Each December, VFM staff round up our top picks from the Winter Markets to help make your local holiday gift giving and entertaining a breeze.
Craft spirits, artisanal cheeses, deluxe baked goods, seasonal wreaths and bouquets, specialty food items, and fine craft are just a few of the hundreds of festive ideas on hand at Nat Bailey & Hastings Park Winter Markets this month. So break out those December to do lists and start thinking local for the holidays…
Shiny & New
Bean-to-bar Kasama Chocolate produces a range of artisanal bars and truffles that boast some of the nicest packaging around. Their Spirits of BC truffle collection is top gift pick for Anna Bock, our Assistant Operations Manager. “They’re made with BC craft spirits,” explains Anna Bock, our Assistant Operations Manager. “a great gift for someone you don’t know well, but want to show your appreciation for.”
Kasama Chocolate will be at Nat Bailey on December 16.
Also look for: buttery English Toffee from Blackberry Hill.
Sons of Vancouver Distillery make small batch, barrel aged amarettos that carry notes of apricot, juniper, orange peel, and creamed honey. “They’re so unique,” says Christa Wood, VFM’s office coordinator. “We’ll be using them in my husband’s signature Dark n’ Stormies this Christmas.”
Sons of Vancouver will be at Hastings Park on December 10.
Also look for: a bottle of the newly released Salal Gin from Odd Society Spirits.
The holiday season is a time to relax and let inhibitions go out the window. Ice cream in our morning coffee? Yes, please! Why not try some of the yummy seasonal offerings from Elephant Garden Creamery, like White Choco Christmas and Mont Blanc (it’s made with chestnuts, people!)
Find Elephant Garden at Hastings Park on December 10 & 17
Also look for: handmade ice cream in flavours like Caramel Ribbons and Costa Rican Vanilla from Take a Fancy Sweets & Chocolate.
BCB Honey keep close to 60 million bees in production in British Columbia each year. Their pink ginger honey is the gift of choice this season for our Hastings Park Manager Gabrielle Vacheresse. “I recently bought a jar as a gift to myself,” says Vacheresse. “It’s really yummy on a crusty piece of sourdough toast or in lemon tea.”
BCB Honey will be at Hastings Park on December 10.
Also look for: A jar of the Vancouver Special Honey from Six Legs Good Apiary, produced from their urban hives.
The folks from Rocky Creek Winery in Cowichan Valley, BC produce a great line of red and white wines along with special selections like sparkling, and rosé. Their Wild Blackberry has become their signature, great on it’s own as a rich, port-style wine or mixed into your holiday cocktails.
Find Rocky Creek at Nat Bailey on December 9.
Also look for: the Sparking Finch, a blend of chardonnay and pinot noir from Robin Ridge Winery.
“I don’t like to play favourites, but they make one of the best blondies around,” says Trout Lake Manager Jordan Mehl of Le Bouledogue, one of VFM’s newest bakeries. “I’d definitely lay a plate of them out at your next holiday party.” Along with amazing sweet baked goods, Le Bouledogue also makes a line of specialty jams in flavours like Blueberry Basil.
Find Le Bouledogue at Hastings Park on December 10.
Also look for: sourdough breads, pastries, and crackers from lakehouse foods.
Drunken Chocolatier, who debuted December 3rd at Hastings Park Winter Market, is a top pick this season for Jess Landing, VFM community engagement coordinator. “Their chocolates are incredibly beautiful – they look like paintings, ” says Landing. “Their going to make really great stocking stuffers”.
Catch Drunken Chocolatier at Hastings Park on December 10.
Also look for: limited edition Mulled Wine Chocolates from Coconama.
Doan’s Craft Brewing Co. is one of VFM’s newest breweries, and we think you should check out their BC grown rye based brews like the Rye Porter and house series Little R & R (with rice and rye). With its distinctive illustrated branding, any of their bottles of cans would look great under your tree with a little red bow.
Doan’s will be at Nat Bailey on December 9 and Hastings Park on December 17.
Also look for: the Holiday Gift Set from Persephone Brewing Co., containing a beer glass, toque, and two bottles of beer.
Spruce Goose Chop n’ Block is a brand new vendor at the Winter Markets this season that is bringing some truly exceptional salami to the people of Vancouver. “Any combination of their charcuterie would be a great addition to a holiday platter,” says VFM Operations Manager, Laura Smit. “Especially the porcini salami.”
