Zainab Bernard is the owner of Miscellany Thrift and Vintage, located at 2615 East Hastings Street. A social enterprise that operates a thriving East Vancouver thrift store and a variety of social programs for women and youth, Bernard has helped hundreds of marginalized women and youth transition back into society.
“I started this business with a business partner and after a few years we opened another location on Commercial Drive. It’s a business that supports some of the transition house in Vancouver, some of the shelters,” says Bernard. “Everything in the space is donated, and we give gift certificates to the houses and the women in transition have access to everything in space for free. We depend on the public to drop off donations to keep going.”
When we ask Zainab if she always enjoyed helping people, she says it feels natural to her. “This is who I am,” she says proudly. “If it wasn’t Miscellany It would be something else. It is a huge part of my personality. I feel grateful and very blessed that I have a job where I am able to do it. This is who I am; I like to help everybody.”
Bernard started working with My Sister’s Closet in 2000 and was with them for eight years before opening Miscellany in Hastings-Sunrise. “Once I lost my job with the organization I started to start my own society and my own social enterprise,” she tells us. “Miscellany was started as a social enterprise and the society is women working women which is something we created to get started.”
When we ask Bernard about the memorable relationships she’s forged over the years through her line of work, she tells us she loves getting thank-you cards from people who have managed to get back on their feet. “There’s a woman that lives in this neighbourhood and now that she knows I’m here she shops here because years ago when she was leaving a transition house, I helped her set up. Now she has a job and she’s doing really great.”
Jazz music is playing in the background as we chat, and we feel compelled to ask Zainab about her taste in music, which may very well lure you in from outside. “Music is one of the things closest to my heart. I absolutely love music. I try to dance every day, even for just one minute I think we all need to dance every day -- like every day! If we all danced every day… hello! [Laughs] I don’t think I have a favorite genre, I listen to everything.”
We’re giving away two $25 gift certificates for Miscellany Finds. Contest closes May 8th, 2016. The lucky random winners will be chosen on May 9th, 2016.
Walk around and eat with friends in our neighbourhood from Clark Drive in Grandview-Woodland to Renfrew Street in Hastings-Sunrise on May 18th, 2016 from 6pm to 10pm for this year’s East Village Tasting Plates. During the evening you will be able to meet some new food loving friends, meet the chefs, and learn about each of the participating restaurants during this tantalizing food filled event. The participating restaurants are:
|Windsor Meats Co.||@WindsorMeats||N/A|
|The Brighton Pub||N/A||Instagram: @BrightonPub|
To purchase tickets for this year’s East Village Tasting Plates go to Eventbrite. We look forward to seeing you
About Richard Wolak, a.k.a Vancouver Foodster: VancouverFoodster.com is an online guide that provides “Essential Food & Drink Intelligence” to Vancouver and area. Offering expert advice on the hottest restaurants, cafes, food trucks, bakeries, delis, food shops, along with reviews, events, openings and more. In February 2012 he launched Tasting Plates an event series of roving tours taking place in different areas of the city featuring a multitude of different ethnic restaurants to eat and mingle.
Lisa Funaro is the owner and operator of Di Oliva Tasting Bar, a local gourmet shop (2632 East Hastings) that specializes in high quality olive oil and vinegar. We recently caught up with Lisa to ask her a few questions about her store, and find out a few new ways to use these highly versatile cooking ingredients. Read More →