Market Love

Local Blogger, Jamie from Styling the Inside wrote all about her experience shopping the market with her family. She shared it on her site, and now we’re sharing it here, it’s just too good not to.


Do you like to support local businesses, farmers and vendors? Shop for organic, local produce, and reduce carbon footprint? Well, I do. Which is why, on Sunday, our family and my friend’s son,  paid a visit to the Port Moody Farmers Market!

It was a partly cloudy day, and we made it just before the rain. When we arrived, the first stand that caught our eye was the  Cravings kettle corn! Our feet lead us directly to the stand where we were kindly asked if we wanted to try some. Naturally, all of us were eager for a taste, and after a few bites… we couldn’t resist. Needless to say, we bought a large bag! As we walked around checking out the rest of the stands, our mouths were full of popcorn. It was sooo good!!!

The next stand we stopped at was a stand with pies, and desserts. We all tasted a piece of cookie, and then my lack of resistance kicked in once again and… I bought the kids a giant oatmeal, chocolate chip one. I’m a sucker for those taste tests, I tell ya. I really wanted to buy a pie, but because this was only the second stand we looked at, I wanted to have a look at my other options before buying the giant pie. But man, the apple pie looked delicious. I love warm apple pie and vanilla ice-cream. O.k, I need to stop writing about it. I’m craving pie now.

As we walked around the stands, taste testing, and browsing everything the market has to offer, live music was being played.  In addition, Participaction was situated directly in the middle of the market, with a ton of outdoor play equipment for the kids to enjoy, which included hula hoops, skip ropes, balls, and best of all, two child-sized wheel chairs, for the children to practice cruising around on. My youngest daughter, did not want to get off!

Perhaps, our breakfast wasn’t large enough that morning before we left the house, because we seriously tasted everything! Tea, desserts, jams, humus, salsa,  chips and even…vodka! Yes, I had a taste of vodka!

The girls were drawn to a hair accessory stand because the table was scattered with beautiful  handmade hair bands, clips, and accessories in all sorts of lovely colors. Both my girls purchased  a set of clips, and my friend’s son, browsed the table, thoughtfully thinking of the girls in his life that might like the clips (someone’s going to be a lady’s man).

Before we left, we let the kids play in the outdoor area with all the play equipment one last time.  While I watched them, I gobbled up kettle corn, while my daughter hollered, ” Don’t eat it all!”  And,  on our way out, I remembered why I came…to grab a bit of fresh produce. So, I grabbed two heads of fresh, local organic kale (I love using kale in my daily green smoothies) and we were off.



All in all, we thoroughly enjoyed the Port Moody Farmers Market and we can’t wait to go back! The next time we go, the girls would love to try one of the workshops, like the Mason Bee Jar one that was going on while were there.

Do you have a local farmers market you enjoy going too? I’m so happy we’ve discovered ours!

//Two heads of Kale from Langley Organic Growers, Kettle Corn from Cravings Kettle Corn, Humus from Bobali, fresh Salsa from Lupita, Smoked Cumin Powder from Amazing Foods, Sugar Free Jam from JJ’s Country Cookin’, and a Ukranian pastry from Solodko! We also bought a cookie, (but the evidence is gone) , and the girls got pretty handmade hair clips.//

Vendor Spotlight: Cravings Kettle Corn


SPOTLIGHT FEATURE SALE this Sunday at the Port Moody Farmers Market, make sure to stop by Cravings Kettle Corn because they have a special deal for you. If you buy one bag of their kettle corn, you will get a second bag for FREE! All you have to do is stop by their stand and let them know you want the Spotlight Deal or show them this feature on your phone.

The name says it all, Cravings Kettle Corn. If you have a craving, then this delicious kettle corn will definitely curb it. What is even better is the story of success behind this timeless snack, that of Michael Kozak, a young entrepreneur who worked hard to taste success.
Q. How did Cravings Kettle Corn get started?
I have been a candy chef for almost 10 years and I was working at an established candy shop learning how to make chocolate, fudge, caramel brittle, caramel corn, candy apples, and lots of other delicious specialties. I soon became a manager and I was very ambitious so I looked to take my skills elsewhere. In March 2011 I met a kettle corn owner who was selling his kettle corn equipment, I worked hard to see if this was something I was willing to pursue as a career, and 6 months later I bought the kettle corn equipment. I came up with the name “Cravings” because it really speaks to people that crave great candy.

