Taking care of your two wheels

First there is confusion, then anger and then a deep sense of loss. To bike riders of all kinds, theft is more than losing a possession – it’s like losing your best friend. In this neighbourhood there is sometimes more value in bikes in a garage than cars in the driveway. We talked to the local experts on keeping your bike safe, insured and ready to ride down the mountains. 


You can never be too safe


The North Vancouver RCMP report bike thefts remain pretty constant year over year with a slight increase in 2020. Only about 10 % of bikes are recovered. 

“People move here to ride,” said Rick Loader, owner of Lynn Valley Bikes. “When your bike is stolen it feels like a violation. It’s their second-best friend, treated better than a spouse sometimes.” 

During peak season, his shop deals with customers almost once a week coming in to replace a stolen bike.

“It varies at times throughout the year,” he said. “It averages out to two or three times a month.”

But there are some people who aren’t completely broken up about it, he said. 

“A mountain bike only lasts about five years of the hard riding we have here,” said Loader. “There is the rare occasion that insurance comes in at a good time. For those without insurance, it stings them a lot harder.”


Protecting your bike on paper


Empathy abounds from Central Agencies insurance broker David Fiteni, who has had his own bike stolen from a Lynn Valley condo building. 

“Often people find out too late that their insurance has a bike limit – much less than the cost of the bikes we see here in Lynn Valley,” said Fiteni. “Protecting your bike isn’t like ICBC coverage where a car of a certain make and age has a set insurance value. You need to go to your insurance broker to have coverage for the replacement cost of the bike plus all the hundreds of dollars of upgrades if you aren’t riding stock.”

It pays to seek out local experience when choosing your broker. 

“It might be standard practice when looking at home insurance to ask about jewelry or art,” he said. “Here in Lynn Valley, I always ask ‘Do you have any bikes?’ I have never had someone who didn’t want to have their bike fully covered.”

Fiteni says the best way to insure your bike is to sit down with a broker you trust.

 “If you deal with a particular institution, they offer you what they have. We will look at eight-12 different options to see how they can best cover your bike,” he said. “We don’t fit them into a product, we find the best product to fit them – every case is different.”

There are changes coming into the insurance industry but not all coverage is equal and there are key questions to think about. 

“People are spending a lot on bikes because they have value to the rider,” he said. “One underwriter might allow you to have a $7000 bike in your contents insurance, but another may charge you $300 a year for that.” 

Fiteni suggests starting your bike insurance conversation by covering these areas:

  • Mysterious disappearance  – is the bike covered if it is not at home? Or if it’s on your vehicle? 
  • Will a bike claim impact “claims-free” discounts? A bike’s inherent mobility puts it at increased risk.
  • Does the policy have a maximum for bike claims?
  • Are there requirements for securing bikes for them to be covered at home? On the road? 
  • Is there a different deductible for bikes vs. a different kind of claim?

Protecting your bike in practice


Both Loader and Fiteni along with the RCMP recommend registering your bike with Garage 529. The free service is used by police and citizen groups to get stolen bikes back in the hands of their owners. 

“Don’t store your bike in a condo bike room or a plywood storage locker,” said Loader. “They are tucked out of the way, they don’t get visited very often. It’s too easy for thieves to get access and spend some time getting all the bikes they want.”

A sentiment echoed by Fiteni.

“A builder puts in the cheapest materials it can, and most stratas don’t reinforce security hardware until ‘17’ bikes are stolen.” 

For home, Loader recommends keeping bikes in earshot and locked up. On the road, he brings multiple locks.

“There are four locks that live in my van – one that is a 6-foot, 35-lb chain,” he said. “Another is a motion-sensitive alarm. If the bikes are on the rack, I back it in where I can keep an eye on it and at very least be outside and hear it.”

The thought of spending hundreds of dollars on locks may seem excessive but when looking at the numbers, $350 in locks is just a five percent investment in protecting a $7000 bike. Some experts recommend 10 percent of the value in security. When out with your bike Loader also reminds riders to check what you are attaching the lock to. 

