snowman cartoon 



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Just launched our "help us do better" waste reduction program in our coffee area! 10% off if you bring in your own mug. Or use our ceramic mugs and relax in the deli...or, soon you will be able to buy a new travel mug from us. Failing this, you can buy a recyclable paper cup for 10 cents, and we will donate the proceeds to the local Food bank. We can do better.

coffee cup waste 3


Watch for packages of Wildflowers seeds from West Coast Seeds. A 125 gram package covers 80 sq feet and it is only $14.99 each. Package contains an absolute plethora of wildflower seeds from Sweet Alyssum to California Poppy and even something called “Chinese Houses”. Let yourself go and sprinkle away!

wcs wild flower mix

Also a raft of new giftware is coming in a couple of weeks. According to Lise, our giftware buyer, there are wonderful bowls, beautiful kitchen items, and so much more that she has completely forgotten exactly what is going to show up!

And, watch for new Riviera and Tree Island Yogurt lines coming in starting this week. Goat Yogurt in 500g tubs, plain and vanilla are coming first, but other varieties of petit pots and Greek no sugar added yogurts will be arriving as space permits. Enjoy!

petit pot goat yog special    tree island yogurt 2

Adventures with making Boston Baked beans in a crock pot from scratch! Here are a few lessons learned:

 2 cups of dried beans is not the same as 2 cups of soaked beans

 Just because you soak beans overnight, it doesn't mean you can just add them to the crock pot without cooking them first. You have to cook soaked beans for a couple of hours before you can use them. 

Its hard to mess up the sauce ingredient quantities when you are trying to fix the bean quantities: random amounts of more molasses, ketchup, water, beer, dry mustard, more water etc as the process evolved all worked out FINE.

You do not have to cook the bacon before adding it to the crock pot. It cooks in fine. Same with the chopped onion. 

Moving your not cooked all the way beans (because you missed the cooking them before assmebly stage) from the crock pot into a crueset and finishing in a slow oven with way more liquid and for several hours DOES finally produce delicious baked beans. 

If you work full time, this is a three day adventure. Soak beans overnight, day one. COOK beans 2 hrs, day two. Assemble in crock pot and cook on low through day three. 

Worth it? Absolutely.

baked beans


20cm in the forecast, and it's coming down hard. The Ruddy Kitchen will close at noon today so the staff can get home safely and the Ruddy van can be off the road. Still lots of choices at the store for snow-weary commuters who don't want to cook dinner: north indian chicken, parmesan chicken dinners, BBQ chicken peices, quesadillas, pizza, beef lasagne, quiche, dahl, mac and cheese, italian meatloaf.....

Come on in if you want to warm up with a Latte...

snow storm walker

New Product Just In From Red Sun Farms

Try the latest in our artisan varieties of tomatoes – Cocoa Tomatoes from Red Sun Farms. These succulent treasures may look a little weird, especially if you are used to the old bright red traditional varieties. But don’t let their looks fool you! Cocoa tomatoes originated from hot-blooded Spanish stock and have an earthy, savory flavor. Today they are enjoyed all across Europe and the Mediterranean. They can be eaten at any stage as they ripen. In the early - or green stage - they have a strong full-flavored taste but as the tomatoes ripen into a ‘basking-in-the-sun-too-long’ brown, they evolve into a sweeter fruit which can nicely offset the acid in pairings such as balsamic vinegar. Oh, and they are low in calories which makes them a healthy snack alternative! Treat yourself! Try something different!!

cocoa tomatoes

Loving those little PETIT POT yogurts from RIVIERA. Not only are they delicious, but they are SUPER CUTE!. The little jars can be re-used at home in all kinds of creative ways. We sell the lids as well, further expanding the possibilities. Here are some inspiring ideas..

riviera jars 3 riviera jars 5 riviera jars 2 riviera petit pot

Maybe I'm a bit punchy after all that Holiday hullabaloo, but I'm thinking this couldn't hurt. Kind of fits, actually.

bog bar

And while Im on this track...who would have thought "MUD Activated Charcoal toothpaste" would be so popular??

