Author: Carmen Broder

Zero Waste Food Tips
Sep17

These zero waste food tips are designed to highlight environmental stewardship, reduce personal waste, and combat thoughtless consumerism. 

It’s U-Pick and Fall Farmers’ Market season and you’re probably looking forward to all the fresh B.C. produce you will be able to pick up. As you probably know already, we’re quite keen on sustainability and environmentalism here in B.C. The government boats a “Greening Your Home” campaign and our Green Economy is growing every day. 

Here are a few things that YOU can do to reduce, reuse, and recycle. 

Bring Your Own Bags & Buckets

You might be tempted to just wing it when you are visiting the farmers’ market or u-pick farms in your area but a little planning can go a long way. By bringing your own reusable produce bags, fabric totes, and buckets, you can save plastic and paper waste that usually comes from packaging. 

Shop for items that come in compostable packaging or no packaging at all. Paper or cardboard packaging that isn’t waxed can be torn up and composted for smaller items like berries that require a container. 

Plant Your Own Herbs 

Herbs are often difficult to package, as they are small and may fall apart during the shipping process. This means that you usually find them in glass or plastic containers. Avoid this by growing your own herbs! A small window planter is all you need to get started. Some of the easiest herbs to grow are chives, mint, parsley, basil, and cilantro.

You can also grow different flowers and flavors that can be dried and used for tea. Try English or Roman chamomile, lemon balm (part of the mint family), or peppermint. 

Use Every Part of Your Produce

We often peel, rind, and chop without taking the time to consider whether or not the “waste” we are creating can be repurposed for good. Prepackaged goods have spoiled us into thinking that it’s okay to pluck out the “best” and ignore the “rest” when it comes to our fruits, veggies, and meats. 

In reality, many food parts that get thrown away can (and should) be used up. Roasted pumpkin seeds, apple peel chips, watermelon rind chutney, sauteed greens stems, and fruit peel jelly are just a few of your endless options!

Collect Pieces for Soup Broth 

Some leftovers can’t be “eaten” per se but they can certainly be saved, frozen, and later boiled into a delicious vegetable or meat-based broth. You can save items like garlic skins, pepper cores, meat bones, onion tops, herb stems, and tomato ends. There are plenty of different recipes for homemade broth so no matter what you have leftover, you can probably come up with something delicious. 

Note that not ALL food bits make for a good-tasting broth. Leave out (or use in small portions) bitter greens, vegetable tops with too many leaves, overpowering herbs, certain seeds, and anything that doesn’t add much flavor (like corn).

Re-Grow Items Where You Can 

Many fruit and veggies can serve double-duty by being replanted after partial consumption and allowed to grow anew. An example of this is green onion, whereby you can chop off the tips and add them to your dish and then pace the bulbs and remaining spouts in a jar of water to let them regrow. You can also replant garlic that has sprouted in order to collect more fresh bulbs later on. 

Try this with celery, Romain lettuce, carrots, leeks, and even pineapple. Each item will have slightly different instructions for how to regrow it.

Compost, Compost, Compost! 

If there is something you really can’t reuse, then collect it to be composted. Items like eggshells actually have a lot of nutrients that gardens will love! If you have space for your own garden, you can create your own mulch with a bit of effort. If not, see if your city offers compost collection or drop-off so that it can be processed and used elsewhere.

Make sure you don’t contaminate your compost with plastic, waxed cardboard, or other unsavory items! This can make the whole batch go to waste. 

Takeaway

We love sharing our community and everything that entails here at Breakaway Vacations. We also believe in giving back, protecting nature, and living mindfully. So pack up your tote bags, mark the markets on your maps, and come visit us on the beautiful, sunny Vancouver Island! 

You might also like: Local B.C. Produce and Products You Should Check Out

B.C. Wine and Snack Pairings
Sep10

Keep reading to get our recommendations for the best B.C. wine and snack pairings this season.

If you’re visiting B.C., you’ve probably already heard that we are the wine country of Canada. British Columbia hosts around 929 vineyards currently as well as over 350 licensed wineries. There are 4,130 hectares of wine grapes growing across B.C. in any given year. 

Now that it’s fall, you’ll want to shirk the light, floral flavours of spring. Here are some great B.C. wine and snack pairings with an autumn twist! 

Pumpkin + Viognier 

Pumpkin is a staple of fall and often shows up luxuriously spiced in baked goods like pie, cookies, and tarts. The rich, sweetness of pumpkin will pair well with a nice viognier. Luckily, B.C. wineries like Volcanic Hills have many options for you to pick from. 

