Happy Holidays! This is our special Christmas Shopping Suggestion List. Some of these great clients have retail storefronts, others are strictly online, or sell their products through other outlets. If you want to support local companies, please consider shopping at these fine businesses.
Cooking: Everyone Can Cook: Eric Akis, author of the best-selling Everyone Can Cook series of cookbooks, is a professional chef and pastry chef. He also provides services such as food styling, cooking demonstrations and recipe development. One of his main clients is Thrifty Foods, for whom he has created over 1500 recipes to date. His recipe-rich columns appear in the Victoria Times Colonist and other Canadian newspapers. The Everyone Can Cook series has six titles which are available online and at local book retailers. Website: EveryoneCanCook.com.
Outdoors: Hiking Trails Books by The Vancouver Island Trails Information Society provides information about parks and trails on Vancouver Island. Since 1972 they have published, and routinely update, three hands-on books, each one covering a specific geographic region of Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. Website: HikingTrailsBooks.com. The Hiking Trails series of books are also available as e-books in .pdf format. Click to purchase e-book.
Real Estate: For the budding REALTOR® in your life, books from Bob Corcoran, founder of Corcoran Consulting & Coaching, a real estate broker consulting and coaching company focused on growing REALTOR®’s business. Website: CorcoranCoaching.com.
Contractors: Yellow Sheet. For the developer, contractor, or tradesperson in your life, consider purchasing a subscription to Yellow Sheet. They publish timely, accurate construction information for Vancouver Island on new projects, project updates, tender calls, building permits, and more. Subscribe at: YellowSheet.ca.
Children: Bee-Smart Books, written by Judy Kazz and illustrated by David Egerton, focus on phonics by stressing the 3 R’s of Early Literacy. Rhyme, Rhythm and Repetition are essential for pre-readers to develop an interest in reading, and for beginning and young readers to strengthen their skills. They are fun to read, educational and are perfect for children 3 years of age and up. Website: BeeSmartBooks.com.
Children: Recognized local author Michelle Mulder has written three novels for kids aged 7 to 10 and one for ages 10 to 13, as well as the Theodore Too picture book series. The novel Out of the Box is her newest release. You may order her books through her website: MichelleMulder.com or purchased at local book retailers.
Children and Teens: Talented author Robin Stevenson has written over a dozen books for kids and teens. Her books can be ordered through her website: RobinStevenson.com or purchased at local book retailers.
These businesses have retail locations on southern Vancouver Island.
Home and Garden: Doyle & Bond Home and Garden is filled with unique home and garden accents, endless garden gift ideas, beautiful furniture and hard-to-find items in a refreshing shopping experience at 6666 West Saanich Road in Brentwood Bay next to Butterfly Gardens. For the interior or exterior decorator there is a selection of high quality accessories, indoor pots, frost resistant pots, statuary, original garden art and a myriad of beautiful items for inside and out. Website: DoyleAndBond.ca.
Sweets: Sugar Connections Candy Store is set up with bulk glass jars you can fill your little paper bags with your favorites treats just like when you where a kid. For today’s kids there are lots of new age favorite candies. Choose from Rocky Mountain Chocolates, Bon Bons, Salt Water Taffy and more. Gift baskets available. Visit their shops at 104-80 Station Street in Duncan or 39 King George Street in Lake Cowichan. Website: SugarConnections.ca.
Sports: Kirby’s Source for Sports specializes in Hockey, Lacrosse and Softball equipment sales and service. They pride themselves on selling quality products at competitive prices and offer excellent customer service and support. Visit their shop at 894 Cloverdale Avenue in Victoria. Website: KirbysSports.com.
Guitars: Guitars Plus carries a full line of acoustic and electric guitars, amps, effects, parts, and accessories. They buy, sell, consign and trade guitars, amps and pedals, and have some great Christmas gift items for sale at their store on 1108 Blanshard Street in downtown Victoria. Website: GuitarsPlusVictoria.com.
Bikes: Russ Hay’s The Bicycle Shop is the premier full-service shop in Victoria and Sidney. They carry everything from high-end mountain and racing bikes, commuting, touring, and cruising bikes, your child’s first bike, to a full range of components and accessories. Visit their shops at 650 Hillside Avenue in Victoria, or 9781A 2nd Street in Sidney. Website: RussHays.com.
Skateboarding: One Six Boardshop sells skateboards, apparel, and bicycles from their store at 3954 Quadra Street in Victoria, with a full skateboarding track in the basement. Website: OneSixBoardshop.com.
Rock and Lapidary Supply: Rockhound Shop is Vancouver Island’s only complete rock and lapidary supplies store. Their retail store, for hobbyists and gift buyers, carries a wide range of supplies, equipment and books for the jewelry-maker, stone-polisher, soft-stone carver, rock and fossil specimen collector, and prospector. Visit their store at 777 Cloverdale Avenue in Victoria, corner of Oak Street. Website: RockhoundShop.com.
Cigars: Cuban Cigar Shop carries 24 brands of the finest Cuban Cigars, many different Cuban including collectable and limited editions, non-Cuban cigars from around the world, and a wide range of classy accessories. Visit their shop at #938 Fort Street in downtown Victoria. CubanCigar-Shop.com.
Consignment: Indigo Children Consignment offers real value and excellent quality on gently worn and new clothing, furniture, toys and equipment. With locations in Duncan and Ladysmith, consignment shoppers can enjoy the largest selection of name brand, fine quality clothing for infants, toddlers and kids. Visit their shops at 131 Station Street in Duncan or 436 First Avenue in Ladysmith. Website: IndigoChildren.ca.
Spices: Vanillablossom Flavours specializes in importing Vanilla Beans from all the major growing regions of the world, and offer a wide variety of vanilla products and flavours, such as Indonesian Vanilla and Madagascar Vanilla Beans. Their website lists local retail stores which carry their products. Website: Vanillablossom.com.
Advent Calendars: Time Enough For Love Calendars are free standing, adult calendars of artfully made boxes decorated with an attractive wood burning fireplace motif. The two sizes of gift boxes are filled with carefully chosen useful and/or entertaining gifts. Website: TimeEnoughForLoveCalendars.com.
Personal Services and Retail
These personal services businesses have retail locations on southern Vancouver Island.
Spa, Sooke: Le Sooke Spa is nestled in the forest overlooking the Sooke Hills, and offers a tranquil escape for body, mind and spirit. Christmas spa specials, and gift cards, are available along with a full menu of spa treatments and services. Visit them at 2915 Otter Point Road in Sooke, or call 250.642.7995 to book an appointment. Website: LeSookeSpa.com.
Spa, Westshore: Spa A’lita creates an Oasis where the stresses of everyday life are left behind and your well being is nurtured and protected. They offer a variety of services including massage therapy, Body Treatments, Facials, New Mum packages, and much more, including monthly specials. Visit them at 745 Goldstream Avenue in downtown Langford next to the Station House Pub, or call 250.478.2252 to book an appointment. Website: SpaAlita.ca.
Spa, Duncan: Soul Escape Esthetics is the first green spa in the Cowichan Valley, offering certified organic Eminence skincare products from Hungary, along with a full range of spa treatments. Special services include manicure and pedicure for young ladies 4-12 and diabetic foot care. Gift certificates are available. Visit them at #4 – 5777 Trans Canada Highway, Duncan, in the Cedarwood Mall, or call 250.748.2056 to book an appointment. Website: SoulEscape.ca.
Hair: Paris Styling Group is full service styling salon with a Paul Mitchell focus, dedicated to providing its customers with the ultimate salon experience. Paris carries a great variety of gift packs, and gift certificates. Visit them at #106 – 80 Station Street in Duncan, or call 250.709.2004 to book an appointment. Website: ParisStylingGroup.com.
