Nikaido Gifts: Nikaido Gifts
Nikaido Gifts has been around since the 1980's, but it has gone through new owners and new management several times, I'm sure. Nowadays, it's a trendy little shop which features a unique blend of Japanese imported items, such as tea, ceramic sushi dish sets, traditional Japanese wrough-iron tea pots, beautiful bowls and tea cups, as well as origami paper, incense, Japanese bath products, and gifts. They also tend to import some non-Japanese items from France, like delicate hand creams, soaps, and perfurmes. Their calendar and greeting card selection is also quite impressive, mostly consisting of vintage images and styles made of quality paper products. A wonderful thing about Nikaido is the friendly service and quality products. I've always been treated warmly there, with my purchases specially wrapped.
What to buy: Their tea selection (which consists of their own Nikaido brand tea) is likely the best in all of Richmond, as it includes various blends of green teas, black teas, and herbal teas, from locally inspired teas like "Steveston tea" to traditional Japanese green teas. My favourite is "popcorn tea" - a type of savoury green tea made with toasted brown rice so that it has a subtle "popcorn", or toasted nut flavour.
Their ceramic selection is also beautiful - ceramic bowls with beautiful colours and textures, to sushi plate sets with dipping bowls, serving dishes, and trays, packaged up in beautiful paper boxes. Some of my favourites are the small ceramic bowls with Japanese cherry blossoms painted on the outside. They have an entire wall full of ceramic tea cups with unique designs - many of which are Japanese-inspired. While you might find several shops in Greater Vancouver selling similar dish sets, I find that the sets at Nikaido are some of the best quality I've found.
Pieces Home Accessories & Gifts: A great find for locally-designed gifts
Selling only jewellery, artwork, and beauty products, that are made in Canada, mostly by local artists, Pieces is a great place in Steveston for tasteful, quality gifts. Most things here are what you'd find in a trendy downtown Vancouver shop. The merchandise has a good selection of both modern and vintage styled items, mostly original pieces and works.
British Home: For when you're craving British food
This British import store is one of my favourite stores in Greater Vancouver. Run and owned by an elderly English lady, British Home has been a staple in both the local Steveston and greater British ex-pat communities for at least two decades.
My Nana, who lived until I was 8 years old, was originally from Yorkshire and she'd come here with me to pick up things like sausage rolls. In the 80's this place was called British Pantry but it has since changed its name to British Home and has moved to a new location on Chatham Street.
What to buy: British Home is known for their large selection of traditional British foods such as Devon cream, Scotch pies, mince tarts, Scotch eggs, Melton Mowbray pies, haggis, blood sausage, steak & kidney pies, steak & onion pies, British style bacon, etc. They have those tiny bags of "crisps" with those uniquely only-in-the-UK flavours such as roast chicken, all the Cadbury chocolates including the Cadbury holiday selection boxes, British penny candies, toffees, and my old childhood favourite: Sherbet Fountain (complete with black licquorice stick)!
For those seeking the tiny cans of Heinz baked beans (made in the UK, not Canada), Ploughman's Pickle, boxes of Yorkshire tea, HP Sauce, or Pataks chutney and curries, this is the place that stocks it!
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Jerry's Books: Best second-hand books in town!
This is a fun place for a book lover. Jerry's is a second-hand book shop with the shelves stuffed full with a large variety of books: fiction/non-fiction literature, history, biographies, children's, photography, gardening, cooking, music, travel, etc.
I like this store because there's a lot in there, but it's incredibly well-organized so you don't feel overwhelmed when you browse. Jerry, the owner, is very friendly and is always willing to help if you're looking for something in particular. Every time I go there, she always lets me know where things are located.
What to buy: I love coming here to browse to see if anything sticks out as unusual. I've found some great local history books here and some really beautiful gardening books.
What to pay: The prices range. Paperbacks are often in the $1 to $5 range while hardcovers are usually over $10, and sometimes a lot more than that. Regardless, you're always paying a fraction of the original price.
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