If you are always on the hunt for new and interesting foods, decor and entertaining supplies like I am, local markets are the place to be. Vancouver has a few rotating markets that are held throughout the year such as Got Craft, Refresh, Etsy, and Make It, plus there is a whole swath of seasonal farmers markets across the city.
All of these markets are always incredibly popular, and their popularity is a great sign that these markets are here to stay. I mean hey, who doesn’t like to shop for wonderful (and very unique) hand-crafted items, all while supporting local artists and the local economy? I definitely do- and have really tried to support local since moving to Vancouver. While all of our local products are amazing in their own right, I really tend to appreciate them a lot more since I (most-likely) got to chat with the actual person who made them and hear their story behind it! Now that is something that just doesn’t happen too often nowadays, but regardless I am happy that we are moving back to this way of thinking and doing!
This past weekend, I visited Fall For Local’s Spring Pop-Up Market at the Pipe Shop Building in North Vancouver…and let’s just say I truly fell for local! I met some wonderful chefs, artists and designers who I will definitely continue to support and will tell my friends (you guys!) all about. Let me take you on my adventure below!
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post; all thoughts and opinions are my own 🙂
After taking in the beautiful view of the city skyline on a the SeaBus ride to the North Shore and a quick walk over to the newly renovated (and may I say absolutely GORGEOUS) Pipe Shop Building in North Vancouver, I came upon the Fall For Local market. Fall For Local is a great community that promotes locally-made products and is all about connecting people and sharing knowledge. For just $3 online (or $5 a the door) you got access to shop all different sorts of products designed by local artists and vendors all weekend long.
We got in around 11:30, so it wasn’t too busy (just the way I like it). There was everything there from artisinal goodies, to jewelry, to party supplies, to clothing and bags. If the vendors weren’t laid out in long rows up and down the venue, I honestly wouldn’t know what to start with first! There were so many beautiful things to see! I originally came to sample some of the locally made foods and to curate some great host/hostess gifts for spring (post coming soon!), but as you will see below, I couldn’t stick to my guns.
Make Merry Party Shop
While browsing some tables at the entrance, out of the corner of my eye I saw Make Merry’s eye-catching booth and I bee-lined over. The cacti balloons were just the sweetest things that I have ever seen (perfect for a Cinco de Mayo party) and the added pink flowers on the cacti made them look even cuter! They had a great selection of beautiful and brightly coloured paper plates, paper straws, napkins, cups, more balloons, and party hats all curated from different sources. They even had a mini unicorn pinata…OMG swoon. There is no way that your party could be boring in any way if you had these great party supplies and fun decor there! While I didn’t pick up anything from them this time, I am definitely planning on stalking their Instagram (@makemerryshop) for party inspo and to see when they will be at other local markets in the city. Plus, I found out I can always order products online from their website. Thanks so much ladies!
Short and Sweet Cookie Co.
Next, I decided to switch gears and head towards the food booths. At the far end of the venue, I came across Andrea from Short and Sweet Cookie Co. Andrea was the sweetest…which must be from all those tasty shortbread cookies she makes! She makes small batch, all butter, handmade shortbread cookies and definitely knows how to do it right! She had lots of samples to try at her booth so I tried a piece of savoury Cheddar Shortbread which was packed with lots of sharp cheddar cheese and a piece of sweet Sea Salt and Toffee Shortbread. Andrea described the Sea Salt and Toffee Shortbread as being basically butter on butter, and man, it was so good that I ended up buying a package for $6 (and fully consumed it by 9 pm that same night 😛 ).
After chatting with Andrea, I discovered that she bakes her cookies in a kitchen in North Vancouver, up to a possible 2,000 at a time, in one of the largest ovens in Vancouver. When your cookies are this good, having the capacity to bake that many at a time is super handy. Thanks again Andrea! I will be keeping an eye on your Instagram (@shortandsweetcookie) and website to catch you at other markets in the city and for some cookie inspo of my own!
I slightly veered off the beaten path when visiting Coast Protein this year at the market. Coast Protein sells protein bars, but these aren’t your regular old protein bars… they’re made with Canadian crickets! Say whaaaa? I have never tried crickets before in my life (literally any bug that looks “crunchy” scares me to death) but after seeing that they were mixed with chocolate and peanut butter, I was game. I tried both the chocolate and the peanut butter samples and they were both amazing, but the peanut butter was the true winner for me and picked up a beautifully-packaged bar for $3.75. What’s more is that these protein bars are full of nutritious, natural and sustainable cricket protein and contains natural cricket omegas, iron, zinc, calcium and magnesium as well. Who knows, maybe you will be seeing some cricket recipes on my blog soon!
After chatting with the reps there, I found out that they are coming out with a cricket protein powder that you can mix into your smoothies or with a bit of nut milk in your blender. I will definitely be watching their Instagram (@coastprotein) and website for the launch!
