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The best little food shops in B.C.
written By Andrew Findlay
There’s a feeling that grips the senses of food lovers when they step through the doorway of a store that doesn’t fly under the blazing banner of Sobeys, Loblaws or the Jim Pattison Group of Companies. It might be a particular aroma, or the shelves and coolers stocked with items you don’t usually shop for — a bag of dates, cans of stewed tomatoes of Italian origin, or oysters plucked from a beach on Cortes Island. The presentation and ambiance feels earthy, original. Then there’s the smiling woman behind the counter wearing the apron and the accent that you think you recognize but can’t quite place, or the British Columbian-to-the-core guy behind the counter in the butcher’s apron who looks and sounds like he grew up on the very premises. All these qualities have the ability to transport you to a spice market in Rajasthan, a Tuscan deli, or closer to home to the Sunday farmers’ market that showcases just why it’s a good time to love good food and be living in B.C. Savour Magazine browses the aisles of some of the province’s artisan bakers, chocolateries, fish mongers, and specialty food grocers that will help put some punch in your pantry and spice in your life.
Three generations of chocolate making tradition originating in Lyon, France underpins this Okanagan Valley favourite, not only for handcrafted chocolates and truffles, but for delectable cakes such as tiramisu and berry pistachio, as well as French specialties like lemon meringue and mille feuilles.
1865 Dilworth Drive, Kelowna
This grocer and baker with two outlets in the city is devoted to Kelowna culinary culture with its main shop on Gordon Drive featuring specialty oils and vinegars, cheeses from regional producers Poplar Grove and The Village Cheese Company and other local specialities, while its Bake Shop on Windsor Road produces pastries and 15 different kinds of bread including the Saturday-only special, Asiago and Black Pepper Loaf, as well as the daily Alpine Loaf.
2355 Gordon Drive, Kelowna (Main Shop)
115–1979 Windsor Road, Kelowna (Bake Shop)
Though it’s 400 kilometres from the salt chuck, this seafood monger brings fresh seasonal catch to the Okanagan Valley, from Sechelt caviar to sockeye salmon caught by gillnetters on the Stikine River (check the website to find out when the catch is in).
2355 Gordon Drive, Kelowna
For 18 years this food importer has been bringing the flavours of Italy and Europe to the Okanagan Valley, stocking the shelves with antipasto, wheels of exclusive imported cheeses, truffle butter and endless other varieties of imported delights.
1467 Sutherland Avenue, Kelowna
2441 D Main Street, West Kelowna