Harvest Community Foods

Harvest UnionVANCOUVER

Andrea Carlson has long been one of Vancouver’s culinary treasures. Her past EC stints at posts like Raincity Grill and Bishop’s only served to highlight her affinity for, and deep understanding of, local ingredients and how best to showcase them. When she left Bishop’s, my first—admittedly selfish—thought was, Where will I be able to enjoy her food now??


The answer wasn’t long in coming. While going through the labourious process of permits and rebuilds on her own forthcoming operation (stay tuned), Carlson came on board as a consultant at a new local grocer, the idea for which had been crowd-sourced, as had the name. A few short months, and the consultant became the owner of Harvest Community Foods, and the grocer became more than just a retail operation. A simple menu of ramen and udon options (most around $9) drew the neighbours—and those further afield—like flies to the proverbial local, ethically-produced honey. It isn’t hard to see why.


Beautiful, clear, fragrant broth is loaded with high-quality ramen, free-range heritage pork shoulder, candied bacon, radish strips and a perfectly prepared slow-cooked egg whose yolk is a warm, creamy counter to the light ginger heat that emanates from the broth. It might be a tad pricier than your average ramen bowl, but everything in it sings of local, organic, sustainable. Udon with sake kazu marinated chicken, watercress and copious amounts of shitake is another winner; hot, hearty and bursting with flavour rather than fat.


As for the aforementioned retail side, it covers everything from Noble handcrafted maple syrup and organic grains and flours, to Beta 5 cookies, Birchwood Dairy and Earnest ice cream. There’s also a local CSA that operates year-round, and food service has been expanded to include brunch. Look for items like breakfast udon, gluten-free green onion and cheddar waffles with fried egg, bacon and maple syrup, and granola with organic yogurt, apple sorbet and rose-infused honey. And yes, the ingredients are those that are sold on the retail side, so eat in-house, then take it with you to recreate at home. Harvest is truly the little grocer that could, should and, happily, will.


243 Union St., Chinatown | 604.682.8851 | www.harvestunion.ca

Written By:

Anya Levykh was born on the shores of the Black Sea, in what was formerly the USSR. The cold, Communist winters were too much for her family, and, before she was four feet tall, they had left for warmer climes in the south of ...

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