot worth checking out. We will be keeping an eye out on their evolving menu as they gear up for their official opening. In the meantime, stop by Friday, Saturday or Sunday 11:00 am to 11:0 pm. They are located at 1600 East Franklin Street, just 1 block North of East Hastings. To check for updates on their update, new menu features, follow them on Instagram.

 

Plant-Based Boutique Now Open On Commercial Drive

12 Feb

PBB6Did you catch the Pop Up Plant-Based Boutique on The Drive for 2 weeks this past December? If not, you are in luck. They are back in this bright beautiful space for the next 6 months. The Plant-Based Boutique is located at 1206 Commercial Drive (at Williams Street) across from Grandview Park.  Their focus is on health, wellness and self-care which is 100% plant-based. They have curated products from across North America which include skin care, organic oils for the face and body, candles, plant-based cookbooks, soaps and much more. They are also now serving organic tea and snacks and have added a seating space in store.   You can catch them daily from Noon to 7:00 pm.  Stop by and check out this great space.

 

The Bench Bakehouse Is Now Open In The Il Mercato

5 Feb

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We recently had the pleasure of checking out The Bench Bakehouse located in the Il Mercato, 1641 Commercial Drive, at 1st and Commercial Drive.  This is a sweet spot that just opened 2 weeks ago. It’s located near the entrance of Super Value facing 1st Avenue. The Bench Bakehouse isn’t visible from Commercial Drive, but we encourage you to walk through the Il Mercato or the few feet from the Drive along 1st Ave. to check it out. They have lots of baked deliciousness including a great variety of freshly baked breads which are naturally leavened sourdough. They also offer a great array of the sweet stuff including brownies, brioche, croissants, a coconut mango cake we were tempted to walk out with, and shortbread cookies big enough for sharing. Did we mention all this sweet stuff is made with 100% real butter. The duo behind this new space know what they are doing having trained in Paris, France at the prestigious Ecole Gastronomique Bellouet Conseil.  The Bench Bakehouse is open 6 days a week and they have a couple seating areas if you want to park it and kick back for a bit.

East Van Entrepreneurs Launch Vintage & Branded Clothing Line – Mister, We Are The Weirdos

28 Jan

mwatw-blacktIn case you haven’t noticed, vintage is in vogue. Not only is it sustainable, many of the items you will find are of better quality than some of the flimsy and disposable pieces produced these days. There are some very cool items available to purchase if you know where to look.  So we wish to point you in the direction of one spot that’s come to our attention. We introduce you to two enterprising young ladies who recently launched a new vintage and branded line of clothing Mister, We Are The Weirdos.

Mister, We Are The Weirdos is the brainchild of Niki Maretta and Kat McPhee, Niki originally hails from Toronto and is a published writer, professional server of alcoholic beverages and more recently a trained yoga teacher.  Kat McPhee is a portrait artist with an eclectic sense of style and she owns it. When Kat is not working in her studio, you will find her doing circles around the ice in her Ringette squad.  Kat and Niki’s love of fashion and pre-owned clothing, of the eclectic variety and cocktails, sparked the idea of Mister, We Are The Weirdos.

The name is a play on an iconic line from the film The Craft. In the film, four outcast teenage girls pursue withcraft and through the experiences create a unique bond, much like Niki and Kat have working together at a downtown pub. They bonded not on their similarities, but on their differences and oddities. They feel they are weird magnificent misfits, a title they were proud to wear.

Niki and Kat are devoted fans of the 90’s grunge scene and offer a selection of secondhand clothing with unique pieces that represent the quirkiness they find inspiring. What we love most about this brand is what it represents. Mister, We Are The Weirdos, makes the statement that being different and being yourself is what makes each person beautiful. It is their mission to create a brand that encourages creativity and individuality, while building a community that celebrates diversity.  We are totally on board with that.  To see what curated pieces are available, visit Mister, We Are The Weirdos. You can also check them out on Etsy, or follow along on Instagram or Facebook.

New In Town: Me & Monty Dog Spa Products

19 Apr

MontyWithSoapHere 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.M&MDogBarSoap M&MDogShampoo M&MNose&PawButter SoapM&M

Photo Credit:  Karla Wakefield Photography

Sips Cocktail Emporium Helping You Make The Perfect Cocktail

13 Jul

Mother's Day Gold and PinkMany 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

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