Q&A with Leslie Sutton of Flying Fish, Nanaimo

Owner Glen Saunders. View of Flying Fish.

If you live on Vancouver Island, you may have heard of it. If you live in Nanaimo, you probably love it.


Located in the heart of downtown Nanaimo in a early 1900’s heritage building, Flying Fish is a locally owned and operated shop featuring over 6,000 square feet of eclectic, funky, and useful items for the home and kitchen. Furniture, giftware, cookbooks, knives, gadgets galore, and an impressive selection of local gourmet products stuff the store’s shelves, enticing visitors back through its doors year after year.


Owner Glen Saunders has been in the retail business since 1990, and now has stores in Prince Rupert (Cow Bay Gift Galley, Big Fish), Terrace, and of course, Nanaimo. His obvious love for all things hospitality-related is reflected in the shops, all of which specialize in unique housewares, decor, and gifts.


EAT had a Q&A with Marketing Manager Leslie Sutton, who highlighted some of Flying Fish Nanaimo’s best selling products and explained what makes the store so unique.


EAT: Where do your products come from?

They are imported from all over, but we focus on sourcing excellent Canadian, British Columbia, and Island gourmet food items, furniture, and art.


EAT: Flying Fish offers many local products such as sauces, etc. Can you highlight some of the notable ones?

Ladysmith’s Daksha’s Curry Mixes, especially the Butter Chicken, are customer favourites. Vancouver’s Sea to Sky Salt Mixes are another.


EAT: What are some of your best-selling items?

Kitchen gadgets such as Poach Pods, Garlic Zooms, and Firewires; Santoku knives by Global, Henkel chef knives. Green Cuisine skillets and Epicurious cutting boards fly out of here.


EAT: What is owner Glen Saunder’s favourite kind of cuisine?

Glen’s favourite cuisine is the food he and his friends create together, and [the dishes] we learn from each other.


EAT: Top 3 culinary items that everyone “must have”?

Every cook–experienced or beginner–needs a good pan, good cutting board and a good knife.


EAT: What is the best part about running the store?

The people who work here…we are a funky team! Owner Glen Saunders’ vision is to “never rest on our laurels”, and to always strive to keep the atmosphere fun, keep the store well displayed and maintain cutting edge product lines. Store Manager Heather Wetmore adds, “Everyone comes here––with family, friends, and out-of-town guests…we are a destination.”


Flying Fish

180 Commercial Street

Nanaimo, B.C.

(250) 754-2104




Regular Store hours: Monday – Thursday & Saturday  9:30 am – 6:00 pm, Friday 9:30 am – 9:00 pm, Sunday & most Holidays 11:00 am – 5:00 pm.




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