Granville Market Favorite Shops

“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” 
― Roald Dahl

Granville Island is a unique little jewel right in the middle of downtown Vancouver. When we are on our way up to Whistler or just in Vancouver for the afternoon I always find a way to  visit some of my favourite purveyors. Growing up in Toronto I have similar fond memories of going to the St. Lawrence or Kensington Markets with my father on a Saturday morning. Granville Market has that same magic of colourful stalls, bustling action and glorious food from end to end. I walk in circles trying to find what I am looking for and then wondering if I am missing something even better around the next corner.

Look at the beautiful peppers
Strawberries piled high
Fruit spilling out like piles of gold in a pirate story.
Pastries and desserts – how can you choose just one?
Crusty loaves of warm there anything sexier than that smell!
Which steak will he choose for dinner tonight?
Local Honey
Granville is right on the water and of course there are many fresh seafood stalls with wild salmon of every kind. When I  first came to British Columbia I discovered  candied salmon. It’s like sweet maple syrup fish chunks. Salty, sweet and yummy. To be honest,  I would eat anything with maple syrup on it.
 I used to work with a guy named Cherif. I would catch him surfing the web at his desk and I would ask him what he was looking at. The guy was always looking  at fish markets from  all over the world! 
At that point I would have to ask him what was wrong with him and tell him to go surf some porn like all the rest of the guys.
  Cherif……..these pictures are for you buddy!! He would freak out if he tasted the candied salmon. 
The Oyama Sausage Company  has the very best charcuterie! a million kinds of Saucisson, salami, every kind of ham or cured meat you can imagine. I spend  at  least $100 every time. I love the saucisson with cognac, lemon or wine. You simply must go home after this and make the killer anti-pasta plate. Gobs of cheese and crusty bread, crackers, olives and fruit. 
If Big Pete saw these pictures he would ask me to make a giant  anti-pasta plate for dinner right now.
Duso’s Italia has beautiful fresh pastas, a shelf entirely filled with good olive oils, cases of olives and peppers and Italian cheeses. My mouth is watering just thinking about it
Is this a thing of beauty?! I feel the same way when I am in the shoe department in Nordstroms. 
Chocolatas is my favourite chocolate producer! Gorgeous chocolate that is created by a Belgian name Wim Tas. 
Their chocolate is so fresh and wonderful to eat that you will be ruined and never want anything else. It is truly unlike any other chocolate. I am so lucky because I live 10 minutes from their location in Abbotsford, BC where they make the chocolates. I  love to go there because you can buy wonderful quality baking chocolate as well as their filled chocolates. They are so helpful and will gladly share ideas on how to make your own homemade truffles.
   It really does not matter what you try, its all just so good.
Look what I got for Valentine’s day!
My last favourite shop is  Benton Brothers Fine Cheese
They have a phenomenal selection of handcrafted, small production artisanal cheeses. You have to try something new every time you go and they are only too happy to help you select. I spend way to much time staring and choosing at this case.
Granville Market is set in such a pretty city and even on a cloudy day in February Springtime is starting to emerge.
 Outside the market someone is waiting for you to drop a piece of something delicious by accident!!

Lepp Farm Market- My Favorite Market!

Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognise as food.”  
~Michael Pollan

I live in the Fraser Valley which is located an hour and a half east of Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada. We are so lucky to have an incredible abundance of locally grown fruits and vegetables and some truly wonderful stores that provide the best quality products. Lepp Farm Market is my favourite local market!

Doesn’t this just say it all!

I love it for so many reasons! They have the finest, freshest meat counter with an extraordinary selection of in house made sausages, sliced deli meats, bacon and  more.  They farm their own chickens, pigs and hand select cattle that is specifically raised for Lepp Farm.  They provide a really good array of local produce from their own fields as well as other Fraser Valley growers. As the Spring and Summer approaches you can find the store literally busting out to the front where the produce overflows to greet you in all it’s happy colours!

I find it to be a wonderful source for unique and hard to find speciality items. They highlight and promote the many highest quality artisanal products that are produced in British Columbia and if you ask them to carry something special they are always happy to oblige your requests. The Lepp Family is deeply entrenched in the community and often have festivals and various weekend events. They are quick to share their bounty with free giveaways and  are always contributors of local charities and causes.
I come here for unique oils, vinegars local cheeses, freshly baked breads and baked goods.
It is a beautiful store that changes with the seasons and always creates a fascinating environment to shop in.
 I just love the feeling when I walk through the door. 
They have a kitchen counter that not only provides light lunches, it is the stage for evening cooking classes. I have thoroughly enjoyed their lively, entertaining and intimate classes with  stars like Anthony Sedlak , Vikram Vij,  Bob Blumer as well as local Masters of the kitchen.
The nicest part of your shopping experience at Lepp Farm market is that every single person you encounter is polite and genuinely happy to help you. You will be amazed and delighted by the knowledge of every person behind their extensive butcher shop. Paul  or Ian will gladly help you with any special cut you are looking for, order you something they don’t always carry and I have even seen them writing out  a recipe to help someone prepare a meal!
 Every single person from the person in produce, to the cashiers to Charlotte and Rob Lepp always try to make your experience a good one. I have honestly, never EVER had bad service or an unkind word spoken to me ever! 
It is always my pleasure to shop at Lepp Farm market and I am proud and lucky they are part of my local community. If  you are in the Abbotsford area you simply must stop by the Lepp Farm Market.
“Don’t you just want to shop here?!”
There are wonderful markets  and caring growers in your area. Go find them. Even the smallest communities have farmer’s markets and unique shops. Many people are working hard to provide good, clean food  for our families and all we have to do is say yes with our shopping dollars.