December 8, 2020

Your “Support Local” 2020 Holiday Gift Guide

Everyone has been impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, especially local business owners in our communities. On Vancouver Island, we are privileged to have a diverse selection of talented artisans, makers, and local businesses that carry an incredible range of hand-crafted, locally sourced and unique products and goods. This holiday season more than ever before is the time to support these Vancouver Island-based businesses. From fresh, locally sourced food to decor and clothing, here are some favourite local Vancouver Island businesses, sorted into a handy holiday shopping guide to help you find the perfect gift for everyone on your list!

ISLAND GOOD GIFT BOXES

Gift your friends and family a little taste of the Island with these Island Good gift baskets packed full of products and goodies made in the Vancouver Island & Gulf Island region. With several themed boxes to choose from, you’ll have no trouble finding the perfect gift for someone special. Current boxes include the Pantry Box with Singing Bowl Granola Paleo Bites, Saltspring Kitchen Co. spread, Gathering Place Trading spices, Ed’s Soup Shack+, Pixie Chicks Spices and Yeshi Dressing and the Spa Box with Metchosin Soapworks soap, Your Elegant Essentials hand & foot butter, Wychbury Ave bath bomb and shower steamer, Standing Spruce Homesteads body scrub, and Stonehouse Teas. There are also Him, Her, and They gift boxes, Dog and Cat gift boxes, and many more! Visit Island Good’s website to order or create your own theme gift box by exploring the list of Island Good producers.

SPICES

Show someone how much you love them with the gift of flavour with chef inspired spice blends from Woodfire Spice Company. All their blends are hand blended on Gabriola Island and are gluten-free with no msg, additives, preservatives or fillers. They have a full line of easy to use spice blends for everyday use that can be ordered online, including blends such as Salish Sea Salmon Spice, Pacific Cioppino Spice Blend and West Coast Searing Spice. Choose from individual aluminium tins, gift boxes or packages.

APPETIZERS & DELICACIES 

Nesvog Meats & Sausage Co. Ltd. is a Nanaimo family-owned and operated meat & deli shop that offers high-quality meats sourced from local farm communities, store-made baked goods, and a wide variety of locally made products from across Vancouver Island, Gabriola Island and Salt Spring Island. Show the foodies in your life how much you appreciate them this year with an assorted gift basket or gift card from Nesvog Meats.

Know somebody with a sweet tooth? Burnt Honey Dessert Company at Country Club Centre in Nanaimo serves homemade, high-quality ice cream and macarons using locally sourced ingredients. You can purchase gift cards or tokens from their online store, both of which can be redeemed in-shop for pints of ice cream, packs of macarons, or scooped cones of ice cream. Delicious! 

Handmade in the Cowichan Valley, Pickles’ Pantry offers delicious products made with real quality ingredients sourced from Vancouver Island, including Island Farmhouse Poultry, Lockwood Farms and Hertel’s Meats. Their online store is stocked with a range of fresh appetizers and delicacies, including pâtés, terrines, pickles & preserves, and Grazing Boxes filled with a full range of delicious ingredients such as cheese, cured meats, dips, chutney and jam, fruits, baguettes, crackers, and more. Vegan and vegetarian options are also available.

APPAREL & Decor

If you’re looking for gifts for kids and children, you can find a curated collection of children’s clothing, decor, gear, toys, and giftware at Citrus Kids in Nanaimo. They provide fresh, in-season clothing choices for children and have a wide selection of products from proven industry leaders in child safety, transportation and home decor. You can browse and purchase their items from their online store, or if you’re not sure what you want to give as a gift, you can purchase gift cards from their website as well.

An extension of Haute Wheels Mobile BoutiqueThis & That For Living and Giving is a Nanaimo brick and mortar store that carries home decor and gift-giving items such as witty cards, candles, greenery, clothing, Salt Spring Island Soapworks, Midnight Paloma Bath & Body, and so much more. If you’re looking for a unique, one-of-a-kind gift to give this year, then this is the place to shop! 

Quintessential is a unique boutique in downtown Nanaimo that features women’s clothing, handbags, jewelry, shoes, baby gifts and accessories. They have a range of high-quality products at affordable prices, and every product is handpicked to deliver their customers the top-trending pieces to add to their wardrobe. Shop for such brands as Billabong, Black Tape, Dolce Vita, Kaffe, Toms and many more.

Help your friends and family bring in the New Year in style with Archer + Arrow’s new arrivals of apparel, footwear and jewellery. Or find gifts for the home such as candles, baskets, pillows and a variety of other home decor items. If you’re not looking to give clothes as a gift, they also carry a variety of apothecary products, including boos serums, purify cleansers, body butter, and clay masks. For a full look at all their clothing, products and accessories, visit their online store at the Archer + Arrow website.

VINTAGE & COLLECTIBLES

Do you know somebody who is a die-hard Star Wars fan? Crazy for superheroes? Or a sports memorabilia fanatic? Then Mycollectables, located in the heart of the Old City Quarter of Nanaimo, is the place to go! Mycollectables Vintage Toys carries vintage toys, memorabilia and comic books from the 1960s to the present day. Find everything from vintage action figures, toys and posters to sportscards, trading cards and more. 

COFFEE, SPIRITS & WINE

DRIP Coffee | Social on Departure Bay Road in Nanaimo serves high-quality coffee, food, ice cream and beverages. With an online store curated for coffee lovers, you can purchase unique blends of retail coffee beans, merchandise, including hoodies, travel tumblers, toques, hats, and shirts, and of course, gift cards.

Is your relative or friend a coffee sommelier? Drumroaster Coffee is a family-owned and operated coffee roastery and cafe in Cobble Hill, BC, that sells a line of rich, decadent coffees and espresso. From sweet and comforting to bold and rich, you’re sure to find the perfect cup of joe to gift someone from their online store.

French Press Coffee Roasters are award-winning specialty coffee roasters in Qualicum Beach, BC, that source and roast some of the very best coffee there is. Try their award-winning Ethiopia Kilenso Moconissa, which won a gold medal in the Golden Bean North America, the largest coffee roasting competition in the world!

Nanaimo’s Arbutus Distillery specializes in flavour-forward fine artisan spirits & cocktails that are brewed, fermented and bottled-on-site. Some of their popular spirits include their Blue Gin, a west coast inspired blue gin that transforms colour with citrus or tonic. And their Coven Vodka, a rich, viscous and smooth vodka with undertones of toast, chocolate & caramel. Other spirits available in their online store include absinthe, liqueur, and whiskey.

Chateau Wolff Estate is a family-run, boutique wine producer in Nanaimo, BC. Their five-acre vineyard boasts some of the oldest vines planted on Vancouver Island. Chateau Wolff Estate winery produces Pinot Noir, Syrah, Chardonnay, a White Blend and a fortified red called Rouge. You can order their wine from their online store for pick-up, shipping or have it delivered straight to your front door.

We hope this list inspires you to shop local this holiday season, as well as into the New Year! When we purchase from locally owned businesses, rather than big-box retailers, we put more money back into our local economy, create better connections in our community, and most importantly, provide support to our friends and neighbours. While COVID-19 has made it tricky to support your local artisans and makers, the good news is that you can still buy these Island-made gifts online from the comfort of your own home. And with so many unique products readily available, you’re bound to find the perfect unique gift for everyone on your list.

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