Posts Tagged ‘gifts’


Tuesday, August 9th, 2016

Treasure Hidden Inside a Pod

Juvelisto Steveston Insider 1One of the questions people often ask business owner Sasha Shkolnik is where she came up with the name Juvelisto for her jewellery boutique. She explains the word stems from a universal language created in 1887 called Esperanto, and in this language the word for jeweller is juvelisto.

Sasha trained as an artist in her native Ukraine where she worked in the disciplines of oil paints and ceramics and she designed theatre props. During this time she also discovered jewellery making and began to create with clay and porcelain; this led to her dream of pursuing metal arts.

In 1995 she and her husband Leon Shkolnik and their young son decided to leave their homeland for a better life. Sasha mentions, “There was no economy for art during the recession in Ukraine and we saw no future for our family.”

Juvelisto Steveston Insider Sasha ShkolnikWhile they had no previous connection to Canada they felt fortunate to have the opportunity to immigrate here. They arrived in the country with nothing, and like many immigrants worked their way from the ground up. Sasha enrolled in the respected Jewellery Art and Design program at Vancouver Community College while Leon worked at assorted jobs to support them. When Sasha completed her diploma it was Leon’s turn to attend school to train in computer studies.

Upon graduating Sasha approached Karl Stittgen in South Granville with examples of her work and she was instantly hired. Her career as a goldsmith continued to blossom during the 12 years she spent at Costen Catbalue in Kitsilano and finally at Bill Chow Jewellers in Kerrisdale until she decided it was time to consider opening her own business.

“I needed to find my own path. There was a lot to lose but also a lot to gain by going out on my own.” Sasha Shkolnik

Sasha and her family (their daughter was born here) have lived in Richmond since moving to Canada. On a weekend walk in Steveston in 2011 they spotted a for lease sign on a vacant Moncton Street storefront. Sasha dialed the number immediately and promptly signed an agreement.

Her concept was to create a European style boutique where customers could observe the creative process and communicate with the jeweller. Sasha’s bench was literally centre stage, located in the middle of the floor plan until the shop was renovated last year.

What will you find at Juvelisto? In addition to Sasha’s exquisite work she represents artists from Canada, Germany, Israel, Italy, Russia, Turkey and the United States.

Sasha’s creations are breathtaking. She draws inspiration from organic textures, shapes and nature. Her gorgeous nuts and pods collection is inspired by objects found in nature, such as pea pods and peanuts, which are cast in silver or bronze and set with different beads, pearls and gemstones. She describes this collection as “treasure hidden inside a pod.”

Juvelisto Steveston Insider 3The primary focus of her business is custom work. This gifted artist has the talent to recycle and redesign sentimental pieces of jewellery into masterpieces. She loves hearing the stories that frequently accompany custom orders. She says with a smile, “The stories I hear and the people I meet are so diverse.”

She presents clients with beautifully rendered sketches (which are also works of art) depicting numerous ways new life can be breathed into a treasured possession. Metals can be recycled or reclaimed and gemstones can be used in new designs. Sasha’s creative mind conceives so many original possibilities it must be hard for clients to narrow them down to the final choice. Many of the orders involve a significant life event such as a birthday, wedding or anniversary. Sometimes clients have an idea of what they would like and other times Sasha is given free rein.

“I love my job. I am in the best profession in the world because I make people happy.” Sasha Shkolnik

Juvelisto Steveston Insider 7Last year Leon left his career as an information technology manager to join the business. Sasha is appreciative of all his hard work and notes he is responsible for all of Juvelisto’s impressive professional photography. This is the first time they have worked together and they are enjoying the partnership.

Leon is also fully responsible for Juvelisto’s stunning renovation that took place in April 2015; he transformed the vacant retail space next door (formerly an ice cream shop) into Juvelisto’s School of Metal Arts. The two spaces are joined together with a spectacular sliding barn door constructed of steel and wrought iron created by local artist Miran Elbakian. Sasha mentions that much of the functional decor found at Juvelisto, including the door, is for sale.

