Tag Archives: Gift Ideas

Missed the Culture Crawl? Ditch The Crowds And Meet Some Makers of The Mergatroid December 18

16 Dec

If you didn’t get a chance to hit the Eastside Culture Crawl this past November, don’t fret! This coming Saturday there’s a chance to ditch the heavy crowds from last month and hit the Mergatroid Open House. When it comes to East Vancouver’s art scene many think of the iconic Parker Street building. However, the Mergatroid building across the street also hosts a variety of local talent, from ceramicists to glassblowers and now here’s your (second) chance to see their open studios and do some of last-minute Christmas shopping. With the amount of artisans opening up their studio spaces this weekend, there is bound to be a gift for everyone still on your list.  We’ve set out below which studios will be open to visitors this Saturday from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm at the Mergatroid, 975 Vernon Drive.

Glassware:

Glassblowers make up the heart of the Mergatroid building. Attached to Terminal City Glass Coop, this building houses a variety of different glassblowers, all having unique techniques and skillsets. Find Dougherty Glassworks, Maria Ida Designs, Scott Mcdougall and Felicia Vandenboogaard in #259 where they’ll be hosting their iconic “seconds sale” – a great chance to find those unique gifts that no one else has, at a discounted price.

Ceramics:

Who doesn’t love receiving pottery as a gift? Find Eikam Ceramics, a Vancouver favourite when it comes to ceramic décor and tableware. If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind ceramic piece, visit Firebelly Clayworks at #230 for unique but functional sculptural bowls, teapots and mugs.

Textiles & Fashion: 

Are you looking gift for that trendsetter in your life? Check out Bronsino’s handcrafted and bespoke leather bags and accessories. Find their workshop at #225 in the Mergatroid Building. For gifts for someone that loves the West Coast, visit Bettina Matzkuhn at #235 for her embroidered landscapes and cartography inspired pieces. 

Shop Local: Great Gift Ideas Under $75

7 Dec

Shopping local has taken on greater meaning during the pandemic for a number reasons and people are embracing it wholeheartedly which is great to see. There are so many great opportunities to support local with gift giving this holiday season. We are highlighting below some of our great local finds under $75 which are perfect for gift giving this holiday season.

Santa Stops Here Gift Box by Swiss Bakery $50

Swiss Bakery, 143 East 3rd Avenue, is a beloved Mount Pleasant destination and long standing business in the community.   This year they are offering a Santa Stops Here Gift Box that includes:

1 Stollen (without marzipan)
2 Gingerbread Man and Woman
1 Just Tea Tin
1 Christmas Cookies Pack

Attending Christmas dinner where someone else is doing all the cooking?  What a perfect hostess gift to bring.   Visit Swiss Bakery to order online. Curbside pick up and delivery is available.

Handcrafted Wooden Lit Stars By Roman & Ash Design $60

If you are looking for a unique sustainable gift that will last for years to come, consider these wooden lit stars handcrafted by Johnny Defazio of Roman & Ash Design.   This star pictured is $60 with lights included. Should you wish a different design or shape say a Christmas tree, Johnny does custom work as well.  Feel free to contact him directly via Instagram @johnny_defazio.

Cocktail Kits By Odd Society Spirits $34 – $58

Local distiller Odd Society Spirits is offering a number of delectable cocktail kits perfect for gift giving this holiday season. Some of the selection includes Old Fashioned Cocktail Kit for $50 using their Commodore Single Malt Whiskey, or there’s the Thornton Park Cocktail Kit using their Wallflower Gin and Crème de Cassis for $58 as well as the Modern Hound Kit using their East Van Vodka for $34. These are just a few, to see all the cocktail kits, visit them at Odd Society Spirits. Curbside pick up is available.

Cheesemonger Gift Box By les amis du FROMAGE $65

Have a cheese lover in your life? If so, check out the Classic Cheesemonger Gift Box from les amis du FROMAGE which includes 3 pieces of cheese, a Divina Orange Fig preserve and Carr’s crackers.   You have the option to add more cheese and characuterie if you wish. Visit them only to place your order to see all the delish options.

