Coffee addicts rejoice

A steady stream of bleary-eyed coffee lovers gave an almost a palpable sigh of relief recently as they returned to their daily pilgrimage to Lynn Valley’s new and improved Starbucks.

Back and bigger

A short walk across the street from its original location, Nancy Oldham and her team have opened the new Reserve store in Lynn Valley Centre, in the old Quiznos’ location on the exterior west wall. The larger space has been elegantly designed, with a dark charcoal accent well, warm wood and stunning wallpaper. It’s a polished upgrade from the previous store than encourages lingering.

“It is so good to be back. During the renovation I worked at several different stores,” said Oldham. “What sets Lynn Valley apart is the community – we serve the same 200 people every morning. We know the people here. That’s pretty unheard of.”

The new store features ample bar space – which highlights the difference between a Reserve and typical Starbucks store.

Roots recognized

“Lynn Valley was chosen for a Reserve store because of Starbucks long history in the area,” explained Oldham. “Lynn Valley was the fifth store outside of the United States. It’s originally lease was signed Howard Schultz [the Starbucks CEO credited with creating coffee cafe culture in North America].”

The long history and loyal customers made Lynn Valley the perfect place to add one of the new reserve stores, she said.

New brew innovations

“Reserve stores offer specialty, small lot coffees not available in the majority of Starbucks stores,” said Oldham. “The assortment of offers change over the year, with new coffees coming in four-six times a year. These coffees are offered by the half pound for sale, or for brewing on our Clover Brewing System.”

She explained the Clover Brewing System uses immersion vacuum extraction. The technique preserves all the coffee oils by eliminating the need for a paper filter.

“It makes an exceptionally flavourful, smooth cup of coffee,” said Oldham. “It is brewed to order, and guests can watch the experience as their coffee is made.”

Also along the warm wood bar are two taps – giving the entrance of the store a feeling closer to brewery than a coffee shop.  

“We offer Cold Brew and Nitro Cold Brew coffee on tap,” said Oldham. “Cold brew is made in-house, at cold temperatures, over 20 hours. This brew process allows the coffee to develop a naturally sweet taste with low acidity. We use a blend of African coffee, which gives a citrus flavour, and Latin American coffee, which adds the sweet chocolate notes. We pour the coffee over ice, or we infuse it with nitrogen gas, which gives an incredibly smooth mouth feel and adds even more sweetness to the cup.”

Think Red for the Holidays

With the busyness and frantic obligations of Christmas and the holidays, we are featuring some of Lynn Valley’s best options for holiday solutions. From finding that perfect something for that hard to buy relative to finding something small and sweet for someone small and sweet: we want you thinking red for the holidays.

One last Christmas

The long-time institution in Lynn Valley where you alway knew you could find just the right gift – 

The Red Tulip Gift Gallery – is closing.  After a fourteen year journey that has taken owners Janice Rothenbush and Lynda Buchholtz from Deep Cove to Lynn Valley Village to Lynn Valley Centre, they are retiring from the retail business this January.

“We have gotten to know so many people,” said Buchholtz. “We have seen families grow up – little kids shopping with parents are returning by themselves as young adults. We live in North Vancouver and love how supportive the community has been. It has been a pleasure to do business here – but it’s time.”

Tulip picks

During this last holiday season Buchholtz and Rothenbush have selected some beautiful pieces to fill your home, tree or gift box. Everything in store is now 20% off as they kick off the holidays with a bang.

Topping the list are tiny felted mice Christmas ornaments. The warmth and whimsy they add to a tree is proving very popular this season, said Buchholtz.

For the bold and creative there are a wide range of Sock it to me Socks – with cheeky designs and bright colours they are the perfect choice to make someone smile.

For the smallest Lynn Valley residents, they have books from local author Tory Townsin, beautiful and delicately soft Jelly Cat stuffies, as well as some locally-made onesies to assert hometown pride early.

The perfect hostess gift are Lucia luxury candles and scents. The Red Tulip is currently carrying the scent Les Saisons with aromatic notes of softwood and pine – no one will know you don’t have a real Christmas tree with this authentic scent.

With simple, elegant designs Rothenbush’s handmade-jewelry line Red Chandelier is sure to add a touch of shine that will delight anyone on your list.

The Red Tulip is located inside Lynn Valley Centre at 1199 Lynn Valley Road.

Childhood delights at Red Door

Tucked away on the campus of the Vancouver Waldorf School, 2725 St. Christophers Road, is a Red Door. Inside you will find a non-profit, parent-run shop dedicated to the wonders of childhood.

“We take great consideration in choosing the toys and art supplies that we offer in our school store,” said Ella Pedersen, manager of the store and Waldorf School parent. “Many of the companies we order from hold values similar to ours in their care for quality, tradition, sustainability and inspiration to engage the senses of children in their development.”