Try: Pumpkin Pie Bites from Tasty + Viognier from Volcanic Hills Winery (West Kelowna)

Apples + Gewürztraminer

Gewürztraminer is the third most popular wine grape grown in B.C., right after the uber-popular Pinot Gris and Chardonnay. It used to be known for being super sweet but has been trending towards dryer flavours, making it a great option for fall. Gewürztraminer’s fruity profile pairs well with apples, which can be plucked right from the tree at one of the Okanagan’s U-Picks!

Try: Easy Apple Crisp from Little Sweet Baker + 50th Parallel Gewürztraminer (Lake Country, BC).

Figs + Port

Port (AKA Vinho do Porto or just Porto) has relatively low acidity and tannin, making it a great pairing for both cooked or raw figs. Port also has a slightly higher alcohol percentage, ranging closer to 20% than the usual 10-13%. Figs are a ton of fun to work with in the kitchen and a quick search for “fig appetizer ideas” will open your mind to the world of the edible fruit of Ficus carica.

Try: Fig Appetizer With Brie And Spiced Honey from Just a Little Bit of Bacon + Vintage Okanagan Tawny Port from House of Rose (Kelowna, BC).

Sweet Potatoes + Zinfandel

Sweet potatoes, venison, and game meats are just a few hearty fall flavours that pair well with the dark fruit, spice, and oak of a good Zinfandel. Enjoy black cherry, blueberry, and hints of vanilla with your favourite easy sweet potato snack. 

Try: Baked Sweet Potato Chips from Minimalist Baker + Black Sage Zinfandel by Black Sage Vineyards (Okanagan Valley, BC).

Ready for a Visit to Beautiful B.C.?

What do you think about our choice of B.C. wine and snack pairings for fall? Let us know or let us know what other local topics you want us to cover. 

Let Breakaway Vacations help you book your stay. We have luxury vacation cottages and overnight rentals for all group sizes and budgets. Talk to one of our friendly travel experts to get started. 

You might also like: The Best B.C. Wine and Why We Love Them.

Best Day Spas in B.C.
Aug27

Vacations should be about rest and relaxation—and what says R&R better than a luxury visit to one of the best day spas in B.C.? A trip to the spa can make any weekend special. They make for a perfect bachelorette activity or date night, or just a special gift to reward yourself for getting through a tough year! 

These are some of the best day spas in B.C. and what we love about them. 

 

Vancouver, B.C. Day Spas

Breathe Day Spa

Breathe Spa is located in the heart of downtown Vancouver on Granville Street, near enough to walk the waterfront before or after your spa day. Their luxury packages range from 3.5 – 5.5 hours and include your choice of services, including things like hot stone massages and Hawaiian organic body scrubs. 

Sabai Thai Spa

Sabai Thai Spa is located right by Vancouver’s famous Sea Wall, so be sure to get in a walk or bike ride around the harbour while you’re in the neighbourhood. They have 4 spa packages to choose from but what makes them really special is that they offer enhancements—ALA add-ons—for things like

 

Kelowna, B.C. Day Spas

Namaste Day Spa

Namaste Day Spa is just off the highway on Gordon Drive, so even those just passing through can’t miss it! They offer a 3.25 hours “half-day” spa package: a classic customized organic facial including exfoliation and extractions, sixty-minute massage with flowing Shiatsu, and a pedicure including nail care and a sea salt scrub. 

Amora Day Spa

Amora Day Spa is located within downtown Kelowna, right near the waterfront as well as the bridge to West Kelowna (perfect for those choosing to stay on that side of town). Set aside 2 or 3 hours to visit them for a full body massage, relaxing facial, body wrap, or mani-pedi. Or all of the above! 

 

Victoria, B.C. Day Spas

Emerald Day Spa

Emerald Day Spa is located on Cedar Hill Road and received numerous accolades from Black Press for Best Day Spa (2018, 2019) and Best Skin Care Clinic (2020). They have a really cool package for “Spa Parties/Private Parties” that lets you book the whole establishment for events like weddings, birthdays, or stagettes.

The Willow Stream Spa at Fairmont Empress

The Willow Stream Spa at Fairmont Empress is, as the name implies, attached to the Fairmont Empress and offers guests of the hotel access to a pool area and steam room. It was ranked as one of the top spas in Canada by Condé Nast Traveller and is one of the most popular Vancouver Island spas. Non-hotel-guests can still book in for a spa service, which includes everything from massages, facials, body scrubs, and more.

