Pallet Coffee Roasters

Posted on: March 27th, 2015 by The East Village


Pallet Coffee Roasters opened in the East Village just last summer, and since then have quickly established themselves as one of the hottest café destinations in the city. Tucked away on Semlin Drive just off Hastings, the shop has undeniable curb appeal - with a modern meets industrial vibe that will definitely have you looking twice.

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We recently sat down with Pallet’s operations manager Shane Dehkhodaei, and he explained that when searching for the perfect space for the business, it wasn’t exactly an easy choice to make. “By chance, this specific location was really a fluke for us,” he says. “When we looked at this area originally, we couldn’t find a proper space at all. We were close to making an offer on a place in Mount Pleasant, then all of a sudden this came as a referral through a friend who said “oh a friend of mine has this space, it’s pretty beaten up, maybe not bad…” My background is construction, so as soon as I saw the potential of what this place could be, it had good bones. But aesthetically it really wasn’t too nice.”

And he isn’t kidding. What was once a dusty old concrete box has been completely transformed into a sleek and minimalist space, housing both a roastery and retail shop serving delicious Benchmark coffee, fresh pastries and lunch items.

When we ask Shane what he likes most about his job, he chuckles and smiles. “You know, retail can be difficult, being here and running it everyday. It’s not always easy,” he says. “But when someone comes and says ‘I just love your coffee,’ or ‘this latte just made my day,’ when you hear something like that, even if you’ve had this twelve hour day and you’re super tired… that kind of thing for me is like, I’m on the right track, and it makes me feel good that the customer is enjoying it and they’re loving our product.”

Shane says it’s the strong level of diversity and backgrounds that really make up our community, and the customers he sees everyday in his shop. “We weren’t looking for some type of niche neighborhood,” he says. “I think we were actually looking for a place that was developing and coming around a bit. I really like this area because it’s really diverse. Just walking up and down Hastings you’ll see how many different ethnicities and types of businesses there are. For us it’s important to be somewhere like that. We wanted to be a place that caters to everybody, every social background.”

“I also really like where the area is heading,” he adds. “More and more people are moving in here, and it’s just becoming even greater. We’re proud to be a part of that, and grow with that. We love seeing other businesses, even coffee business, coming into the area. It’s a great thing for everybody.”

Visit Pallet at 323 Semlin Drive, and check out their website  for more info.

Habit Natural Health

Posted on: March 20th, 2015 by The East Village


What’s your habit? With Spring officially at our doorstep, many are likely thinking of cleaning up their health routines, as well as their homes. Good thing Habit Natural Health opened in the ‘hood this past January, offering customers everything from vitamin supplements, to teas and other health-focused beverages and foods such as nuts, dried fruits, seeds, power bars, chips, pretzels, spices and baking ingredients.

alexi We recently spoke with owner and operator Alexi, who told us the shop is essentially her lifestyle in a store. “It’s really just about enjoying the basics in life,” she says. “I love helping people, and helping them realize the multiple options to maintain a healthy lifestyle.”

 When Alexi looked for a place to call Habit home, she was drawn to Vancouver’s East Village area because of its warm and positive vibe.

“It’s upcoming, and it feels new again. It has great energy and is really diverse,” she explains. “I like how it is smaller, and still filled with family-owned businesses. People in the area seem really warm and positive.”

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With modern reclaimed wood and pipe shelving, sliding barn door and an eye-catching blackboard wall, the space at Habit feels warm and intimate, and makes a wonderful addition to our business district. Be sure to stop in to say hello, and have a look for yourself!

Habit Natural Health is open located at 2307 East Hastings Street. Visit their Facebook page or for more information and store hours.

3P Naturals

Posted on: March 13th, 2015 by The East Village


3P Naturals have been producing quality raw pet food in Vancouver since 1998. The company has occupied their warehouse and office space at 1924 Franklin Street since 2003, where they manufacture, pack and ship human-grade raw meat to over 100 pet food retailers across British Columbia and Alberta. Any pet owner who feeds their furry friend a raw diet, or is looking into it - is likely aware of 3P Naturals stellar reputation.

Owners Debbie and Paul Benson, and the whole staff at 3P are committed to producing products which incorporate the finest ingredients that “meet or exceed” their strict quality standards and production control procedures - and in an industry fraught with quality control issues, 3P Naturals has arguably become a leader in quality and consistency.

3p Naturals

We recently caught up with Bryon Funnel, CEO and Regional Manager of 3P Naturals, where he shared with us why he loves what he does each day. “I really enjoy the fact that this business provides a very healthy food for our best friends,” Bryon says. “Certainly much better than some of the products that are available in the dried or canned form, because ours isn’t processed through heat or anything like that. Our product is completely human grade, with absolutely no filler or by-products.”

Bryon tells us he appreciated that the East Village area is very diversified with businesses and residential. “It has a good mix of people from all different social and cultural backgrounds, which is important.”

3P Naturals also have a Pet Nutritionist named Sarah Griffiths on staff, and she is available to answer any questions customers may have. Sarah can help with anything from recommendations and diet planning, and is available free of charge on the 3P website. You’ll also find a ton of other valuable info, including everything you need to know about a raw pet food diet, and how you can make the switch.

Learn more at

Café Etico

Posted on: March 9th, 2015 by The East Village


Many of us couldn't imagine starting the day without a cup of coffee. Fairtrade Canada states that the annual coffee consumption worldwide is estimated to be around 400 billion cups, or 12,000 cups per second. And with the steady rise of cafe culture - particularly in Vancouver's East Village - you've got to wonder how many of those numbers belong to us.

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But how often do you think about where your coffee is really coming from, or if it was produced ethically? For some 25 million coffee farmers, their work is a labor-intensive crop that often yields little financial return. Fair Trade is helping change that, offering a guaranteed minimum price, social and economic premiums, and much more.

When Café Etico was born fifteen years ago, it was considered one of the first fair trade, organic coffees available in Vancouver. Now over a decade and a half later, Café Etico continue to support farmers by paying more than 20% the fair trade minimum, with 100% of their profits supporting human rights in Latin America through CoDevelopment Canada, a B.C.-based non-governmental organization that works for social change and global education in the Americas.

Co have helped small-scale farmers in Nicaragua learn how to create organic, bio-diverse farms, where coffee grows amidst a variety of local food crops. Their shade-grown, bird friendly coffee crops look more like lush, green rain forests than your typical coffee farm, which means consumers get to enjoy a better-tasting coffee that's healthier for the planet, farmers, and themselves.

Kirsten Daub works as CoDev’s Education Program Director, and since 2006 she has run Café Etico’s daily operations. She spoke with us recently about her love of connecting farmers to coffee drinkers, and how she loves the authentic community spirit of the Hastings-Sunrise and Grandview Woodland neighborhoods. “It is just such a great neighborhood, with lots of local stores,” Kirsten says. “The area has a very unique feeling, like no other in Vancouver. It has a lot of character.”

Kirsten is responsible for everything around the office, from coffee buying, marketing, and roasting management. She tells us that the people and businesses that make up Vancouver’s East Village make it a great place to come to work every day. “I like that I know my bank teller, and love that I can go to Baaad Annas , and all the diverse restaurants like Tamam

Café Etico products are available for purchase at local retailers such as Donald’s Market and East End Co-Op. For more information, visit  or

Chinese New Year

Posted on: March 3rd, 2015 by The East Village


Last week we welcomed the Year of the Goat with a traditional lion dance. The lion brought good luck and blessings for the year ahead to our merchant members. Gong Xi Fa Cai and Gong Hey Fat Choy!

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Best of the City 2015

Posted on: February 27th, 2015 by The East Village


A huge congratulations to the good folks at Jackalope's Neighbourhood Dive, who were just named the Readers Choice #1 Hidden Gem in East Vancouver. Our friends Donald's Market, Black Rook Bakehouse, The Red Wagon, Rio Friendly Meats, and Nona's Table are also on the list! Congratulations to everyone!

To view all the results, visit: Best of the City 2015 : East Side