Shopping

Prepping for the Holidays River Market Style

New Westminster River Market - Photo Credit: rivermarket.ca
New Westminster River Market – Photo Credit: rivermarket.ca

The River Market in New Westminster is known for a variety of culinary delights, and specialty foods, and restaurants. There are always an abundance of food choices at the market whether that is shopping for local ingredients at Donald’s Market for a delicious Sunday dinner to picking up specialty items to try from the many food vendors. All this food amidst the backdrop of the Fraser River waterfront. Sounds like a fun food experience, right?

VIDEO: A New Westminster River Market Shopping Experience

In addition to the fabulous food finds, there are a variety of retailers who share the market space. Recently we were invited to do some holiday shopping for an opportunity to discover some of these retail shops.

First stop: The Paddlewheeler Liquor Store. My mission was to find something new in a local red wine. Drew gave me a couple of suggestions and I decided on the Rebel Red by Vintage Ink (Okanagan). The Rebel Red is a blend of Merlot and Shiraz, silky and full bodied with notes of strawberry, vanilla bean, dark chocolate and spice. Sounds like holiday to me. Looking forward to gifting this bottle as a hostess gift ( or perhaps enjoying it myself)!

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Checking out the selection of wines at the Paddlewheeler Liquor Store
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Bulleit Bourbon’s Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey and the Rebel Red from Vintage Ink.

Daman opted for Bulleit Bourbon’s Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. Perfect for warming up on a cold winter night.

Schnoo and the Pachooch was our next destination. I was impressed with the array of educational and classic toys that the owner, Alicia had stocked in her store. Having just had my first child, I was interested in a toy that was fun and developmental (do I sound like a first-time mom?). Can’t go wrong with Melissa and Doug so I chose the Musical Farmyard Cube that will be good for 6-18 months of developmental play. I hope my daughter agrees!

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Melissa and Doug’s Musical Farmyard Cube from Schnoo and Pachooch.

While I was pregnant I noticed a few stores carrying Baltic Amber teething necklaces for baby. The healing properties of the Amber is said to have a soothing effect on baby. I was interested in trying this out so when I saw a display at Schnoo and Pachooch I couldn’t resist to pick one up.

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Baltic Amber necklace for baby from Schnoo and Pachooch,

Located on the top floor of the market was New West Craft, sponsored by the Arts Council of New Westminster. Every two weeks the vendors rotate so if you enjoy local crafters markets you can get a taste of that as well. There was a ton of variety, from jewelry, handmade leather goods, children’s and adult clothing and food items. I couldn’t resist to pick up a t-shirt for my daughter from Sweet Life Apparel and Gifts. The vendor is a mom with two little ones who started off as a baker and has ventured into a t-shirt business. FYI she also sells adult sizes in some of her t-shirt styles so I picked one up for myself. These days I appreciate a fun and cozy shirt to wear when I am chilling at home.

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‘Team No Sleep’ children’s and adult tshirts from The Sweet Life.

We met Robin from Bunches and Blooms a couple years ago when we were shopping at the market. At that time, he was in a smaller space in the market but now has a great spacious area to display all the beautiful plants and flowers along his own unique creations. We love plants so it was a treat to pick up something new. With Robin’s suggestions we decided on a lush Norfolk Pine. I’m looking forward to glamming up Norfolk with some tiny ornaments.

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Robin from Bunches and Blooms shows us one of his many floral creations.

 

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Norfolk Pine – a great indoor plant that is quite low maintenance for care.

My next stop was the Great Wall Tea Co. I was looking for the experts’ suggestions on teas that would be great to have on hand for holiday guests. They were more than helpful to give me options and let me smell the wonderful loose teas. I could have stayed there for an hour trying to decide but I was really happy with my choices: a classic Cream of Earl Grey, Almond Biscotti (herbal option) and a blend of rosehips, mint, and chamomile called Waterfront. FYI the shop also has a tea bar so you can enjoy a tea of your choice while you shop.

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Visiting the Great Wall Tea Co.
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It truly is a great wall of tea! A local photographer shot each photo of  each specific tea in a cup. The images were then used to decorate the lids of the tea canisters.
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The final tea choices. Love the packaging.

I like giving a little gift of luxury so Jolene’s Natural Handmade Soap was my next destination. All handmade with natural ingredients to stimulate the senses and heal. I was impressed to learn that Jolene cures her soaps in the vending space so you can see what she is working on at the moment. There were so many soaps to choose from here that I really had to zone in – I decided on one of her newest, Detox, along with Gentlemen, and Rose Petal.

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Eco friendly soaps by Jolene. She also carries soap making accessories for the DIYers!
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More of Jolene’s creations. Every soap is unique.
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Some local bling.

Overall, it was a fun day of shopping at the market and I was impressed with the unique finds and local goods. There is something special about having a local shopping experience that makes you feel that you getting something unique for your money while supporting the community. We were already fans of the local shopping experience and it’s nice to know that we have that just over the bridge.

Happy Holidays!

Fatima Beatty
Fatima was born and raised in Surrey. She is a yoga fanatic and loves aromatherapy. Her professional experiences are in Community Development, Communications/Marketing, & Human Resources. Fatima has been an active volunteer within the community for several years. With a passion for the creative and a love for the entrepreneurial spirit, Fatima is excited to bring something new to our city.
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