“There are poles all over the Vancouver-area that aren’t secured in place, a simple tug will lift out the pole. I have even seen a guy on another’s shoulders unscrewing the sign at the top so they can lift a bike up and over,” said Loader. “Parking meters are a little better.”

Loader’s last tip: “Don’t flaunt your bike. Get it inside and your door closed. Don’t sit there in your garage with the door up working on your bike all afternoon with four other bikes hanging up.”

As the value of bikes rises, the protection policies are improving, said Fiteni. But when it comes to talking about e-bikes they are their own unique circumstances you need to discuss with your broker


Looking for more?


There’s always something fun and exciting happening in Lynn Valley. Check out our Community Events Calendar or learn more about Local Activities, Mountain Biking or Hiking and Walking Trails.

Local love this holiday season

There has never been a better time to support a local business. With flood tragedies, international shipping delays and fuel shortages, it’s the perfect time to stay close to home and find unique gifts from service providers and entrepreneurs in our own neighbourhood this holiday season.


Art and Fashion


Glass artist Debbie Hungle works out of her home creating has gorgeous fused works and stained glass. From ornaments to candle holders to jewelry and decorative panes – her work captures the season. If you are lucky you might be able to book a workshop and create your own works of art under her careful guidance. She also offers gift certificates – perfect for custom work or for a future workshop. You can learn more at www.debbiehungle.com. Our picks are her curvy scenes – perfect for putting a candle behind. 

 

The handcrafted creations from Plunger Cove Studios are more art than toys with the perfect amount of whimsy. Inspired by the reclaimed materials themselves, each boat or ‘bot is one of a kind. The playful creations will be the perfect addition to a mantel or nursery shelf. It really is hard to choose one, the robots will inspire future creators but our pick is the classic Westcoast Tug.

 

The perfect kids’ Tee can be found at Wren Wood & Co. local mom’s Sherry and Natalie have put together the cutest Westcoast Friends Collection. With bears, beavers, wolves and otters embracing modern Canadiana, your tot will bring a smile to all who sees them. You can find them online or on Lonsdale at Monika’s Art Boutique. Our pick – it’s hard to choose, the Adventurer is great but the Gamer takes it.

 

For the quick pick head over to Bella Gia. Pam and Gianna have done the work of sorting through trends to capture a sophisticated vision of home and fashion. This season their fashion picks highlight cozy knits while their home decor focuses on creating a warm ambiance with beautiful candles and elegant linens. Our picks – with the editing done, their offerings all look like winners but the Holly Berry Embroidered Table Runner looks timeless enough to be a beautiful family tradition. 

 

Stepping into the world of Instagram collections Popcycle Kids curates a collection of vintage, retro and pre-loved kids clothes. Sisters Brittany and Alix founded Popcycle as they looked for the bold patterns and over-sized styles of the 80s and 90s for their own kids. They added to their collection each Sunday. Our pick – follow them on Instagram to snag their latest release. They offer free local pick up. 

 

Local writer and artist Jenn Ashton is a captivating creator. From felted hats to wood ornaments and a range of paintings and drawings. Her bold colours are joyously whimsical and her portraits dynamic. Also a writer, Jenn has her first book People Like Frank available now. Our pick is her book – this is a time to cozy up and immerse yourself in her collection of stories. 


Unique gifts


We just discovered Lynn Valley’s own Fiona’s Handcrafted Soaps. They are lovingly made from 100% natural, plant-based oils, and over 30 essential oils, and fragrance oils. These are little works of art in a functional daily-use product. Fiona began working with soap to find a gentle alternative to mass-produced products for her mother as she battled cancer. The results are handmade, hand-cut pieces. Our pick: either the Hot Chocolate & Marshmallows or Nanaimo Bar because they are the perfect stocking stuffer for a tween or teen who needs to wash.

 

If you aren’t quite sure what to pick, the Ecology Centre has in the past year or so stepped up its gift game. If you want to share a piece of North Vancouver there are beautiful gift selections from First Nations businesses supporting Indigenous artists. If you are new to the area there are guides and children’s books to learn all about our local habitat. Our pick is for the history buff: the centre is offering the recently republished Early Days in Lynn Valley by Walter Draycott. We have a second pick, the perfect gift offering less stuff and more family time: an Ecology Centre Membership which offers discounts on camps, the gift shop and birthday parties.   

