Archive for November, 2011


Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

A shop that sells Tintin collectibles alongside beautiful lotions, soaps, fountain pens, ceramics, calendars, stationery and their own line of tea has got my vote as being one of the most eclectic, elegant and also one of my favourite shops in Steveston. 

Nikaido owners Joe and Sara Cocker purchased the established business in 1998. The original shop (which opened in 1988) was located upstairs in the Hepworth building, however when the Cockers took over it was in its present location.  Neither Joe nor Sara came from a retail background, yet they took to the challenge and made Nikaido uniquely their own. It was thanks to Sara’s father, who noticed that the business was for sale, and thought it would be the right fit for them, that Steveston has the pleasure of having Nikaido as an anchor business which attracts fans from far and wide to the calm and friendly shop.

Joe grew up on Salt Spring Island (not many people can claim that) and Sara is from Edmonton. In the 1990s they met in Toronto where they were both working, and married there in 1996.  They came from diverse backgrounds.  Joe worked in the film industry where he made props and did paint finishing on sets. Sara came from an administrative background.  

Joe and Sara are an extremely tasteful couple. Their attire is impeccable and reflects the pride that they take in their business.  Joe mentioned that the best piece of business advice he ever received was from Harlan Olsen, of Harlan’s Chocolates on Salt Spring Island. Olsen’s words of wisdom were to always acknowledge customers with a hello and goodbye. The Cockers have taken that advice to heart and it makes for a personal connection with their customers.

Their four year old dachshund Beckett is the shop mascot and likes to sleep behind the cash desk and also greets customers.  In addition to Beckett, they have two cats in their Richmond home, a handsome Siamese cat named Linus and an energetic Abyssinian cat named Fraser.

Although not everyone may be familiar with the classic comic book character TIntin, created by Belgian author Hergé in the late 1920s, you soon will know the young reporter and his dog Snowy. Stephen Spielberg’s feature film The Adventures of Tintin is coming to the big screen on December 21st.  Joe and Sara share a common love for Tintin, and there has been a definite Tintin presence in the shop for quite some time.

Tea has become one of Nikaido’s trademarks; they started slowly, with seven varieties, and now sell over 150 blends, the most popular teas being Cream Earl Grey and Steveston Blend. Another popular item at Nikaido is pens, and in particular the fountain pen, which fascinates all age groups. Nikaido does a wonderful job of offering gift ideas for both men and women.  Gifts that they recommend include the humorous book F in Exams: The Best Test Paper Blunders, the limited edition Star Wars Moleskin, and Royal Doulton’s colourful little Tapas bowls which were recently featured in Oprah magazine.

When asked what they think about the filming in the village of the ABC TV series Once Upon A Time, Joe and Sara say that it has not yet impacted sales, but they are hopeful that people will visit “Storybrooke”, adding to the list of Steveston’s attractions.  During filming, Nikaido turns into Standard Clocks and there have been a few customers who have come in wishing to see a clock on display in the window. The entire Hepworth building has been transformed to become Storybrooke businesses, and it is a very exciting time to be a Steveston merchant.

What do they like about Steveston?  They enjoy the fact that it is laid back, and that it is neither perfectly polished nor gentrified. They love walking down the street and seeing people that they know.  Coming from a cold prairie background, Sara loves the rain.  Joe enjoys visiting thrift stores.

Sara and Joe can be found frequently working in the shop.  One of their long time staff members recently retired after twenty years with Nikaido. Another staff member has been with them for ten years. Their goal for Nikaido is to keep up the standards, while communicating style, and offering a relaxing environment.  Their other long standing goal is to get their website up and running, and based on their home page which is online, it is going to be a class act, in true Nikaido-style.

150 – 3580 Moncton Street, Steveston Village, Richmond BC

~by Sarah Gordon    ~photos by Brechin Maclean Photography

Splash Toy Shop in Steveston

Monday, November 28th, 2011

When you ask a Steveston child what their favourite shop is in the village you are likely to hear an enthusiastic “Splash!”  Whether you are a child or an adult, it is hard to resist peeking in the shop windows with the friendly yellow duck on the exterior of the building. Inside the shop, is the stuff children’s dreams are made of. The shelves are stocked with hot new items for all ages, and retro toys that are making a comeback.

The staff are warm and friendly, and although nobody is related, they are very much like a family.  Beth McKercher is the owner of Splash Toy Shop. Her goals are to provide a safe, fun, and happy environment for families, and to encourage children to play, through the sale of engaging toys. Many friendships have formed between community parents and their children at the Thomas the Train play table, a place where children happily sit and lose track of time as they play together.  

Why did McKercher, who is a Vancouverite, and also owns Splash Toy Shop (2001) and neighbouring baby shop Peekaboo (2004) on Dunbar Street, choose Steveston as the location for her first business in 1991?  An astute businesswoman, McKercher conducted a demographic study and determined that the future looked bright for Steveston.  New schools were opening, including Homma Elementary.  With a growing family population, McKercher concluded a toy shop was a natural fit for the village.

Housed in the historic Hepworth building, Splash Toy Shop is a retail landmark in Steveston.  McKercher opened her first shop, Steveston Toy Shop, with a former business partner. It was located on 1st Avenue.  In 1993 McKercher became the sole proprietor of the business. She renamed it Splash Toy Shop, and moved the shop to its current location on Moncton Street.  Splash started out as a much smaller floor plan. When long time neighbouring business Marty’s Antiques closed ten years ago, Splash expanded.

McKercher has fond memories of Steveston from her childhood. She remembers coming out with her father to cycle, and to visit Garry Point and the fishing docks. McKercher studied linguistics at university; however she soon realized it wasn’t her calling. She worked as a nanny, which developed her interest in families.  McKercher lived in Australia for three years and while there, she discovered a concept which she had not seen in Canada, a toy lending centre. She contemplated bringing this idea back home; however, the concept morphed into her interest in small business and the birth of Splash Toy Shop.

Actively involved in all three of her businesses, McKercher comes out to Steveston every week, while long time manager Kelly Krull handles the daily operation of the shop. Krull has been with Splash since it opened. She and McKercher met at Steveston Toy Shop when Krull was as a regular customer who would buy art supplies for her children.  McKercher recognized how creative and personable Krull was, and also witnessed her innate ability to interact with children.  Krull remains a Steveston resident and loves the community. Her children are now grown, and she lives with her two dogs and cat.  Krull is always willing to try new things and recently started taking guitar and skating lessons!

McKercher and Krull work as a team, selecting and ordering new stock which includes going to toy shows in New York, Toronto and Las Vegas.  Together they hand pick the toys with local shoppers in mind, a personal touch that you do not find at a big box store.  Merchandise is always changing, and each age range has their personal favourites. You may want to check out the game Perplexus which was recently featured in The Vancouver Sun as a top pick for 2011. For younger children, Playmobil is always a winner, and Splash has a terrific selection.

Excellent service keeps customers returning to Splash, along with their amazing selection. If you are stuck while shopping for a gift, the staff are always willing to assist and come up with some terrific ideas. Gift wrapping is available for a small fee. They offer a wish list, comparable to a wedding registry, which is perfect for birthdays and Christmas gifts. Splash gift certificates are another great gift solution, and children enjoy the thrill of coming in to select their own gift.  They also sell helium balloons, and you will often see people walking down the street with a colourful bouquet of balloons as the finishing touch for a party.  With the exception of Christmas, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, Splash is open seven days a week, with convenient late night shopping (open until 8 p.m.) Thursday through Saturday evenings.

As an owner of three businesses one would assume there would be no time left for extracurricular activities, yet McKercher manages to find time for plenty of volunteer work. She is the President of the Dunbar Village Business Association.  McKercher also collects toys year round for Ray-Cam Co-operative Centre, located in Downtown Eastside Vancouver.  She is on the BC Toy Association Board which holds an annual charity golf tournament, and actively supports the B.C. Professional Firefighters’ Burn Fund, Bright Nights in Stanley Park and the Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children.

Splash is an active member of the Steveston Merchants Association. They are always one of the busiest locations during special events including Trick-or-Treat and Easter in Steveston Village.  Splash was awarded Best Toy Shop in the 2011 Richmond Review Readers’ Poll.  This comes as no surprise to fans of this Steveston success story which has managed to please families for the last twenty years. Here’s to the next twenty!

140 – 3580 Moncton Street


~ by Sarah Gordon

Goegan Spa – Christmas Specials

Sunday, November 27th, 2011
Christmas Spa Packages – Limited Time
Package One $210 for 2 1/2 hours
Hydradermie Facial
Mild electrotherapy and gentle massaging movements of the rollers help the plant based active ingredients penetrate more
deeply into the skin. High frequency action is used to oxygenate and energize the cells. A customized mask and a relaxing
massage complete the treatment to boost the skin and leave the complextion balanced, healthy and glowing.
Stone Therapy Massage
Specially selected smooth, polished stones are heated to perfection and placed on strategic points of the body. With this
deep heat therapy and relaxing massage, tight muscles are eased and stress is reduced.
Package Two $199 for 2 1/2 hours
Complete Body Polish
A complete head to toe body scrub using light, circular motions to cleanse, exfoliate and stimuate circulation and is removed
using soothing warm towels.
Classic Swedish Massage
This traditional form of massage evokes feelings of tranquility and well-being. Soothing massage techniques will relax
muscles, quiet nerves and increase circulation.
Classic Pedicure
Treat your hard working feet to the ultimate indulgence. Begin by soaking in an invigorating herbal foot soak. Enjoy complete
toenail and cuticle care, followed by a tension relieving massage and a flawless polish application.
Package Three $95  for 2 3/4 hours
Aromatic Facial
Plant concentrates and essential oils drawn right from nature are used in this customized treatment to make the skin more
beautiful and radiant. A refreshing peel-off mask is prepared by carefully selecting the appropriate plant concentrates for
the individuals skin type. This aromatherapy treatment ends with a relaxing facial massage enhanced by pressure point
Classic Manicure
This delightful treatment begins with a soothing aromatherapy hand soak, followed by meticulous work on nails and cuticles.
Next enjoy a relaxing massage of the hands and forearms and finish with either a polish application from a wide variety of
colours or a buff to add a natural look of elegance.

O’Hare’s for the Holidays!

Thursday, November 24th, 2011

Whether your meeting up with friends, family or work mates – O’Hare’s is a great place to enjoy some cheer this holiday season!

To make a booking call Marisa on 604-277-2305 or email

Take advantage of some of our amazing year round specials

Appy Hour, 3pm-6pm,  $6 Appies
$4 Beers

Monday Night
Fish & Chips 1 Piece $6.99, 2 Pieces $8.99

Tueday Night
Pie Night – all our famous Meat Pies $8.99

Wednesday Night
Wings .39ea
Buffallo Prawns .59ea
Fish & Chips 1 Piece $6.99, 2 Pieces $8.99

Thursday Night
Sliders – 3 mini bacon cheese burgers $8.99

Saturday Night
Curry Night – Samy’s famous curry with naan bread & rice $8.99

Sunday Night
Roast Beef with all the trimmings $10.99

Right click to open menu above
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We look forward to seeing you soon!

Allways O’Hare’s…

Costume Contest Winners!

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

The Steveston Insider Costume Contest winners have now been announced!  First place goes to McFie family for The Nightmare Before Christmas.  They won $100 gift certificate for Blue Canoe Waterfront Restaurant in Steveston.









There were 7 other winners who will receive $25 gift certificates to Splash Toys in Steveston:

Congratulatons to Tyler Girvin, Georgia Crocker, Danni Davidson, Nica Mahan, Maya Solanki, Angelina Hart and Brandon Rodier.

The rest of the photos will be published online shortly.  Thank you everyone who entered the contest!


Steveston Insider Halloween Costume Contest – 2011

To receive a complimentary digital copy of your child or family’s entry please request by email no later than Friday, November 12,2011.
                                                Go to
                                                Select CONTACT and proceed to the e-mail link.
                                                Include “photo contest” in the subject.
                                                Please include your child’s name and costume description.

Thanks for Participating in the 4th Annual Steveston Insider Costume Contest!