 

What do you think about our list of best day spas in B.C.? What other B.C. or Canadian cities do you want us to cover on our blog? Let us know!

Need help organizing your trip? Call or email us at Breakaway Vacations and we’ll find the perfect train, plane, or automobile for your local vacation plans.

You might also like—Pender Island Attractions: 10 Things to See & Do

Best Cocktails In Kelowna
Aug20

Are you visiting one of our luxury cabins in Kelowna, B.C.? You might want a fresh, exciting night out while you’re in town! Take a night to yourself to discover the unique, sultry cocktail bars across the city. Here are a few of the best cocktails in Kelowna…and where you can find them. 

Rember: Cocktails change year-over-year and sometimes season-over-season. If you can’t find something we’ve suggested on the current menu, ask the bartender! They might be able to make it special for you or suggest an alternative cocktail. 

Micro Bar Bites

Micro Bar Bites is an intimate dining experience located right downtown Kelowna on Water Street. They have bottled beer and homemade cocktails on the menu. The duck fat & rosemary popcorn really can’t be beat as a quick appetizer for the table. They are also dedicated to supporting local produce suppliers! 

Our favourite cocktail: Y’all Can’t Handle the Truth. This is a RauDZ Creative Concepts exclusive with TWT gin, Pimms, cucumber oleo-saccharum, lime, and Okanagan Spirits Taboo Absinthe rinse. See their whole menu here.

Jack’s 

Jack’s, AKA Jack’s on Bernard, is a Kelowna cocktail bar with a rock-and-roll vibe, as emphasized by their drink menu named after famous songs and 90’s nostalgia. They have an amazing menu of food including three different types of flatbread (yum!). Ask for their Featured Flatbread to get a seasonal surprise. 

Our favourite cocktail: Detroit Rocket City. Cucumber-infused Absolut Vodka, watermelon, lemon, and hibiscus foam. See their whole menu here.

Social 

Social 242, AKA Social Lounge & Grill, is located on Kelowna’s beautiful Lawrence Avenue and boasts a menu packed with daily deals, vegan menu options, and plenty of beer and wine to choose from. For dessert, or paired with your cocktail of choice, try their Amaretto Creme Brulee or Hazelnut Espresso Cheesecake. 

Our favourite cocktail (and don’t let the name fool you): The Mediocre Caesar. A classic Caesar with all the fixins’—cheese, pickles, olives, and sausage. Did we mention CHEESE? Check out their full menu here.

Cantina del Centro

Cantina del Centro is a Latin American-inspired cocktail bar and eatery with locations in both Kelowna and Nelson. The Kelowna venue, located on Bernard Avenue, is just a stone’s skip away from Okanagan Lake. Their specialty is Mexican street food and they offer an extensive tequila and mezcal list.

Our favourite cocktail: Sin Cara Mezcal Margarita. Sombra mezcal, Haskap, lavender, vanilla, and lime. 

Mid-Town Station

Mid-Town Station opened in November 2019 as a partner venue to the Train Station Pub, another local Kelowna staple. This Landmark District go-to gathering spot does everything from dinner, brunch, take-out, and even catering. They also have a loyalty reward program for frequent guests. 

Our favourite cocktail: Okanagan Sangria. Smirnoff green apple vodka, lillet blanc, maraschino liqueur, white wine, lime juice, white cranberry juice, float of Okanagan spirits cherry liqueur, and soda. 

What do you think about our list of best cocktails in Kelowna? Ready to visit and find your new favourite cocktail bar and drink? Come stay with Breakaway Vacations—luxury vacation rentals for any budget.

Aug13

Ever suffer from travel anxiety? Everyone does from time to time! And there’s a good reason for it. When you are setting off to travel, there is a ton to think through: planning, scheduling, follow-through. It’s enough to overwhelm even the most level-headed and organized adventurers. 

The important part is this: breathe, stay calm. Great, now let’s talk about execution. These 6 tips for travel planning will help you stay on top of everything that needs to be done, stress free!

Set Up Deal Alerts 

First of all, we want to make sure you get the best deal possible. Last-minute plans can sometimes backfire and have you paying premium prices to snag travel or lodging. Use travel apps or even Google alerts to watch for the best possible prices before you confirm. For example, we sometimes have deals at PLACE—so be sure to sign up for our newsletter in case something pops up. 

Read Reviews for Insight 

Thanks to platforms like Yelp and Google Reviews you can get the inside scoop on everything from restaurants to airlines to hotels to local shops. Before you plan a big day, check out what people are saying…about everything! It’s much easier to pivot before you’ve made a reservation (or worse—shown up to the door).

