The collection of stellar food purveyors that is neatly organized at Guisachan Village speaks either to a landlord—Victor Projects—with good taste, or who simply likes things that taste good. Whichever, this outdoor mall boasts virtually everything necessary to support life, deliciously.
Kelowna’s best fishmonger, owner Jonathan Crofts adheres to the Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise procurement program, sourcing only product that is sustainable, abundant and responsibly managed. Find a rotation of seasonal fish, ranging from snowy halibut and spot prawns in the spring, to summer’s festival of coastal salmon species. Crofts also carries premium dried pastas and condiments, as well as Rangoli’s excellent range of ready-to-heat currys.
Insider: The shop also houses a neat fish café, with very good fish tacos and halibut and chips, all value-priced and a great spot for a casual lunch.
Baker Monika Walker has learned her lessons well: her rustic country breads and perfectly-crumbed baguettes are the Okanagan’s best, and her fruit-laced loaves the best excuse we’ve found yet to invest in a second cup of coffee. Delicious desserts abound too, including fruit-heightened crèmes brûlée. At the rear of the shop, find well-made frozen soups from chef Mark Filatow of Waterfront Wine Bar, and a trove of Carmelis, Poplar Grove and other first-rate valley cheeses, plus a line of nicely balanced fruit preserves.
Insider: The croissants (regular, almond and chocolate) are only baked on Saturday mornings (although they’re available Monday through Saturday at their 1979 Windsor Road near Spall location), and sell-out quickly. Our advice: reserve a half dozen or more—they also freeze well if quickly crisped in the oven before serving.
L & D Meats
The friendly, expert butchers, led by owner Don Favell, carefully source prime beef, lamb, pork and poultry from a long list of trusted suppliers. From Easter’s lamb legs to summer’s two and-a-half inch ‘deep-cut sirloins’ for the grill, and outstanding seasonal turkeys from Keremeos, this is the best butcher we’ve found in the valley. The upright freezer holds duck confit and excellent Ayrshire bacon, while a deli case supplies a solid range of picnic-ready cold cuts. In the centre of the shop, find racks of chutneys (including the superb Mrs. H.S. Balls), oils, sauces, marinades and other neatly accompaniments.
Insider: The rotisserie chickens, available after 2 pm, arethe best in town, reasonably priced and ideal for a picnic on the boat.
High quality produce, colourfully displayed, plus a good range of packaged lettuces and greens. The bonus: a well-stocked dairy section at the back of the store carries free range eggs and Blackwell Dairy’s excellent milks and creams—their sour version is top flight, andfind their ice cream in the adjacent freezer, next to labour-saving containers of frozen pesto.
Insider: Discounted vegetables (ideal for soups) and fruits are neatly packaged on an end of aisle display and are good value. Their loyalty card credits back $20 after 21 - $10 purchases.
Mom and Me Florists is a dependable choice for a last minute floral centerpiece, while Choclaterie Bernard Callebaut can furnish hostess gifts of the Belgian persuasion. And while Starbucks may not be our favorite coffee (we prefer downtown’s Giobean), this corner location is bright, enjoys a sunny patio, and we signal it for the most courteous and helpful service of any Starbucks we’ve ever visited. Tucked in the back of the mall, find Liquids Liquor Store for a well-chilled selection of local and long-distance beers, a broad range of spirits, but only second division wines.
by Jamie Maw
A few photos of the faces and places at Guisachan (insider: pronouced Goo-shah-gin) Village:
Meet Codfather Senior - Jon Crofts - and Junior, Tom (1 of 3 junior Codfathers)
Mrs. Crofts ( Mrs. Codfathers )
Wild and sustainably farmed fish
Outlandish Black Pearl Oysters, sustainable and delicious
Fresh Steelhead and Snapper just hitting the fridge this early Thursday morning
Okanagan Grocery - Chef and owner Monika Walker
The famous PB&J Bread at Okanagan Grocery
Blood Orange Upside-Down Cake at Okanagan Grocery
Janice, apprentice baker and smiling face at Okanagan Grocery this Thursday morning
Butcher and proprietor Don Favell at L & D Meats
One of the walls of life-affirming produce at Paul's Produce
Partner and chief connoisseur at Bernard Callebaut Kelowna
Callebaut classics - fresh, canadian made indulgence