Whether you're looking for a gift for your significant other, your hard-to-please in-laws or a friend with quirky taste, we've got you covered.
There are so many wonderful gift options in the Comox Valley, and you might've come across a lot of them at the markets or while browsing the shops. But there are lots of local hidden gems that you may not have heard of already, which is what we're here to fix.
We've compiled a list* of our favourite gifts and services, with recommendations on who might like each gift best. It's an eclectic list that showcases the Comox Valley's talent, and the one thing they all have in common is that they're as local (and as high quality) as can possibly be.
1. Petals of Whimsy
Beauty, nature and whimsy all wrapped in one. Erin of Petals of Whimsy makes the most beautiful orange ornaments, tabletop portal pieces, and dried and fresh wreaths. She grows and gathers right here on the traditional unceded territory of the K’ómoks, Eiksan and Pentlatch Peoples.
Each piece is infused with a bunch of love, a little bit of magic, and whole lot of — you guessed it — whimsy.
Petals of Whimsy is perfect for...
... a mother-in-law with great taste, your child's teacher, or that certain someone who doesn't need more "stuff," but loves the natural world.
2. Dinner Club with Dubois Food Co.
Tucked into a cozy cabin at the edge of the sea, but only steps from downtown Comox, you'll find Chef Marc-André Dubois' Dinner Club. In a space known as the Filberg Summer Kitchen in the summer, the Quebecois chef opens up the guest list in the colder months to create some of the most creative, locally fuelled cuisine I've ever had.
It's like stepping into another world, one where the wine is flowing, you're heated from the inside out by good food, and surrounded by jars of fantastical preserves. And while it's a set menu, I've been able to make requests for pescatarian/vegetarian changes with no issues at all.
Buy a gift certificate for an evening at the Dinner Club and I promise you will win undying adoration from your friends and family for your exquisite taste.
Dubois Food Co. is perfect for...
... that couple who really needs a night out, your friends who just moved here from the city who you want to impress, or your significant other.
3. Christine Boyer Art
Christine's a prolific local artist who manages to produce an astonishingly diverse range of magical work — from large-scale abstract and realist pieces (one of which hangs proudly in my home 😏) to small-scale painting of cats in crowns inside of silver dishes (!!)
That means she has something for every budget and taste — seriously (art doesn't always have to be unaffordable).
Bring some beauty into your home or the home of a loved one by checking out what Christine has available. The best way to see her work is to check out her Instagram and contact her there or via email.
Bonus: she is super accessible and hilarious.
Christine Boyer is perfect for...
... your recently single friend who has empty walls, your quirky business partner, or your significant other (it's a win-win if you live together).
4. Skin Goop
There’s a wonderful "Goopist" who lives on an unassuming street in Comox. She concocts high-quality, low-waste grooming and skincare products that she aptly calls… skin goop.
This author hasn’t found a better shampoo bar in all her travels. She has cut her hair washing down from every day to three times a week! And anyone will appreciate the "Kissy Lips" lip balm, made from local, organic water buffalo tallow.
Find magical scents and a whole lot of personality on skingoop.ca.
Skin Goop is perfect for...
... stocking stuffers, your significant other, or that friend who HATES waste but loves smelling great and being squeaky clean.
5. Makoa Creative
Looking for something that will garner your giftees compliments left and right? Local jewellery wizard Tereza makes the most gorgeous, glittering pieces that are guaranteed to turn heads — all from her studio here in the Comox Valley.
Whether you're looking for a new set of earrings, a unique ring or a hand-crafted necklace, Makoa has you covered.
Makoa Creative is perfect for...
... the jewellery lovers in your life, a picky bride-to-be (this is epic wedding jewellery — see her work in Green Wedding Shoes), or anyone who just loves a little sparkle and shine.
6. More Eatery
Does it weird anyone else out that so much of our food comes from somewhere else? The K’ómoks First Nation calls this place the Land of Plenty for good reason. We literally live in a LUSH valley. So why are we eating spaghetti sauce that was canned in Ontario?
Well not anymore. A family business has spread their wings to spread the local food love, and they’re scaling fast. During the pandemic, they started with guided virtual dinner parties, delivering generous and lovingly prepared ingredients alongside a fun evening staring at the screen (no easy feat). They’re still boosting (post-)pandemic spirits with their virtual cooking storms, but they’ve branched out to start offering a fresh meal delivery service, a boutique shop, and soon (yay!) a brick and mortar restaurant downtown Campbell River! Send one of their amazing drop boxes to a pal, or purchase a gift certificate. Find them at moreeatery.com, and @moreeatery.
More Eatery is perfect for...
... those new parents on your list, your foodie friends, or anyone who would love a fabulous meal delivered right to their doorstep (i.e. everyone).
7. Unbridled's teen beauty workshop
How amazing is this? Unbridled and Wildflower Beauty on Location are offering a Teen Beauty Workshop in January. In it, they'll teach 12-16 year old teens how to avoid the mistakes we all made growing up... I mean, how to wear makeup properly and take good care of their skin.
I wish something like this existed when I was going through my white eyeliner and black lipliner phase...
The Teen Beauty Workshop is perfect for...
... the teen in your life (no matter which gender) whose experiments with makeup are less about self-expression and more about caking on the foundation, or the teen in your life who has questions about how to build good skincare habits.
8. Sean Pullen Photography
Sean's a photographer based in Cumberland whose shots manage to evoke both the hauntingly beautiful and untouched rawness of Vancouver Island.
He and his camera have travelled widely, so you might also come across images from places you've visited with friends or loved ones, like Florence, Italy; Emerald Lake, BC; Dubrovnik, Croatia; Death Valley, California; or Horseshoe River, Arizona.
His prints are available in various sizes for all kinds of budgets, and can be ordered with or without frames. Bring a piece of local (or international) natural beauty into your home or the home of a loved one!
Use the code "COVALLEY" for 10% off any of these beautiful prints.
Sean Pullen Photography is perfect for...
... that friend who moved away who misses this place like crazy, your parents who can appreciate a perfectly horizontal horizon, or your co-worker with impeccable taste.
9. Back40 Designs
Who knew that those gorgeous toques you've been seeing around town were actually made here?
Tyra from Back40 Designs is a prolific local maker who handmakes all of these gorgeous knits, AND the pompoms. She has a wide variety of colours and sizes to choose from, and for that messy-bun-wearing person in your life, she even has a wrap for that.
Choose from her ready-made line, or specify what kind of pattern and pompom you'd like. (My personal favourite, in case anyone is wondering, is the leopard print.)
Back40 Designs are perfect for...
... that fashionable friend who knows that winter shouldn't mean bad taste, any child on your list, and a teacher you'd like to impress.
*We're passionate about showcasing the best this Valley has to offer and have only included businesses on this list that we, personally, have bought from. No favours or perks were given in exchange for our honest recommendations.