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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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Colony Bar Launches Main Street Location With Great Bar Eats

6 May

ColonyMainInteriorWe 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.

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New In Town: East Van Light

30 Apr

East Van Light - Dan Portrait-IMG_2681Today 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.East Van Light lamp2-IMG_2531

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 LysengEast Van Light lamp2-IMG_2621  East Van Light lamp5-IMG_2648

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