The little shop is elegantly packed with items just calling for a child’s touch. The wooden figures have soft rounded corners and simple paint jobs. The felted dolls have delicate features but simplistic beauty. There are the occasional quality handmade item contributed by Waldorf family, hard to find children’s books, rocks and crystals, even parenting books and sought-after wet weather gear by Abeko.

“We carry quality items – like gorgeous dolls and wooden figures from Germany,” said Pedersen. “We carry good quality craft supplies so it lasts and it’s a pleasure to use.”

Most of the items and supplies in store are hard to find in Vancouver and have artists and art teachers making the pilgrimage to Lynn Valley to pick up molding wax and drawing materials from Stockmar and Lyra.

Whimsy and wonder

Delightful, hard to find books will immerse children in nature and the wonder of the season.

Quality wool felts and felting supplies are a treat for the eye and hands. They are wonderful to work with. Abeko products are sought after in Lynn Valley – they’re essential for outdoor kids.

The details in the tiny dolls and wooden figures are beautiful and thoughtfully created. The designs encourage imaginative hands on place.

The carefully curated art supplies are both ethically and environmentally responsible. They are long wearing and natural – perfect for small children.

Nourish Market opens nice noshery

IMG_9366There’s a new place to sit and enjoy the Lynn Valley village vibes, and enjoy a healthy bite or sip while you’re at it. Nourish Market has transformed one end of its boutique grocery store into an airy eating spot, where you can take a load off and catch up on the local news.

We suspect, however, that there will be lots of “take away” from its new ice cream counter, from which various Mario’s Gelati or (soon) Earnest ice cream flavours are served, starting at $4 for a single scoop. The variety of food choices is also good, including Peqish salads and sandwiches and treats from the Two Daughters Bakeshop in North Vancouver. There are a a range of natural and gluten-free choices to keep everyone in your party happy, and the prices are reasonable.


Westlynn Meats serves local “foodies”

By staff writer

The Dos Santos family has been selling meats and seafood at Lynn Valley Mall for 15 years now. There’s a reason for their popularity. “It’s all about the customers,” says Mike dos Santos, wrapping a bag of pork chops for a customer and handing it over. “We always listen to what the customers have to say and are attentive to their questions and requests. If somebody wants a special item, we get it for them.”

The other key element to their longevity comes as a bit of a surprise. Evidently there are a lot of “foodies” in Lynn Valley, who are very particular about what they order, and when. Fresh and local are two other key pieces to the puzzle. Seasonal might be another.


How to buy a bike, what kind, and where

Rick Loader

~ Rick Loader

What are the most important components of buying a bike?  Well, they aren’t the brakes, that’s for sure.  According to Lynn Valley Bikes co-owner Rick Loader, it’s picking the right size. To do that, first you must identify the purpose.  What will the bike be used for?  Riding to school? Mountain biking?  Commuting to work?

Located at the junction of Mountain Highway and Lynn Valley Road, Lynn Valley Bikes is the closest shop to the mountains and the North Shore’s vast array of mountain biking trails, so naturally they sell more mountain bikes than other models, but Loader says you shouldn’t buy a mountain bike to ride on the street. Maybe a “hybrid” model with fatter tyres than a street bike but still good on trails and pavement is your best bet. Let trained staff suggest an apprpriate model for your needs, and – whatever you do – don’t buy a bike that your child will “grow into.” Buying a big too big is a recipe for failure.


Hot-weather tips for local lawns

New “Phase Two” water restrictions were announced today, so this article on hot-weather lawn care is just in time! Check out the water sprinkling rules here – and take note of the following advice from Matt and Rob Boyd of Endless Summer landscapers (you can find more of their articles for LynnValleyLife by clicking on the link!)

If spring lawn care is about getting your lawn healthy and green, summer lawn care is about KEEPING it healthy while temperatures soar and rainfall becomes a fleeting memory. It’s also about maintaining a lawn that can withstand all the barbecues, games, parties, and running feet that summer has to offer. Here are some tips for keeping your lawn in shape over those long, hot days of summer.


Divide your perennials to keep them perky

Spring is well upon us, so it’s time to tune into the local experts for some garden tips.  Here is some advice on keeping your perennials looking perfect, from Matt and Rob Boyd of Endless Summer landscapers.

Many perennial plants grow in an ever-widening clump. After several seasons of growing, these perennials will begin to die out in the center and look more like a ring than a clump.


Shop local – with online convenience!

From the desk of Peggy Trendell-Jensen, editor:

Oftentimes the convenience of online shopping translates to an unfortunate flagging of support for the bricks-and-mortar shops that are so much the heart of a healthy community. Fortunately, Save-on-Food’s new online shopping service doesn’t put us in that moral dilemma – we can support this Lynn Valley Day Diamond Sponsor while still kicking back with our laptop on the couch!