Wrapping up May, we wanted to recap all of the wonderful local Asian businesses we’ve highlighted on our Instagram! In case you missed it, take a look at our introduction to Asian Heritage Month, and why it’s been so important for us as an Asian-founded business to use our platform and support our community this month.
"Tality Kombucha is a craft organic kombucha producer brewing out of North Vancouver. We never cut corners from sourcing ingredients, to proper fermentation, to acting as a responsible business. Every bottle of Tality Kombucha contains natural ingredients, a complex earthy flavour profile, a perfect balance of acidity, low ethanol levels, pleasant bubbles, and years of kombucha fermentation research and development."
"Meet Maggie, the designer and sole maker of Atelier Eli. The journey of this little brand started from her living room in Vancouver during the winter of 2015, shortly after her son was born. Driven by her passion for arts and craft, Maggie created her company to produce unique handmade items that are both timeless and hardwearing. Highlighting special pieces from hand dyed and sought after fabric to high quality leather items, she strives to bring slow fashion and intentional craftsmanship to her customers. All of her products are lovingly prepared in her home-based studio in Burnaby BC - from the pattern design to the final detailing."
The Indian Pantry Catering Co.
"The Indian Pantry is a catering, private dining and retail company focusing on highlighting India's regional cuisines. Our private dining and catering events allow for creative expression, and our retail line allows for a more accessible introduction to food in India. A lot of our recipes have been passed down @chefttushar family, and others have been kindly shared by close family and friends. Highlighting regional food from India is so important to us, and is completely inspired by growing up there and travelling there the last few years."
Whisk Premium Matcha
"Hi, my name is Kimmy - the business owner and creative mind behind Whisk Premium Matcha, a Vancouver local matcha brand specializing in farm-direct sourcing of competition grade organic matcha. Before the pandemic, I used to travel across Japan on a mission of bringing the best matcha directly from the tea farms to share with our communities here. Last year we opened our storefront in Mount Pleasant, so our customers can enjoy a high quality yet authentic matcha experience."
Visit Whisk Premium Matcha's website for a variety of bright ceremonial-grade matcha and tea kits and their Instagram for their latest updates! Pst ... they also have a café where you can pick up your order along with a refreshing drink.
"Hello! My name is Kailyn and I am a local kimchi maker in Vancouver, BC. I started making kimchi simply because I could not find good kimchi in stores. People think kimchi is supposed to be super fermented and believe it’s healthier. The amount of probiotics increases over time until 90 days, and then it rapidly decreases after that. If you are buying imported kimchi, it will probably get on the shelf in Canada after or just before 90days. So please give us a try! It’s locally made in small batches, flavourful and so crunchy. We also have fun and unique specialty kimchi like cilantro and tomato!"
Mithai & Co
"Founders Ruby Darhela & Dwayne Russell started Mithai & Co in November 2020. ‘Mithai’ means sweets in the Indian languages. At Mithai & Co, we’re taking an artisanal approach to Indian sweets, incorporating new flavours and textures while staying true to the desserts’ roots. All our ingredients are carefully selected without any preservatives or artificial colours.
"For us, Mithai creates a medium to unite people and cultures. Our logo illustrates this sentiment as it represents two Indian elephants performing what New Zealanders call a ‘Hongi', an embrace to share the breath of life. Our mission is to bring mithai to as many people, to share the unique experience, culture and moments to celebrate life through our mithai."
"Vankoji Founder, Tonami, began selling Shio-koji in 2013 at the Nikkei Japanese culture centre in Burnaby. She discovered Shio-koji while making her own koji for home made miso-paste. Shio-koji was lost to the Japanese culture for almost a century; it was once a common pantry item and used in every day cooking. It disappeared from Japanese cooking in the early parts of the 20th century, around the same time that MSG was making a rise. It was rediscovered in Japan in 2007 and today is once again a staple in the Japanese pantry.
"After reading about Shio-koji’s popularity back in her homeland, Tonami decided to introduce it to the local Japanese market. Since its start in 2013, Vankoji has introduced this ingredient to thousands of people and Vankoji has grown into a small batch producer whose products can be found in markets throughout the Vancouver area and used by customers of all nationalities in their every day cooking."
what can I do to keep supporting the local Asian community?
Great question! Even though Asian Heritage Month is ending, there's still plenty of ways to stay connected with what's going on. Outside of supporting local Asian businesses, there's all sorts of resources to stay up to date on the Stop Asian Hate movement and related news. Here's some that we've shared before on our blog.
Founded by a Chinese-Canadian, Born Chinese aims to connect and inspire Chinese Canadians while sharing helpful educational resources tackling anti-Asian crimes and other local organizations. Most recently, they’ve partnered with the Vancouver Canucks to further spread awareness on anti-Asian racism.
The Vancouver Asian Heritage Month Society works closely to promote Asian-Canadian communities and their involvements in the arts and culture categories. One of their annual projects is the explorASIAN festival in Vancouver, coincidentally taking place in May! This year is their 25th anniversary, so definitely check them out.
In March 2020, the Asian Pacific Planning and Policy Council, Chinese for Affirmative Action, and the Asian American Studies Department of San Francisco State University launched this reporting centre to track anti-Asian crimes in the US. Along with looking at local sources of news, the Stop AAPI Hate reporting centre is a great resource for news.