Q. Why do you think it is so popular, besides being so delicious?
The kettle corn is so popular because most people like popcorn and it’s one of the great snacks that you have known your whole life. What makes our company special is that we offer a twist on the original popcorn and add dimensions of flavor to satisfy your taste buds. Plain popcorn is a whole grain, high in vitamins and fiber, and gluten free. Now we add a little bit of sugar and salt to the mix and give this great naturally delicious snack the flavor that it deserves.

Q. How many flavours do you carry and what are the favourites?
Most of the time we carry 2-4 types of kettle corn and caramel corn, I have made hundreds of flavors. Everyone loves the Sweet and Salty kettle corn so now we are calling it Classic Kettle Corn. We also make any color and flavor of kettle corn from Maple to Strawberry and Lime Kettle Corn. Caramel popcorn has more options for creating great recipes, because of the rich and creamy caramel, we can add much more depth to the flavors. Our best seller is salted vanilla bean caramel corn. The most popular specialty flavor is Dark & Stormy Caramel Corn and that’s the rich caramel made with dark rum, Indian Ginger, and Lime powder. We really do aim Satisfy Your Cravings!

Q.  You started at the Coquitlam Farmers Market and now your business has grown immensely! Why do you think farmers markets are so important?
We were still committed to staying true to our roots with being at 5 farmers markets per week. We choose farmers markets since we like the great community. All the vendors, that we see every week, are almost like family and we feel such a generous and heart felt welcome at all the markets. We all work together to have a great year! It’s so nice to see everyone come out to the markets, especially the return customers that we get to know. One of the best feelings is watching young children often starting out their market experience in strollers or in their parents’ arms, and every year we see them grow up. Kettle corn is one of the first snacks that kids love and we’re honored to make your lives super happy when you little one is mowing down a bag of classic kettle corn.
Q. Where do you sell Cravings Kettle Corn and what is the response when people see you there?
We love to have our company at big festivals and concerts, it’s a very exciting experience to be apart of the show business and feel the energy of thousands of people having a great time, and Cravings Kettle Corn makes the experience even better. People are so excited to see us and have an awesome snack while watching their favorite bands. Often there are line ups and people can’t get enough!
 Q. You are a young entrepreneur, where do you see yourself and your kettle corn business in 5 years?
I started Cravings Kettle Corn when I was 21 years old and now going into my 4th full year I feel like I am graduating from entrepreneurship. I understand business now and I feel as though my success has been a direct reflection of my hard work and dedication. To make this company successful I have to believe in myself and to make difficult decisions. I work well under pressure and always come through no matter the obstacle in regards to my career and personal life. I will continue to have this company because it is so rewarding and entirely fulfilling but I imagine in the near future I will be looking into more opportunities in owning more businesses.
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Thank you to everyone who played along in this week’s FacebookInstagram giveaway for a chance to win a $10 credit to the Port Moody Farmers Market. This weeks winner is Patricia Mounsey. Congratulations and please send an e-mail to to claim your prize. Another giveaway will go live on Monday, so come back and play along for your next chance to win!

DIY Mason Bee House

Local Blogger, Tairalyn from Little Miss Mama wrote all about our Mason Bee workshop that her husband Sammy and daughter Sofia attended. See all about their experience, including great tips about making your very own Mason Bee House and the best way to find a forever home in your yard for them:

PicMonkey Collage

This past Sunday was epic, because I said so! Now with me working Friday and Saturday our Sundays are extra special, it’s our time as a family to connect, explore, have fun but most importantly, be together. This last Sunday we hit our local Farmers Market, the Port Moody Winter’s Farmers Market, and not only shopped our list of weekly necessities, but also got our craft on. Sammy and Sofia were registered in a Mason Bee Workshop that was put out by the Farmer’s Market and hosted by Dr. Veronica Wahl, from the Institute of Urban Ecology at Douglas College, where she taught them all about Mason Bee’s, including walking them through making a Mason Bee House. We left the market that day with not only our usual, freshly baked pretzels from Gesundheit Bakery, Popcorn from Cravings Kettle Corn, and Tuna from Wild West Coast Seafoods, but we also left with 10 new buzzing family members via Backyard Bird.

Here are some of the main points that Dr. Veronica Wahl taught us about Mason Bee Homes:

  1. Hang your mason bee home against a wall in a sunny location that has morning light
  2. Placing it about 5′ to 6′ off the ground; eye level is best
  3. Timing is everything; choose a warm sunny day with little wind, and place your cocoons out on the nest in early March

I found that her site, unibug, is a great resource for anything and everything Mason Bees, including year round care. We’re so excited to get started however we put our grand release on hold just another week. We chose to keep our cocoons in the fridge for another week, we will hit the nursery next weekend and find some appropriate plants that we know they can feed off of and be confident they will have what they need near. We really hope we can encourage them to stick around, coming back to stay in our little home we made for them all year round. It will help so greatly not only in our beautiful garden but the overall health of our neighborhood eco-system.

Here are the few basics steps they did to make our Mason Bee House:

  1. Find a 2 liter pop bottle or milk carton and paint the outside {providing shade to the interior}
  2. Roll brown ink-less paper on a #2 pencil and wrap with white tape
  3. Make 25 to 50 tubes and elastic band them together is a cluster
  4. Cover the one end with paper to block out the light and put them inside the carton


EXCITED to update you via Instagram on how these 10 little bees manage in their new accommodations. I’m sure with the service we are planning to provide, it will be just fine. Stay tuned!

Vendor Spotlight: The Salt Dispensary


If it needs flavor, I’m pretty certain The Salt Dispensary has a salt for that. More specifically over 35 kinds of smoked and flavored salts, meat rubs, 8 kinds of salted caramels and a variety of specialty smoked condiments. We’re feeling pretty lucky that they’ve given us their time to answer some of our questions.

Q. Why smoked salts, what’s the passion behind it?
We were looking for something to replace working for someone else and when we found out about everything you can do with salt and how very few people were taking advantage of it we knew we had found something to pursue and share at the markets.

Q. You have so many different and exotic salt blends, how do you come up with the different flavors?
Some are traditional from different areas and some are experiments. Customer requests for things they either think up or can’t find also play a role. The farm markets are a great place to get direct feedback from customers and ideas for product development.

Q. What would you say to someone about using your salt blends who has only ever used regular salt?
Try it you will be amazed at the flavor experience you can have with just a little of a good quality flavored or smoked sea salt. People are amazed when they try them.

Q. What reaction do you get from a first time smoked salt user?
Usually it’s WOW, people can be speechless and amazed. There are some people who do not enjoy smoked flavors but its usually a smile and a flood of ideas about what they want to try it on.

Q. What is your favorite blend of salt?
It depends on what I’m eating, I really like applewood smoke on tomatoes right now. The Spicy ones are great as well. The new Hickory Garlic is a great combo I’m trying on lots of things.

Q. What’s one of the most popular ways to use your smoked salts, and what’s one of the most creative ways to use your salts?
Many people think of meat immediately for smokes but they work well on sweet things like Ice Cream also. A couple of grains in coffee can really change it also. Spicy salt on fruit is something new for me that some cultures do and is quite good.

Q. What goes into making a smoked, flavored salt blend?
It’s cold smoked until it’s perfect, usually the flavor blends are about getting a nice texture in the end, that’s usually the challenge.


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Thank you to everyone who played along in this week’s Instagram giveaway for a chance to win a $10 credit to the Port Moody Farmers Market. This weeks winner is Kelly Krol. Congratulations and please send an e-mail to to claim your prize. Another giveaway will go live on our Instagram account starting Monday, come back and play along for your next chance at winning!

Farmers Market Haul

Farmers Markets are traditionally known for their fresh produce and prepared foods from local farms and businesses. And although that is very true, the markets also offer so much more from handmade bags, soaps and marshmallows to chemical-free sunscreen, tandoori mix and chai.

One of our weekly market shoppers, Salma from The Write Balance has been is sharing some of her favorite Farmers Market buys.

Farmers Market Haul

1. Organic Apples
Since reading about the dirty dozen, I’ve been a lot more diligent about washing my fruits and vegetables thoroughly and buying organic and local whenever I can. The farmers markets had at least five different types of delicious, organic apples so I had to pick some up. My favourite part, besides the sweetness? No pesticides to worry about.

2. Natural Beauty Products
When I walked by Nasty Free Naturals at the Farmers Market, for some reason, I was compelled to stop. And am I glad I did! All her products are 100% chemical-free and all natural. I ended up picking up a delicious smelling Body Butter Bar, Dark Chocolate & Orange lip balm (which my 3-year old has stolen from me) and a balm for sore and aching muscles. Next time I want to get their natural Sun Screen.

3. Homemade Seasonings
I also stopped by Amazing Foods to check out their food and ended up taking home a tandoori mix (we love tandoori chicken!) and fennel chai tea which I’m making right now. Mmm, chai.

4. Pickles
My husband loves pickles and once we tried these from JJ’s Country Cookin’ we were hooked! I love that if you save the pickle jar and bring it back, they give you a discount on your next purchase. It’s being thrifty and recycling all in one.

5. Marinara Sauce
My head turned as I was strolling by the 7 Kids Foods stand so I stopped to try their marinara sauce. Omg! It was so good! I picked up a packet for our next pasta night. I know the kids will love it. There is also a great story behind the owners who are two friends with lots of kids between the two of them. One day they decided to put their talents to work and created affordable healthy food to help out parents.

6. Cravings Kettle Corn
There is no photo for this delicious treat that I picked up as we were leaving the market. The reason is that it didn’t last long enough to make it home for the photo. Trust me, this was one snack you’ll want to try next time to you go to the Port Moody Farmers Market!

What is your favourite thing to pick up when you’re at the Farmers Market

Vendor Spotlight: Gesundheit Bakery


Gesundheit mean good health or wellness, the perfect name for a local, family owned bakery that makes all its baked goods from the finest ingredients and use no sugar, oil or preservatives. Andreas and Katherine Miller along with their four children have been proudly running Gesundheit Bakery since 2005. People stop by the farmers markets to pick up their freshly baked goods that are made daily, by hand. We had a chance to chat with them to find out more about this special bakery.

Q. Baking without sugar, oils, or preservatives, it must have it’s difficulties. Why do you choose to do this?
We make all of our products fresh each day. The fact that we don’t use any oil, sugar or preservatives is just part of the reason we are in business in the first place. Our goal has always been to make a product that is fresh, tasty and healthier than a lot of baked goods on the market today. We live in a time when so much of the food we eat is full of additives, sugars and fats that are just not good for us. Our products are made by hand in the old European tradition where there is no need for all the added stuff. There are no difficulties with our process, just simple ingredients used by real people to make quality products.

Q. What are customers first reactions when they try your bread and find out it’s make without sugar, oils and preservatives?
We have a lot of people ask us each year about how it is possible to make bread without oils, sugar or preservatives. Having grown up in a European bakery, my question would be: Why is it necessary to add all this extra stuff

Q. It’s obvious you both have a passion for baking, what is it that pulled you in?
My passion for baking started at an early age. Back in Germany in the late 70’s and early 80’s (when I was a young kid), my Dad was very heavily into farmers markets, selling baked goods and I have very fond memories of that time. When we immigrated to Canada in 83′ it was only a couple of years until my dad started his first bakery here in the little town of Lac La Hache. With the exception of only a few years, baking has been my passion ever since.

Q. Tell us your family favorites; what you sell could you not live without in your families?
Family favorites? Well, my wife Katherine grew up in Mission BC, so her favorites are the more traditional breads that most people who grew up here are used to. As for me, my absolute favourite bread that we make is our Whole Grain Bread. I like to refer to this one as the brick. Our family enjoys a variety of the breads we make. When it comes to bread, sometimes it all depends on what you are going to have with it. If we are having Spinach Dip for example, we just must have the Double Baked Swiss Bread. If we are going to be having something for toast with butter and jam, we might look at the Light or Medium Rye Breads

Q. Why do you do most of your business through farmers markets?
Farmers Markets allow us to put our products into the hands of the end consumer. We can answer questions and even make recommendations. Attending the Farmers Markets is the most enjoyable part of our business to me in terms of promoting our products.

