Holiday Market Gift Guide

The Holiday shopping season is upon us, and there are many places around town to find beautiful things for your near and dear ones. But if the mall’s got you down and you have a bunch of savvy locavores on your list, VFM’s annual Holiday Market is a must for authentic and locally-produced handmade goods.

Over 60 VFM vendors will bring their seasonal best to the Croatian Cultural Centre on Saturday, December 12th for the 20th Annual Holiday Market, a one-day gifty extravaganza showcasing the best in local food and craft. VFM’s only indoor event, this festive shopping destination will feature a great selection of artisanal prepared food, craft beverage, and seasonal confectionary along with handmade craft including pottery, textiles, wood, jewellery, painting, soap and body care.

VFM staffers have complied a sneak peak of some of their top holiday picks in the following 2015 Holiday Gift Guide – look out for these vendors at the Holiday Market, as well as on select dates at Nat Bailey and Hastings Park Winter Markets in November/December.


Craft Alcohol

We are super excited to have our craft beverage producers join us at the Holiday Market for the first time ever!
Odd Society Spirits’s Creme de Cassis is an especially festive and gifty tipple that’s delicious on its own or as an addition to your seasonal bubbly.
Catch Odd Society at the Holiday Market on Dec 12th, as well as on Nov 28th and Dec 12th at Nat Bailey and Dec 13th at Hastings Park Winter Market.

Also look for: Legend Distilling’s Defender Island Gin

Cheese is Always Welcome!

Little Qualicum Cheeseworks’ Island Brie has been a best seller at the Holiday Market for several years running. The brie’s creamy texture and velvet white rind get dressed up for the season with some candied pecans and cranberries; served up on a thin wooden board that doubles as a coaster when the cheese is gone, it’s the perfect hostess gift for holiday parties.

Along with the Holiday Market, Little Qualicum will also be at Nat Bailey every Saturday in Nov-Dec, and every other week at Hastings Park starting Nov 15th.

Something Shiny?

We might hang out in wet parking lots all winter, but VFM staff still love to get decked out in shiny, pretty things in our off hours.

Nancy Esworthy‘s gorgeous line of hand stamped and hammered sterling silver and copper jewellery mixed with wood, resin, and leather accents is one of our favourites.

You can find her at the Holiday Market on Dec 12th, as well as Nat Bailey on Dec 19th. View more of her beautiful jewellery hereAlso look for: The Magpie’s Nest’s reworked silver spoon jewellery.

If you’re looking to add some traditional romance to your holiday offerings, Ratatouille Designs’ one-of-a-kind linen wearables and housewares present some classic options.

The combination of new and antique fabrics used to create Ratatouille’s sweet and simple line of dresses, aprons, and household linens are all hand-selected by designer Susan Perkuhn at markets throughout Provence in southern France. Catch Ratatouille at the Holiday Market on Dec 12th, or by appointment at her studio in North Vancouver. More details on studio open hours here.

All look for: Vancouver-inspired t-shirts, totes, and tea towels from The Hive Printing.


Meaty Deliciousness

The carnivores on your gift list will delight in the free range, grass fed flavours of Jerky Baron’s beef jerky. Available in 6 punchy flavours that incorporate unusual ingredients like blue agave, banana, and white truffle, these jerkies make great stocking stuffers as well as high protein snacks to see you through the holiday shopping season!  You can find the Jerky Baron on Nov 28th, Dec 5th and 12th at Nat Bailey Winter Market, as well as the Holiday Market on Dec 12th.

Also look for: tins of wild sockeye and smoked pink salmon from Blue Comet Seafoods


Sweets for the Sweet!

1Up Caramels make some of the most deliciously chewy, small batch caramels around! Always experimenting with new flavour combinations, the folks at 1UP have a new roster of flavours available for the upcoming holiday season, including: Beer Pretzel, Cranberry Almond, Gingerbread, Orange Almond, Coconut, and of course, classic Salted Butter. Each batch of 1Up Caramels is stirred, poured, cut and wrapped by hand in East Van. They’re totally addictive, so get to them before they sell out at the Holiday Market on Dec 12th.

Also look for: Take A Fancy Chocolate’s seasonal Spiced Rum Caramels

Good Things Come in Small Packages

The Lemon Square first brought their tangy and delicious signature treat to the Holiday Market in 2014.  They return this year with their moreish little parcels – handmade in Vancouver from simple ingredients like real lemon, local butter, and coconut.  This season, each square will be hand wrapped especially for the holidays and ready for giving. Find them at the Holiday Market on Dec 12th, or at Hastings Park Winter Market on Nov 29th and Dec 20th.

Also look for: J-Brûlée’s decadent creme brûlée in such flavours as Vanilla Bean and Hazelnut Bourbon.

Ceramics for Christmas

Perennial Holiday Market favourite Matthew Freed Ceramics produces functional, modern pieces that are well made and beautiful, yet don’t break the budget. Each pot is hand thrown, glazed and fired in Matthew’s Eastside studio, resulting in a stunning collection of nature and zen-inspired dishes, teapots. cups and vases. You can find Matthew’s work this season at the Holiday Market on Dec 12th.

Also look for: Choi’s Pottery’s charming handmade and hand carved Celadon pots.

Stuff a Stocking

Healthy and fair-trade skin care products are always in season, so make sure to pay a visit to Fable Naturals’ booth at the Holiday Market on Dec 12th. The makers at Fable go far out of their way to track down the most ethical, organic raw ingredients available to create a line of bath and body, soap, and facial care products that are practically clean enough to eat.
If you miss Fable Naturals at the Holiday Market, you can find them at Hastings Park Winter Market on Nov 29th and Dec 20th.

Also look for: Sweet Earth Soapworks’ extensive collection of natural, hand made soaps featuring local ingredients.

The Gift of Fine Craftsmanship

Few gifts are more practical or satisfying than a handmade-in-BC wooden cutting board. Wood crafter Don Asperin works with the grain in each of his pieces to produce boards, boxes, and serving trays that are subtle and elegant.

Find Don on back to back dates at the Holiday Market on Dec 12th and Hastings Park Winter Market on Dec 13th.

Also look for: European-style butcher blocks from Quality Oak Accents


Get the Party Started

We’re pretty sure that any bottle of Bomber Brewing beer would fit perfectly in the toe of a stocking, and with so many great winter flavours to choose from, they’d be a hit with the craft beer geeks on your list.

Bomber will be making an appearance at the Holiday Market on Dec 12th – no doubt with bottles of their seasonal Superpest brew in tow, as well as selections of the rest of their line up in cans and bottles.

You can also find Bomber at Nat Bailey on Dec 5th and at Hastings Park on Dec 6th, 13th, and 20th. Barring that, you can always visit them direct at their Adanac Street brewery or hunt them down at select liquor stores around town.

Also look for: small batch shrubs (drinking vinegars made with local fruit) from Mixers & Elixirs 


Deck your holiday breads and pastries with some of the delicious sweet and savoury butters from The Local ChurnWith delicious and inventive flavour combinations like Peppercorn Brandy, Tart Cherry & Sherry, Sage & Shallot, and Matcha & Dark Chocolate, these butters are a great addition to your festive baking, holiday parties, and snacks.

The Local Churn will be at the Holiday Market on Dec 12th, as well as Hastings Park Winter Market on Dec 6th.

Also look for: Three Feet Below’s Apple Honey Lemon Preserve


One Size Fits All

Can’t decide what to get them? Let them choose for themselves with the gift of VFM Market Money!
The official currency of Vancouver Farmers Markets never expires, is accepted at all of our locations, and comes in handy $5 denominations. Market Money gift certificates will be available at the Holiday Market on Dec 12th, and can also be purchased at our weekly Nat Bailey and Hastings Park Winter Markets.

Also look for: a wide range of VFM signature merch at this year’s Holiday Market, including made-in-Vancouver t-shirts, tote bags and tea towels, as well as our limited edition Market Crate from Cumberland Crate Co. on Vancouver Is.

Find out more info on the 20th Annual Holiday Market here.

View the complete Holiday Market Vendor List here.

Download Holiday Market product photos for media use here.

View the 2015 Holiday Market Gift Guide media release here.