Vietnamese coffee house launches online community market for holiday gifts from Vancouver

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      For those concerned about heading out into the crowds while searching for rare or unique holiday gifts have one new option for home-based browsing while supporting artists and artisans, small businesses, and local communities.

      Cà Phê Vietnamese Coffee House, a social enterprise in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (DTES) that seeks to honour and restore cultural traditions while supporting DTES community programming, is launching its first online Community Market with a selection of wares from local artists, bakers, craftspeople, and more.

      “Because of COVID-19, access to these cultural goods has been limited,” Cà Phê Vietnamese Coffee House founder Minna Van says.

      The online market hopes to replicate the experience of visiting an in-person market and discovering items while meandering through the website.

      Shoppers can look through the items in the exhibition section, or purchase items directly from the online shop.

      “Among our collection, we have ceramics made from a 14th century pottery village in Vietnam, art prints from a local artist influenced by Sunday brunch in Chinatown, sacred Latin American herb blend eye masks to provide maximum relaxation, authentic street snacks from Laos, and many more to come,” Van says.

      Nora Hamade

      Items from participating exhibitors include Community and Commodity candles (with all proceeds going to restorative justice programming in the DTES), Laotian and Thai snacks from Chao and Pan, essential oil and aromatherapy self-care products from Jaune Tache and Pacific Coast Calm, handmade Vietnamese ceramics from Saigonese, crocheted cozies from Make Merri, street food and dim sum illustrations by Chào and Vibrant Afternoon, and more.

      Purchased items can be delivered or available for pickup at Cà Phê’s pop-up location at the Network Hub (160–422 Richards Street).

      In addition, shoppers can also visit in-person and browse and purchase via Quick Response (QR) codes for contactless shopping.

      The Community Market will run until December 23.

      What's more, proceeds made from purchases at this social enterprise will go toward community programming.

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