mud charcoal toothpaste

Home stretch to Christmas! How perfect here on the West Coast- blue skies, hovering around freezing, a bit of snow in the forecast for Christmas day. Im thinking about a relaxed international dinner on Christmas eve: maybe a cheese fondue with a crusty baguette, a traditional tourtiere and a roasted fruit and veg on baby greens salad....

cheese fondue tourtiere roasted veg salad

At the Evening of Tastings our local Brit community was unified in their demand for Melton Mowbray pork pies. I said I would hang a British flag out the front door when they arrive...well. They arrive THURSDAY. Anyone have a flag I can borrow?

melton mowbray plaque  melton mowbray pie guy


We had a blast at our annual Holiday Evening of Tastings last Tuesday night! The store was packed as the community enjoyed wine, sparkling juices and peppermint hot chocolate. Fishermans Market came over to sample candied salmon and fresh shrimp canapes. Simons Pies was popular with their delicious meat pies and seaonal Tourtiere. Our traditional cheese fondue was a hit, and local  Lise Gouminiak sampled her gorgeous holiday cookie gifts. Our chef Jeff sampled his Thai Chicken Curry and Dahl, the deli put out cookies and appies, and Cilla manned her famous specialty cheese station. Many thanks to was a wonderful 16th annual event!

evening of tastings 1 evening of tastings 2 evening of tastings 4 fisheevening of tastings 3  

thanks BETTER ON BOWEN for the pics!


I am completely converted to these handmade SHAMPOO BARS, from Island Wise Essentials on Haida Gwaii.  They lather beautifully, smell great and are easy on your skin. AND they eventually wash away to nothing. No recycling, no plastic. They last a long time, just waiting in a little pottery dish by the bath...

shampoo bar

Yup, that other white Van in the corner is Fresh Street Market making a delivery in Cates least he eventually moved his truck out of our Loading Space. Kinda discouraging, really. 

fresh street market deliver

Fresh street market...owned by H. Y. Louie Co, one of B.C.’s oldest and largest companies. Owns IGA, London Drugs, Cash and Carry and Fresh Street Market, with..estimated 4.6 billion in sales in 2013.

A great message on our facebook page from a customer enjoying our SUMATRA coffee...just had to share it here:


I'm inspired to try to make these eyeballs to creepify tonights dinner...

eyeball pasta 

Apparently mozza cheese sticks and black olives. Cut out shapes with two different sized straws, insert olives into the cheese. Voila. Gross. 

We have a lot of talented cooks on our staff, and what's cooking at home is a common conversation. Tonight, Lois is making soup. Scotch broth in fact. I managed to coax the basics of the recipe out of her to share with you here:

-Saute lamb stew cubes in a little olive oil

-add a bunch of stock (of course we all have home made stocks in our freezer)

-add a bunch of finely diced carrots, onions, celery and parsnips

-throw in some pot barley

-Simmer away! Maybe a bit of tarragon?

Sounds like dinner, with a crusty baguette and a fresh salad....

scotch broth

Love it when local fall produce rolls in! Kale, greens and tomatoes from Home Farm. Prune plums, apples from various neighbours. Local BC garlic, last Fraser Valley strawberries and raspberries. The reliable zuchini. Squashes and pumpkins. Beautiful, fresh, colorful. 

sugar pie pumpkins local apples bc garlic local prune plums

A glorious fall day here on Bowen Island! Clear sunny skies, nice cool breeze...a great day to have an afternoon off. Which we will all be doing when the store closes at 1pm due to an island wide 4 hour BC HYDRO power cut. It is never dull here on our little peice of paradise!. Meanwhile, a latte on the patio and a stockpile of instant easy food for tonight might be a great plan.

outside 2

AArrgg...sometimes running a  small independent grocery store on a little island can be pretty rough! Like when the delivery truck leaves skids of your product behind in Vancouver because it is full, and you cant' get another refrigerated truck for 4 days. Or when a supplier forgets to fill your order and the expensive delivery truck arrives to pick it find no order...and so no product replenishment from the weekend...and then the scheduled truck can't go back because of ferry times, and then after much calling and negotiating, another truck is arranged for the following day, which gets bumped, resulting in our ice cream and frozen being shipped from Vancouver, over the ferry etc in a non refrigerated truck, without letting us know there is a problem etc etc. Just sayin.  And then, our internet landline goes down, crashing payment services so we can only take cash, no credit of debit cards. Not the best week, all in all.

All to say, we are VERY GRATEFUL for our wonderful sustaining local community support. THANKYOU for hanging with us!

How did it get to be August 1st already?

With record high temperatures in the forecast and fires raging around the Province, I'm feeling grateful to be surrounded by temperate rainforest and fabulous beaches. Time to grab some healthy delicious snacks and get out there!

small kid with beach cooler

How about we all rise up and say NO to industrial logging on Bowen Island?




We just got our first shipment from BJORNBAR BAKERY in North Vancouver. WOW. Really beautiful handmade bars, squares and merangues. Also this killer thing called a Raspberry B Bomb: basically a croissant/donut rolled around homemade raspberry jam, baked, and rolled in sugar. Oh my. 

Bjornbar merangues bjornbar berry bar bjornbar brulee squares

Happy Canada day all!

moose with flags

Returnable refillable mason jars. We launched this idea last week, with layered salads, pasta sauces, chutneys, and jars available for filling in the deli. The idea is to replace plastic takeaway containers with return-for-refund jars, the same way Avalon Milk handles their glass bottles.

Here's how it's going so far:

-We have probably 100 mason jars out there in circulation: only about 5 have come back to us.

-Customers like the idea, but the majority still take the plastic option. 

-We have not been able to sell all the mason jar salads that we have made (even though they are gorgeous..). Maybe the jar is prohibitive? Maybe they should be displayed in a different part o the store? Maybe folks haven't found them yet?

-not sure that anyone has chosen a returnable mason jar over a plastic container in the deli.

Upshot: People seem to really like the idea in principle. We will keep working on the offering and putting the info out there!

mason jar


Sounds like summer might actually arrive this weekend, with temps forecasted at 30 degrees. We have been devising some awesome heat busters in our deli. ORCA AFFOGATO works: a pull of Moja Espresso poured over a scoop of Marios vanilla ice cream. BLUE SKY FLOATS work too: Blue Sky pop poured over a couple scoops of Marios vanilla. Next up: Sundae bowls...but that's another story!

orca affogato ice cream float

We have finally figured out how to sell weighted product in re-fillable MASON JARS. Starting small with Major Gray's MANGO CHUTNEY to see how it goes. Customers pay a 1$ deposit on the jar when they buy the product. Bring us back the cleaned jar and we return the dollar. Then we sanitize the jar and re-fill it, etc. etc. NO recycling or waste. Feedback welcome!

mason jar chutney

Round Bowen SAILING RACE this Saturday (june 10). So looking forward to it. Even if you are not a racing sailor, it is a highly entertaining event here on Bowen Island. Over 100 boats will start (usually in front of the Ferry!!) Saturday morning, and the fleet can be seen in its glorious progress from many Bowen beaches throughout the day. Pretty rowdy in Snug Cove after the race too, with a big party at the marina!

round bowen race  round bowen race 2

Did you know about Traceable Milk?

You can buy it in our store, and enjoy it in all our coffee drinks at the Deli. 

Avalon dairy traceable milk

Info from their website:

Traceable Milk

Transparency makes for a clear choice when it comes to the milk you buy!

While Avalon Dairy has celebrated many ‘firsts’ over the 100+ years we’ve been in business, in 2015 we were part of something truly special when, working together with eco-dairies, we debuted BC’s first Traceable Milk to market! When you buy traceable milk, you are participating in the combined, organized and transparent efforts of BC’s eco-dairy industry, ensuring that you the consumer can see which farm your milk comes from, and that you can access, explore and learn more about the particular farm and its dairy farming practices.

What difference would it make if you knew where your milk source is from? With Avalon traceable milk, you can be assured that all of the products come from cows whose welfare is a top priority. In fact, you can even visit the farm online  and see for yourself.