ILiveInEastVan Totes $30 – $35

We would be remiss if we didn’t include our ILiveInEastVan totes in the mix. Available online for delivery or curbside pick up.  Prices range from $30 – $35. You can visit our Etsy Shop online and while there, check out the new ILiveInEastVan reflective patches that can be sewn on or ironed on to whatever you choose for $12.50. They make a great stocking stuffer.

East Van Jam Mini Sets $17

We love East Van Jam anytime of the year for their more love, less sugar frame of mind. We are also big fans of edible gifts and what a perfect hostess or holiday gift this season than a mini set of delish spreads with a variety of flavours and unique names. Made locally with BC produce, how much more local can you get? This set is available online from a favourite gift shop, Plenty + Spare in Hastings Sunrise.

June Hunter’s City Crow Calendar 2022 $25

The 7th Annual City Crow Calendar 2022 Edition by June Hunter is now available for sale online for $25. Not only does one get the crow photographs, but also 12 months of crow stories, crow facts and smaller crow photos tucked in among spaces between dates in the calendar. Each month reveals new little crow surprises.  Heads up this does sell out every year, so if interested in picking this item up, best be quick.

Great Edibile Gifts This Holiday Season

18 Dec

JoyGiftsWe love food!  Some of our favourite gifts for the holidays involve delish things to eat or drink. We have found a lot more friends and family favouring edible items as gifts whether food, spirits or accessories that compliment cooking, baking or creating delish refreshments at homeIn East Van, there are so many amazing options to choose from.  On a recent trip to The Drive, we found a great selection of panetonne in Bosa Foods, Fratelli’s Bakery and Donald’s Market.  There are quite a few flavour variations now, but last year we were gifted one and the last bit became french toast. If you haven’t tried this, we do recommend giving it a try.   We’ve set out some suggestions for easy to find edible gifting this holiday season below. Whether it’s a hostess gift, thank you or maybe create your own basket from things you know the person would like, there are many great options close at hand in East Van.

Gift Baskets

There are many shops locally that will create custom gift baskets for you with a food related theme. The include LaGrotta delFrommagio, Bosa Foods, Gourmet Warehouse and Second Nature Home to name just a few.

Cooking Classes

Looking to gift an experience?  Gourmet Warehouse always has a great line up of demonstration cooking classes. They usually run for 3 hours often on the weekends, sometimes in the evening during the week.  The Italian Cultural Centre also features hands on cooking classes.  Most classes you get to eat what you make afterwards.

Craft Beer

No way we could just skip over craft beer as a gift for the beer lover. So many great breweries to choose from each with their own unique offering, but pretty much all offer growlers. If you prefer to give the gift of a brewery tour, our friends at Vancouver Brewery Tours have that covered.

Spirits 

Looking to gift some locally made spirits, we are pretty fond of Odd Society Spirits 1725 Powell Street with a great selection of locally made spirits including East Van Vodka, Wallflower Gin, Cassis, Bittersweet Vermouth and Oaken Wallflower Gin. During the holidays, we love to serve their cassis with prosecco. It’s an easy cocktail when entertaining. There’s also Resurrection Spirits at 1672 Franklin Street. Down side is they are only open Thursday to Saturday from 6:00 pm to 12:00 am whereas Odd Society  Spirits has easier hours for popping in and picking a bottle or two. Odd Society is open Thursday to Sunday 1:00 pm to 11:00 pm save for Sunday evening which they wrap it up at 7:00 pm.  

Pies

I mean who doesn’t love a delicious pie? Andrea and Stephanie French of The Pie Shoppe at 1875 Powell Street make seriously delicious pie.  If you need to bring dessert for Christmas dinner or get together and want to wow family or friends, this is where you pick up your pie.

 

Shop Local: Gifts Ideas Under $50

13 Dec

GiftsUnder50 (2)

We are big fans of local, shopping and buying local where we can.  There are so many great opportunities to support local with gift giving, we thought we’d highlight some great finds under $50 to help you with your Christmas shopping.

Walnut Boards $20 & $30 

The folTheWoodShopWalnutBoardsks at The Wood Shop have created these beautiful wooden boards made from reclaimed black walnut. Perfect for serving appetizers or charcuterie. Add a unique cheese, a small jam, some nuts, you are set. Small board is $20 and large is $30.  To order yours, visit them online at The Wood Shop.


Starters, Salads & Sexy Sides $24.95
Starters Salads & Sexy Sides

Caren McSherry, owner and chef of Gourmet Warehouse, recently published a cookbook Starters, Salads & Sexy Sides. This is a collection of over 80 creative recipes for the foodie in your life. Book retails for $24.95 and is available at Gourmet Warehouse in store or online.

Nip In The Butt – $10

This is forNipInTheButtColours the cat lovers, or those looking for a fun gift for the cat lover. 2 Fork Designs has created this fun whimsical design called Nip In The Butt.  This cool catnip cat toy is made with 4 layers of felt and comes in a host of different colours all for $10.  To purchase your Nip In The Butt, check out their Etsy Shop.  Pssst 2 Fork Designs is offering our readers a 20% discount use code 1217EASTVAN20 to get your discount.

Sriracha Revolver Gift Pack – $24

Know someone that loves sauces? We recommend this Gift SrirachaRevolverGiftPack (2)Pack by local East Van business, Sriracha Revolver. It includes their 3 sauces for $24.00 – Beets + Tequila, Cilantro + Lime Sriracha and Clean Mango Sriracha. The Gift Pack is currently only available at the Blitzen Pop Up Shop at 623 Kingsway which is open Wednesday to Saturday 12:00 to 8:00 pm.  You can also order their sauces individually online, or visit their website to see where you can purchase them.

Silver Wrapped Pearl Earrings – $45

SilverWrappedRoseEarringsC&SKnow a special woman that deserves something unique and pretty? We are sure you do and we bet she might like these freshwater pearls wrapped with pure Argentium sterling silver wire. They give the impression of small rose buds in bloom. They are made by local jewellery designers, Cord & Stone and are available online, but you can also find some of their pieces at Second Nature Home on Commercial Street and Scout & Co. in Steveston. To see all their designs, visit them at Crafty Affaire at The Croatian Cultural Centre December 16th.

Carrall Credit & Debit Card Wallet – $30

For the guy that doesn’t like to carry a wallet, but just a few cards. These woodeCarrallKonisaStudiosn credit/debit card holders designed by Jeremy Lee of Konisa Studios hold up to 6 cards. As you might imagine, the wood does keep the cards from bending or breaking.  This is cool gift that will last and at $30 we think a steal. You can find the Carrall Credit/Debit Wallet in person at Kyubu Market located in the Maker Labs or online at Konisa Studios.

Em’Say Lil Squares Planters – $20/$25

We are qEm'SayLilSquaresuite in love with the concrete planters created by Nadia M’Seffar of Em’Say.  Nadia has created a number of different planters in various shapes and sizes, but we quite like the Lil Squares Planters which range from $20 to $25, whether you have 1, 2 or 3 side by side with a living plant, they look darn cool and make a great gift this Christmas. To purchase, visit her store online or stop by the Eastside Flea this weekend for the Holiday Market Saturday and Sunday. Outside of that, you can purchase them at Octopus Studios by appointment.

Macaron 6 Piece Gift Box – Le Gateau Bake Shop – $MacaronsLeGateau215

Who does not love to receive macarons? They are delish and usually gluten free. They make a great hostess gift, stocking stuffer, or maybe that  Secret Santa gift at the office.  You can’t go wrong with this 6 piece set in a beautiful gift box from Le Gateau Bake Shop located on 3458 East Hasting Street (at Cassiar).  Pop by in person, or place your order in advance.

 

East Van Mule Kit – Odd Society Spirits-$60

OK we know this isn’t under $50, but just over but we think it makes a great gift so felt MuleKitOSScompelled to include.  Check out this East Van Mule Kit by the good folks at Odd Society Spirits which comes with a Moscow Mule Cup, Rootside Provisions Ginger Beer Mix, a bottle of their East Van Vodka and a few fresh limes.  To order your East Van Mule Kit, contact Odd Society Spirits or drop by the distillery.

We hope you will consider shopping local and supporting all the amazing small businesses in our community.

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