If you believe that better health and wellness can be achieved through smarter shopping choices, and believe that prevention is a foundation of a healthy life, Vibrant Lifestyle is a store that is worth a visit (or ten). It’s not your typical health store since it incorporates a wellness centre, and, is owned by Natalie Petyashina, a Holistic Nutritionist. She supports local brands and products and is on hand to answer questions and provide inspiration – a sign of a small business with passion! This wellness promoting store has blended the best selection of supplements, homeopathics, eco products and real food with cooking classes, seminars and lots of education. It’s great to see the full selection of Genestra, Bach Flower Remedies, St. Francis Herbs, and Nutrasea among many others. This store is great for healthy, efficient and, intelligent shopping. vibrantlifestyle.ca
Mildred’s Temple Kitchen
Bright and industrial, yet also relaxing and intimate, this trendy restaurant is worth finding, hidden in the heart of Liberty Village. It’s a fabulous space for private events (green weddings included) and they have dedicated menus for lunch, dinner and their busy weekend brunch. Mildred’s Temple Kitchen honours our farmers and artisanal food producers and prepares inspired dishes that reflect their commitment to real, local food. Hurray! Their coffee is fair trade and organic, and their fish and seafood is all Ocean Wise certified. They can easily accommodate dietary and lifestyle requests, including vegetarian and vegan. Seasonal service is available on their sunny patio, and they have a busy bar featuring creative cocktails (the organic spirits list will grow), VQA wines, and local microbrews such as favourites, Beau’s Lug Tread and Mill Street Organic. Cheers! templekitchen.com
Claudio Aprile opened a second location of Origin in Liberty Village, and his commitment to providing global food that celebrates the diverse cultures of the world in a high energy setting, continues. The menu has approximately 40 items and is served tapas style.Sharing is caring! Everything is made in-house and looks truly beautiful when plated and served. The first section of their menu is called “Snacks and Sides,” with things as simple as truffled popcorn, steamed sugar snaps and pretzels with pickled mustard seeds. The other categories include hot plates, cold dishes, raw creations, a tostada bar, and a list of sweet desserts. If you are vegan or vegetarian, you should call ahead and let them know – they can and will happily accommodate you, but the menu wasn’t designed naturally intending to capture your heart! The name Origin was inspired by having a new starting point – and we are all for that. originliberty.com
Homestead House, the only Canadian Milk Paint manufacturer remaining today has been providing natural paints across North America since 1988, and calls Liberty Village home. It is a family-run company taking care of other families by educating and selling eco-conscious consumers (like you), a premium ZERO VOC paint for every room in your home, and outside, too. As a bonus to their excellent in-store service, they offer eco construction and design resources,and painting services. They run classes on how to do the best when refinishing your current favourite furniture (an old dresser becomes new again), they can help you change the colour in your baby’s room (they can breathe easy and so can you), or even clean up your exterior. If you have a hard time choosing colours, they will help you with that, too.And they even sell 250mL tester size cans so you don’t have to waste product. homesteadhouse.ca
Even though we should be trying to keep our dollars in our own communities and shopping at independent stores, it’s great to see the shift in what the big retailers are doing. West Elm, a relative of the Pottery Barn and Williams-Sonoma Empire, is starting to show signs of understanding what shift needs to happen. If we all demand more consciously made, healthy products, they will make them – it’s simple supply and demand. Always be careful that the products you are buying are more green than greenwashing, so ask lots of questions, and make sure the furniture is free of VOCS, know what materials were used, and that they were responsibly made and sourced. Favourite eco-picks include their recycled glass vases and their good selection of 100% organic cotton bedding, certified by Global Organic Textiles Standard. (“GOTS” certified organic textiles meet strict harvest-to-market criteria). Sweet dreams. westelm.com
ECO in the CITY, with Lisa Borden
Lisa Borden, owner of Borden Communications, takes a unique approach to holistically marketing eco-intelligent living and working. Some of her favourite titles (from a long list) include: Strategist + Catalyst, Enthusiastic Philanthropist, Inspiration Agent, Mother of 3 and Wannabe Organic Farmer.