Customers had always expressed an interest in jewellery making lessons; Sasha kept a list of names and over time saw there was a demand.

One year ago the school opened. This is a very unique concept, incorporating a school with a jewellery shop. The workspace is visible from the front windows. Sasha laughs when she mentions, “We have to clean the nose marks from curious passers by daily.”

Eight students can be accommodated in the attractively renovated space, seated around a striking custom-made bench constructed from reclaimed wood. Each workspace is equipped with its own tools. Classes and workshops are offered year round and benches are also rented to artists when classes are not in session. Leanne Guthrie is one of the instructors along with invited guest teachers including Andrea Roberts from Circle Craft and enamel artist Peggy Logan.

Depending on the project, participants can leave with their own creation the same day. Other classes take place weekly over a five to eight week period. All classes are project based and are designed to stimulate the imagination. It is entirely possible to create a piece from scratch without previous experience. Ideas for new classes are constantly germinating and Sasha is currently excited about the idea of offering a class for couples to design their own wedding bands.

Juvelisto Steveston Insider 3500 MonctonJuvelisto has earned a devoted following of repeat customers. They are attracted to Sasha’s magnificent work and her genuine warmth and loving attention to each design she is entrusted with.

Sasha concludes with a smile, “I love Steveston. There is a real sense of community with people supporting and helping each other. From day one people supported me and entrusted me by leaving their precious pieces with me.”

120-3500 Moncton Street
Richmond BC V7E 3A2
Telephone: 604-241-7376

The Cannery Store

Wednesday, November 25th, 2015

Cannery_Store_Steveston_Insider_5449aGulf of Georgia Cannery Store: ‘Tis the Season to Shop Locally

When you set off to shop locally this holiday season add the Gulf of Georgia (GOG) Cannery National Historic Site’s gift store to your must visit list.

Rob Hart, GOG Cannery Society Operations Manager is responsible for purchasing the products you will find in the shop. His goal? To find merchandise that enhances the museum visitor’s experience and appeals to local shoppers. As a result, you will find a very unique collection of gifts and souvenirs.

Established in 1986, the GOG Cannery Society is an independent non-profit society and registered charity responsible for the operation of the Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site of Canada on behalf of Parks Canada. The museum opened to the public in 1994.

Revenue generated through gift shop sales goes towards museum operations; therefore you can feel good knowing your purchase is making an impact.

Popular among tourists and locals alike is a wide selection of salmon products. The vacuum packed smoked salmon is one of the shop’s top sellers as it is so convenient for travel.

Cannery_Store_Steveston_Insider_5460Hart points out five species of gourmet-canned salmon (Chum, Coho, Pink, Sockeye and Spring) are available from supplier The Fishery Seafoods, based on Saltspring Island.

If you are looking to support a Steveston business try Soo Salmon Jerky made at nearby London Landing. In addition, a nice historical connection is the sale of Murchie’s 1894 Select Orange Pekoe Tea (the same year the Cannery began operating).

For the book lovers on your list, you will find a good selection of books addressing local history, fishing, boating, First Nations art and culture and environmental issues.

Fish and marine themed décor and related products are bountiful. Think glass candlesticks masquerading as fish, bottle openers, Rain Goose tea towels (designed in North Vancouver), Christmas ornaments, and even stuffed animals (yes, fish!) along with other West Coast toys you might not normally come across such as bears and walruses.

First Nations jewellery is well represented in the form of pendants, earrings, necklaces and rings. Fun for puddle jumping, Native Sole rain boots feature dynamic motifs. Prints, scarves, t-shirts, greeting cards, bowls and salad servers can all be found here.

The museum’s archive has a good collection of historical canning labels that have been printed onto mugs. Hart mentions that one of these coveted mugs was bought by an Australian couple and became a household favourite until it broke. Determined to put a smile back on their faces, Hart sent a replacement down under!

“There is something for every age range at the Cannery Store.” Rob Hart

Children love to explore shops and they will be happy to discover their own special section filled with toys, games, stuffed animals and what stands out in my memory as a highlight of school field trips, souvenirs priced to match a child’s budget.

How would you feel about finding some Salmon Slobber in your Christmas stocking? Made in Alberta by Goat Mountain Soap Company, this and other equally humorous wilderness themed soaps are bound to produce a few laughs. The label promises there really is nothing fishy about this cleansing product (coconut oil and goat’s milk top the list of ingredients).

There is plenty going on inside the historic site during the festive season. Steveston merchants and community groups will show off their tree decorating talents at the Cannery’s Festival of Trees (on display November 29 to December 31). Visitors can vote by donation to benefit the Richmond Food Bank in this friendly competition!

Santa Cannery Steveston InsiderWhat would Christmas in Steveston Village be without a visit from Santa? After Santa arrives at Fisherman’s Wharf (Sunday December 6) he will make his way over to the Cannery’s theatre for photographs. Bring your own camera, the jolly old elf will pose and listen to your Christmas wishes between 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.

For further shopping needs, are you aware the Gulf of Georgia Cannery hosts an indoor winter market? Now in its second year, the Cannery Farmers’ Market provides an opportunity for local food producers and artisans to showcase their products. The market is held every second Sunday (consult the GOG website for the schedule).

Make a trip to the Cannery Store this holiday season. During the month of December customers who spend $25 or more will receive a can of Gold Seal salmon while supplies last. You are welcome to shop during regular hours of operation (daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and no admission is required to step inside the store.

Gulf of Georgia Cannery, Steveston BCThe Cannery Store
Gulf of Georgia Cannery
12138 Fourth Avenue
Richmond, BC V7E 3J1
Telephone 604-664-9009

Sinfully The Best

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

Steveston’s Favourite Little Chocolate Shop

In 2011 a sign sprung up at the corner of Chatham Street and No. 1 Road announcing the imminent opening of Sinfully the Best. Always interested to know what is going on in our community, Steveston Insider thought this new business had plenty of potential judging by its name. An artisan chocolate shop, yes please!

Sinfully the Best’s owner Cathy Cheung grew up in Mississauga, which she says had in those days a small town feel much like Steveston.  She trained as a pastry chef at Ryerson University although she did not end up working in the industry. Her other interest was business, which led to her career as an accountant, yet chocolate continued to remain her passion.

Her dream of opening a chocolate shop germinated many years ago. Cheung patiently waited for a suitable location to create outstanding bonbons. In August 2010 she found the corner shop and knew it was time to execute her plan. While Cheung is modest about the success of the business she did confess that the shop was recently awarded Best Chocoholic Experience in Richmond (Richmond News Reader’s Choice Award).

Anita Schultz, who admits to having a weakness for chocolate, remembers feeling excited when she saw the sign in the window announcing the new business. She came from an extensive career in retail and was eager to introduce herself to Cheung. Schultz was promptly hired as manager and has been serving customers since the store opened in May 2011. She is passionate about the product and is thrilled to have the opportunity to sell it.

The little chocolate shop went through an expansion approximately a year after opening. Remarkably, all of the production was conducted up front until that time. The kitchen is now located at the far end of the shop and offers the four full-time chocolatiers more room to create their edible works of art. Cheung oversees the chocolate production and develops new recipes. Most of the staff has cross-trained to assist in the kitchen or in retail, wherever help is required.

Part of Sinfully the Best’s company philosophy is to share their passion. To uphold this mandate the shop offers classes for small groups of five to seven participants. Local executive pastry chef, Charles Massion, was eager to team up with the chocolate shop to share his expertise. He instructs the interactive sessions on select Sundays throughout the year, and depending on the class you register for you, will learn how to make chocolate or a decadent dessert. A fringe benefit, participants take home their creations.

