My Favourite Local Businesses

I broke my weekday streak yesterday! Busy clinic day and I was just about spent when I got home. I have been reflecting a lot, though, on how lucky I am to have a job that is relatively secure. SO many of my friends and family own or work for small business, and my heart goes out to anyone struggling. Today I thought I’d highlight some of my favourite local businesses in Vancouver, and how you might be able to check them out and support them, if you’d like. Feel free to leave a comment with some of your favourites, too, if you’re nearby!

Food and Drink
L’Atelier Patisserie– this little French bakery near our place is amazing! We love getting croissants and coffee on Saturday mornings. Owner/baker Franck is the real deal. They’re open reduced hours, takeout and preorder only. See their insta for updates!

Harvest Deli– I can always count on this spot for a really delicious sandwich or bowl of soup. The owner is always working, always has a smile for me, and makes really great food. I usually get the lentil dahl and a grilled cheese, but they have tons of options. Since COVID they’re on Foodora and DoorDash, so you can support them without leaving your house!

Ignite Pizzeria – our favourite nearby pizza place. They are still doing grab-n-go slices, pickup and delivery. AND they’re donating 5$ from every whole pizza purchase to the Vancouver food bank!

Sushiyama– we usually get sushi here a few times every month! The woman who answers the phone remembers our usual order :- ). They’re doing takeout, or you can order via Skip the Dishes or UberEats. If you pick up yourself, it’s 10% off!

The Federal Store– this little cafe is the perfect distance away for me to end my run and grab a coffee. They also have really delicious homemade desserts and treats. I love getting a blueberry scone and sitting outside to people-watch. They’re now doing grocery delivery, at-home baked goods (a great idea for a project, if you need one!) and takeout.

Nero Belgian Waffle Bar– We love Nero and my Belgian took me here on one of our first dates! They’re closed for now but we’re looking forward to getting back to waffles when they’re open again.

Arbutus Florist– these guys are a little new to the neighbourhood, but since the flower industry has been really challenged by the economic downturn, they’ve been leaving single stems outside every Tuesday! We picked one up this week and it has a little note attached: “when it rains, look for rainbows, and when it’s dark, look for stars”. I can’t wait to order some bouquets for our kitchen counter when they reopen.

Chorus and Clouds– I don’t have kids, but if I did you can bet they’d be hanging out here. Owner Jess is an amazing artist and musician, and everyone raves about her classes. She also has a great album on Spotify that I have been known to bust out to soothe babes in the clinic! Plus she’s a good friend. You can support her work with a tiered support program on their website, and tune in to see Jess on Instagram Live!

City Beet Farm– This is a super cool idea to use yards/boulevards in Vancouver to grow food! They are a CSA you can order regular delivery from. I think (I hope!) they haven’t been too impacted by COVID, but while I’m sharing small businesses I’m happy to give them a shout-out. What a cool use of space and a way to eat locally.

C Pienaar Photo– You probably have seen Christine’s name all over the blog– she photographed our wedding! Her work is beautiful, and we’d love to support her while she can’t shoot in person. She posts on insta when there are prints available, but they go fast!

Our Little Flower Company– another wedding find! Reay and her team put together a beautiful set of florals for us, and I love ordering from OLFCo when I want to send flowers!

Flourist– I’ve been dabbling in sourdough after my friend gave me some starter, and these guys have everything you need to get your own sourdough groove on! Their baked goods are also delish :- )

Movement108– you can sign up for virtual workouts online, plus they’re live on insta every day at 7 AM and 4 PM! It’s a great reason to get up on time (when no commute has you rolling out of bed and into your chair still pyjama’d at 830 AM!) or to take a mid afternoon break to get a bit sweaty.

Distance Runwear– the best place to go if you need running gear, clothes, or tips! The old Cambie crew meets here (in non COVID times) on Wednesdays and Sundays. These days, DRW is still offering in-store shopping (strict social distancing) plus some options for shipping and even free drop off on local orders.

As far as my COVID updates, I think things are OK. I have definitely had telemedicine calls with a few patients I am concerned about, but so far I feel like as a clinic we are managing. There is now a mandate that all direct patient care should be done with PPE, which is challenging as we are so short on masks and still need to see some patients in-person. My amazing dentist came through with a donation of their masks today, which was a really bright spot. Tonight was also my first time hearing people clapping and cheering at 7PM as a thank you to health care workers! It was amazing to hear and I am so grateful for my hospital-based colleagues.

I helped with a province-wide webinar tonight on how to use some virtual care/telehealth tools, and was great to be able to share information and explain how we’ve been able to work. The clinic has also been booking a little unusually. Normally I’m fully booked at least 2 days in advance, but over the last few days I’ve been arriving at work to find my day only half-full. It has so far filled up through the day, which I guess means patients are taking things one day at a time… like we all are. Numbers: BC 659 (14 deaths, 183 recovered); Canada 3409 (35 deaths, 197 recovered). Here’s hoping we can work together to flatten the curve and get all these business back to normal.

This post is part of a series on my experience providing care as a family doctor in Vancouver through the 2020 COVID Pandemic. You can read the entire series here.


  • Thuis Nieuwpoort
    March 26, 2020 at 5:29 am


    • Diana & Vince
      March 26, 2020 at 11:18 am

      One of our son’s friends is an ophthalmologist at a nearby hospital, and since most of his surgery is not urgent, he was put in charge of setting up the ER Corona center. His comment has been “don’t go to the hospital or the doctor unless you think you’re dying, do it via telecommunication.” How sad! Take care of yourself and stay safe.
      Love – Vince & Diana

      • Alyssa Heuninck
        March 26, 2020 at 9:00 pm

        Diana and Vince- thanks for the note! I am really appreciative of how much telemedicine I’ve been able to do! I think it has made a big difference to how safe I feel these days. Hope you’re both taking good care of yourselves too!

    • Alyssa Heuninck
      March 26, 2020 at 8:53 pm



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