International Women's Day 2021 gift boxes and meals support women-led Vancouver businesses

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      Many women have borne the brunt of household adaptations to the pandemic, such as mothers who have made career sacrifices to teach children at home or those who have been caring for ailing elderly parents, grandparents, or other family members. International Women’s Day on March 8 offers an opportunity to reflect upon the women in your life and consider how they are faring during this immensely challenging time period.

      If there’s a woman in your life who always puts everyone else’s needs ahead of hers, even to the point of self-neglect, it may be time to consider how you can help her find ways to nurture and revive herself. Below are a few ideas of how you can find care packages and gift ideas from Vancouver for your loved ones while simultaneously supporting women in business and the local economy.

      Anatoli Souvlaki

      This year, the North Shore Women’s Centre (NSWC) and Anatoli Souvlaki (5 Lonsdale Avenue, North Vancouver) are holding a take-out meal event from today (March 1) until March 14 to raise funds for NSWC programs and services. Tickets are $75 (with tax receipts of $45) and the menu offers a choice of either souvlaki (chicken, beef, or lamb); salmon kebab; vegan moussaka; or spanakopita—all accompanied with Greek salad, roast potatoes, rice, and tzatziki.

      Coho Collective
      Rich Won

      Throughout the month of March, the stories of the women of Coho Collective, which offers shared kitchens to small food and beverage producers, are being highlighted on their Instagram page.

      It’s also updating its Women-Led Box ($79), a collection of 10 smallbatch food products and handmade goods from women-led local businesses at its commissaries in Strathcona, Grandview-Woodland, and North Vancouver. This new edition includes a true East-meets-West combination of sauces and seasonings (True Nosh’s Black Garlic, Sweet Potato, and Apple Hoisin Sauce; Hanai Family table’s Furikake Seasoning, Van Koji’s Garlic Koji, Sriracha Revolver’s Clean Mango Sriracha Sauce), pickled items (Salty Cabbage’s Classic Kimchi, Friendly Keto Lady’s Dill Pickled Almonds), and sweet treats (Mindfoods’ Banana Prana Chia Pudding, Leavenly Goods’ Marshmallow and biscoff cookies, Panela Lemon’s Chubby Puppy cookies, Bite Snack’s Energy Bar).


      East Vancouver restaurant and wine shop Dachi is spotlighting women winemakers with the Women in Organic Wine Pack ($175).

      A Dachi tote and organic wine magazine Pipette accompany three bottles of wine from:

      • Jordan Kubek of Lightning Rock from Summerland, B.C., who specializes in sparkling wine from the Okanagan;
      • Rennersistas, founded by Stefanie and Susanne Renner who are upholding their family's winemaking traditions and are farming organically in Burgenland, Austria;
      • Coenobium, an orange wine made from indigenous Italian grape varieties on the volcanic soils of Lazio, grown and raised by the Roman Catholic Sisters of the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance.
      Legends Haul

      The home grocery delivery service Legends Haul has created a Women’s Month category for March that highlights its products from female-owned businesses (which comprise about 50 percent of its stock), such as Anh and Chi’s fish sauce, Chambar heat-and-serve meals, Livia sourdough and potato buns, and Bao Bei dumplings.

      In addition, it’s also offering three Women Producer Boxes ($100 each) that compile food and beverage items along with household and personal care products:

      • Play, with Mumgry peanut butter, Vitruvi boost essential oil, Good Juju unscented laundry strips, Mifa body wash, and Woash Wellness tea;

      • Cool, with Bukobaba’s Coconut Amino Sauce, Nectrous Dark Bar, Garden of Earthly Delights hand wash, and Hives for Humanity peppermint lavender lip balm;

      • Quiet, with Whitewater Glory Bowl Dressing, Zimt vegan chocolate bar, Schmear Naturals face mask, Shady Acres bath salts, Bottle None deodorant, and Skwálwen Botanicals Wild Rose Toner.


      As a response to the Syrian refugee crisis of 2015, the social enterprise Tayybeh began as pop-up dining events that evolved into a culinary success story, now employing newcomer Syrian women, many of whom have overcome adversities, to make fresh and frozen Syrian dishes for Vancouverites. If there’s a woman in your life who needs a break from cooking, and you’re also looking for an opportunity to try out cuisine you don’t often have at home, there’s a range of meal options, including beef or vegan moussaka ($14 to $15), spinach and kebab or beef and white bean stew ($14.50), or chicken shawerma ($15). Plus there are appetizers, soup, salads, dips, and cookies. Tayybeh’s motto echoes the sentiment espoused by a certain provincial health officer: “The measure of a society is in its generosity and kindness towards its most vulnerable”.

      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook.