Winter Market Holiday Guide – 2021 Edition
VFM staff have rounded 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 Riley Park & Hastings Park Winter Markets.
This weekend is the last opportunity to shop at the markets before Christmas, so break out those December to do lists and start thinking local for the holidays…
Foods & Drink Gifts
A winter CSA is the ultimate gift for the foodie in your life. Alice Briggs, VFM’s District & Communication Manager recommends the CSA box from Klippers Organics: “A CSA is the gift that keeps on giving! Eat fresh & local, even in the deep dark days of winter, and directly support a local farm family. I can’t think of anything better!”.
KLIPPERS ORGANICS WILL BE AT RILEY PARK WINTER ON DECEMBER 18 AND HASTINGS PARK ON DECEMBER 19.
Odd Society Spirits make an array of small batch spirits, but the East Van Vodka is a favourite of VFM’s Operations Manager Randy Elliott, “This vodka is so smooth! We like to keep it simple and mix with orange juice and soda water – it never disappoints”
ODD SOCIETY SPIRITS WILL BE AT RILEY PARK ON DECEMBER 18 AND HASTINGS PARK ON DECEMBER 19.
Also look for: unique rice wines & rice spirits from Snowgoose Brewery.
For a locally grown stocking stuffer why not try hazlenuts from Hazelnut Growers Collective? Our Executive Director Laura Smit says “You can find the best whole or cracked hazelnuts in the world at the Vancouver winter markets! There’s a rumour going around that Ferrero Rocher wanted to source their hazelnuts from BC but we had to inform them there just isn’t enough land to meet their demand. Ferrero’s loss is our gain!”
FIND HAZELNUT GROWERS COLLECTIVE AT RILEY PARK ON DECEMBER 18 AND HASTINGS PARK ON DECEMBER 19.
Also look for: Fresh kiwis, locally grown in Abbortsford by Petkov Kiwi Production
Le Meadow’s Pantry makes delicious small batch marmalades and jams using local fruits and botanicals where possible. Their grapefruit smoked sea salt marmalade is the gift of choice this season for our Riley Park Winter Manager Laura Gibson. “It’s the perfect combo with thick rinds & a tart flavour. Nothing goes better on a crusty piece of sourdough toast”.
LE MEADOWS WILL BE AT HASTINGS PARK ON DECEMBER 10.
Also look for: A jar of triple berry jam from Mandair Farms, made using berries from their farm in Abbortsford.
Drunken Chocolatier is a top pick this season for Christa Wood, VFM Office Manager. She says: “these chocolates are a beautiful, decadent treat. I love that they incorporate local beer and liquor too”. Visit the market this weekend to customise your own holiday box with flavours like Egg Nog, Chestnut Ale, Raspberry Port, and Mulled Wine!
CATCH DRUNKEN CHOCOLATIER AT RILEY PARK ON DECEMBER 18.
Also look for: chocolate gift boxes from Coconama.
Studio Brewing is one of VFM’s newest breweries, and we think you should check out their delicious brews, like the New World Saison ‘Daisy Chain’ with malted spelt & floral and citrus notes. With its fun distinctive branding, any of their cans would look great under your tree!
STUDIO BREWERY WILL BE AT RILEY PARK WINTER ON DECEMBER 18.
Also look for: unique beer flavours from Luppolo Brewing Co. like their Bourbon Barrel Aged Belgian Style Dubbel
Got a cocktail lover on your list? Put Mixers & Elixirs small batch shrubs in their stocking – they’ve even put together a savoury, a sweet, and tart gift box to please all taste buds!
MIXERS AND ELIXIRS WILL BE AT RILEY PARK ON DECEMBER 18 AND HASTINGS PARK ON DECEMBER 19
Also look for: Oak aged vanilla syrup from Frostbites Syrup Co.
Handmade Craft & More
“My holiday gift pick is definitely MeNom. Her mugs, pots and vases are all handmade and each one has its own character and charm…there’s one for everyone to love!” says Development & Operations Manager Gabrielle Vacheresse.
FIND MENOM AT HASTINGS PARK ON DECEMBER 19.
Also look for: jewellery from Nancy Esworthy, made using precious metals, wood, and leather
Royal Herbs offers a vast array of organic, botanical based products. Their pet care line has some great stocking stuffers for the dog owners in your life. Try their dog shampoo or calming spray, great for those panicky pooches!
ROYAL HERBS WILL BE AT RILEY PARK WINTER ON DECEMBER 18
Also look for: handcrafted body-care products from Scentimental Creations
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 RILEY PARK WINTER ON DECEMBER 18.
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, a VFM fundraiser tote! Our premium tote bag is not only practical with its hidden inner & outer pockets, it’s also designed, sewn and printed in Vancouver with partial proceeds directly supporting our food security initiative Fresh to Families. Pick one up at the Info Booth at the Riley Park and Hastings Park winter markets !
The feta cheese from Golden Ears Cheesecrafters is a big favourite of Hastings Park Manager, Ophelia Bar-Lev-Wise. She says: “It’s so fresh, flavourful and creamy – great on my morning eggs or in salads and an absolute must for your holiday charcuterie boards”.
FIND GOLDEN EARS CHEESECRAFTERS AT RILEY PARK WINTER ON DECEMBER 18 AND HASTINGS PARK ON DECEMBER 19.
Also look for: handmade artisan cheeses from Mt Lehman Cheese Co.
“Merci Boulangerie’s chocolate chip cookies are so delicious they keep me coming back for more week after week, but you can’t go wrong with any of their baked goods” says Riley Park Manager Katie Simmons, “They’d be great to share with loved ones over the holidays!”
FIND MERCI BOULANGERIE AT RILEY PARK WINTER ON DECEMBER 18.
Also look for: sourdough breads and delicious holiday pastry boxes from Rising Knead Bakery.
New Hastings Park vendor La Bise Bakery has blown us away with their Cáñeles. Hastings Park Manager Ophelia Bar-Lev-Wise can’t get enough: “These small French pastries are so unique, with their thick crust and tender custard centre. What a special pastry to serve at your next dinner party!”
FIND LA BISE BAKERY AT HASTINGS PARK ON DECEMBER 19.
Also look for: apple-and-cinnamon bannock fritters from Bannock Queen.
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 RILEY PARK WINTER ON DECEMBER 18.
Also look for: cute & delicious mini Pannetones from Heritage Baking
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 RILEY PARK WINTER ON DECEMBER 18 AND HASTINGS PARK ON DECEMBER 19.
Also look for: Vegan cashew cream cheese from Living Tree Foods
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: