Shop Local: Shop your Nanaimo Neighbourhood!

Small businesses play a key role in making neighbourhoods thriving places to live, work and play! Shop the Neighbourhood is a free national initiative of Yellow Pages that celebrates the fact that shopping local makes a difference in all our lives.

On November 28th, Canadians nationwide will be encouraged to make a local purchase and take advantage of exclusive event day deals offered by the businesses in their neighbourhood.

The Tourism Nanaimo staff decided to blog about our favourite places to ‘shop local’ in Nanaimo & Region. Enjoy!

Amanda’s Pickamanda

When I first moved to Nanaimo, Quintessential quickly became one of my favourite stores.  Now after all these years and despite the store moving to a more central downtown location, I love this place more than ever.  Located right smack-dab in the middle of Commercial Street, no trip to the downtown neighbourhood is complete without a stop at this wonderful clothing and accessory store. The store caters to women and now also carries a small selection of high end baby clothes, toys, and accessories.  Whether you are looking for great shower gifts, birthdays, even stocking stuffers, you are in luck.   This store is packed with a wide selection of high quality, in-style fashions for all shapes and sizes.  You can’t help but walk out with something new for your closet.

Lesley’s PickLesley

The Flying Fish, located downtown on Commercial St, is a favourite shopping spot for me. They have a wonderful variety of merchandise from clothing to jewelry to kitchenware and stunning furniture. The products are top quality and if you’re looking for a unique, interesting gift for a friend you’re sure to find something fun here. And, you can pick up a cheeky card while you’re at it! The staff are friendly and helpful, the décor and ambiance of the store is warm and welcoming and the selection of items changes regularly. One of the most interesting aspects of the store…the wall of super fun, imaginative, cool clocks you’ve ever seen!

Chelsea’s Pick(s)Chelsea #ExploreNanaimo

I shop local. Not only is important to support local shopping but local dining as well. We do our best to choose restaurants that are independently owned and pride themselves on supporting local growers such as Gabriel’s Cafe. They buy from small farms that raise their animals on open pastures where they enjoy a natural environment resulting in more nutritious meat, eggs and produce. They create their fabulous dishes using products from places you’ll recognize such as Cedar Beef, Columbia Bakery and Fredrich’s Honey. This local hangout also has funky upcycled features such as the tables made from the old Fiesta Bowling Lanes, coffee bean bags for back rests and a sign made from pallets. They feature local artists on their walls and dedicated an entire indoor wall to growing herbs. The food is delicious, nutritious and as local as possible. We will continue to shop and dine local!

Kara’s Pick


I love shopping locally. After having a baby girl last year I was so happy to find Huckleberry Baby Shop and it quickly became my favourite place to shop in Nanaimo! They have so many great products for moms and their babies. You name it they have it! They have lots of the big names that we all know but they also have a great selection of funky local product too. Their newest renovation to the store includes a tea bar – so you can sip on a nice warm cup of tea while you shop. But more than just the products they sell they offer a very warm and welcoming environment. Many of my visits included a lovely conversation with the owner Cristi and one of her adorable children who were hanging out with their mom. Huckleberry also provides a great social network and ways to meet other mom’s and babies by hosting lots of fun events.

Megan’s Pick IMG_4337

Much like Kara, I have a little one (two, actually), so naturally I’m drawn to anything that is kid-related when I’m out shopping. Honestly I had never even stepped foot in Pumpkin Pie Kids until I had a baby, but now it’s my go-to store! I love the variety of items they carry…from great quality shoes for my oldest (love the Stride-Rites) to fun dress up clothes for my 2 year old. I also love to pop in here when I’m in need of a baby shower gift or a birthday present for a friends’ kid. The staff is awesome too. If they don’t have something in stock for you, they can order it in and call you when it arrives. Great service! I love to watch for their sales, too. I went in when they were blowing out their summer stock getting ready for the fall, and scored majorly on back to school stuff  for my son. Some items were 70% off – if you know me, you know I love a good deal! A bonus: it’s in the Old City Quarter shopping district, which usually means a stop in BOCCA Cafe for a specialty coffee or A Wee Cupcakery for a Nanaimo Bar Cupcake post-shop. Love this little neighbhourhood store!

Sound off in the comments below ~ what’s YOUR favourite store to shop local at? Where are you shopping locally for Christmas this year?

A reminder that the Downtown Nanaimo’s “Shop the Neighbourhood” Campaign kicks off on Saturday, November 28th. Click HERE to view all participating businesses. We love to see that Flying Fish, Pumpkin Pie and Quintessential are all participating – woohoo! Happy shopping!


3 thoughts on “Shop Local: Shop your Nanaimo Neighbourhood!

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