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Why Should We Shop Local in 2020?

Can you believe Christmas is in 24 days? The countdown is on!

And what a Christmas it will be! It’ll look different this year. We’ll be apart from our families and friends, we can’t crowd around the kitchen table, laugh, and stuff our faces together.

We can, however, still connect by opening gifts from each other. It’s one way we can still say ‘I love you’. Imagine your child’s wide eyes when he opens up a gift or picture your mom’s smile when she hugs her new favourite book that you just bought her.

This year more than ever, gift giving also helps our economy. Small businesses have been hit hard by COVID restrictions. Let’s be real: 2020 has been a struggle for all of us. But we can still show some love for your favourite small or local businesses this Christmas season by getting gifts from close to home.

Let’s keep these businesses thriving over the Christmas season and into the new year.

It’s also important to me as a Celiac, to support businesses that consider the gluten-free community. It’s a small way I can give back and say thank you.

I’ve compiled a personal top ten list of Calgary-based businesses with gifts fit for a foodie.

Keep reading for more detailed descriptions:

  • Torill’s Table

  • Silk Road Spice Merchant

  • Pacific Poke

  • Village Flatbread Company

  • Globefish Sushi Kensington

  • Lemongrass West

  • The Coup

  • Wild Tea Kombucha

  • Kricket’s

  • Urban Dog Market

Torill’s Table

I first met Torill Myre at a pancake breakfast that kicked off the Calgary Stampede. She was serving delicious gluten-free pancakes that blew me away. I purchased her pancake mix on the spot from Amaranth Foods.

I’ve been a big supporter of her brand ever since. There’s both a regular and certified gluten-free version made from nourishing ingredients like oats, almonds, sorghum and flaxseed. Imagine waking up to this stocking stuffer on Christmas day! The smell alone will reel you in. Oh, and she sells Norwegian waffle makers too.

Shipping: This brand ships across Canada, to the US and internationally.

Silk Road Spice Merchant

The vintage Inglewood store is a magical place to me as a foodie. Silk Road Spice Merchant sells high quality spices, herbs and seasonings that can transform any meal. Better yet, prepare yourself a cocktail using their bitter and cocktail supplies.

Shipping: Free to most Canadian locations. Shipping is also available to the US.

Pacific Poke

I often walk into a restaurant expecting limited gluten-free options. That’s not the case with Pacific Poke. There are so many gluten-free choices that you’ll be able to create the poke bowl you want and not the one you have to settle for.

Right now, there’s a gift card promotion at Pacific Poke. Buy a $25 gift card and receive a $5 off coupon. I’m sold!

Gift cards available.

Village Flatbread Company

This is my go-to pizza place in YYC! They name each unique, delicious pizza after a neighbourhood in Calgary. Every pizza is 100% gluten-free and halal. They also offer dairy-free and vegan options.

Blush Lane Organic Market and Spud carry pre-made pizzas by Village Flatbread Company in case you’d like one on hand for an easy holiday meal.

E-cards available online.

Globefish Sushi Kensington

Sushi, one of my great loves, comes right after family and friends. Wink, wink. Globefish Sushi Kensington has a well-marked menu that easily tells you which items are gluten-free and which can be made gluten-free.

They feature a dedicated gluten-free fryer, which means you’ll never have FOMO again!

Gift cards available.

Lemongrass West

This local gem has been serving authentic Vietnamese food since 1996. Gluten-free alternatives are available for all menu items.

Lemongrass West’s website talks about its dedication to the gluten-free community and especially to those living with Celiac disease.

There’s also a dedicated gluten-free fryer, so you’ll never miss out again! Take a break from cooking and order delicious food from Lemongrass West this Christmas season instead!

Take-out and catering available.

The Coup

Rich and I had our first date at the Coup. Nine years later, I’m still in love with the food, and with Rich. Last week, I ordered the tempeh shawarma. This week, I’m still thinking about the tempeh shawarma!

The Coup knows itself best. Their website says, the Coup is a modern restaurant serving fresh, whole, organic local foods and beverages. The menu is adjusted seasonally to use the freshest local ingredients.

Gift cards and toques are available for purchase. Yes, I said a toques!. It’s the Canadian thing to do after all.

Wild Tea Kombucha

Wild Tea Kombucha is a local small-batch brewery that specializes in raw, unpasteurized and naturally fermented kombucha. What does naturally fermented mean for you? It means probiotics for a potentially healthier gut.

Let’s talk about the fun stuff: I first discovered Wild Tea Kombucha at Blush Lane Organic Market in Marda Loop. I was so excited to fill a glass jug with kombucha straight from the tap!

They now offer cans of low sugar, cocktail inspired, and hard kombucha! Check out their fun and unique flavours online. Your taste buds will thank you. Mine did!


Kricket’s has been a staple in my life since I moved to Calgary. This Mission icon is now located in Garrison Woods but still sells the same quality of hilarious cards, mugs, glasses, tea towels, socks etc as before. Many of my staging tools and accessories for food photography are from Kricket’s.

Gift cards available. Shop in-store or use the curbside pick-up feature today.

Shipping: Free within 2 km if you spend $50. Free within Calgary if you spend over $100. Flat rate shipping fee for the rest of Canada.

Urban Dog Market

Dogs are foodies too! Am I right? My pugs Indy and Chewie love this place! I cannot go walking around the neighbourhood without my boys pulling me towards Urban Dog Market’s door. It’s a one-stop shop for your furry friend. We always leave with a bully stick, frozen yogurt or a bag of treats!

Their Dog Club offers points for every dollar spent.


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