“We’re calling on Strathcona & Chinatown to build a sustainable business they can call their own...” read more.


Harvest is officially open!

This Space proudly presents Harvest Community Foods ( at 243 Union Street.

Over the months, you have decided what type of business belongs at 243 Union. From a white-walled room with a ping pong table, 243 Union is now a local foods business. But we built it with your help to be much more than that. Harvest will continue the tradition of This Space continue to bring community together. Hopefully, we will continue to meet people who educate us and help us.

Harvest has truly been built by a large community around us. During this process, we have developed many relationships with Chinatown/Strathcona residents, engaging Vancouverites, and local foods experts. You have all educated us and helped us build this small business. Harvest is now open to offer our neighbourhood delicious, healthy and transparent food at convenient hours.

What’s next for Harvest? Responsibilities now rest on two passionate food professionals Stephanie Schneider and Mina Hideshima working to build Harvest into a valuable business for our neighbourhood and for our city. But Harvest will fulfill its promises set out during This Space. Harvest will continue to engage and serve its community, by being a local foods grocery and by being a community space.

What’s next for This Space? Stay tuned…

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“Heart of Chinatown” award: Union Gospel Mission

On Wednesday evening, The Flats On Georgia awarded Harvest Community Foods the “Heart of Chinatown” award and gave us a Friday 3:30pm deadline to decide which of four great organisations would receive $2,000 in funds on behalf of Harvest Community Foods. These organisations were:

– May’s Place
– Covenant House
– Raincity Housing
– Union Gospel Mission

Through This Space, we asked people to help us decide. We put this up to vote online through This Space and with physical ballots at Harvest. Over the past day, we have received over 200 votes.

We’re happy to announce that the winner is Union Gospel Mission!

Again, thank you to The Flats On Georgia for the Heart of Chinatown award. We are really happy to be part of this event!

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Which Organization should “Heart of Chinatown” funds go to?

Last night we were invited by The Flats on Georgia down to Brixton Cafe, to participate in a event called “The Heart of Chinatown” community contest.

The Flats on Georgia explains:

“The Flats on Georgia is excited to announce our Top 5 nominees for The Heart of Chinatown Community Contest. We combed the community looking for the difference makers, the game changers – the people driving positive change every single day. Through the Heart of Chinatown, we have collected an eclectic mix of businesses and individuals who make Chinatown a great place to live and work.”

Harvest and This Space were both nominated to participate and made the top 5.  The other nominees were great organizations and people:

Get Warm Project (@GetWarmProject): Shauna Beaudoin, Krista McKenna and Sara McKenna
Pull Focus Film School (@pullfocusfilms): Samantha Allen and Steve Rosenberg
Vancouver Chinatown Merchants Association

The panel of judges were then left to decide who the winner of The Heart of Chinatown would be. The judges were:

Rick Chung – Lifestyle Editor for Vancouver Is Awesome
Frances Hui – Socialite Extraordinaire
Dr. Kerry Jan – Vancouver City Councillor

Harvest Community Foods ended up winning!

The prize is $2000 to dontate to one of four different, but equally amazing, local organizations. We figured why should we decide who gets this donation?  Why not, just like we did with Harvest, let the community decide. We only have until 3:30pm tomorrow, April 13th 2012, to decide who gets the money.  All these organizations are doing important work in the Downtown Eastside. So please vote and let us know which Organization you would donate to?

1. May’s Place Hospice

– support up to 2 patient’s stays at May’s hospice for 3 weeks
– provide end-of-life and bereavement counselling for up to 2 patients and their families
– enable May’s Place to purchase much needed new medical equipment
– train and orient up to 10 new hospice volunteers

2. Covenant House

– cover all costs involved (food; shelter; professional services, etc.) with housing up to 2 youth in their residential Crisis Shelter for 5 days
– allow Outreach Workers to make up to 18 significant contacts with youth living on the streets – a crucial first step in introducing them to the programs and services that make up their Continuum of Care
– Pay for up to 200 meals for youth in their care – one meal per day includes: breakfast, lunch, dinner and 2 snacks

3. RainCity Housing

– RainCity Housing and Support Society is an organization dedicated to providing the best possible services to those in need with a strengths-based, “Housing First” approach. “Housing First” is a recovery-oriented supportive housing approach that offers people who are homeless a place to live and then provides the help needed to support their housing maintenance, health care needs and community participation such as education/training, volunteering or employment.
– RainCity Housing offers temporary, transitional and long-term housing. You support helps those currently living with multiple challenges an opportunity to feel whole again, make a home, lay roots, build their lives and to have hope.