Cheung says over the years she has been fortunate to work with a number of great employers and mentors. In turn, she relies heavily on her staff and their expertise; in fact all of her employees receive an opportunity to attend a three-day course at Montreal’s Academy of Chocolate. While there, they tour the facility where one million pounds of chocolate is produced daily.

The first thing customers remark upon when they walk through the door is the friendly service, along with an extra special touch, they greet you with a warm welcome along with a treat to sample. All of the products are made on site, which Cheung believes makes a big difference. In addition, Cheung points out no preservatives, additives or artificial flavours are used.

They are able to produce small custom batches (think special occasions such as weddings and anniversaries) allowing customers to personalize their selection of flavours, fillings and shapes. Sinfully the Best also has the ability to produce logos and monograms. They are happy to create unique orders. Chueng recalls making two chocolate champagne glasses in celebration of a 50th wedding anniversary. She says the happy couple drank champagne from the chocolate flutes and then ate them.

Women flock to Sinfully the Best on Girls’ Night Out (a Steveston Merchants Association event). It is such a popular night that customers request being notified as soon as the next date is announced. Almost all holidays have a connection to chocolate, however Christmas and Easter are particularly busy times at the shop. One of their most popular items is the passion fruit ganache heart. Many customers come in specifically to purchase this chocolate with its tart and tropical taste. Another top pick is the lemon in a dark ganache with an underlying flavour of lavender.

Chocolate houses are one of their top selling items year round. The chocolatiers will happily add your address or family name to your ‘home.’ They have customized houses for weddings, beach houses, and real estate agents enjoy ordering them for clients as house warming gifts. At $17.95 this is the cheapest (and best tasting) real estate you will ever purchase.

Another wonderful gift idea is the chocolate box, which can be filled with Sinfully the Best treats such as their delicious soft caramels (these are not filling puller outers!) or bonbons. More than one gentleman has been inspired to place a piece of jewellery inside a chocolate box, an almost sure fire winner if you are brainstorming a romantic wedding proposal. The chocolate box is a mere $6, what you put inside is up to you.

New this holiday season, mini solid chocolates (both dark and milk are available) in the shape of champagne bottles are packaged in sets of six and would make a great stocking stuffer. As well, the chocolatiers have created full size champagne bottles made from hollow chocolate, wrapped in foil and packaged in an attractive birch case.

Anytime of the year is a cause to eat chocolate, however the holiday season seems to absolutely cry out for a visit to Sinfully the Best where you will find tempting gifts for every chocolate lover on your list.

Sinfully The Best
13-3993 Chatham Street
Richmond BC V7E 2Z6
Telephone 604-272-2655

A Monkey Tree Emporium

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

A Monkey Tree Emporium’s inquisitive and somewhat cheeky monkey logo peeks from the window at passersby on Moncton Street. It is an image that has morphed over time yet has always been a part of the shop’s branding and symbolizes owner Odile Gagné’s affinity for monkeys. Gagné opened A Monkey Tree (the business’ original name) in 2001. In the early days she sold specialty silk flowers, plant arrangements and trees, however over time she dreamt of expanding her merchandise to include the gift and home décor that we are familiar with today.

Gagné was born and raised in Montreal. She studied interior design and later moved to the West Coast to pursue a job in the travel industry. Gagné’s first visit to Steveston reminded her of life along the canal in Montreal. She was attracted both to the active commercial fishing industry and to the close-knit feel of the quaint village, and determined that she would like to open a business here. Prior to relocating to Moncton Street, A Monkey Tree Emporium was situated on First Avenue (now home to Bell’s Bake Shop) for nine years. Two years ago Gagné moved the shop, added the word “emporium” to the business name as she had always liked the word, and thought it suited her array of products. This past February she rearranged the interior for a fresh look.

Indeed A Monkey Tree Emporium is true to its name with its eclectic collection ranging from kitchenware to humorous greeting cards, stationery, prints on canvas, small carpets and mats, folk art, prints by local photographers, jewellery and Lampe Berger.