Start Your Packing List Early

A last-minute packing list is bound to lead to someone forgetting something important. Start your packing list a few days or a week early. This way, you have plenty of time to remember missing items, cut back on clutter, and buy anything you don’t yet have. 

Delegate Your Tasks 

One person CAN plan a whole trip alone…but they shouldn’t have to. Travelling in a group? Have one person step in as the team leader. They can assign an even number (or effort-level) of tasks to everyone in the group. Someone can be in charge of packing the beer cooler and someone else can be the money collected to ensure everyone chips in. 

Take Out Cash

Credit and debit cards are all fine and dandy but some emergency cash is a must. Have bills as well as change. You never know whether you might need a payphone (remember those?), require public transport fare, or encounter a cash-only business. Obviously, carry the currency relevant to where you are going. 

Use Expert Advice 

Need help planning and getting the best deal? It’s okay to ask for help from an expert! Read travel blogs or books, reserve time with a tour guide, use a travel agent, or talk to the manager of whatever venue you are staying at. They have plenty of experience to guide you, answer questions, and make suggestions for must-do activities. (YES—you can call us for advice, too!)

Want more adventure advice, wanderlust stories, and tips for travel? Be sure to follow our blog

Vancouver Island + Area Events
Jul30

Are you visiting one of Breakaway Vacation’s luxury vacation properties across Vancouver Island or the surrounding islands? Here are some Vancouver Island + area events that you can check out during the month of August. 

Parksville Qualicum Beach Events

Blue Moon Acres Camp

Mon., Aug. 16, 9:00 AM
Qualicum Beach Family History Society
180 Veterans Way, Qualicum Beach, BC

Campers will spend time amongst our cows, they will learn basic cheese-making skills, bread making, fresh jam and so much more! We will spend time each day with all of the animals and learn their role on our farm. A short yoga class is a part of each day. Arts and crafts are also incorporated into the programming.

Tofino Area Events

Eco Heroes Kids’ Camp

Sat., Aug. 9-13, 9:00 a.m.
Tofino Botanical Gardens
1084 Pacific Rim Hwy, Tofino, BC

Calling all superheroes! Grab your cape and join us for a week of non-stop adventure! With Raincoast’s new “Exploring the Edge” camps, you will fly down sand dunes, race through eco obstacle courses, hop on paddleboards to explore kelp forests and so much more! Get ready for a week of endless excitement, exploration and fun in the sun!

Gust Of Wind Concert Series

Sat., Aug. 14, 2:00 PM
380 Campbell St, Tofino, BC

Tofino Arts Council is incredibly excited to announce that the Gust Of Wind Concert Series is back in full force this year! Every Friday at 7:00 PM from now until September we will be filling the streets of Tofino with the sounds of live music. Join us at the Al Fresco Dining Tent (380 Campbell St., beside the Community Theatre) to take in the sounds of our local talent.

Pender Island Events 

Mosaic Arts & Culture Festival
Sun., Aug. 1, all day 

A week long community arts and culture festival produced by Ptarmigan Arts that celebrates the diversity of the land we live on and the people who inhabit it. Featuring performances by local and regional artists, workshops and demonstrations in various artistic disciplines, and nature-based programming.

Free Live Show: Bill Heintz

Fri., Aug. 20, 12:00
Pender Island Community Hall
4418 Bedwell Harbour Rd, Pender Island, BC

Join the community every Friday from 12-1 pm at the Pender Community Hall for free live music outside! Bring a blanket or chair and a picnic, or enjoy food from Tom’s food truck while you listen to amazing local artists. The concerts will also be live-streamed on Ptarmigan Arts’ Facebook page if you aren’t able to make it in person.

Post covid travel tips
Jul23

The U.S. and Canada are thinking about opening their borders this fall and, as vaccinations continue to roll out, people are thinking about traveling again. However, health and safety should always remain first and foremost important. Here are a few post-COVID travel tips to consider before you plan your next big B.C. road trip.

Be Considerate of Your Neighbours

One thing we have all learned over the past year and a bit is how important it is to respect those around you and the community in general. This can manifest by leaving your space cleaner than you found it and giving the people around you a little extra elbow room when you can afford to.

An Extra Wash Hits the Spot

The importance of handwashing and surface washing should outlive the pandemic! Keeping your hands and common surfaces clean can help stop the spread of germs related to the common cold or seasonal flu. Plus, it’s just a nice thing to do for those that might come in contact with you.

Be Kind to Service Workers

While you travel, you’ll come in contact with desk clerks, hotel staff, shop owners, and city workers. These are the essential workers who helped you throughout the pandemic. Please continue to be kind and treat them with respect.

Expect the Best, Prepare for the Worst

This is a lesson that can carry into travel, pandemics, and life planning in general. Going for a road trip? Pack a first aid kit and a foil blanket. Hopefully you’ll never need them but it’s always better to overprepare than under.

Take Care of Your Body

Whether at home or on the move, you should always make time to eat well, exercise, get some sun, and drink lots of water. You can follow these practices even while on vacation. Take a local hike. Shop for local fresh produce to make healthy meals and snacks. Carry a reusable water bottle in your car or travel bag.

Pay Attention to Travel & Location Updates

And the final of our post-COVID travel tips: Even where there’s no pandemic to consider, it’s important to stay up-to-date on the happenings of your destination location. For example, if you are traveling to B.C. this summer you might want to check up on forest fires, water quality warnings (in certain areas), and heatwaves.

Have more questions, ready to book a vacation cottage, or just want to chat? Feel free to contact us.

Events Around Vancouver Island
Jul20

It sure isn’t hard to find events around Vancouver Island in the summer. Some events take place on the main island and others in the surrounding islands, accessible by boat or ferry. There are festivals (both online and in-person this year), nature treks, music and shows, and even a medicine retreat.

Pasley Island & Howe Sound Kayak Tour
Fri., Jul. 2, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. 

The Pasley Island group is a beautiful archipelago of eight islands tucked between Bowen and the Sunshine Coast. During the tour, we weave in and out of the Paisleys, paddling among seals and watching the bald eagles soar overhead. A cafe box lunch is provided that we eat on a beach. 

Gambier Island Food Festival
Sat., Jul. 3, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. 

We invite you to join us at the 1st annual Gambier Island Food Festival. Hosted by the Gambier Island Farmers Market. 

SUP Shoreline Tour on Bowen Island
Sun., Jul. 4, 1:30 – 4:30 p.m. 

Offered through Bowen Island Sea Kayaking, departing from Snug Cove we head either north towards Finisterre Island in view of the Coastal Range and the Lions or heads south along the rugged coastline towards Apodaca Beach, Bowen’s only Marine Park. We go at pace suitable for SUPs and the group’s abilities. This tour is suitable for adults and youth aged 14+ with some SUP experience. If you’ve never tried SUP before, please start with the 2-HOUR LESSON. 

 We start with on-land instruction to ensure that you are comfortable and confident before launching. Our guide to paddler ratio is max 1:6 ensuring your safety on and off the water. We launch directly from our docks at Bowen Island Marina. Your guide will help set up your board and safety equipment before heading out. 

 Vancouver Island Musicfest (virtual)
Fri., Jul. 9 – Sun., Jul. 11 

Vancouver Island MusicFest is an annual summer event featuring musical acts that range from bluegrass, blues, reggae, folk, rock, country, hip-hop, and more. This year, they are offering 25 hours of programming online. Purchase tickets, enter raffles, and return to their website day-of to catch the show. 

Family Camp – Gambier Island
Thu., Jul. 29, 5:00 p.m. – Mon., Aug. 2, 4:59 p.m. 

This Summer at Camp Latona join us over the weekend for a weekend away from the city. Bring the whole family for unique weekend adventures. All ages welcome. 

Earth & Soul Medicine Retreat – Bowen Island
Fri., Jul. 30, 5:00 p.m. – Mon., Aug. 2, 2:00 p.m. 

You are invited to step out of your everyday life…. immersing yourself in nature and connecting in sisterhood for 4 days and 3 nights. There will be plenty of time to heal, connect, relax, recharge and create. 

Attending one of these events around Vancouver Island and need a place to stay? Check out the wide range of vacation rentals from Breakaway Vacations.

B.C. Forest Fires
Jul02

The truth is that B.C. is both heavily forested (which we love) and can be incredibly hot and dry (perfect for beaches)—but sometimes these two beautiful sentiments combine into something nefarious: B.C. forest fires. First of all: take a deep breath! You don’t necessarily have to cancel your trip and forest fire-related casualties are exceedingly rare (and more likely for emergency personnel like police and firefighters).   

That being said, here are 6 things you should know about B.C. forest fires before your trip.  

Many, Many Forest Fires are Human-Started  

This is the sad truth. So many forest fires could be prevented each year if campers, hikers, visitors, and locals worked together to adhere to fire safety rules. Never throw a cigarette butt on the ground; listen to fire bans in the area; make sure your fire pit is completely extinguished before going to sleep; never leave live flames unattended.   

B.C. Averages 1,352 Wildfires Annually, but…  

Many of them are small, quickly put out, or far away from human civilization of any kind. In fact, forest fires are a natural and important part of the ecosystem. It clears away dead matter from the forest floor and makes room for fresh, new growth. Sometimes controlled burns (human started and monitored) are used to “clean up” the ecosystem on purpose.   

COVID-19 Actually Decreased the Number of Fires in B.C.  

This is mainly because people were not travelling and therefore were not lighting fires or leaving them unattended. As stated before, please, please take care while camping or hiking so that you aren’t the cause of an unexpected blaze.   

Many B.C. Cities and Towns Are Not Affected  

Many areas don’t get that many forest fires and the most you see will be a bit of smoke in the sky. You will still be able to be outside, go to beaches, attend events, camp, and go about your daily life. The only time you need to take caution is when there is an air quality warning.  

You Can Track Current Wildfire Activity  

Worried about whether a fire will pop up in your area? You can track B.C. wildfire activity yearly using the B.C. government’s wildfire dashboard. Fires are very common but most of them are so small or isolated that you won’t even notice them during your stay.   

We Will Inform You of Noteworthy Fires Beforehand  

We send out newsletters that encompass everything from local events in the area to wildfire warnings. If something is amiss, we’ll let you know well ahead of time. This includes anything like water advisories, major highway shutdowns, and anomalous weather events. We strive to keep you informed all throughout your trip!   

Always be fire safe but also keep in mind that fires are a normal part of the first lifecycle and are usually not cause for alarm at all. Still have questions? Give us a call at Breakaway Vacations.  

You might also like Vancouver Island Cabin Rentals: 7 Things to Look for Before You Book

Jun28

B.C. has mild, warm weather and long summers that make it perfect for farming culture. You’ll see local B.C. produce at farmers’ markets and in grocery stores (both corporate and boutique). If you’re visiting British Columbia, say at one of Breakaway Vacations‘ luxury vacation cottages and rental, you might even get the chance to pick these products up right from the source!   

Here are 4 local B.C. produce and products to look for while you’re here.  

Donia Farms’ Grass-Fed Milk, Butter, and Yogurt  

Donia Farms is a third-generation family farm located in South Surrey, near Vancouver. Their website is packed with love, carefully detailing the special ways they care for their animals, what they feed livestock, and recipes to use with their produce. Their logo is an iconic staple in Canadian supermarkets: a calm bovine bent down, feeding. They specialize in grass-fed milk-based products, including milk, butter and yogurt.   

BCB Honey Farm’s Raw, Clover, and Raspberry Honey  

BCB Honey Farms is also located in Surrey, B.C., and makes an appearance at many of the local farmer’s markets around the greater city area, like the West End Farmers Market and Kitsilano Farmers Market. Not only are they dedicated to providing delicious, raw honey, but their mission statement also includes a desire to foster a healthy bee population for generations to come. They make regular honey or flavoured honey, including clover and raspberry varieties.   

Morningstar Farm’s Little Qualicum Cheeseworks  

B.C. actually has many cheese makers scattered throughout the province. If you’re visiting the Islands, including the Parksville area, you might want to check out Morningstar Farm’s and/or Little Qualicum Cheeseworks. Morningstar Farms is a 90-acre dairy farm that specializes in Swiss-style artisan cheese. They now offer many varieties, like bleu claire, caerphilly, caraway jill, curds. Feta, island brie, and more. Their produce is sold in many locations across Vancouver Island, the Lower Mainland, and the Sunshine Coast—the details of which are listed on their website.   

Sirene Chocolate Bars and Cocoa Powder  

Some things we just can’t grow in B.C….like cocoa beans. However, there are local companies dedicated to ethically sourcing ingredients before putting them to work in a Canadian kitchen. Sirene Chocolate sources their beans from Guatemala, Tanzania, Ecuador, Peru, Uganda, and Mexico. Once they get their hands on the beans, they turn them into delicious bars and powder in their custom chocolate workshop located in Victoria, B.C.  

Have you tried any local B.C. produce or products that you want to scream about from the rooftops? We hope so! If not, come stay with us at Breakaway Vacations‘ and we’re sure you’ll find what you’re looking for in the bustling local markets.  

You might also like Pender Island Attractions: 10 Things to See & Do