While you won’t see the white coats and petri dishes you might expect to find in a traditional lab, Pacific Design Lab is making its own discoveries through reclaimed wood and design.

Founders Alanna Rogers, Brandon Nobbs, and Darren Elliott are creative, genuine people with a passion for designing and creating high quality, unique products from reclaimed and local wood. Pacific Design Lab grew out of a contracting company Brandon and Darren started called Pacific Solutions Contracting. Soon, they started using the offcuts from the contracting company to make gifts for family and friends. Realizing there was a growing demand for quality, hand crafted wood products, they started marketing their goods. What started out of the corner of a warehouse four years ago has now taken over the entire space, with a divided shop to showcase their products. While items like cutting boards, serving platters, coasters and wooden crates are readily available, Pacific Design Lab also creates custom and built-to-order pieces. Companies such as Nectar Juicery, Earls Restaurants, and Nook Restaurant have already commissioned custom tables and stools. The cutting boards and serving platters can be found under your food at Meat and Bread, Timbertrain, and Farmer’s Apprentice.

Future plans for the company include eventual relocation to a larger space they can grow into, and letting us adopt their dog Georgie (only part of that sentence is true). Their products are available at their shop in Strathcona and or shop from the comfort of your own home on their website. They also have a couple events coming up:

  • November 24 from 5-8pm – E 28 Collection Launch Party with Nineteen Ten Home (tickets here).
  • November 28 from 12-6pm - West Coast Winter, a seasonal pop up shop at Pacific Design Lab (tickets here)

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All week long we are collaborating with Fall For Local to feature 5 local businesses that will be participating at the Fall for Local event on October 22.  You can read a new post each day during this Week of Local on the Fall for Local blog.


Up until a few years ago, we might have convinced you that Vancouver was still bound by the principles that were put in place during the prohibition. The recent changes to liquor laws, however, have been slowly modernizing the province’s alcohol consumption. This has brought on the recent proliferation of microbreweries, which have been popping up all over Vancouver. More recently, micro-distilleries have been taking advantage of this growing interest in local, small-scale production.

Located in North Vancouver, the Sons of Vancouver is one such distillery, which is dedicated to making good quality, local spirits. Cofounders Richard Klaus and James Lester are originally from Northern British Columbia, where they started learning to brew their own beer in junior high. After a series of events that included early “retirement” and traveling through Mexico, they relocated to Vancouver and decided to open a distillery together. They interned at distilleries in Washington and Portland until they were confident they knew enough to open their own.

After taking over a North Vancouver space in March 2014, the pair started a crowd-funding campaign on Indiegogo to outfit their tasting room. They officially opened their doors in February 2015, with a fully outfitted tasting room where they offer samples of their three products: amaretto, vodka, and chili vodka.

Amaretto No. 82 is named after the 81 failed attempts that came before it, and is the first craft amaretto in North America (that they know of). The pair like the simplicity of old fashioned drinks (like the Old Fashioned), but thought it could be done a little differently. Their amaretto is sweetened with Demerera, BC blackberry honey simple syrup, and a combination of apricot kernels, Bourbon vanilla beans and orange peel. If your mouth isn’t already watering, it pairs so perfectly with ice cream that they teamed up with Earnest Ice Cream to create the Cherry Amaretto Sundae.

Their vodka is equally original, made with BC spring wheat, malted barley and fermented with champagne yeast. The result is a smooth vodka unlike any other you’ve previously tried at your local bar. Finally, if you’re really adventurous (or like to make really good Ceasars), try the Chili Vodka – it’s infused with Thai Dragon chilies and carries enough punch to really wake you up in the morning (or afternoon, or evening…).

The Sons of Vancouver Tasting Room is open Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 to 7:00pm. If you’re not looking to cross the bridge though, their products are available all over the city – check out their website for locations. 


If you’ve ever wished that you could bottle up the westcoast and take it home with you, wish no more – Postmark Brewing has you covered. Co-founders Nate Rayment (formerly of Howe Sound Brewing) and Steve Thorp opened Postmark Brewing in 2014 to make good beer for their friends – something that could replace the larger brewery’s 12-pack. What started out in four tanks has very quickly turned into a 15 tank production, holding 80 hectolitres (8,000 litres) – their friend list has definitely expanded.  In fact, the production is growing so quickly that Postmark has taken over the neighbouring building to house its own bottling station.

Located within the Settlement Building, Postmark has a growler station for those on the run, complete with twelve taps to fill up on your favourite beer. If you’re less committed to one type, there’s a fridge stocked with cans of their Blonde beer and 650mL bottles of the staples. Postmark currently has five staples that are offered year-round, and a rotating list of seasonal beers. A full list can be found here.

The brewery aims to create approachable and flavourful session craft beers that celebrate the westcoast and its lifestyle with beers for every occasion. While the cans show off their original branding vision, the bottles’ labels are more westcoast inspired, with photos shot by their friends or revered photographers.

Part of the westcoast influence comes out in their focus on collaborations. From music to photography, art, clothing, and events, Postmark has paired up with other local companies to create some unique and interesting products, many of which are conveniently sold between the growler station and the fridge. 

And if you’ve got some time to spare, put your name on the list for a bite at Belgard Kitchen, the brewery’s tasting lounge.  We hear they serve an awesome weekend brunch, and can speak to their amazing their dinner menu. Make sure you stay for dessert – the Baked Pistachio Yogurt is worth any wait.

A: 55 Dunlevy Avenue | T: 604.699.1988 | W:

Hours: Monday – Friday 11am – 11pm | Saturday – Sunday 10am – 11pm


Vancouverites are unapologetically proud of their city and display their affection at every opportunity in any way possible, from sports paraphernalia to Van City t-shirts to bottles of 'I Love Van' water. The Vancouver Candle Company (VCC) has developed a completely different (and arguably much more sophisticated) way of displaying their love - through candles.

The company started in 2014 as an alternative to the chemical-infused candles that could be found in stores. Instead of paraffin, lead, and chemicals to create their candles, the Vancouver Candle Company uses soy-based wax and 100% cotton wicks. They use perfume-grade fragrance oils to create their scents, and look for locally-sourced materials as much as possible. Even after all this, their candles still stack up to the alternatives - VCC's candles burn for 60 hours and won't force you into debt.

Each candle is carefully handcrafted by Nick Rabuchin in their 150 square foot studio in Mount Pleasant. Nick produces the candles in batches of 50, numbering and signing each box (which he also folds). It truly is a labour of love!

To date, Vancouver Candle Company has six scents: Gastown (also known as the 'mandle' for its musky leather and tobacco scent), Mount Pleasant, Fairview, Strathcona, Point Grey, and Kitsilano. The company chose to name the candles after some of their favourite neighbourhoods to set themselves apart from the candle-naming trend of flowery names. The boxes are also beautifully designed with geometric patterns in bright colours, allowing them to stand out from the traditional white and ivory packaging. 

The candles are available in stores in Gastown, South Granville, Kitsilano and may other neighbourhoods across the Lower Mainland. Vancouver Candle Company also sell their candles from their website making it easy to have your house to smell like Vancouver, even if you live somewhere else. They make a great gift (for someone else or for yourself) and every sale supports the local artisan community. 


n the heart of Railtown, The Settlement Building is a perfect representation of the neighborhood as a whole. The five tenants of the space each display a creative and collaborative approach to their craft while focusing on the promotion of Vancouver's identity and West Coast lifestyle.

Postmark Brewing is a microbrewery that serves an extensive list of beers brewed in small batches right in the building. Patrons can glimpse a behind-the-scenes view of the brewery's inner workings from the growler fill station. Large, chrome vats of beer fill the double height space and contrast nicely with the exposed timber beams supporting the building's structure. Growler sales are the obvious retail choice but Postmark also offers a variety of apparel with their west coast inspired branding. We particularly like the topo lines on select growlers.

The Vancouver Urban Winery (VUW) is the second major tenant in The Settlement Building. The VUW operates as a boutique winery, and supplies wine for The Settlement Building and for several other establishments around the city. The VUW also has a tasting room that serves several different wines from across British Columbia. The tasting room hosts tasting events throughout the year that are open to the public, but often require tickets to be purchased in advance.

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Despite the temperature of the ocean that surrounds the Pacific Northwest, Vancouverites cannot resist the chance to jump in. From paddle boarding to windsurfing and surfing, we take pleasure in watching our extremities turn blue. The ocean affords you a unique perspective of the city that few get to experience.

Which is where Shaper Studios comes in. 

Both Mitch and Nate, owners of Shaper Studios Vancouver, learned to surf abroad - Mitch first jumped on a board 15 years ago during a trip to Australia, and then chased the waves in Costa Rica and New England during hurricane season. Nate comes from Hawaii, so chances are he learned to surf before he could walk. They started to teach themselves how to make their own surfboards out of a garage on King Edward Avenue, using YouTube videos and trial and error to create something that was both functional and beautiful. From that process, Learning Curves was established in 2013, providing the tools, materials and knowledge to teach everyone and anyone how to make their own boards. 

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