by Michelle Sproule | A new tea house called The Capilano Herbal Apothecary just opened at 1875 Powell Street in Hastings-Sunrise. It serves cold and hot drinks including signature blends of herbal teas, ginger brews, sodas, and an Indigenous coffee produced in a Zapatista cooperative. The teas will change regularly depending on the seasonal availability of ingredients. Indigenous food offerings are coming soon, including salmon chowder and bison stew.
It’s owned and operated by four Squamish Nation women, T’uy’tanat Cease Wyss and her daughter Senaqwila Wyss, and Michelle Nahanee and her daughter Paisley Eva Nahanee. Together, they’ve created a space that is beautiful in many ways.
“The Capilano lets us share some of our Indigenous culture and traditions in a space where everyone is welcome. Cease and I wanted our daughters to understand how to run a business, while staying connected to our traditions. Today is a new era for Indigenous people, where we can balance walking in both worlds. We are preparing our daughters to do this,” says Michelle. From their backgrounder:
T’uy’tanat Cease Wyss blends our teas. She is a traditional herbalist who has apprenticed with several medicine women over the last 25 years. Her daughter, Senaqwila Wyss, has trained with her mother in gathering, growing and blending the teas.
Michelle Nahanee is a communication professional and graphic artist with 20 years’ experience working with Aboriginal imagery and organizations. Her daughter, Paisley Eva Nahanee, follows in her mother’s footsteps and is an artist and illustrator. Paisley is the primary designer of The Capilano space, combining minimalist and cultural influences to create our peaceful oasis on Powell Street.
Together, we have have combined our talents and passion to create a welcoming and inclusive business that connects visitors to our Indigenous lands, culture and teachings. The Capilano is a truly homegrown business, rooted in the First Nations tradition of caring for and lifting each other up.
The gorgeous, open concept space is soaked in natural light and makes one feel instantly at home. Take a look: