If you live in the Fraser Valley you may think that you will have to travel for hours to Nahatlatch Canyon, Thompson, Coquihalla, or Green Canyon (Whistler / Pemberton) to go river rafting, but excellent rafting is closer than you think.
River rafting is available just an hour away from Vancouver on the Chilliwack River. You can have a variety of adventures on the river from heart-pumping rapids to a bit more of a scenery family-oriented ride.
River rafting is available year-round. We happened to see the good folks from Chilliwack River Rafting several weeks ago when we went fishing and snapped a few pics and this video.
We are noticing a lot of discussion on Social Media about ordering dinner in for Christmas. Is this something you are considering? The comments we are seeing include how difficult it is going to be to get together this holiday, but we can still support local business.
If you are considering a catered meal for Christmas, here are some Fraser Valley catering companies to consider:*
Jan’s on the Beach Restaurant and Catering
At Jan’s you can call in at 604 531-5444 or order takeout. Jan’s takeout menu can be found here: Takeout Menu
From Jan’s website: At Jan’s “We’re ‘Seafood and more’ with a great selection of dishes, all made in house from scratch. Many of our dishes are Gluten Free, including our Calamari, Fish and Chips, and others as well!”
For catering see: https://jansonthebeach.ca/catering/ or email email@example.com Jan’s on the Beach offers a full catering service.
Laura’s is one of Mike’s favorite coffee shops and they cater. Plus, they have a great website!
According to Mike, they have a “friendly owner and staff. It’s a great community hub,” and he says, they have “really good food and amazing baked goods. Find out more here: Laura’s Coffee Corner
Coast and Country Caterers have been in business since 1997. They have an exclusive Christmas menu too. One of their menus includes roast turkey, gravy and cranberry sauce, honey glazed ham, vegetarian lasagna, honey glazed carrots and beans, mashed potatoes, salads, buns, assorted desserts, and coffee and tea. There are five different menus to choose from. See Coast and Country Caterers
Sheila’s Craft Kitchen
At Sheila’s Craft Kitchen you can order a Holiday dinner to-go, or as they put it a “Chrismas Feast” and gift baskets and gift cards. See the photo to the right to see what’s available on the dinner menu. Visit their website here Sheila’s Craft Kitchen
Caterings Visions says, “We are in a festive mood.” To see what Catering Visions has to offer for a catered Christmas dinner, see the photo and click here: Catering Visions
Hillcrest Bakery and Deli
At the time of writing this article, Hillcrest Bakery and Deli is sold out of Christmas Dinners! Oh well, we’ll have to make a note for next year and get our order in early. To see what you missed click here: Hillcrest Bakery and Deli
*Orders need to be placed by a certain date at some of the locations listed above, so don’t wait. Order today!
Thanks to Deborah Janz and Shannon Perkins Dyck for the Fraser Valley catering company suggestions.
Main Photo by Jed Owen on Unsplash
Throughout this past summer Shelley Coburn, a Trustee at the Langley Board of Education partnered with local business owner Brenda-Lee Hunter from The Village Work and Play Space and organized The Village Market in Langley City. I had a visit with Shelley to get her perspective on how the market started and what it might look like in the future.
Shelley grew up in Langley City and describes the community as “a very caring community” and as I spoke with Shelley I got the sense that The Village Market is her way of caring for the community that she grew up in and now serves as a politician.
According to Shelley, The Village Market started in response to COVID-19. She saw it as a way of giving local vendors and farmers the opportunity to sell their products because so many events and markets that they would normally attend were canceled due to the pandemic. COVID-19 has made business difficult for local vendors and farmers. Shelley is moved by the appreciation participants in The Village Market have expressed.
You might have noticed that The Village Market includes crafters who sometimes don’t get to participate in local farmer’s markets because the rules and regulations typically exclude them. For that reason, Shelley says she is going out of her way to include them and give them an opportunity to sell their products.
Some of the leftover fruits and vegetables from The Village Market go to Brogan‘s Diner who then provides meals to people who are homeless. Shelley is creative and looks for local nonprofits to distribute leftover food too like the Douglas Park Community School neighbourhood food bank.
Shelley says that the market has a definite family feel. Her family and many of the vendor’s families participate in the market. Once in awhile local politicians show up like Peter Fassbender with his wife and grandson, Councilor Teri James, and Langley City Mayor Val van den Broek. Shelley says she appreciates the support but her favourite part is when her friends from the community show up to support the vendors and the market. She would also like to extend her thanks to folks at Discover Langley and the Downtown Langley Business Association who helped her get the market started and have been there ever since.
Shelley has a Facebook page for The Village Market in Langley City, but likes to promote the market in an old-school fashion. Nicole Longacre-O’Brien from the Langley UPS Store helps provide advertising and Shelley drops off flyers in the community a few days ahead of each event.
As Shelley looks ahead she says she may formalize the market a little bit more. In the meantime, she hasn’t set a definitive date for the next market but promises there will be another one this Fall, so stay tuned. If you’re interested in getting a table, prices start at a reasonable $30. You can contact Shelly at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Out of curiosity and an ongoing desire to support local business several members of the FV Lifestyle (FVL) team headed out to Festina Lente Estate Winery and Meadery located on 16th Avenue in South Langley for a wine tasting.
The winery is located on a 5-acre hobby farm complete with horses and, of course, beehives. To adapt to COVID restrictions, tastings are served outdoors on the beautiful grounds with tables on the porch and out on the front lawn.
We were not expecting to be served dry wines made from honey, but the selection of wines spanned from dry through to spicy and somewhat sweet. Every bottle of wine at Festina Lente has a witty story to go along with it. If you love pumpkin spiced lattes, you must try the Rustica!
We are proud to offer our premium honey wines made with local honey and fresh farm ingredients. Our wines are sophisticated. Surprisingly dry and food-friendly meads that will delight discriminating eco-conscious wine enthusiasts. Made in small batches, our wines are ever-changing with the seasons. Come by often to take advantage of our limited edition selections. ~ Festina Lente Estate Winery
It was a beautiful August Friday afternoon for our visit. Fortunately, Teresa Townsley, the owner, or “Queen Bee” as she lists on her business card, happened to be in the winery and volunteered to do our wine tasting even though it was her day off.
As we got to know Teresa it became obvious that she has a brilliant sense of humor, an entrepreneurial spirit, and a passion for winemaking.
A Successful Year
If you follow FV Lifestyle at all, you know that one of our passions is to support local business owners, so it was great to meet Teresa and hear about the success of the Festina Lente Estate Winery and Meadery. We were pleased to hear that business is going well. Festina Lente Estate Winery is having such a good year that they are having difficulty keeping up with demand.
How Mead is Made
Teresa provided the FVL team with great information on how mead is made and its extensive history. We learned that the tradition of making mead goes back centuries and actually predates making wine with grapes. She informed us that the bees that produce their honey are imported from New Zealand and are a little bit more docile compared to other strains of bees. Festina Lente Estate wines are not Okanagan wines like many of the wines sold at the wineries in and around South Langley meaning that Festina Lente Estate wines are made with almost entirely locally grown ingredients.
Teresa is also proud of the fact that Festina Lente Estate wines are made with sustainable environmental practices in mind and actually are environmentally positive.
An Enjoyable Departure
The members of the FV Lifestyle squad are pretty committed and experienced grape wine drinkers, so tasting wines made of honey and fruit, or mead as it is traditionally called, was a little bit of a departure from what we are used to. We all agreed that it was enjoyable to introduce our palettes to a variety of intriguing tastes and fragrances.
Thank you Teresa for the informative and delightful wine tasting experience!
To visit and get more information on Festina Lente Estate Winery see below.
In our health-conscious, environmentally concerned world, more and more people are looking for locally grown fruit, flowers, and vegetables. Today we want to give a shout out to a couple of unique Fraser Valley farms. One in South Surrey and the other in South Langley.
Kingfisher Farm Market
Kingfisher Farm Market is found at 512–1 72nd St. in South Surrey, BC. The market is open on Tuesdays from June until October 11 a.m. to 6 PM. They are located south of 8th Avenue and are close to White Rock, BC.
They encourage you to come shop for fresh veggies from their local farm in South Surrey. They have a selection of fresh sustainably grown vegetables, flowers, meat, cheese, bread, eggs, and honey. Every Tuesday they handpick their vegetables and have them fresh for you. on Tuesdays, you are invited to come and visit their chickens and cows and see how their vegetables are grown.
Who are they?
Paul and Angela Neufeld have been farming here for 15 years. They are committed to organic practices and sustainable farming. In 2011 they made the move from East Vancouver to live on this property when they were farming with A Rocha (see below).
There is actually a group of families who care for this piece of land. ”Together we are committed to growing food sustainably, caring for the ponds and forest, supporting biodiversity and reaching out to the local community.”*
A Rocha Farm and Gift Shop
The A Rocha Farm and Gift shop is part of a Rocha Canada which is an international faith-based organization that engages in scientific research, environmental education, community-based conservation projects, and sustainable agriculture.
The A Rocha Farm and Gift shop can be found at 1620 – 192 Street in Surrey BC. They are open on Tuesdays from 12 to 6 PM and Saturdays from 10 to 4 PM.
Everything A Rocha sells is “locally produced, fairly traded, or promotes an environmental ethic.” Proceeds from purchases help support A Rocha which is a non-profit.
As far as shopping for fruits and veggies they don’t necessarily have a huge selection, but what they do have is always fresh and picked right out of their garden. As fall approaches you may want to keep A Rocha in mind if you are going to be in the market for some pumpkins.
We are noticing Fraser Valley businesses are getting creative so that they can continue to serve their customers during the COVID-19 pandemic. As always, we invite you to continue to shop local!
One Fraser Valley business that caught our eye is the Twilight Drive-In. They are currently open and showing the movie Trolls World Tour and Dolittle. It sounds like a family night at the Drive-In! The only thing we would advise is to stay in your car if you can. See http://twilightdrivein.net/
The Passionate Home
Carrie Thachuk, owner of The Passionate Home in Langley City is responding to her customer’s requests with a “Show Your Love DIY Heart Project Pack.” As you may have seen local residents are displaying hearts in their windows to show support for health care workers and first responders and all those working on the front lines during the pandemic. The packs include a raw wood heart (18″ x 15″), a 4oz. Chalk Paint™ colour of your choice, and a free brush!
Carrie and The Passionate Home are providing safe curbside pick-up for all online orders from 11-3 weekdays and 10-2 on Saturdays. Once you’ve placed your order they will contact you to arrange pick-up.
One of our most engaged with Facebook posts so far this month (April 2020) is about Well Seasoned owner Angie Quaale delivering food to the Langley Hospital. Well Seasoned is open 9 to 5 Monday to Friday and 10-4 Saturday and Sunday. On their website, they say they are “well-stocked and doing deliveries.” They also have ready-made meals for pick-up and delivery. See https://wellseasoned.ca/
Home-based business owners are getting creative, and why not? Many home-based businesses were online before the pandemic and set-up for online ordering and delivery.
Abbotsford resident and Epicure representative Becca Toews held and “Epic Quarantine Cooking Class” where she posted videos and recipes on Facebook and Instagram. She said, “With everything going on in the world I’m feeling extra anxious these days. Trying to take care of myself with good food and self-care. Becca listed products that she was adding to her meals to hopefully boost her immune system and keep her and her husband healthy while spending more time than usual at home. See https://www.facebook.com/groups/162588968180880/
Fun and Games
Local businesses like the Abbotsford’s Boardwalk Cafe and Games have had to quickly reinvent themselves because of the crisis. Normally a popular place to hang out with friends, play games and have some coffee and snacks, Boardwalk Cafe and Games had to close their doors to drop-in customers because of the pandemic. Owners Darin and Gabby Graham immediately started promoting their online store and selling board games with free delivery to Abbotsford residents. See https://squareup.com/store/boardwalk-cafe
Realtors are having to adjust how they are showing homes and doing business along with other business owners. To see how FV Lifestyle owner Mike Wilson is making adjustments to how he is showing homes see Showing a Home During COVID-19
Abbotsford is becoming quite famous for a few things, cafes being one of them. Whether you’re looking for 100% gluten-free baked goods, a place to open up your laptop and complete your work for the day, or a late-evening drink – these cafes offer something for people with all tastes.
September is basically January; a fresh start, new beginnings, adventures, change of schedules… Things begin to slow down, the leaves start falling and you order your PSL daily instead of an iced americano. Summer activities will soon be a thing of the past as it gets too cold to spend afternoons in the lake and evenings around the campfires. School starts, routines get back on track. It all sounds a little dull, doesn’t it?
Here are a few fun activities happening around the Fraser Valley this September to keep things rockin’.
Fall festivities are quickly approaching, and as the leaves begin to change colour and schedules fill up with activities, the time and energy spent on party planning can be exhausting. Janik Livera of Fraser Valley Based Blank Canvas Catering has compiled some tips for stress-free entertaining so you can enjoy your time with friends and family!
(Abbotsford, BC) Attended by a VIP guest list of 200 people, Tourism Abbotsford unveiled its destination brand last night at the Rail District Collective. The event highlighted the arts, local musicians, and farm-to plate foods, all significant offerings of the new brand identity.