Whenever possible Gagné strives to support local artists.  She is always on the hunt for unique and seasonal items and updates the store frequently which her loyal customers certainly appreciate.

Coming from a background in interior design Gagné has a creative eye and loves colour. You will see her personal taste and sense of humour reflected in much of the merchandise. Gagné says that her customers come to A Monkey Tree Emporium to have fun and enjoy the quirky selection of products. She feels passionate about her business and is motivated by the capricious nature of her store.

What are some of this summer’s must have items? Kitchen gadgets are always popular including the Lid Sid, citrus spray and the silicon lid products. In addition Gagné suggests that you can’t go wrong with her collection of cards and stationery.

In her spare time Gagné enjoys walking, photography, playing squash, and spending time at her country home on the Sunshine Coast with her partner Peter.  She also loves to cook with a glass of wine in hand. Gagné says that all of these passions inspire her and contribute to the products that she selects for her emporium.

Gagné is thankful to her supportive customers and fellow merchants. She is an active board member with the Steveston Merchants Association, which she joined when it was founded in 2009. She likes to shop locally to support the village’s businesses. Gagné is grateful to her loyal staff including Karin, who has been a part-time employee for the past seven years.

In appreciation of her customers’ support Gagné believes in giving back to the community through donations to a number of local fundraising events throughout the year.

Gagné promotes A Monkey Tree Emporium through social media including Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. She is continuing to expand her social media presence by featuring daily greeting cards, décor inspirations and in the near future recipes.

A visit to A Monkey Tree Emporium will satisfy your need for gifts, kitchen gadgets and home décor, and you may even leave the store chuckling about some of the items you bought.

A Monkey Tree Emporium, 105-3900 Moncton St, Steveston Village, Richmond BC V7E 3A6

Telephone 604-448-9234

Valentine’s Day in Steveston

Saturday, February 9th, 2013

Steveston abounds with Valentine’s Day gifts!

Sweet Treats:

Bells’ Bake shop, Candy Dish, Dairy Queen, Damien’s Belgian Waffles, Diplomat Bakery, Outpost Mini Donuts, Sinfully The Best, Steveston Bakery, and The Sweet Spot.







O’Hare’s Liquor Store, Shady Island Liquor Store and Steveston Hotel Liquor Store.


Adorabelle Tea Room, Blue Canoe Waterfront Restaurant, Gudrun Tasting Room, Ichiro Japanese, Mandalay Lounge Steakhouse, Mega Sushi, Paesano’s, Sockeye City Grill, Shady Island Grill, Steveston Seafood House, Steveston Village Vietnamese, and Tapenade Bistro.







B & D Spa, Goegan Spa, Laquer Beauty Bar, Papillon Paradise Spa, Raintree Day Spa, and Tao Day Spa.







A Monkey Tree, Bare Basics Lingerie, Bliss, Cannery Store, Juvelisto, Nikaido Gifts, Pieces, Serenity Home Decor, The Spotted Frog.







Prickly Pear Garden Centre







Go to for a full directory of these businesses

Pieces: A Special Place to find the Perfect Gift

Sunday, December 9th, 2012

“I love this shop” is one of the most rewarding compliments Pieces receives and it consistently makes David and Sarah Gordon smile.   Before they purchased the business, Sarah Gordon would bring her friends into the shop and utter those very words. 

An undeniable part of Pieces’ charm is its location.  The magic is housed inside the venerable red brick Hepworth Block, which has stood on Moncton Street for almost 100 years (2013 marks its centenary).  This landmark building survived the great fire of 1918 when most of Steveston burnt to the ground.  You can see a physical reminder of the fire on a scorched pillar inside the shop. 

Customers have used words such as exquisite, tasteful and whimsical to describe Pieces, and some fondly refer to it as their “go to” store.  Pieces takes pride in an “Especially Canadian” focus.  When the Gordons go on buying trips they are often asked what they sell.  Laughing, they explain what the store is not, a gift shop with beavers waving Canadian flags, but rather a tasteful collection of many Canadian made and designed products, often created by local artists. The overall look of the shop is largely thanks to the beautiful cottage style furniture created by Langley artist Jill Hall.