 

Another gift of time is to support local family business Pasta Padella. Their pasta and risottos are made in Italy and quick frozen. You can give yourself or a loved one the gift of time by picking up these dishes and having a meal ready in just 10-15 minutes. You can find Pasta Padella online (free local delivery with a $29 purchase) or at Lynn Valley Meats. Our pick: the risotto with butternut squash

 

As we celebrate our second year in a pandemic, we have all learned to lean in and value those close to us. Local counselling psychologists Jordana, Shannon, and Christina have created an interactive card game to explore core values. Players examine and challenge their values by choosing between Val-You cards until they are left holding the three cards that represent what is most important to them in life. it can be played among friends and family or used as a tool by a variety of professionals in diverse settings, including counsellors, teachers, occupational therapists, managers, and within human resources departments. Check out the Val-You game


Looking for more?


There’s always something fun and exciting happening in Lynn Valley. Check out our Community Events Calendar or learn more about Local Activities, Mountain Biking or Hiking and Walking Trails.

Stop thrifting, start swapping

Eco-fashion is booming and the clothing resale market is the fastest-growing segment. As Lynn Valley’s Geraldine Durant noticed the climbing prices at local thrift shops, she created a more community-oriented swap. 


Think globally, act locally


Inspired by the eco-focus of her former employer, Lynn Valley’s Cousteau School, Durant has been trying to make environmentally friendly decisions. Often they pay with bonus rewards. 

“I love thrift stores,” she said. “They are unique and interesting. You can find different things than you can find at the mall.” 

Speaking with like-minded friends sparked the idea of a clothing swap. If the interested swappers continue like (the non-pandemic restricted portions of) last year, more than 15,000 items will be kept out of the landfill.


The Good Swap


Many people who shop at thrift stores are the very same people who donate to them in the first place, said Durant. 

“Talking with friends we realized the amount of money we were spending in thrift shops after we donated to them. The idea of a clothing swap led to this,” she said gesturing to the lower level of her home filled with stock from the Good Swap’s swappers. 

The swap idea is simple. Participants bring in their items – quality clothing and children’s items  – and choose a similar amount of new-to-them items, as well as paying a small flat fee to cover cleaning and storage costs and minimally compensate Durant for her time organizing the swap. 

“Trading doesn’t always work, because if I don’t have what you need then we can’t trade,” she said. “This makes the circle bigger so more people can find items and more items stay out of the garbage.”


Curation is key


The items at the Good Swap have been checked for stains and rips – missing items like buttons are clearly labeled.

“Most people bring in items in good condition,” she said “I check the games and puzzles – I don’t want someone to get home and find there is a piece missing.”

Items that don’t pass her standards are donated for other thrift options or textile recycling. Her swap stock continues to grow with most people choosing to leave with fewer items than they came with.

“I prefer people swap rather than donate. I get a lot of questions about ‘What is the catch?’,” laughs Durant. “There is no catch. Once people visit they are more confident in the swap.” 

About 80 percent of her customers return about every three months. 

“I do have one that comes around every two weeks.” 

With hopes to slowly grow Durant aims to divert as much as 30,000 items from the landfill each year.

To learn more about the swap or book an appointment visit Durant’s Facebook page


Looking for more?


There’s always something fun and exciting happening in Lynn Valley. Check out our Community Events Calendar or learn more about Local Activities, Mountain Biking or Hiking and Walking Trails.

Celebrating June with Mountain Market

For more than 15 years Mary and Steve Choi have been doing business on Mountain Hwy – Mountain Market is an institution in Lynn Valley. Looking to brighten up your spring Mary is joining us with a flower giveaway.   


A community needs corner stores


Whether it is spending your hard found pocket money as a child or hopping out of your car to grab flowers or a desperately needed loaf of bread – a neighbourhood needs corner stores.

We have a few in Lynn Valley but the classic remains Mountain Market. For today’s parents, it is nostalgically frozen in time, a reminder of childhood 30 years ago. For local students, it’s essential to meet their daily “nutritional” needs. For families, many an occasion is celebrated with Mountain Market’s beautiful bouquets.

