Holiday shopping will look a little bit different this year and with that in mind, we’ve compiled a different kind of holiday gift guide that comes in two parts. Today, in Part 1, we’re sharing some of our favourite local shops in each of the communities we have offices in, so you can stay close to home and support small businesses wherever you are. 2020 has been rough on everyone, but especially small businesses, who have dealt with changing regulations and a sharp decline in in-person shopping. We’re hoping to put our money back into our local communities this year and we know many of you feel the same way. Many of you are still avoiding in-person shopping altogether, so Part 2 of the Gift Guide (which we’ll share next week) will include a few more gift ideas for travellers that can be purchased online from wherever you live.
So, without further ado, here are some of our team’s favourite places to do our holiday shopping in our local communities. If you choose to visit any of these local gems, please make sure to follow their Covid-19 precautions, sanitize your hands upon entry, and always wear a mask to keep everyone safe. Above all else, please be kind and patient with store staff who are working during a very challenging time. Happy Shopping!
Far + Wide
First up on our list is Far + Wide, a shop boasting a beautifully curated selection of gifts, homewares, cards, and plants.
Another winner of a gift store filled with special things is Crooked Crown. With a wide selection of gift items, this might be your go-to spot to pick up stocking stuffers this year.
Art Knapp Garden Centre and Florist
For the gardener or plant-lover on your list, you can’t miss Art Knapp. As you might expect, they have a wide selection of plants, gardening supplies, and fresh flowers, but their clothing, giftware, and home decor make it a one-stop shop.
Ms. Whimsy’s Gift Emporium
If you’re looking for locally-made gifts, Ms. Whimsy’s stocks 99% Canadian handmade giftware and 1% upcycled items. www.facebook.com/mswhimsysgiftemporium
For the cook, there’s Four Oaks, who specialize in the freshest, highest quality of olive oils and premier balsamic vinegars.
Castles & Cottages
You’ll find a variety of hand-picked products at Castles & Cottages including kitchenware, bath, home decor, jewelry, fashion, and so much more.
Red Collar Brewing Co.
If you’re looking to share some Christmas cheer of the alcoholic variety, Kamloops boasts several local breweries including Red Collar who offer shopping in their taproom downtown or free local delivery on purchases over $65.
Monte Creek Ranch Winery
If you have a wine lover on your list, Monte Creek Ranch has an excellent selection of award-winning wines including their festive ‘Holiday Wine 6 Pack’ and offers free delivery for order of 12 bottles or more.
KARAT Chocolate Boutique & Café
Who doesn’t love chocolate, pastry, and coffee? KARAT is one of our favorite spots in Kelowna. Their beautiful and delicious artisan chocolates and pastries make fabulous gifts. One of their best sellers is their chocolate advent calendar.
Mosaic is the perfect local bookshop, with books, games, puzzles, and gifts for everyone on your list. The staff here are particularly helpful, and the children’s section is excellent if you’re buying gifts for any small people.
Spirit of the Lake
Spirit of the Lake Native Boutique has a wide range of art, jewelry, gifts, and home decor made by selected First Nation artists from B.C. and across Canada. Located in West Kelowna and owned by a local Syilx-Okanagan and Assiniboine-Sioux entrepreneur, this shop has fantastic gift options.
Kelowna Candle Factory
Don’t miss the hand-crafted 100% pure beeswax and natural soy candles at this shop. They are made locally and come in a variety of styles. You could also gift one of their private candle-making workshops.
Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery
The Okanagan is known for its wineries, but have you tried the locally distilled spirits at Okanagan Spirits? The distillery sprung from the idea of using 100% locally grown fruits and grains to make premium, world-class spirits and now offers a selection of more than 30 internationally awarded spirits.
Teaberry’s Fine Teas
For tea lovers, Kelowna’s first tea merchant, Teaberry’s has over 150 varieties of loose teas and infusions made using real ingredients and nothing artificial. Most of their products are organic or certified clean by European standards.
Lakehouse is a family owned and operated shop that sells gourmet kitchen, furniture, home décor, and giftware. It’s the perfect place to shop for the people who love to cook and entertain.
Olive Us Olive Oil and Vinegar Tasting Room
For the foodie on your list, don’t miss Olive US, with locations in Vernon, Lake Country, and Salmon Arm. They sell the finest quality ultra-premium olive oils, balsamic vinegar, sea salt, pasta and more from the finest global and local sources.
Any sweet-tooth will love the artisan chocolates from Cotton’s. The shop’s owner is Vernon’s only Master Chocolatier and is always helping the community and families around the globe with her charitable programs. Her chocolate is amazing too!
Planet Bee Honey Farm
This local business has been dedicated to educating and customers about the amazing world of the honeybee for over 20 years. They offer over 20 flavors of honey, honey mead (wine made from honey), and a gift shop with all things bee-related.
The BX Press
The BX Press is a cidery and orchard crafting artisan ciders on a third-generation orchard. Their selection of delicious ciders are available at the cidery and they also offer shipping throughout BC and Alberta.
Penticton & Summerland
Artisans of the Okanagan
Artisans of the Okanagan is a treasure trove of local art, crafts, and food from the Okanagan. Their ever-changing selection is all created by local artisans, so you can feel great knowing your purchases are staying right in the community.