Q. What is the five-year plan for Gesundheit Bakery?
Gesundheit Bakery will continue to make the best products we can. Our commitment to make our products from scratch using only simple Canadian ingredients has a few challenges to it. We live in a time where most of the food we consume is made in mass quantities in large facilities and in most cases more by machine that by people. Over the next 5 to 10 years and beyond, we will make sure that we stay true to the commitment we made right from the beginning. Make a great tasting product with simple ingredients.


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Thank you to everyone who played along in this week’s Instagram giveaway for a chance to win a $10 credit to the Port Moody Farmers Market. This weeks winner is Alyeasha. Congratulations and please send an e-mail to to claim your prize. Another giveaway will go live on our Instagram account starting Monday, come back and play along for your next chance at winning!

Meet Tairalyn & Salma; Bloggers & Farmers Market Shoppers

We’re really excited to be working with two local bloggers over the next few months of the Port Moody Winter Farmers Market. They’re both lifestyle bloggers, mothers, lovers and supporters of buying local, and creating ideas in the kitchen. Tairalyn from Little Miss Mama is a mother of one, who takes you through her daily life of what fun and trouble her and her daughter get into. From getting messy in the kitchen, to crafting, gardening and playing dress-up, you’re sure to fall in love with both her and Sofia in all that they get into and share with us. Next we have Salma from The Write Balance, she is a mother of two, who started writing to share her journey of trying to find balance between motherhood and the rest of life. On her blog you’ll find parenting posts, crafts, healthy recipes, meal plans and much more. You’ll really be able to relate to her and her family as they share all their ups and downs.

Tairalyn wrote a feature that included the Port Moody Farmers Market that we felt inclined to share:


#supportlocal; a hashtag that is as popular as it is important. Do you support your local community? If not you may have no idea how much better an apples taste from a local tree freshly picked? Or the taste of an handmade {with love} marshmallow or jeez, even wine made from 100% locally grown grapes. You’re missing out my friends, you need to change that.

If you follow us on Instagram you’ll know that we’ve been hitting our local farmers’ market here on Sundays, and were picking up so much more than just fresh fruits and vegetables you guys! Two weeks ago we came home with marshmallows, wine and even infused marinating salts. While this week we snagged a bag of illegally delicious kettle corn that Sofia and I may or may not have polished off en-route home. I consider ourselves very lucky to have a Winters Farmers’ Market available close to home; do you have one near?

WANNA HEAR some other juicy and delicious news? No really, do you?! Let’s all assume you answered yes. Myself along with the lovely Salma from The Write Balance are going to be working with Port Moodys Farmers Market a little more closely than we have in the past as shoppers. Over the course of the next 2 months we be helping bring awareness to not only the importance of supporting your local community and Farmers’ Market, but also hosting a weekly giveaway on their Instagram and Twitter, as well as dishing out some fun tips and tricks on home gardening.

This hits close to home for me, given the opportunity to work with such amazing people and sharing our love of gardening and for local businesses. I mean you all know how much my husband is a green thumb, case in point, our backyard garden last year {see here and here}. He has big dreams this year not only for his garden, but for Sofia’s part in it. He hopes to have her helping more, as she showed such great interest last year, and have her actually selling the vegetables from her own little veggie stand outside the house. Can you say adorable? You’d better believe I have already been all over Pinterest for a DIY veggie-stand as well as tips on ways to weave in a money management lesson to a 3 year old. Because before you know it our home will be filled to the brim with stuffies, gold fish crackers, sticky hands that she’s purchased with her profits.


Salma also wrote a feature that included the Port Moody Farmers Market, take a look:

This week’s 3 Things Thursday has a theme, it’s all about Farmers Markets. Why you might ask? As a family, we are already big fans of our local summer farmers market, but I discovered that we have a local, weekly Winter Farmers Market in Port Moody as well. How great is that!