Find Spruce Goose at Hastings Park on December 10.
Also look for: some grass-fed beef pepperoni from Greendale Meats.
Got a cocktail lover on your list? Put a bottle of Barrelhouse’s Sourback Cocktail Brine in their stocking – perfect for sour caesars and pickletinis.
Barrelhouse Brine will be at Nat Bailey on December 16.
Also look for: Boozewitch Chili Lime Shrub from Gillespie’s Fine Spirits.
Tried & True
“Nancy’s designs are classic – her jewellery is the kind of gift you buy for someone else, but end up keeping for yourself.” says Jen Candela, VFM’s Communication Manager, of Nancy Esworthy Designs. Incorporating unusual materials like deer antler and mammoth ivory mixed with precious metals, wood, and leather, Nancy pieces have a tribal elegance that will please even the most discerning jewellery lover.
Find Nancy Esworthy at Nat Bailey on December 9.
Also look for: hand forged sterling silver jewellery featuring luminous stones and freshwater pearls from Ildiko Jewelry.
“I love the beeswax pyramid candle from von Hardenberg,” says Nat Bailey Manager Randy Elliott. “All of their candles are quality, but that one is such a unique shape for gifting.” Von Hardenberg makes a wide selection of 100% Canadian-sourced beeswax candles, including specialty 5″ tapers that can be used on Christmas trees or for Hanukkah menorahs.
Find von Hardenberg Candles at Nat Bailey on December 16.
Also look for: Valley Gold Bee Co.‘s selection of candles and tealights made of beeswax from their own hives.
The Hive Printing is a Vancouver-based print shop that produces a range of dry goods like t-shirts, tote bags, and tea towels. “My husband loves a unique t-shirt so I always pick up one of the new designs from The Hive,” says Roberta LaQuaglia, VFM Direct Manager. “I particularly like the ones based on local streets and maps.”
The Hive Printing will be at Hasting Park on December 17 and Nat Bailey on December 23.
Also look for: Vancouver Farmers Market branded tees, printed on Bella + Canvas unisex jersey t-shirts and available at the Market Info Tent.
The dried fruits mixes and fruit leathers from Ambercott Acres are a stocking stuffer must. Made from organic fruit grown on their orchards in Cawston, BC, these sugar free fruit leathers come in 10 different flavours like nectarine-apple and pear-apricot.
Find Ambercott Acres at Nat Bailey on December 16 & 23.
Also look for: Klippers Organics Crispy Apple Chips.
Don Asperin creates wood objects that are as beautiful as they are useful. His maple cutting boards, wooden boxes, and small home accents make lasting and practical gifts.
Don Asperin Woodworks will be at Nat Bailey on December 9 & 23.
Also look for: screen-printed wood coasters and wall hangings from The Hive Printing.
The most versatile gift you could buy for a market lover, VFM Market Money never expires and is accepted at all of our locations. Market Money gift certificates in $20 amounts can be purchased at our weekly Nat Bailey and Hastings Park Winter Markets – bundle one with an annual Market Membership for $40, and we’ll throw in a gift Market Tote Bag.
The candied and smoked salmon sticks from Blue Comet Seafoods are a big favourite of VFM Executive Director, Tara McDonald. “They look beautiful on a platter, and nothing says “West Coast Christmas” like smoked salmon,” she says. Along with plenty of smoked options, Blue Comet’s canned salmon makes for pretty great stocking stuffers.
Find Blue Comet Seafoods at Nat Bailey on December 9, 16, & 23 and Hastings Park on December 10 & 17.
Also look for: delicious canned smoked tuna from Estevan Tuna.
Pâté Pastiche creates vegan and gluten-free pâtés in knock out combinations like golden squash and sage, market herb, and forest mushroom. A great alternative to traditional meat-based spreads, these wholesome pâtés are sure to please vegans and non-vegans alike.
Pâté Pastiche will be at Nat Bailey on December 23.
Also look for: Savoury Duck Pâté from Chef Enrick
If you’re looking for traditional holiday baking to impress your guests, make sure to check out Blackberry Hill Bakery at Nat Bailey Winter Market this month. They make everything from mince pies to shortbread, Christmas cakes to rum balls – all you have to do is plate it up for your holiday table.
Blackberry Hill will be at Nat Bailey on December 9, 16 & 23.
Also look for: traditional German stollen from Sweet Thea Cakes.