Rustic and Refined
This shop is way more than your ordinary gift and home decor store. Specializing in rustic farmhouse style, you’ll find giftware, home decor, furnishings, accessories, jewelry and more. For the do-it-yourselfers they are currently offering take home craft kits which would make a great gift.
This store sells everything maple! This includes syrup, granola, candy and more. Maple Roch has brought east to west by introducing the finest Maple Syrup from the best trees in New Brunswick, crafted by generations of Maple craftsman families to the BC Market. You can also find their products at a variety of local retailers around the Okanagan.
Summerland Sweets is a family owned and operated business that sells a full range of fruit-based products including pancake syrups, gourmet jams, nut brittles, wines, and many gift packages. Their store also sells ice cream, local pottery, and artwork.
Ad Hoc is one of the most stylish, high-end clothing stores in the Okanagan with clothing, shoes, and accessories made by independent designers & artisans. What we love about this store is that the clothing they choose works for women of any age or size and supports all ethical brands. Don’t miss their fabulous jewelry!
The Book Shop
The Book Shop is one of Canada’s largest used book stores. With over 5,000 square feet of floor space, the store has thousands of new, used, and out-of-print books covering almost every subject imaginable. Give the gift of reading!
Located near the harbour in Government square, Merchant Quarters is a modern general store fashioned after the early general store of the 1800’s. They focus on products produced in B.C. by local makers and socially responsible companies. You’ll find everything from cheese to shoes in this stylish shop.
Victoria Public Market at the Hudson
Victoria Public Market in the old Hudson’s Bay Building is a unique, one-stop indoor shopping destination just north of downtown. The market showcases a diverse range of locally sourced artisan foods and handcrafted goods.
Royal BC Museum Shop
The Museum Shop carries items with a distinctly BC flavour, including books, art, jewelry, music, clothing, and toys. All the proceeds support the Royal BC Museum, so get your holiday shopping done and support the Museum Foundation at the same time!
This fun and eclectic shop in in the heart of LOJO (The Lower Johnson Shopping District) is full of unique gift ideas at reasonable prices. You’ll find everything from jewelry, art prints, kitchenware, textiles, frames, decor objects, greeting cards, furniture, and many other items. And they always have a fantastic selection of fun stocking stuffers.
Munro’s Books has been a destination for book lovers for more than 50 years and is often included in lists of the world’s most beautiful bookstores. Their helpful staff can help you select from their excellent selection of books and gifts for anyone on your list. They offer free shipping on orders over $75 so why not spend your money here instead of at one of the big online retailers.
Located in the heart of Estevan Village, Bungalow is your go-to store for cards, jewelry, soaps, toys, kitchen, and home goods. They are also offering after-hours shopping by appointment, individually or in small groups if you’d like to be extra safe.
The first Rogers’ chocolates were made in 1885 by Charles “Candy” Rogers in the back of his grocery store in Victoria and by 1891, Rogers expanded his chocolate operation to the company’s current store on Government Street. While the company still uses some of their original recipes (I’m looking at you Victoria Creams!) they also have new and exciting offerings each year and make the perfect holiday treat.
Thomas Haas Chocolates
Thomas Haas is THE place to go for artisan chocolates and other sweet treats, with locations in North Vancouver and Kitsilano. Or if you’re looking for a showstopper desert for Christmas dinner, look no further!
Vancouver Art Gallery Store
The Gallery Store inside the Vancouver Art Gallery has a great selection of contemporary art books, posters, paper goods, jewellery and designer giftware. All proceeds from sales support the programs of the gallery and they could use our support this year.
This stylish boutique in Cambie Village, celebrates well-crafted, functional and playful items. It’s the go-to spot for a lot of Vancouver gift-givers as it features a range of trendy items at a variety of price points.
Welk’s General Store
Welk’s harkens back to the days when general stores sold quality goods you actually needed for everyday living as well as fun seasonal surprises. This is the best place in Vancouver for stocking stuffers as they have a wide array of items for everyone on your list.
The Cross Decor and Design
Located in a heritage building in Vancouver’s historic Yaletown district, the Cross is known for luxury bedding, furniture, bath and body, art, baby gifts, accessories, books and more. At Christmas their stylish decor turns the shop into a winter wonderland filled with luxury treats.
Located on Powell Street in East Van’s port district, Odd Society is dedicated to combining Old World distilling traditions with New World ingredients and ingenuity to create a family of spirits including whiskey, vodka and gin. Don’t miss their seasonal Salal gin made with local salal berries and only available for a short time in the fall. They offer free local delivery on orders over $50.
Granville Island boasts a variety of small, independent businesses in one location. A few of our favourites are the Circle Craft Co-op for local arts and crafts, the Granville Island Toy Company for the kids on your list, Paper-Ya for unique stationary and gifts, and Opus for art supplies. But there are SO many more wonderful shops we don’t have room to include here.
This large store in East Vancouver is the spot to shop for all the foodies and cooks on your list. With everything from cookware to cocktail supplies to gourmet snacks they have a huge selection of gifts and stocking stuffers for anyone who loves food.