Tanning: Relax and rejuvenate at Tropical Heat Tanning Studio. Christmas specials available Dec 1 – Dec 31: Spend $75 – $150, get a free $10 gift certificate. Spend $151 – $300, get a free $20 gift card./ Spend over $300, get a free $30 gift card. Visit them at #2-577 Trans Canada Highway in Duncan, or call 250.748.7077 to book an appointment. Website: TropicalHeatTanningStudio.com.
Shoe Supplies and Luggage: Stevenson’s Shoe Clinic is Victoria’s finest full-service shoe repair shop, that carries hundreds of foot care related products, custom fit orthotics and arch support, and is Victoria’s only independent Samsonite luggage outlet and repair facility . Visit them at 714 Fort Street in downtown Victoria. Website: StevensonsShoeClinic.com.
Art, Antiques, and Jewelry
Art Gallery: Peninsula Gallery features an outstanding collection of original paintings, sculpture and limited edition prints. Visit the gallery at #100 – 2506 Beacon Avenue in Sidney. Website: PenGal.com.
Antiques: Faith Grant The Connoisseurs Shop are dealers in fine antiques. Located at 1156 Fort Street, their stock of 18th and 19th Century furniture, silver, china, paintings, and accessories is hand picked from Island homes and each item usually comes with a story. Website: FaithGrantAntiques.com.
Jewellery: Pristine Gemstones specializes in genuine gemstone engagement rings, anniversary rings, family rings, promise rings, gemstone earrings, and pendants, as created by gem cutter Rogerio Graca, with 20 years experience in the industry. Website: PristineGemstoneJewelry.com.
Jewellery: James Robson Jewellery Design is an award winning master goldsmith and custom jeweller who specializes in fine jewellery, engagement rings, beautiful diamonds and gemstones, wedding anniversary rings and neck pieces. James will work with you to create a one-of-a-kind design custom jewellery piece. Website: JamesRobson.ca.
Figurines: Periwinkle Art Studios displays various art forms: figurative works of hand-made fabric with faces and hands sculpted in clay and painted in oils; jewellery as a mixture of fiber, weaving and bead work. Website: PeriwinkleArtStudios.com.
Art Cards: Topgate Farm offers hand printed reproductions from select Canadian artists focusing on the imagery of Western Canada, in the form of fine art cards, note cards and custom prints. Order by phone: 1.855.867.4283 or online at: TopgateFarm.com.
Pets and Supplies: Pets West is a full-line pet store, offering a range of pet supplies for dogs, cats, birds, fish, small animals, reptiles, and wild birds. They also carry live fish, birds, small animals, and provide a cat adoption service. Visit their store at #220 – 777 Royal Oak Drive in Broadmead Village. Website: PetsWest.ca.
Horses: Luxe Sporthorses on the Saanich Peninsula produces beautiful and harmonious performance horses with the temperament, traits and athleticism to want to perform with character and spirit. Website: LuxeSporthorses.com.
Portraits: Destrubé Photography established almost 40 years ago, does portrait, in-studio and on-location photography in high-res digital. They operate on the simple motto to treat their clients the way they would like to be treated. Website: Destrube.com or phone: 250.384.4511.
Child Portraits: Sweet Cheeks Photography offers classic and timeless portraits, taking the time to capture the essence of the subject. They have done newborn babies right through to young graduates. They strive to create a meaningful remembrance of the subject – not just a picture. Website: SweetCheeksPhotography.ca.
Flowers and Decorating
Flowers: Kenmar Flower Farm’s European hand tied bouquets are put together on a daily basis using only the freshest ingredients. Visit their farm at 1490 West Burnside Road, just minutes away from VGH. They are open for Drop In on Tuesdays 8:00 am – 2:00 pm. Other days, phone first: 250.727.6443. Website: KenmarFlowerFarm.com.
Christmas Holly: Blue Haze Farm in Metchosin grows and ships Christmas Holly across North America. To pick up it is $4.00/lb. which is about a dozen foot long branches, dipped to help keep them fresher. Phone 250.474.5043 to find out current inventory. Website: HollyChristmas.com.