The Choi’s have been behind the counter of Mountain Market since 2005 – their kids growing up alongside. Frequently Mountain Market is fondly referred to a simply Mountain Mary’s. In those years they have been supportive of local causes – remember that amidst the early pandemic, dwindling shopping numbers, they stepped up to donate a trunkload of flowers to graduates of Argyle Secondary.


Community Blooms


Mary is back at it. She would like to make some homes a little bit brighter. This June we would like to celebrate grads, teachers, and anyone going through a transition. Celebration options are still few and if you or someone you care about has a change worth celebrating – let’s do it!

We will be drawing a winner each week. Winners will need to pick up their arrangements at Mountain Market. Draws will take place Friday mornings. If your name is not drawn, it will remain entered for future chances to win in June.

To enter, please fill out the form below.


Looking for more?


There’s always something fun and exciting happening in Lynn Valley. Check out our Community Events Calendar or learn more about Local Activities, Mountain Biking or Hiking and Walking Trails.

Camping meal solutions

As travel and leisure activities shut down last year it sparked an idea for Kim Saunders. The local mom is leveraging her work experience to create a side hustle that gets her family and others outside for easy camping adventures. Camper Hampers was launched earlier this spring and she has given us a promo code!


Filling a need


Most families have done it: load the kids, your gear, find a place to store the cooler, and head off to the campground. 

“I work a more than a full-time job and I am a single mom who loves camping, but trying to get to the grocery store, with preplanned camping meals with a five-year-old, at 6 o’clock at night, for two days of camping it was daunting,” said Saunders. “It limited the number of times we went out.” 

Like many others on the coast, she turned to camping last year to get outside and spend time with family in a safe way. One trip gave Saunders an important light bulb moment. 

“I would love to pick my kid up, throw some stuff in the car and know all my food would be there – and only the things you need, you don’t want to be eating hot dogs all weekend because they come in a pack of 10,” she said. “My parents get meal kits and they brought two of them. It made it so easy, but they weren’t the ideal meals for camping – I thought I could do this better,”

Saunders figured there were plenty of other families like hers – busy and getting busier, who love to camp but were facing barriers. For first-time campers it might be the knowledge of what to pack and how to cook, for others, it was other pressures. 

“I had all the gear but the biggest hindrance to camping was to find the time to get the food.”


Camper Hampers


Saunders has focused on simple meals that will satisfy hungry campers with quality foods. With a variety of delivery options, you don’t even need to bring your own cooler. 

“It’s slowly evolving as we test more recipes and they will be added. People seem to be responding to hand-held basics you can walk around or sit down by the fire,” she said, adding there are vegetarian options for most meals. “Our most popular items are our breakfasts and our s’more kits.” 

Using her career in logistics to find quality delivery partners, Saunders says Camper Hampers makes it easier to hit the road. 

“There are coolers to rent, so you can have your food dropped right at your campsite in the afternoon so it waiting, after you arrive, or we can drop it at your home so after work it is there so you can throw it in your own cooler and go.” 

It was important for Saunders to offer meals that maintain the quality she offers her family at home. 

“I don’t serve anything that I wouldn’t eat,” she said. If I wouldn’t feed it to my kid, I wouldn’t sell it. For me, eating very little meat, the quality of what I do eat has to be there. I use Lindt chocolate, Two Rivers Meats. We have just gotten with Very Good Butchers for our vegan options – I am very excited about that. 

As a start-up, Saunders is learning from other meal prep businesses and trying to be as eco-friendly as she can. She is exploring corn-based packaging that can be burned or composted. 

“Everything does need to be portioned, so there is some waste,” she said. “My aim is that by 2023 that everything will be recyclable, compostable, or reusable.” 

Beyond using Camper Hampers, Saunders offered some other advice for families camping for the first time.

  1. Bring bikes – “Kids can just go and explore and have a bit more freedom.”
  2. Be prepared – “Bring the biggest tarp you can, bring an extra. It’s wet on the coast.”
  3. Extra layers – “The temperature can change or kids can get messy, packing a few extra clothes might save your trip.” 
  4. Don’t forget your promo code – Saunders has shared one for LynnValleyLife readers: 10% off until June 30, 2021: LVLIFE2021

Looking for more?


There’s always something fun and exciting happening in Lynn Valley. Check out our Community Events Calendar or learn more about Local Activities, Mountain Biking or Hiking and Walking Trails.

The noise of childhood

It is often said new moms should embrace the mess or chaos of motherhood, for two local moms the pandemic has been all about embracing the noise. Lynsey MacDonald and Caroline Garstin are reveling in being “boy moms” and launched a clothing line that embraces their lifestyle.


Noisy Boys


When Garstin and MacDonald – and their four boys under four – walk up to a playground, they say, you will know they are coming. 

“At the playground we’d see little girls playing cooperatively, having a tea party and then we show up with the boys having a yelling match,” laughs MacDonald. “We cause a scene.” 

The two Lynn Valley moms were friends back in high school at Argyle but lost touch. They reconnected a few years ago, in of all places, the maternity ward at Lions Gate Hospital. Another pair of babies later and they are loving the rough and tumble life they have – each with a 3.5-year-old and baby under one. 

“We were bored during the early pandemic and started taking more pictures and set up an Instagram page because we thought so many moms could relate to our lives. We celebrate the real. There are so many picture-perfect images on Instagram and we wanted to show the real-life of raising four boys between us,” said MacDonald. 

People really responded which gave way to leveraging Noisy Boys even more. 

“Everyone has a noisy boy in their life whether it’s a teenager, a dad, a brother, a son and we took that idea and it grew,” said Gastin. “So now people can hear us coming and see us coming.”


Moms helping moms


Once the pair took hold of the idea, they credit their families and moms supporting moms for getting them to where they are now. Garstin and MacDonald are also grateful to the hive-mind of local Facebook groups for giving them momentum to get started. This is their first entrepreneurial venture. 

“It’s a huge learning curve,” said Garstin. “It has been a lot of fun to use our creative brains while on maternity leave. I am a full-time stay-at-home mom and Lynsey is going back to teaching this fall. This is different than anything we have done before.” 

“It has been nice to think about something other than snacks and nap times,” added MacDonald. “My husband owns a business and Lynsey’s dad owns a North Shore business – so we feel supported.” 

They have launched a line of hats, tees, and sweatshirts – with more pieces in the works for summer. With sales growing they are excited about the future. 

“We are surrounded by a lot of boy moms, I feel like we were destined to be boy moms – it’s a whole other thing,” said MacDonald. “I love the chaos and there is a lot of humour in it,” added Garstin.

Noisy Boys is giving back to the community too. By using the promo code: NOISY10 you can get 10 percent off a crewneck sweatshirt and Noisy Boys will donate 10 percent to the Cause We Care Foundation which empowers single mothers and children living in poverty. 


Looking for more?


There’s always something fun and exciting happening in Lynn Valley. Check out our Community Events Calendar or learn more about Local Activities, Mountain Biking or Hiking and Walking Trails.

Mountain Market gives back

For more than 15 years Mary and Steve Choi have been doing business on Mountain Hwy – Mountain Market is an institution in Lynn Valley. Looking to brighten up your spring Mary is joining us with a flower giveaway.   


A community needs corner stores


Whether it is spending your hard found pocket money as a child or hopping out of your car to grab flowers or a desperately needed loaf of bread – a neighbourhood needs corner stores.

We have a few in Lynn Valley but the classic remains Mountain Market. For today’s parents, it is nostalgically frozen in time, a reminder of childhood 30 years ago. For local students, it’s essential to meet their daily “nutritional” needs. For families, many an occasion is celebrated with Mountain Market’s beautiful bouquets.

The Choi’s have been behind the counter of Mountain Market since 2005 – their kids growing up alongside. Frequently Mountain Market is fondly referred to a simply Mountain Mary’s. In those years they have been supportive of local causes – remember that amidst the early pandemic, dwindling shopping numbers, they stepped up to donate a trunkload of flowers to graduates of Argyle Secondary.


