The holidays are upon us and while deals across the border might seem tempting, merchants around the city are stepping up their game to offer discounts, packages, and unique retail experiences for shoppers. To promote local spending, I’ve talked to several local business improvement associations about what makes their neighbourhood shine for shoppers. This week’s feature is Mount Pleasant.
Voted by locals as being Vancouver’s “coolest street” and repeatedly elected a “favourite shopping destination,” the Mount Pleasant BIA is home to over 350 eclectic shops and services at the node where the historic intersections of Main Street, Broadway, and Kingsway merge. Only ten minutes from downtown, the Mount Pleasant Business Improvement (MPBIA) area is easily accessible by transit and the 10th Avenue bike route.
I spoke with Kara Mintzberg, Manager, Mount Pleasant Business Improvement Area to find out more about shopping in the area:
What are some of the area’s unique services/items?
Amazing eateries, cafes, local shops, book stores and a wide variety of health services and fitness venues distinguish this highly accessible area as a hip, local shopping district where you can find one of a kind products, great customer care (the perfect gift certificate), and niche services.
Many of the eateries and cafes are award-winners, many also offer sumptuous gluten-free and vegetarian goodies. Mount Pleasant service businesses, stores and restaurants are owned by extremely community-minded professionals, making this an excellent place to shop and enjoy – for all ages!
What are the latest trends/features for shoppers this season?
The holiday season is the time when entertaining at home among friends and family brings everyone together. Mount Pleasant’s restaurants, ethnic cuisines, cafés and coffee shops are always ready to help with your home entertainment needs.
There is a great variety of options to create a unique and eclectic spread on your table that is sure to please every guest. Every bite of winter comfort food is wonderful down to the ‘last crumb’:
Last Crumb Bakery + Cafe offers Peppermint Patty Chocolate Cake, Eggnog Pie and Ginger Bread and Sugar Cookies. Yek-O-Yek has a wide assortment of healthy, Middle Eastern goodies. COBS Bread has a fabulous selection of breads and sweets. Marmalady Catering and Thyme to Indulge Bistro and Catering will make any event special. Aling Mary’s Store for Filipino Foods and Baylor’s Grocery have great selection.
Here are just a few more gems you’ll find in the area along with what they offer:
F As in Frank Vintage Clothing (2425 Main Street | 604.568.5130)
- 5001 Ugly Christmas sweaters – best selection in the City.
The Corner Store (2601 Main Street | 604.602.1668)
- Reigning Champ Sweatshirts – Designed and manufactured in Vancouver.
- Air Jordan retro sneakers.
Denman Bike Shop (2607 Main Street | 604.559.9494)
- Mamma Cangura Bike seats for kids – made in Italy. Reclining, adjustable back, child proof seatbelts.
- Bike helmets in fun and funky colours.
- Cambium Brooks Saddlebags made of rubber with organic canvas top. Weather proof and perfect for Vancouver’s climate.
much little (2541 Main Street | 604.709.9034)
- Made by “The Sleep Shirts” these locally made and designed sleep shirts are high quality and beautifully designed.
- Bay Cooper Bow Ties – designed and made in Toronto.
Bird on the Wire (2535 Main Street | 604.874.7415)
- Mustache wax.
- Beaux Ties bow ties for guys and babies.
- By Nature Living Wall Frame.
8th Main (2403 Main Street | 604.559.5927)
- Unique “Only” multi-flex sweater in burgundy and beige.
Antisocial Skateboard Shop (2337 Main Street | 604.708.5678)
- Everything the skateboarder of all ages on your list would want.
- The “Street Demon” Video – filmed locally and featuring local skateboarders
Pulp Fiction Books (2422 Main Street | 604.876.4311)
- Friendly service and cheaper than buying on-line. The staff will hand-deliver any order over $50.00.
- “How Poetry Saved My Live” by Amber Dawn. This “Hustler’s Memoir” is locally published on Main Street and just won the annual City of Vancouver Book Award.
- “Vancouver Was Awesome” by Lani Russwurm, featuring many photos never before seen outside the Vancouver Archives.
Still Life (2315 Main Street | 604.876.5659)
- Native rain boots are a great feature that Still Life carries, being an ultra-light EVA foam footwear that’s waterproof, shock absorbent, animal free, etc. They also support a local designer Beau BritCol and her 100% handmade peruvian wool and alpaca scarves and toques, as well as an assortment of Canadian- and American-made sundries such as soaps from Victoria, colognes and perfumes from Brooklyn, and chocolates from here in Vancouver.
- Fjall Raven tote bag that converts into a back pack.
- Jimmy Rain boots, by Native, a Vancouver company.
Tisol Pet Foods (6-2949 Main Street | 604.873.4117)
- LED antlers and LED Santa Hats for your pet.
- Family run business for over 40 years.
- Pride themselves on the fact that they can special order almost anything for their customers. If it is available through their suppliers they will be happy to special order it for you with no need to pre-pay and no obligation to buy.
Archetype (2549 Main Street | 604.872.1144)
- Recycled wool hats and scarves.
- Recycled cashmere sweaters made into arm warmers.
- Vegan bags.
A number of the businesses will be showcasing hand-decorated greenery wreaths this season as a way of adding a festival atmosphere to your local shopping.
Also, save the date: December 14-15, 2013 will feature Santa on Main Street / East Broadway / Kingsway as well as many great shop local deals to help get you great gifts, coupled with friendly service for one of your best shopping experiences.
How does the area cater to local and visitors alike?
Shopping local is such a great thing to do to support your local community and your local economy. It is important that both visitors and locals alike are made aware of the wonderful shopping options available in Mount Pleasant to “Shop Local – Stay Local”. They can enjoy their time in this welcoming neighbourhood while finding the perfect gift for everyone on their list.
When you shop local, especially in Mount Pleasant, you get excellent service – a tangible that is difficult to experience online. Many of the business owners and managers that work in Mount Pleasant – whether they are tied to a local shop or a national company – are extremely community and people-minded.
If you could name just one, what is a main reason to shop Mount Pleasant?
Mount Pleasant provides a warm and friendly shopping experience – where merchant’s still take pride in providing exceptional customer service. Our over 400 shops and services provide both the service and selection you are looking for, while still aiming to make each customer feel special and catered to.