Five Vancouver Island Food Artisans You Should Know

Vancouver Island Salt Company

The Vancouver Island Salt Company hand harvests sea salt from local waters to create a natural product that reflects local terroir. Natural sea salt retains several valuable natural trace minerals (e.g. calcium, magnesium, potassium) that are removed during the processing of table salts. Because of this, the taste of sea salt reflects the characteristics of the waters from which it is harvested. They have several blends and infusions to choose from including smoked, garlic, citrus and the truly inspired Blue Cheese Salt. Vancouver Island Salt Co sea salts are available in fine food retailers across Canada and via their online shop. For a limited time, you can pick up one of their handcrafted driftwood pinch cellars (pictured above)—just in time for holiday gift giving! 

Fol Epi

Fol Epi Organic Bakery has two locations in town—the original bakery at the Dockside Green and a newer patisserie and restaurant ( Agrius) downtown on Yates. From their handbuilt wood-fired oven come forth the most incredible organic breads and pastries made with hand-milled wheat and wild yeast. They make the best baguette in town and their kouign-amann are worth stumbling through the pronunciation. Agrius serves contemporary French-inspired dishes made with local, organic ingredients along with a varied and thoughtful selection of wine, beer, and cocktails. 

Whole Beast Salumeria

The Whole Beast produces some of the best handcrafted cured meats in town. Using traditional methods and ethically raised heritage breed animals, they specialize in "nose-to-tail" artisan products. From maple rosemary bacon to their beloved chicken liver parfait and every charcuterie board staple in between, the Whole Beast will inspire a new appreciation for the meat you eat and where it comes from. 

Tugwell Creek Farm & Meadery

Okay, so maybe mead isn't exact food, but it made from arguably one of the most important and ancient food sources. Yes, honey, of course! Tugwell Creek makes small batches of handcrafted honey wine (mead) from honey wild foraged from their own bees. As local and local can be, they control all aspects of their own production and they're also certified BC Kosher. They're open for tastings and tours most days and you pick up a bottle at select retailers or through their online shop.  

Sirene Chocolate

Sirene Artisan Chocolate Makers handcraft small batches of chocolate in their Victoria workshop sourcing cocoa beans directly from farmers in Guatemala, Ecuador, Brazil, Madagascar, and Tanzania. 
They keep the ingredients simple using only cocoa beans and cane sugar with the exception of their milk chocolate, which is still dark chocolate but with a little milk added. There are absolutely no chemicals or additives—just perfectly balanced, mood-lifting chocolate.