Between the glass towers of downtown and the hippy haven that is Commercial Drive, lies a quiet neighbourhood ripe with cherry blossoms and brightly colored homes.
The Wilder Snail on the corner of Keefer street and Hawks avenue has been offering Strathcona “so much more than a grocery store” for almost six years.
Owner, Boyd Thomson, opened the store with the intention to offer his community a space filled with organic locally sourced groceries, fair trade meals and quality barista prepared drinks.
Keeping with the plans to only offer items without chemical preservatives or harmful additives, the products on the shelves of The Wilder Snail are typically from local companies within B.C. Body products made just blocks away like vegan deodorant from Me and You, offer an alternative to chemical-laden items commonly purchased in an average drug store.
Every morning, baked goods are delivered to the shop by bicycle, keeping with the environmentally conscious theme of the space. Carrying products such as Earnest Ice Cream, locally made Butter Chicken and pre-made meals gives customers an alternative to heavily preserved meals.
Two years ago, with the assistance of a grant from eatART, The Wilder Snail added a set of bicycle seats with pedals to their coffee bar. Customers can plug their laptop or electronic devices into the plugs on the wall and create their own electricity through pedal power.
The unused power is filtered down to the batteries stored downstairs below the shop. The reaction from the neighborhood has been positive and has proven an effective method of raising awareness of power usage.
Wilder Snail Cafe
Address: 799 Keefer Street, Vancouver
Hours: Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday & Sunday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Photographs by Angie Holubowich @angholu