Local Foodie Products for the Festive Table

Whistler Village stroll in the winter with glowing festive lights.

Local Foodie Products for the Festive Table

The festive season is here, which is always a good excuse to splurge on a few extra luxury items we’ve been eyeing up on the grocery store shelves. While you may not be hosting the dinner party you expected this season, it doesn’t mean you can’t wow your bubble with a few hand picked, locally sourced treats and keep your crown as the hostess with mostest.

Whistlerites are known for their entrepreneurial spirit, and as we’re all looking to support local this year we put together some Whistler-based, foodie delights that could grace your table this festive season.

 

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Appealing Appetizers

The cheese and charcuterie board, a sophisticated start to any dinner. Put a Whistler twist on yours this season with these additions.

Eve’s Crackers

While all cheese plates need a cracker accompaniment, they’re usually the background singers to the main attraction, but not when you go for Eve’s Crackers. These gluten- and dairy-free, keto-friendly crackers steal the show and are as wholesome as they are delicious with flavours like black sesame, savoury sunflower and chili pepper pumpkin.

 

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The creator – Eve, of course – came up with her snack masterpieces in 2016 while on a mission to heal her own health issues with the power of whole food. She refined her recipes until she was confident her crackers would be a healthy, snackable alternative to traditional offerings and it looks like consumers agree because all three flavours can be found at Fresh St. Market, Nesters Market, Creekside Market and Quantum Health.

Nonna Pia’s

My own nonna (that’s grandmother in Italian) introduced me to Nonna Pia’s Balsamic Glaze by drizzling it over a piece of Havarti cheese on a cracker. It added an artistic flourish and punch of sweet tartness to the creaminess of the cheese – heaven.

But it’s not just for cheese, you can use this on meat, vegetables and salads. Another appy pairing idea would be to use the glaze on tomato, basil and bocconcini skewers.

 

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Locally created by husband-and-wife duo, Norm and Natasha Strim, the couple saw a gap in the Canadian market and utilized Norm’s cheffing experience and Italian heritage to develop the glaze. They started in their kitchen and their two children would help give out samples at the local farmer’s markets, but things quickly got a bit more serious. In 2014, they landed a prominent investor after appearing on the CBC television show Dragon’s Den and can now be found in most major grocery chains across Canada including Costco, as well as in the US.

In Whistler, Nonna Pia’s can be found in Fresh St. Market, Nesters Market and Creekside Market.

Stewardship Pemberton Crabapple Jelly

Mustards and jellies add a pop of colour, a different texture and a nice dollop of sophistication to a cheese plate or charcuterie board. Stewardship Pemberton Crabapple Jelly is made from crabapples collected from Pemberton’s main street – Whistler’s more rural neighbour to the north. The trees were originally planted to honour veterans, but the fruit was often going unpicked, creating a bear attractant in the middle of a busy area.

Local environmental group, The Stewardship Pemberton Society, stepped in alongside volunteers to pick the apples and turn them into a delightful jelly. Purchasing this delectable side supports the non-profit’s conservation and environmental education efforts, so you can eat well and feel good while you do.

You can find it at Get the Goods in Creekside or Cranked Espresso Bar in Rainbow. Note – the trees have now been removed due to the bear issue, but the society is looking to find other trees in need of similar assistance.

‘Tis the Season for Seasoning

SPCY GRLS

This is one hot sauce that will have you warmed up quickly after a day on the slopes! The old adage says that girls are made from sugar, spice and everything nice but SPCY GRLS sauces are made with all natural, fresh, local ingredients.

 

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Two Australian transplants and avid lovers of hot sauce are the brainchefs behind SPY GRLS. They began making their own recipes and bottling them back in 2018, selling the sauces at local farmers’ markets and online. Along with six flavours, ranging from mild to deadly hot, they also do Caesar kits using their Buckin’ Chillies recipe, which is packed with horseradish and Worcestershire flavours – a great stocking stuffer for the Caesar lover! They also have little hot sauce bottles attached to key chains, so you can add a splash of heat wherever you are.

You can see the full range of products online and grab the sauces at Nesters Market, Velvet Underground, Whistler Brewing Co. and Cranked Espresso Bar.

INSIDER TIP: The SPCY GRLS have recently branched out into dumpling making, a fun appy idea when served with their hot sauce or added to ramen noodles as a main.

Big Smoke BBQ

Local entrepreneur Adam Protter loves to barbecue and it’s with this passion that he launched Big Smoke BBQ, a catering company with a condiment line. Protter uses South Asian and Carribbean flavours in his range of sauces and rubs, perfect for stocking stuffers and for adding some sizzle to your traditional turkey dinner.

The Umami Crisp seasoning is a clear favourite among locals with Guajillo and New Mexico chilies, crispy fried local garlic and shallots, foraged wild mushroom powder, ginger, sesame seeds and peanuts. Protter claims it’s a bit addictive and can go on almost anything (we look forward to testing this claim). It’s also vegan, which means you can spice up your meatless Mondays!

Big Smoke BBQ is currently only available online, but Protter hopes to have his products in Whistler stores soon.

Decadent Desserts

It’s the holidays, so let out that waistband and pull on your comfy pants, because it’s time for dessert.

Whistler Chocolate

Organic? Check. Fair trade? Check. Undeniably scrumptious? Check.

Whistler Chocolate was founded in 2006 with the intention of providing good quality chocolate to the adventurous residents and visitors of Whistler while being socially responsible and eco-friendly. The Whistler lifestyle is reflected in their recyclable packaging, with images of an adventurous skiing and mountain biking black bear.

 

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In 2012, Whistler Chocolate made history when they were added to the menu for astronauts at the International Space Station, so we really aren’t exaggerating when we say these chocolate bars are out-of-this-world good.

We’re fans of the dark chocolate mint and milk chocolate hazelnut for an after dinner treat, or if you want to make things extra warm and cozy, get a bar of the dark chocolate chili.

Whistler Chocolate is available at all of Whistler’s grocery stores, Great Glass Elevator Candy Shop, Alpine Market and Blackcomb Liquor Store.

Lucia Gelato

Lucia Gelato was born out of necessity – the founders had tasted amazing gelato on trips to Italy and Australia, but couldn’t find any in Whistler, so they made their own. A staple at the Whistler Farmers’ Market, this homegrown gelato and sorbetto company has earned its place in the hearts (and bowls) of Whistler residents.

 

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Although they do have classic flavours like vanilla and chocolate mint on offer, they have some deliciously wild combinations like blueberry lemon, white chocolate lavender and their winter-only editions, Cinnamon and The Great Pumpkin Pie. Their sorbettos are dairy free and we’re big fans of the punchy mojito flavour with its fresh lime and mint, although you’ll have to add your own rum.

Who says ice cream is only for hot weather? You can find Lucia Gelato at all of Whistler’s grocery stores, plus Forecast Coffee (Function Junction), Alpine Market (Alpine), Green Lake Station (Rainbow) and Upper Village Market.

Chocohappy

Part of what makes Whistler so unique is that it draws people from all over the world. Chocohappy was started in 2014 by a girl from Belgium, where fine chocolate is the norm. Amanda would often find boxes of truffles out on the table when their family was celebrating and she wanted to bring that tradition to Whistler.

The decadent chocolates are made with all natural ingredients and handcrafted in small batches using ingredients like Belgian chocolate, roasted nuts, fresh cream and honey. Some of the top sellers include their Caramel Sea Salt, Truffle Raspberry and Hazelnut Crunch.

Chocohappy’s products are easily identifiable by the beautifully wrapped cones they come in, each containing 10 truffles. Look out for their limited edition seasonal cones, which can be found at 3 Singing Birds, adjacent to The Green Moustache Organic Cafe.

Noizette

You’re snuggled down by the fire, a romantic (if cheesy) festive movie is on the television and you have a hankering for something sweet. Luckily, you have a jar of locally made Noizette chocolate hazelnut spread on hand. It’s organic, vegan, gluten and palm oil free, and absolutely yummy.

Add it to your spread lineup at breakfast and have it on pancakes or a slice of locally baked sourdough. It’s the perfect gift for those who love chocolate, but like to watch what they eat.

The young couple behind Noizette have recently expanded their line to include tahini and almond, peanut and coconut butter, which can be ordered via their Facebook page. You’ll find the original chocolate spread at ecologyst, The Green Moustache in Function Junction, Velvet Underground and Cranked Espresso Bar in Rainbow.

Bring on the Brews

Coast Mountain Brewing

Since opening their doors in 2016, Coast Mountain Brewing has fast become a favourite among locals with its beers on draft and by the can in many of Whistler’s bars and pubs. They are known for their IPAs, sours (check out the La Nina dark cherry) and colourfully-labelled tall cans.

The most easily recognizable is their Hope You’re Happy IPA (formerly known as Daydreamer IPA), with its graphic pink and blue label. It’s a fruity IPA, with Mosaic and Citra hops giving it a tropical, citrusy taste. You can pick up a four-pack at Coast Mountain Brewing’s takeaway window in Function Junction, or at any of the independent or government liquor stores in Whistler.

If you have a beer lover in your household this Christmas, one of their limited edition brews, which sometimes come in funky glass bottles, would slip nicely into a stocking.

Whistler Brewing Co.

Also located in Function Junction, Whistler Brewing Co. has been around a little longer and has a range of core beers that look good in the fridge all year round, like their Bear Paw Honey Lager and Hazy Trail Pale Ale. However, at this time of year, it’s the seasonals we’re after and their Winter Dunkel hits the festive note with its hints of orange and chocolate.

 

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It’s also good to note they do a gluten-free lager and pale ale. Find Whistler Brewing Co.’s beers in any of the liquor stores in Whistler, or take a trip down to the brewery itself.

Whistler Elixir

For a non-alcoholic option, try Whistler Elixir. Founded by a nutritionist and naturopath duo, Whistler Elixir is raw, unfiltered kombucha made with organic ingredients. It’s packed with probiotics, vitamins, amino acids and antioxidants, so you can feel good about downing this brew.

The ingredients are left to ferment longer than some other brands to provide the best quality, low sugar option for health conscious individuals. The flavours include blends like ginger and lemongrass, raspberries, rose petals and goji berries, and cucumber and mint (to name a few).

 

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You can find Whistler Elixir mixed in cocktails at places like Bar Oso and The Raven Room and by the bottle in Whistler’s grocery stores. If you’re a local to Whistler, Pemberton or Squamish they also offer a home delivery service.

INSIDER TIP: Pour it into champagne flutes this festive season for a non-alcoholic cheersing option.

Montis Distilling

Okay, so this is distilled not brewed, but we couldn’t leave it out. With gorgeous, alpine inspired labelling and names like Alpenglow Gin and Winter Spirit, Montis Distilling is a great choice for locally distilled spirits.

If you’re looking at mixing some cocktails this festive season you could consider stocking the home bar with their gins, vodka and whiskey. You could even treat someone to their very own custom-made gin as Montis can do a small, 12-bottle batch run for you or even a whiskey cask (you might have to plan ahead if you want that aged).

 

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Pick up a bottle or two from the independent liquor stores in town – Nester’s Liquor Store, Blackcomb Liquor Store and Roland’s Beer & Wine Store.

Hammer Roasting

Got a coffee lover to please this festive season? Hammer Roasting delivers their roasted-to-order, small batch coffee beans right to your door (whether that’s your home or home-away-from-home). This method not only means you get fresh java, but it also reduces waste as they only roast enough beans to fill the orders.

Take a look at their Blower Pow Christmas blend with hints of dark chocolate and caramel. You have to think ahead for this one if you want to be sipping on Hammer java. Order online before noon on Fridays for deliveries every Saturday.

INSIDER TIP: Hammer Roasting will ship if you aren’t local to Whistler and it’s free if you order over $60 (six bags of coffee). They will ship your order within 24 hours of roasting to ensure its freshness.

We hope we gave you some ideas for the festive table or maybe for under the tree or in a stocking. Supporting local business is more important than ever this year and we’ve really enjoyed highlighting a few of them in this post. Happy shopping (and eating)!

If you want to come to Whistler to hunt down some of these items for yourself, you can purchase a $25 Whistler Shopping Voucher for only $20 ($5 savings) valid at more than 30+ locations throughout Whistler (offer ends December 24, 2020). For help with accommodation and packages, let the team at Whistler.com take care of you with their local knowledge, price guarantee and flexible cancellation.

Katy Cameron

Katy Cameron

Katy is BC born-and-bred. She originally moved to Whistler for a summer and slowly learned to appreciate winter as well. She hikes, paddleboards, crafts and is usually the first person people come to when they have a cute dog photo to share.

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