Community Blooms


Mary is back at it. She would like to make some homes a little bit brighter. As we flip the calendar marking one year of Covid-19 restrictions Mountain Market would like to recognize the hard work and sacrifice of our frontline and health care workers. For the month of March, they will be giving away two small arrangements each week – one for you and one to give to your Covid-19 hero.

We will be drawing a winner each week. Winners will need to pick up their arrangements at Mountain Market. Draws will take place Friday mornings. If your name is not drawn, it will remain entered for future chances to win in March.

To enter, please fill out the form below.


Looking for more?


There’s always something fun and exciting happening in Lynn Valley. Check out our Community Events Calendar or learn more about Local Activities, Mountain Biking or Hiking and Walking Trails.

Shopping the neighbourhood

It’s a strange year to be out driving to malls and looking for just the perfect gifts for your loved ones. It is also a year where we don’t want to rely exclusively on online shopping. We need to support our local shops and groups. Local shops are the donors to our sports teams and schools. They give to our causes year after year and we need to keep them here as part of our community.


Christmas Trees


There are two fantastic Christmas tree suppliers that have adapted to be covid-safe. Many local Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Venturers are supported by Scout Christmas Trees. In the past you may have picked up at their Park Royal tree lot, instead this year the Scouts will deliver right to your door!  Order here.  

The Lynn Valley Lions Club has moved their lot to Moodyville to accommodate its new drive-thru lot. You don’t even need to leave your car – volunteers will strap the tree to your roof. Details on how to sign up for your time slot can be found here

If you don’t want to miss out on wandering through the rain to pick the perfect tree – check out the ones at Maple Leaf Garden Centre.


Gifts for that special someone


We love the Lynn Canyon Ecology Centre. It is generally a calm oasis in the trees, and what better place to find something that represents Lynn Valley. From nature-themed books to stuffed animals of local animals to eco-goods, there are delightful stocking stuffers and treasured gifts. 

If you want to support small businesses and local makers, creators, and authors – visit End of the Line General Store. Always packed with a beautifully curated collection, End of the Line pulls out all the stops for the holidays. Choosing something from this neighbourhood shop also supports so many other local artists. The shop is featuring KylesKiosk this season – malas made by Kyle as part of his journey with CHARGE syndrome. 

Did you know there are many sweet treats at Nourish especially brought in to stuff all those stockings? The curated collection offers quality sweets and treats that will be a bit better for your body and come from companies whose business practices are a bit better for the earth. 


Filling the house


Half the fun of the holidays is decorating and participating in all the traditions that make it special. 

We always love the creations at Mountain Market – and remember their generosity this year donating a flower to every Argyle grad? From wreaths to centerpieces to perfect bouquets. 

The Holiday Shop is now live at Local Flora – order some stunning floral decor. Our pick is the magnolia wreath – wow! She is also offering a floral subscription service for 2021.

Virtual love

We cannot all be together this year – but we can still share a bite. Folia Events is offering grazing boxes you order for delivery to family and friends, crack open a bottle of wine and launch a virtual celebration. 


Looking for more?


There’s always something fun and exciting happening in Lynn Valley. Check out our Community Events Calendar or learn more about Local Activities, Mountain Biking or Hiking and Walking Trails.

Local helpers for the holidays

With most of BC is being asked to stick close this year, we have put together a group of great local suppliers to make your holiday season special. From indulgent dining to seasonal decor to having the freezer stocked and ready for anything. All three local suppliers have a common thread. All the business began as initiatives to make the community better. 


Indulgence ready


When a Folia grazing box shows up at your door, the day just gets better. The elegant and delicious offerings of Lucy Ana Van Egmond are the perfect way to make a cozy night in all the more special. 

“Grazing is a relaxed style of catering,” said Van Egmond. “There is a variety of meats and cheeses and other food on display and you can eat as you enjoy your evening.” 

As a busy parent, Van Egmond started Folia with fellow Lynn Valley local Robin Shore [they have since gone their separate ways] after successful fundraising evenings for Upper Lynn Elementary. The business has grown and evolved to include Folia’s amazing grazing boxes and pop-up picnics. 

“We have our grazing platters that can be for individuals or small family gatherings,” said Van Egmond. “Or I can come into a business and set up a grazing table. No longer can you have a big party, but we can help you celebrate in a more relaxed way over an afternoon or an evening where people pop in to get a few bites now and then.”

A full events company, Folia offers stunning picnics with everything from flowers to decor all displayed on low tables with warm rugs and comfy cushions. For the holidays, Van Egmond is offering her own family traditions.

“Every Christmas I would take my kids up to Seymour to play in the snow,” she said. “They loved the hot chocolate and fondue.”

That pop-up winter picnic will make this unusual covid holiday season a bit more special, she said. She will also be adding fondue options to her grazing offerings. In addition to the meat and cheese-based boxes, she has options for brunch, dessert as well as vegan and vegetarian boxes. 

“I can accommodate any dietary needs,” said Van Egmond. 

“I try to keep it as local as I can – we have some amazing local cheeses. I am a local business and I try to support local whenever I can. I have formed relationships with local bakeries and suppliers. I try to be as green as possible – most items are compostable and everything in the grazing boxes is edible – the flowers are edible. It is seasonal and done at the last minute so it is fresh and there is little food waste. 

Folia is taking its holiday bookings now and Van Egmond recommends putting orders in as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. She has some offerings available on her website but Van Egmond is also open to unique requests. 


Home ready


When Lynn Valleys Racheal Klausen planted her garden this year the plan was to grow her own plants for floral arrangements. It kicked off a year of planning, learning and making people smile. 

“I started with a self-serve flower cart,” said Klausen, whose business at the time was called Bird of Botanicals. “I saw this could be successful and it pushed me to expand.”

The growing season had a lot going on – for both the plants and Klausen – even with her background as a professional gardener.

“I have learned a lot. It’s a passion for me so I constantly am learning and reading up to expand my understanding,” she said. “I also had a lot of failures – plants I hoped would work didn’t have quite the right soil or didn’t have enough sunlight in my yard. It was a small start and a successful one.”

Now working as Local Flora she is expanding her contacts with other local cut flower growers and doubling down on her commitment to be sustainable. 

“I only use flowers from BC,” she said. “There are no plastics in my arrangements, everything is compostable.”

She has even made use of the local community. This fall Klausen used local Facebook gardening groups to procure flowers and grasses for drying and evergreen items, offering completed arrangements in trade. 

“For the winter season I am putting together some wreaths as well as mixed bunches of local evergreens with a frame so you can do a sort of DIY wreath if you want,” said Klausen. “I also do custom work, people can connect through my website to order garlands or centrepieces.”

Local Flora’s winter offerings will go live Nov. 12. Klausen works on a preorder system, offering pick up or delivery at the end of the week. 


Pantry ready


Born from a desire to help local schools and sports team’s Lynn Valley’s Sisodraker family started a business hoping to help Argyle Secondary’s girls’ soccer team score an international tournament. Selling samosas helped get the students to Hawaii – where they won! – and had the family permanently launch Samosa Fundraising Company.

“We said to ourselves ‘Hey, this serves a community need.’ We could help students get a reasonable return on their time selling and it was an easy program for schools and teams to organize,” said Vibha Sisodraker. 

Since 2019 they have helped numerous local schools and teams.

“We know that students are so talented but sometimes parents can’t afford the extra fee,” said Sisodraker. “This program can help them do that.”

The family also realized that the fundraising program had created new customers who were interested in continuing to purchase their locally made food products.

“An organization isn’t going to run fundraisers one after another,” said Sisodraker. “We wanted people to be able to get our samosas and we wanted to continue to support the community. We wanted to support a charity we have used as a family. Our daughter Ria was born at Lion’s Gate Hospital and during covid, we want to support essential workers. Ordering through our site supports LGH.” 

All of Samosa Fundraising Company’s products come frozen – the perfect pantry staple. The line of food products has recently expanded to include more diverse family favourites like chicken cordon blue and shrimp. The warming spices of Indian food are a partner to the holidays, said Sisodraker. 

“This is the season of chai [tea],” added husband Dharmesh. “It’s a warm soothing type of drink.”

“Indian families always have samosa and chai,” said Sisodraker.

“Many cultures have a pastry with filling – a spring roll is basically a samosa, a Jamaican patty,” said Sisodraker. “Samosas are a great way to dip your toe into Indian comfort foods. Ours are ‘medium’ spicy – we think they are for just about everyone. My favourite is the potato and pea.”

For those new to Indian flavours but wanting to learn more, the family has put together baskets of spices – the perfect pairing with Sisodraker’s new cookbook: The Flavourful Indian – Recipes from My Kitchen. The basket with the book and spices would make a great local gift for any foodie. 

Available through local groups and schools doing fundraisers or directly from the website, these local foods offer easy meals and a dash of community support.


Looking for more?


There’s always something fun and exciting happening in Lynn Valley. Check out our Community Events Calendar or learn more about Local Activities, Mountain Biking or Hiking and Walking Trails.

Working hard for their money

There are still some kids around willing to get their hands dirty to make a few dollars around Lynn Valley. Other young people are getting creative with their hustle to overcome the demise of many typical student jobs this summer. We have tracked down a few local options and if you hear of more – send them to [email protected]


Yard care by Daniel Dykema


New to the entrepreneurial scene is Upper Lynn’s Daniel Dykema. At 13-years-old Dykema is hoping to earn money for fishing gear and a small fishing boat. You may have seen his posters around advertising the new business.

“My small gardening business does mowing, weeding, trimming, watering your plants, and pretty much anything else around the yard,” he said. “I am most proud of doing everything to the max and doing it well.”

Rates start at $10 an hour. If you need a bit of work done and want to support Dykema’s fishing goals you can reach him at [email protected] or 604-999-0243.


Lawn Boys


At 16 and 14 Thomas and Peter Frankowski have been in business since 2014. Their Lawn Boys carbon neutral landscaping business has been taking care of Lynn Valley yards for years. Much more than lawns, they are willing to tackle just about any project. 

“We have been offering landscaping, handyman and renovation helper services since 2014,” said Thomas Framkwoski. “Mowing lawns, weeding and raking were the bulk of our jobs in the beginning. Now we are doing more complex tasks such as assisting with renovations, floor installation, demolition and painting.”

They got their start helping out around their own home. 

“Both of us learned a number of skills by working with our dad and we wanted to use these skills to be productive and offer assistance to people in our community,” he said.

They are most proud of growing their business based on recommendations from happy clients. You can check out their website or reach them at 778-917-3058.


STEMina


Local university students (and sisters) Romina and Anita Mahinpei are sharing their passion for STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and supporting important causes.

“We are both proud that we are using our business as a platform to allow the public to showcase their love for STEM while also supporting local and national causes,” said 18-year-old Romina Mahinpei. “Our first fundraiser that took place in July, we decided to donate all of STEMina’s profits to the CanadaHelps COVID-19 Healthcare & Hospital Fund and support Canadian hospitals and charities.”

The sisters have created a t-shirt line that encourages people to showcase their love of STEM. A love that keeps the sisters busy. 

“When not busy with school, we spend most of our free time volunteering for STEM organizations and hosting our own events. This past year, I worked on organizing Teen Nerd Nite, a local initiative that introduces high school students to the fields of STEM through interactive presentations.

“Meanwhile, my sister was involved with nwPlus, a club at University of British Columbia, to organize cmd-f, British Columbia’s first all-female hackathon and several smaller women in tech events. Right now, with the restrictions on in-person events, we have devoted much of our time to STEMina and aim to help the public show their passion for STEM through this platform,” she said. 

Seeing the large number of participants at our past North Vancouver events, we were aware of our community’s interest in learning more about the STEM fields. Although the pandemic has put a halt to our in-person events, we didn’t want that to stop us from following our passion for STEM. With the free time that we had while quarantined at home, we decided to dabble with T-shirt design and launch STEMina, an apparel line that would allow people to express their love for STEM with what they wear!”


Looking for more?


There’s always something fun and exciting happening in Lynn Valley. Check out our Community Events Calendar or learn more about Local Activities, Mountain Biking or Hiking and Walking Trails.