The Business of Friends

Or businesses.

One thing about growing up, is that when you go home, people are older.

I know shocking.

They have families. Careers. Some are teachers. Linguists. Chefs. And some have decided to be small business owners.

Here is a highly selective (only the businesses of friends and family of moi need apply), deeply biased, annotated Victoria business bibliography.

I will give you a second to sort through that last sentence. Done? Ok. Moving on.

Clear Skin Victoria
My sister practices out of the offices of clear skin. She is two doors down from the apartment where my first child was born on Cook st. – right between the apartment and the Cook St. midwives. It is a lovely, old, white house and her practice looks out onto the garden.

Since she started practicing a couple of years ago, her practice has grown by leaps and bounds. Word has started getting around that she can help people. Guiding them through some much needed lifestyle changes. Helping with chronic health issues.

I should know. She helps me all the time. She also loves what she does, loves her patients and has some very exciting new ideas  for the future. I am very, very proud of her and if you are in Victoria you should go see her right away.

Josh welcoming you to Mo:lé!

What to say about Mo:lé? This is my sister’s partner Josh’s restaurant. It is a breakfast and lunch place and if I could I would eat their roasted yam omelet everyday, not to mention their pesto potatoes. My sister prefers their smoked salmon scramble. J likes to switch it up.

The ingredients are fresh, organic and whenever possible, local. It is located on Pandora st., right across from Market Square framed by a coffee shop (where people can go when there is a line up at Mo:lé), a vegan bakery and an awesome, punk rock record store.

If you have not been, I highly recommend you go. And not just because he’s my sister’s partner, though if you were loyal to my clan that should be enough, yo. It is very, very, very good. The main cook Joe (whom I’ve known from way back in my teenage days) gave me the secret to the roasted yam, but I’m not telling you. You have to go there and taste them yourself.


Honor,wearing her own design, in front of her store

Adore jewelry
For all of you who has admired my jewelry in the past years- the silk pieces encased in glass- Honor is one of the brain children behind them. She has since departed from Shi Studio where I got those lovely pieces and now runs her own store (with a silent partner). The store only sells work from local craftspeople, and thus has a funky, west coast feel to it. While running the store, Honor also has a little workshop set up where she makes her own pieces. She has been obsessed with cutting up old chinese tea tins and making fabulous pieces with them. They are wonderful, elegant and unique as well as extremely reasonable in price.

Once you have finished at Mo:lé, cross the street and walk down half a block and do some jewelry shopping!

That is what I did and I got two pairs of earrings:

The black ones are Honor Cienska’s design, the birds are from another local artist

Cosmo and me! Or is it Cosmo and I?

The Hot and Cold Café
Mo:lé’s co-founder and longtime friend of my sisters, Cosmo Meens has a funky new café in Cook St. Village, our old hood. It is open from eleven to seven and features soups, sandwiches and salads. Theire motto is “slow food fast.” And it is. We descended upon Cosmo with my mother J’s dad and a young nephew who was very unhappy to be stuck with the adults. My sister got her favourite- coconut curry soup, and I got a wonderful salad with fresh greens, chicken and all sorts of wonderfulness. Jeremy’s dad had the apple crumble pie which, judging by the clean plate after he was done, was delicious.
Fresh, healthy, delicious and reasonably priced, why not pick up a sandwich and head to Dallas Road for a beach picnic?
Or, if you need something quick for dinner, Cosmo sells containers of frozen soup to go. 

Cupcake kingdom

And some friends are not even grown up yet!

Our friend Avery has started her own cupcake business, available at the Moss St. Market every Saturday (I think. It might be every Saturday she feels like it, which is cool too). Two bucks for one of the best cupcakes I have ever tasted.

FYI: It was the mint chocolate one, decorated with a sprig of actual mint on the top.

I no lie: it was terribly, terribly delicious.

Here is the mini masterpiece she made for the Moss St. Paint-in day:

Picture shamelessly stolen from her mother’s facebook page

Erin Renwick (picture shamelessly stolen from her lovely website)

Greenspace Designs
Erin Renwick is a relatively new friend. She is the partner of a very old high school friend with whom we reconnected on this last visit. Now Erin and I have eerily a lot in common. We are about the same size. Same colouring. Have the same penchant for black clothes. We both run marathons (though she does it way, way better than I do). We like to get things done.

Where we do differ is in her chosen profession- she is an amazing landscaper, where as I will only commit to keeping children alive. Plants are on their own.

Left: Rob right: Jean (picture also shamelessly stolen from their website)

 Abernethy and Gaudin
The connection here is in the Gaudin. Jean Gaudin is one of Jeremy’s best friends, ever since they met at Camosun College after high school. While Jeremy stayed on, Jean decided school was not for him and pursued the same line as his father- he became a boat builder. A shipwright? Is that the right word?

Jean builds beautiful wooden boats. He and his business partner actually win awards for it. He is one of the most meticulous craftsman I have ever known.

Ok fine. I don’t know many craftsman, but still he is meticulous. I could go on about Jean and how he is one of the best human beings I know, but that would be irrelevant. We are talking about his business after all, not about his all encompassing personal dignity and intelligence.

Check out his site for some wonderful photos of boats in various states of construction.

That’s all I got. At least I think so….

One last post for the Victoria to come: things I have done for the first time.

One thought on “The Business of Friends

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