Dundarave Olive Co. brines, marinates, and stuffs their olives by hand. Incorporating ingredients like manchego cheese, dried apricots, and anchovies, their olive mixes are unique and delicious – a must for your holiday party platter.
Find Dundarave Olive Co. at Nat Bailey on December 16 & 23.
Also look for: classic pickled beets from Anne’s Preserves.
BobAli’s hummus, tapenades, and dips make for a colourful and tasty addition to festive celebrations. Standouts for VFM staff include the Sweet Potato & Chipotle Hummus, and their Beet & Horseradish Tapenade.
Find BobAli at Nat Bailey on December 16 and Hastings Park on December 17.
Also look for: Tempea vegan tempeh pâté.
Lighten up on all those rich, holiday foods with a selection of seasonal fruits and veggies from the Winter Markets. Kiwis are in season, there are still some grapes available, and of course, all of those great storage apples will be around throughout the winter. Check out our In Season page and start planning your holiday grocery lists!
Looking for a particular product or vendor? Find them with our Product Search Tool.
The Winter Markets are open for the holidays on the following dates:
Join us December 23 for a special holiday addition of Nat Bailey Winter Market, featuring visits with Santa, live carolling, kids crafts, and more!
Our 2016 markets are all wrapped up and we’re taking a break for the holidays! We will be closed December 24th & 31st and will reopen January 7th.
Visit us at Nat Bailey Stadium (4601 Ontario St.), Saturday, January 7th from 10am-2pm
Our 2016 markets are all wrapped up and we’re taking a break for the holidays! We will be closed December 25th and January 1st and reopen January 8th.
Get a complete list of this week’s Hastings Park vendors here.
Find more information on the Hastings Park location here
Attention shoppers! This weekend is your last opportunity to shop local at the Winter Markets before we close for the holidays. Be sure to stock up on all your festive supplies and regular market staples – we don’t return until January 7th! Looking for last minute gift and entertaining ideas? Read on for this week’s top picks and be sure to dress warm this weekend!
What’s in Season
Produce: apples, acorn squash, asian pears, beets, broccoli, brussels sprouts, butternut squash, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celeriac, chanterelles, chard, delicata squash, daikon, endive, fennel, garlic, kale, kiwi, kohlrabi, leeks, mushrooms, napa cabbage, nettles, onions, persimmon, parsnips, potatoes, pears, pumpkin, quince, rutabaga, salad mix, shallots, sunchokes, tomatoes, turnips, winter squash, zucchini
Meats, Seafood, Dairy: Beef, Bison, Halibut, Pork, Duck, Salmon, Turkey, Chicken, Cod, Cheese, Eggs
Other: Dried Fruit, Honey, Hazelnuts, Walnuts, Juice, Pickles, Yogurt, Preserves
Local Holiday Gift Guide
Meyer lemon & lavender, pineapple habanero, and roasted plum & lemongrass are just a few of the unique and delicious cordials that frost bites produces. Mix them in seltzer or with your fave spirit, and get the holiday party started!
T-shirts, dish towels and tote bags are truly useful gifts that everyone can appreciate. The Hive Printing produces their line of Vancouver-inspired locally printed goods in their small artisan studio on the east side.
It’s back! Limited run barrel aged vodka from Odd Society Spirits makes a sophisticated stocking stuffer for the spirits connoisseur in your life.
Put a little sparkle under the tree for someone special this year with a set of sterling silver and labradorite drop earrings from Ildiko Jewelry. She also makes bracelets, pendants, and necklaces using silver and semi precious stones.
Want a change from the usual hummus offerings for your holiday snack platter this year? Spice it up with some unique varieties like Curried Carrot, Orange & Ginger or Thai Green Coconut Curry from BobAli.
Got a beer lover on your holiday gift list? You can’t go wrong with a Bomber Brewing Winter Warmer Pack, which includes a 650ml bottle of their new Old Fat Heater Winter Ale, a Bomber glass and toque.
Get some shrub love in your life this season from Mixers & Elixirs, producers of locally-inspired drinking vinegars that incorporate BC fruits from the markets. A fantastic addition to cocktails.
Select limited edition VFM swag for the market fan on your list! Select items on sale now, including market tee’s & totes! The more you buy – the more you save! *Click here to view sale items*
Click here for more gifts to get from the Farmers Markets this weekend!
Your last day to shop in 2016 is this Saturday! We’ll be closed Saturday, December 24th & 31st for the holidays and be back open on January 7th, 2017.