One customer concocted a recipe to describe Pieces. “Stir in a pinch of princess, a dash of nautical and a healthy dose of hostess-with-the-mostest, and you’ve got Pieces!”

It is amazing what can fit inside a small shop: Trollbeads, jewellery by local artists, home décor, Matt & Nat handbags, Lug bags, U.S.E.D. bags made from recycled seatbelts, stationery and cards, soaps, lotions (Barefoot Venus’ Hunny Mango is the fragrance showcased at Blue Canoe Restaurant), hostess gifts, umbrellas, wall art, and a children’s corner filled with goodies.

Pieces is the exclusive Richmond dealer of Sid Dickens Memory Blocks.  Sid Dickens came into the shop last February and was very impressed by the large collection and display of his art work. He hand signed all of the blocks (they sold out very quickly), and was even more  impressed to learn that instead of increasing the price of the signed blocks, David Gordon invited customers to make a donation to Variety – The Children’s Charity.

David and Sarah Gordon feel incredibly fortunate to have artist Jill Hall as an integral member of ‘team Pieces’. Hall’s creative talent and imagination is boundless.  She is constantly reinventing herself and proudly marches to her own drumbeat.   While she is very modest, Hall’s company, Castaways, has been featured in national magazines including Canadian House & Home and Style at Home. 

Hall taught herself to use power tools (after all, why shouldn’t a woman wield a table saw?) and began making custom furniture.  With the exception of the display cases, all of the furniture in Pieces is for sale.  Hall is happy to take special orders, with the understanding that she needs some artistic leeway.  Whatever you request, it is bound to elicit compliments and give your home style and character.

While the store is always changing, you will notice the most dramatic transformation takes place during the holiday season when the shop becomes a Christmas destination.

The Christmas window display has become a tradition, and with a nod to classic department store displays of yesteryear, it tells a story of its own. Past windows have featured everything from a seafaring shipload of saucy pirate sock monkeys and ballerinas, to an intricate spinning ship’s wheel with an accompanying nautical scene. Last year passers-by were captivated by a ‘Twas the Night before Christmas scene with toys tucked into miniature beds beside a fireplace. This year’s charming woodland scene has created a buzz as Jill Hall’s large cut out Christmas trees have become a coveted item.

Isabelle Henderson, Shawn Mercer and Heidi Wiesendahl are the indispensable staff members who the Gordons refer to as their Pieces family.  The Gordons are also deeply appreciative of their loyal customers’ support and commitment to shopping local.

A combination of music, conversation and laughter creates an energy which both customers and the staff enjoy. People describe Pieces as a ‘feel good shop’. Sometimes customers will pop in for a ‘spin and sniff’ and report that even a short visit is an instant mood lifter.  This holiday season, with the scent of cranberry candles in the air, Pieces is a perfect destination to find something unique for everyone on your gift list.

100- 3580 Moncton Street

Trollbeads Trunk Show at Pieces

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

Wednesday, October 17, 2012 from 4-8pm at Pieces in Steveston.

Added special:  Unique Limited Edition Group Two Glass Beads $45 each.  Buy two get one free.  Large assortment. Universal compatible fit with other brands.








100-3580 Moncton St, Steveston Village

Richmond BC


Mother’s Day: Steveston-style

Sunday, April 29th, 2012

Mark your calendar, Sunday May 13th is Mother’s Day. One mother that I know wishes she could wave a magic wand and have the day to herself, while other mums enjoy being treated like a queen on this special day. Since shopping local is always at the top of my list, here are some suggestions of ways to prepare for, and celebrate Mother’s Day, Steveston-style!

Breakfast in bed is always a popular way to start the day, along with a homemade card on the breakfast tray. Consider creating a menu in advance and offer mum several options so she can check off her preferences. Then head off with the kids on a shopping trip to acquire the required groceries. Perhaps a traditional rise and shine bacon and eggs breakfast? Or a vegetarian omelette accompanied by fruit and yogurt or a blueberry smoothie?

Heringers is the place to shop for breakfast fixings including free range eggs, bacon, cheese, bread and preserves (remember that they are closed on Sunday). Fruit and veggies aren’t far away at Veggie King Market.

New to Steveston is D-Original Sausage Haus. For lunch or dinner, they have it all – barbecue bratwurst, fine salamis, prosciutto hams and sandwich meats. All sausages are handcrafted by a fifth generation sausage maker.

Steveston Coffee Company hand roasts organic coffee beans. Consider Nikaido for their most popular teas, Cream Earl Grey or Steveston Blend, and check out their ceramics, including tea pots.

If you don’t feel like cooking breakfast visit Bean and Beyond, the Cannery Café or the Steveston Hotel.

Jewellery is synonymous with Mother’s Day and Pieces offers a great selection of Canadian jewellery including Karen Telio and Sugarlime. A gift certificate to Violet Hill Clothing would make a wonderfully fashionable present. If you are looking for flowers, Prickly Pear Garden Centre creates gorgeous floral arrangements. A gift certificate to Goegan Spa will guarantee “time out” for mum with their many luxurious treatments including massages, pedicures, manicures and facials.

For a hip and adventurous mum, Steveston Tattoo Company can make that tattoo that she has always dreamed of a reality. Or create a lasting memory and book a family portrait with Sandra Steier Photography. Her stunning work is featured regularly in Steveston Insider magazine.

Adorabelle Tea Room recently opened in the Old Courthouse on Third Avenue. Their afternoon tea is by reservation, and capacity is limited, so book ahead for Mother’s Day weekend. Don your casually elegant clothing, get your pinky finger ready, and prepare to sip tea, dine on tea sandwiches, fresh baked scones, and house-made petite sweets.

Another fun place to hang out is Bell’s Bake Shop with its warm retro feel; you can pull up a chair, order a drink and cupcake, and inhale the cupcakes baking in the kitchen. If your willpower holds out you can take home some of Bell’s special Mother’s Day cupcakes for dessert.

The Sweet Spot offers some of the finest pastries around. Their coconut macaroons always keep customers coming back for more and they often sell out by lunchtime. In addition to house-made sandwiches, and Salt Spring Coffee they sell frozen soups and entrees to take home. Now if only they could bottle and sell the aroma which greets you when you walk in the door…

Sinfully the Best has recently expanded their space, and offers some of the best artisan chocolates that I have ever tasted. Handmade on the premises with quality ingredients, indulging in these chocolates is definitely a sin worth committing.

Lunch or dinner out is a nice way to give mum a break from the kitchen. Whether you choose sushi at Ichiro’s, Malaysian food at Kari House, Paesano’s for an Italian meal, a Mediterranean/West Coast brunch at Tapenade Bistro, or Blue Canoe Waterfront Restaurant’s maritime menu, the meal is sure to be memorable, and tasty.

Searching for a local outing? London Heritage Farm holds their annual Mother’s Day Tea from 12 to 5 p.m. on May 12 & 13. Reservations are recommended. Call

Plan a family walk at Garry Point and combine it with a picnic or fish and chips at Pajo’s, or hop on your bikes and cycle along the dyke. The options in Steveston are endless. We are so fortunate to live in this wonderful community.

To all the mums who work so hard year round to nurture your families – Have a very happy Mother’s Day.

by Sarah Gordon

Spring Trollbeads at Pieces

Saturday, April 21st, 2012

Spring Trollbeads are in the Air

Pieces is hosting a Trollbeads Trunk Show!

Please join us at Pieces Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012
4 – 8 p.m.

* complementary bracelet with the purchase of a decorative clasp or *purchase 3 beads and get a 4th bead complementary (of the lesser value in the grouping)

100-3580 Moncton Street

Steveston Village



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