Not only do they have local, seasonal fruits and vegetables we can buy, there are also many other great local vendors to support such as beer and wine, desserts and prepared food as well as crafts and jewelry to name just a few.

Not only am I happy to be able to shop local, for the next couple of months I’m going to be working one of my friends and favourite bloggers, Tairalyn as well as the farmers market to help promote shopping local with their great list of vendors as well as their monthly hands-on workshops.

In addition to that, we are hosting a fun weekly giveaway on their Instagram and Twitter accounts where you will learn some tips and tricks you may not already know, about gardening along with the chance to win money to spend at the market on Sundays!

And now, three reasons why we love the Farmers Market:


1. The Best Produce
Where else can you get cucumbers the size of a three-year old and juicy, sweet blueberries that you can eat right away without washing? And all grown in beautiful British Columbia.

farmers market 3 things

2. Shop Local
Farmers Markets give you the opportunity to shop local and support the local farmers and vendors. Why is it important to shop local you might ask?  Not only does it support locally owned businesses, it helps them grow and they in turn use local resources, employ local workers and service local customers. It really helps to grow and sustain the community.

Plus, they make really good lemonade and that’s a good enough reason for my 5-year old to shop local.

farmers market lemonade

3. Carbon Footprint
If you think about sustainability and your carbon footprint, farmers markets really help you reduce your footprint for a number of reasons. One, your food doesn’t have to travel so many miles before it gets to you.  Purchasing in-season produce also helps you  avoid energy sinks like heated greenhouses and cold storage. Overall it’s healthier food for you to be consuming while doing your part for the community and environment.

Photo Courtesy: Coquitlam Farmers Market

What are your thoughts on farmers markets and #supportinglocal?

Those are the three things I wanted to share for this week’s #3ThingsThursday. now I’d love to hear yours. If you want to participate, here’s what you need to do. Write a blog post about three things you want to share. Grab the badge from the top of my post. Make sure to link back to either myself, Salma at The Write Balance, Raj at Pink Chai Living or Nisha at Love Laugh Mirch. Then click on the linky below to add your post. It’s that easy. Can’t wait to read about your three things.

Happy Thursday and maybe I’ll see you at the farmers market :)

Mason Bees – attracting pollinators to your backyard garden

The Port Moody Farmers Market is happy to have Dr. Veronica Wahl, from the Institute of Urban Ecology (IUE)at Douglas College, leading a workshop on Mason Bees on March 22nd (sign up at Eventbrite). Veronica is the UNIBUG project coordinator at the Institute of Urban Ecology at Douglas College. The overall goal of UNIBUG is to engage community volunteers in learning about the ecology of urban gardens, with a particular focus on beneficial garden insects.

Last year during the 3rd-annual UNIBUG (User Network for Insect Biology in the Urban Garden) forum, Douglas College launched its UNIBUG project on improving the understanding of wild pollinator populations in the region. The project initially began with monitoring bugs (such as beetles) that hunt pests and has grown to include monitoring pollinators, from hummingbirds to butterflies to the many types of bees. UNIBUG has grown to over 300 volunteers since its inception.

osmia_%20ribiflorisWith various bee populations in danger of extinction, a major part of this workshop will be learning how to make small nests for bees or “bee houses” to safely lay and hatch eggs. Unlike honey bees, Mason bees are solitary creatures that don’t congregate in hives and are not used for commercial pollination. It’s important to make their homes as welcoming as possible and ensure  they are well maintained.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture the common Blue Orchard Mason Bee is well adapted to the northern ranges of blooming fruit trees found in B.C.’s southern Interior and coastal areas. The Orchard Mason Bee is dark metallic green/blue in color, ranging in size from the females that are approximately 14 mm in length to the smaller males that are 11-12 mm. Their hairiness enables them to carry pollen grains from flower to flower, causing pollination to take place.

West Coast Seeds offers advice on how to attract Mason Bees and other pollinators by planting a diversity of flowers including a different heights, types and blossoming times. They suggest planting a bed of wildflowers and “you will be rewarded by the presence of all kinds of pollinators throughout the growing months, from bumblebees to hummingbirds and butterflies.”