From all of us at Nat Bailey Farmers Market, we thank you for your support in 2016 & wish you all the best this holiday season!
ElectroRecycle is ready to accept over 300 small appliances while you shop the best in local flavours at Nat Bailey Farmers Market this Saturday, December 17. Bring a small appliance for recycling and they’ll enter you to win $250 in Market Money! Have recycling questions? Ask their friendly staff onsite located near the information booth! For what they can accept at the market, please visit their website at electrorecycle.ca/
Mark your calendars! Our annual CSA Fair is back on January 21 & 22 and new this season, our Hasting Park Pop Up market! For a taste of Hastings Park Farmers Market keep an eye out for the Hastings Park Pop Up Market official vendors every Saturday in January!
Hastings Park Winter Market
Have you heard about the Hastings Park Winter Farmers Market? Did you know it’s every Sunday from November to April? With lots of FREE parking and more vendors than ever before? If you miss Nat Bailey, be sure to head to the east side to pick up your weekly groceries! *Details here*
Visit us at Nat Bailey Stadium (4601 Ontario St.), Saturdays, 10am-2pm
Shop Local This Christmas!
Join us for our Festive Farmers Market this Sunday, December 18th . Join our Holiday Cookie Swap (for more info & RSVP here!), decorate candy canes and take photos with Santa. Buy local this holiday season!
CONTEST ALERT: Take a selfie with Santa at Hastings Park Farmers Market this Sunday and be entered to win $20 market money! Here’s how:
- Find Santa at the market this Sunday, Dec 18
- Snap a selfie with Santa and post on Instagram
- Tag photo #selfiewithsanta #HastingsParkWFM
*Winner will be selected on Monday, December 19th. Santa will be at our Hastings Park Winter Market on Sunday, December 18th only.
It’s the last market before the Holidays! Stock up for the winter breaks and for all your holidays meals & parties. We have everything you need to make a local feast: turkey, ham, beef, salmon, sausages, winter veggies, apples, sweet treats, beer & spirits. We’ll be closed Sunday, December 25th and Sunday, January 1st and re-open January 8th!
What’s in Season
acorn squash, apples, beets, bell peppers, broccoli, brussels sprouts, butternut squash, cabbage, carrots, celery, celeriac, chard, collard greens, corn, dandelion greens, delicata squash, escarole, endive, fennel, garlic, hazelnuts, hot peppers, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, napa cabbage, oats, onions, parsnips, potatoes, pears, pumpkin, radishes, rutabaga, salad mix, shallots, spinach, sprouts, sunchokes, turnips, walnuts, watercress, winter squash, zucchini
Local Holiday Gift Guide
The holidays are fast approaching and we have you covered at Hastings Park. Find tons of unique & hand crafted gifts for the foodie on your list each and every week!
For more gifts to get this season, click here.
We’ll be closed Sunday, December 25th and Sunday, January 1st for the holidays! Stock up on December 18th for all your holiday meals. We’ll be open on January 8th. Happy Holidays!
ElectroRecycle is ready to accept over 300 small appliances while you shop the best in local flavours at Hastings Park Winter Farmers Market. Have recycling questions? Ask their friendly staff onsite located near the information booth! For what they can accept please visit their website at electrorecycle.ca/
Are you a regular Hastings Park shopper? Pickup your Hastings Shopper Card at our Information Booth and enjoy some great perks including:
- Free Market Money transactions ($2 value)
- Free “bunch” item after 5th visit*
- Free “basket” or “bag” item after 10th visit*
- Free “jar” item after 15th visit*
It’s free to join, just sign up for our weekly newsletter!
*all free items valued at a maximum of $3. Shopper card is available at Hastings Park only.
Help Spread the Word!
Love the market? Tell your friends and family about Hastings Park Winter Farmers Market to help this new market grow. Share our Facebook page & tag your photos @vanmarkets #HastingsParkWFM.
Be a Market Champion! Get a Hastings Park lawn sign and let your neighbours know where to find the freshest in local produce, all within a few minutes of their home. Pickup your lawn sign at the Info Booth this week!
Reminder: find FREE parking at Gate 2 off Renfrew, even if there is another event with paid parking on the same day. This weekend Cirque Du Soleil shows are on at the Pacific Coliseum so event goers will be charged – “Farmers Market” are the magic words for free market shopper parking on Sunday, December 18th!