We’re a pretty satisfied bunch, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t covetous. Sometimes we see things out there that we just must have. Cool Things We Want is an archive of those earthly desires.
From wine and cheese to bread and chocolate, these gift ideas provide not only instant and delicious gratification, but also reasons for people to come together. And that’s what the holiday season is all about, right?
Working out of their little Main Street shop, Blue Heron is putting out some of the most phenomenal, innovative ‘cheese’ in the city – they just so happen also to be vegan. Gifting some Blue Heron goodness is a wholesome trifecta of love: for the receiver, a locally run small business and the planet (read our recent interview with founder and chef, Karen McAthy, here). Gift Certificates for cheese subscriptions are available in $35 and $105 denominations. They’re also currently taking pre-orders for three ‘Tis the Season’ packages, designed for all types of holiday gatherings. Find out more.
Les Amis du Fromage
Cheese basically guarantees smiles, and a visit to Les Amis du Fromage will set you up with a spread of the good stuff (as well as perfect accompaniments). If you’re too busy and/or indecisive to visit one of their two locations,Les Amis also has an online ordering system for their cheese, charcuterie and antipasto platters (as well as gift certificates). Additionally, if you feel like flipping the bird at Turkey Dinner then try one of Les Amis’ famous house made Tourtiere (Quebec meat pie) instead. Tourtiere come in two sizes – 5″ and 10″ – and are made from a time-tested 50-year-old family recipe including meat that’s entirely hand cut. Tourtiere are extremely limited in availability, so you’d better hurry if you want to get your hands on one! Find out more.
What better way to show some “loave” for the bread-lover in your life than by signing them up for a bread subscription from Ubuntu Canteen (in-house baker Myra Maston is currently leading one of Vancouver’s best bread programs). Available as a one-month, three-month or six-month option, each one guarantees your giftee two loaves per week – one Maritime and one rotating flavour – for pick-up from the bakery/cafe on the days of your choosing. (If you’re feeling extra generous, offer to handle the pick-ups and delivery yourself…and pick yourself up a yummy pastry creation while you’re at it.) Find out more.
A Wine Club membership makes a great gift. I mean, who wouldn’t want a steady supply of wine from one of BC’s best wineries delivered directly to their door? Most wineries have some sort of membership option, ranging in number of bottles, frequency of delivery, overall cost and customizability, plus some have some pretty unique perks (eg. a combined cheese and wine subscription from Upper Bench – yum!). Skip the long haul trip to wine country and shop our list of 23 options here.
The Winter Farmers Market (held in the parking lot at Nat Bailey stadium) is the best way to load up on all the locally produced goodies that will keep you healthy and happy over the holidays. While you’re there, be sure to pick up a handful of their handy wooden Vancouver Farmers Market Money tokens. Valued at $5 per, they’re good for use at all markets – all year round – and make awesome stocking stuffers. Find out more.
Harvest Union CSA
Gift a box of fresh fruit and veg from Harvest Community Foods’ CSA program. There are many options to choose from: one week, several weeks, or the entire season-long. A single box costs $35 for a two-person bounty. CSA boxes are fantastic gift; not only are you making sure that the recipient gets a steady and changing supply of the best things growing, but CSAs also directly support our hardworking local farmers. Extra bonus: the good people of Harvest include a recipe with each box that reflecting its contents, so you won’t ever find yourself stumped. Find out more.
Who doesn’t love receiving a box of chocolates? East Van Roasters is a fully registered charity that employs women living in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside who are looking to reenter the workforce. They recently won in several categories at the World Finals of the International Chocolate Awards, so when you give their chocolates, you’re giving top quality, interesting chocolate AND you’re strengthening the social fabric of the city by supporting a program that works to provide practical experience for women on the DTES. Good all around. Pick up a gift box of 6 truffles – and then grab yourself a lemon poppyseed white chocolate bar (vegan) or a few ginger, fruit & nut mendiant to eat on the way home. Find out more.
Most restaurant and cafes have them, and gifting the opportunity to visit a worthwhile establishment is a great way to say you appreciate someone. Feast on the options listed at the bottom of this page under Scout Community.