Lindsay Coulter is a Public Engagement Specialist at the David Suzuki Foundation. Lindsay blogs as the Queen of Green and has written several articles on the care of Mason Bees. Find out how to care for your Mason Bees and when the time and temperature is just right to release them in the spring.

If you get an opportunity, you should view Douglas College’s rooftop garden and green house from the Aboriginal Gathering Place at the New Westminster campus. This hive of activity is a living laboratory for students and volunteers who want to learn about sustainable agricultural practices that use biological control of insect pests.

Douglas College is hosting an event that explores the links between sustainable energy and the agricultural sector, at their New Westminster campus on March 27th and 31st. You can learn more about the Institute of Urban Ecology at their information display from noon until 4:30 on the 31st and stick around for a panel discussion that afternoon.

Vendor Spotlight: Sweet Thea



This week in our vendor spotlight, you will be deliciously happy to learn more about a local business that provides wonderful treats and beautiful wedding cakes to all those with a sweet tooth. Their creations are all made from scratch and with love. If you haven’t tried their baked goods yet, it is a must! We had a chance to chat with Laurie, the other half of Sweet Thea to find out find out more.

Q. Where did the name Sweet Thea come from?
Thea (pronounced Tay-uh) is my wife, the pastry chef/baker extraordinaire who created all the recipes.  While Thea was working at the Vancouver Club, she started accepting wedding cake bookings, and formed her company ‘Sweet Thea’ to handle that.

Q. Where does the inspiration for your beautiful desserts and wedding cakes come from?
Thea has had a passion for sweets since she was a child.  It is a constant, daily passion – even when working 16 hour days – that pushes her to always be creative and please people with her treats.  Like all chefs, she loves feeding people.

Q. What makes your baked goods stand out from other bakeries?
A few reasons. Thea has an incredible palette – if it doesn’t make her happy, it does not leave the bakery.

Also, Sweet Thea is a ‘scratch bakery.’ If you have heard the phrase ‘made from scratch’, you know it means starting with raw materials only, then creating from them.   Every day at Sweet Thea, quality ingredients are selected, prepared, combined, baked and sold to our happy eaters.  Nothing is pre-made, or bought pre-mixed.  Truly ‘artisan’, each item is made with painstaking attention to detail, is chemical and preservative-free, and is completely dependent upon our skills and experience.  The art of ‘scratch baking’ was how your great-grandmother baked, but isn’t very often seen now.

Finally, Thea is always concerned about quality and detail – Here is how she recently described it, in an ad for bakery assistants: “Everything we produce is the best product possible and made only with raw ingredients. There are no shortcuts in our bakery and everything is done right. Every detail is important; the look, the smell, the flavour, the crumb, the mouth feel, is all considered when preparing an item. The eating experience is essential and we like to keep our eaters happy.”

Q. With all your success, why is it important for Sweet Thea to have a presence at farmers markets as well?
When we decided to open our own bakery, we didn’t have the money to open a brick-n-mortar location without going seriously into debt…We couldn’t afford to do that. We actually do not have a storefront; we are located in an industrial park in Langley that is not zoned for commercial use…The Vancouver Sun recently did a little article about our unique approach

(As for farmers markets) If you want to feed people, it is better to go to where people are 🙂 We are both foodies, and all the values that imbue the markets – food safety, sustainability, community, activist attitude – resonate strongly with both of us.  It makes it more than a business, it lets us vote with our business for a better way of sourcing food.

Q. What is your best selling item?
Because our product lines at the farmers market are changed seasonally, this is a tricky question.  Three weeks ago – Valentines Week – everyone wanted our gluten-free macaron.  Right now, it is probably our lemon tarts.  When the fresh berries arrive, our fruit pies fly off the shelf, and are probably our best seller until late summer.  In the fall, pumpkin pie and tarts, and our granola bars.  For many people, we are famous for our line of European Christmas baking – fruitcake, stollen, plum pudding, lebkuchen – and they far outsell our regular product in November and December.

Q. What does the future hold of Sweet Thea?
We will happily continue to feed our eaters for the foreseeable future.

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