After eating those tasty crickets, I needed a little beverage to wash them down with, and by the grace of God along came Salty Paloma. Salty Paloma focuses on producing cocktail rimmers, of both the sweet and salty varieties. After admiring the beautiful booth, I met the (also beautiful) owner Amanda (girl, your lashes are on point!), who offered me a taste of her creations. I sampled “Dynamite”, a salt-based rimmer which contained a perfect mix of grapefruit, chili, raw cacao powder and Himalayan sea salt. She really got the name right with this one as it was indeed dynamite! It was definitely salty, but had a great spicy and chocolaty kick near the end and I could definitely see that this would shake up any old margarita recipe. I also tried “Havana”, a sugar-based rimmer which contained grapefruit, lime, mint and raw cane sugar. I’m a total sucker for anything with mint in it, and of course this rimmer didn’t disappoint. I liked it so much that I picked up a perfectly packaged bottle for $13! I am definitely looking forward to using this rimmer during the summer in my Mint Mojito recipe!
Amanda also let me sample her spicy Caesar rimmer, “Maria”, and again, this did not disappoint. It was mildly spicy and contained the traditional Caesar spices such as celery, coriander, jalapeno, and salt, but also had a bit of tartness from grapefruit which made it even more special. This rimmer will add the perfect twist to our nations most treasured cocktail for Canada’s 150th Birthday this year! I will be ordering this rimmer from Salty Plaoma’s website (which has a 20% discount code right now!) and will be drooling over their beautiful cocktail photos on Instagram (@saltypaloma) all summer long!
My final food-related booth for the event was NutMeg Mylk. They had an incredibly busy booth that day offering samples and selling bottles of fresh nut milk to the market-goers. Naturally, I had to see what all the commotion was about and once again, I was not disappointed! I originally saw NutMeg Mylk’s local, handcrafted, fresh nut milk on their very impressive Instagram profile (@nutmegmylk). Their Insta photos are absolutely STUNNING! Apart from their pretty Instagram profile, I was intrigued by them since I have really tried to cut a lot of dairy out of my diet recently and their “mylks” looked much tastier than what I was buying in bulk at Costco. As I found out from the reps at the booth, indeed these mylks are much better for you as they do not contain additive preservatives or chemicals and their ingredients are locally sourced (as much as possible).
I sampled their original and most popular mylk, “The Tahiti”, which is made with almonds, Brazil nuts, vanilla, salt, filtered water and is sweetened with maple syrup. I also tried “The Pacific”, which is a matcha-flavoured mylk and is delicious all on its own. Both mylks were very creamy and flavourful, and I ended up picking up a bottle of “The Tahiti” for $12. It was just so creamy and basically goes with everything…and is particularly awesome in coffee!
You can find NutMeg Mylk at various pop-up shops around the city or you can order it online from their website.
Canvas Candle Co.
Just around the corner was Canvas Candle Co.‘s luxurious spring-inspired booth. I have been looking for a new brand of candle to feature on my blog in my list of host/hostess gifts and have been searching endlessly for a new spring scent. After smelling all the beautifully-scented 100% soy wax candles, I fell in love with “Spa Sumi”. It has a very fresh scent with notes of lemongrass and citrus and is perfect for spring.
Trevor, who was working the booth, was incredibly sweet and knowledgeable about the candles. He said that he and his wife (who was actually working another market that day) have had the business for a year and a bit and he had actually started a new career with this business. Hey, if they’re having to work two markets the same day, it looks like it was a good career move! I will be checking their Instagram (@canvascandleco) and checking their website for even more scents in the future! Thanks Trevor!
Emily Cheung Design & Lettering
Last, but definitely not least was Emily Cheung Design & Lettering. Emily is a Vancouver-based graphic designer and lettering artist who designs gorgeous items from cards, to bags to tea towels and more all right here in Vancouver. I was drawn to her booth from the beautiful, bold, yet minimalistic calligraphy on her products- which is so trendy right now! After debating between one of her lovely digitally-printed tea towels and a tote, I opted for the tote…I did need something to carry everything home in anyways! I can say though that I will be back again for a few cards and tea towels which will make fantastic host/hostess gifts! Emily’s website is under construction, but I will be keeping a close eye on her Instagram (@emcheungdesign) for updates and to check out her latest creations!
So here it is… my haul of the Fall For Local Spring Pop-Up 2017!
If I had done all this shopping in a mall, I would have been exhausted by the end of it, but that was not the case with the Fall For Local Spring Pop-Up Market. There were so many amazing products to look at, so many things to sample, and so many interesting, hardworking, and talented people to engage with. To meet these amazing people, hear their stories, and see products of their passion being made right here in Vancouver just fills my heart with joy. I love that I was able to support everyone here in their work and am very grateful that I have their products in my home (or had…before I ate them 😛 ). I am also very happy that I could share these products with you and I hope that this really encourages you to get out and see what local has to offer!
Keep an eye out on my blog for upcoming markets and give all these artists a follow on Instagram! #LoveLocal #ShopLocal #SupportLocal #FallForLocal