This nourishing new addition to the Avalon product line is an excellent source of protein, carbohydrates and healthy milk fat. The conjugated linoleic acid contained in Avalon Traceable Milk is a fatty acid which occurs naturally in dairy products and has been shown to lower cholesterol as well as protect against certain types of cancer. Other immune supporting factors in Avalon Traceable Milk include the anti-oxidant protection of selenium.

Now, with each Avalon traceable product, you will not only get the freshest, highest quality raw materials, you will also be guaranteed that the production process itself excels at every level. We are proud to be the Home of BC’s First Traceable Milk.

Happy Cows = Yummy Milk = Udderly Traceable

We just had our espresso machine repaired...

machine bits

yikes. Thanks Yavor!




Image result for orcas in howe sound peace valley oil tank farm



Look what we just got!

According to a report by the Minister of the the Department of Agriculture, published in Victoria in 1927:

BC was home to 32 Creameries, 3 Condensaries, 1 powdered milk plant, 3 cheese factories, 34 dairy plants, and 14 misc. operations producing ice cream. 


Per the BC Dairy Industry website, 2009:

Agriculture is an important component of British Columbia’s economy, and dairy production is at the top of the list, with dairy farm cash receipts over $490 million in 2009. In fact, even though BC has just 5.9% of the national Market Share Quota (MSQ), the province contributes 9.1% of national farm cash receipts, primarily because BC dairy farms are some of the largest in the country, with an average farm size of approximately 135 milking cows. Dairy products grew 31% as a farm commodity from 1996 to 2006."

According to Agriculture Canada, in 2016 there were 417 dairy farms in BC. BC's MSQ (Market share quota) was 6.8%


Looking back over our Easter recipes and posts, I thought this balloon-molded chocolate cup might be worth re-posting. Full instructions under our "recipes" tab...

chocolate dipped balloons   chocolate cups


How did it get to be March already!! It has been snowing here all strange for the wet coast.

I'm warming up with our new product line from UMI'S KITCHEN...a local Vancouver company

Find out about them here: umi's kitchen

Our kitchen is hiring....looking for a full time cook!

Could be 4 or 5 days/week.  Hopefully able to start by mid March.

The Kitchen is at 511 Sunset Road on Bowen's west side. They make a great line of ready to go meals, pizzas, panninis, 

sandwiches, and desserts. 

JEFF is the Manager: Phone 604 047 0665 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Thinking about reducing plastic. I've been experimenting with these shifts in habit at home, and discovering that they make quite a difference!

Buy bulk coffee (we have MOJA in the bulk, so I could handle the switch) in small quantities to keep it fresh, in a PAPER bag. Transfer it to a sealed container at home. 

 Skip the plastic bags in the produce section. Lots of fruit and Veg can just roll around in your shopping basket, go through the till in their unpackaged form and go straight into your fridge crisper at home. There are usually "bulk" choices that are not pre-packaged. If you need a produce bag, bring one from home or use a PAPER bag.

Buy milk in avalon glass bottles and get in the habit of returning them to the store for a refund. 

Make your own is embarrassingly simple. See directions on side bar. 

Buy bulk granola, transport in a paper bag, or bring a bag from home.  Or make your own granola...super easy. Recipe on this website. Ditto for rice, pulses, nuts etc. Skip the plastic bags!!


Rainy day blues....

Looking out the window at the dark rain pouring's hard to feel inspired today! Here is a nice collection from New York Times Cooking to kick start the afternoon.... 

Chickpea Vegetable Soup articleLarge

NYT rainy day recipes

Happy Valentines Day!

I'm thinking about little valentines nutella and cherry jam hand pies...

Chocolate Cherry Hand Pies

An easy home made sweet for your sweetie!

Kitchen closed for cleaning today. The cafe is open for coffee and sandwiches.

Should be back to full production tomorrow...just in time for the next big winter storm!

Snowin' on Bowen...AGAIN. Our parking lot is not too bad, and the coffee is on!

snow feb 2017

And, I happened to catch one of our awesome staff in the pic....Here's Angus, out with the shovel!

angus in snow