4. Union Gospel Mission

– provide up to 600 meals to people in need
– send up to 6 children living in poverty to summer camp for one week
– support up to 2 individuals in UGM’s Alcohol & Drug Recovery program
– supply up to 4 people earning their high school diploma at UGM’s Hope Learning Centre with textbooks and materials

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Harvest Hang Outs

Taste testing, inspections, plants, menu creating, grocery wholesalers, new friends, window painters, electricians, plumbers, samples, more wholesaler and everything in-between. Harvest is so close! This Space has been quite the journey, but its only the beginning for Harvest. Stay tuned…Harvest will be open very soon.

Below are some shots we took yesterday down at Harvest as the team prepares to open. Sign painter John Lennig was doing some amazing work on the Harvest window logo.

Trevor Bird and Mina testing out some sandwich recipes.


Stephanie, the local foods buyer at Harvest goofing around.


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Almost there!

We’ve been super busy trying to get Harvest up and running we haven’t had time to sit down and update. We wanted to let you all know that everything is going smoothly, but because of some unforeseen roadblocks we’ll be pushing back our opening a few weeks. We are working hard to open ASAP.   Plumbing is close to complete, electrics should be done this week, and with the help of our designer Naomi Macdougall we’ve found some amazing decor elements.

We can’t wait to show you what you’ve helped us build!

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Final Score – Poll #4

And our graphic designer is…Naomi Macdougall.

Your votes have selected Naomi Macdougall to do the branding for Harvest. Naomi lives in Strathcona just down the street from 243 Union. We are confident that she will produce an inspiring brand for our business, based on our conversation with her, her familiarity with the neighbourhood, and her impressive design portfolio ( We look forward to working with you Naomi!

And thanks so much to all the talented candidates who participated in our project.

Final Score:
Naomi Macdougall – 32.2%
Lindsay Chetek & Asa Cederholm – 22.6%
Christopher Williams & Colin Poon – 19.5%
Shawn Parkinson – 8.6%
Isabelle Swiderski – 8.6%
Andy Dixon – 8.6%

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Happy Year of the Dragon!

We celebrated Chinese New Year yesterday evening in This Space.

Our chef friend Trevor Bird was churning out delicious steamed buns for the steady flow of passer-byers dropping in between 5-9pm. It was also a chance to tell some of you about our business concept and store layout ideas. It was great seeing many of you and nice meeting more people in the neighbourhood. We hope you liked the steamed buns!

The Year of the Dragon should bring good fortune and prosperity. We hope this means it’s a good year to start a business!

38 days till Harvest…

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50 Days Till Harvest

You’ve selected the business…Local Foods Grocery. You’ve selected the name…”Harvest“.

Now we need to do some work on our end to get this business up and running. Our target opening date is March 1, 2012…50 days from now. During this period, we’ll keep you updated on our progress and tell you about the obstacles we encounter.

We still need your help–there will be a few more Polls. Poll #4 is currently open for voting–please help us choose which of six talented graphic designers will do our branding.

In the meantime, we continue working on store layout, staff hiring and business permits. 50 days till Harvest (we hope).

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Poll #4: Which Graphic Designer?

Which Graphic Designer should brand 243 Union?

We were overwhelmed by the number of creatives in Vancouver that applied to help brand the Local Foods grocer at 243 Union Street. Thank you to all the talented designers and creatives that applied!

We’ve managed to narrowed it down to six candidates for your review. We met them all and had a hard time choosing among them. Thanks to the shortlisted candidates for supporting our project and participating in this process!

Who do you think is most suitable for us? Please help us pick:

#1. Shawn Parkinson

Lives in Gastown, Works in Chinatown

#2. Naomi Macdougall

Lives in Strathcona, Works from Home


#3. Lindsay Chetek & Åsa Cederholm ,

Lives in East Van, Works from Lindsay’s Home

#4. Isabelle Swiderski

Lives in East Van, Works in Gastown

#5. Studio Gris – Christopher Williams & Colin Poon

Lives in Downtown Eastside, Works in Chinatown


#6. Andy Dixon

Lives in East Van, Works in Waldorf Hotel


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Final Score – Poll #3

Harvest wins as the name for the Local Foods business at 243 Union Street!

Final Score:
Harvest – 41% (submitted by Guy Incognito)
Locavore – 29% (submitted by Anne Fleming)
Row by Row – 20% (submitted by iloveMYneighborhood)
This n That – 10% (submitted by Lisa Hemingway)

Congratulations to our three prize winners! And thanks again to all for the 100+ name ideas.

What’s in a name? Good branding and design will help define our business concept. From the many talented graphic designers who answered our call for help, we’ve shortlisted six candidates. In the past couple weeks, we’ve really enjoyed going around to meet them all. These designers are all amazing! Video interviews and portfolios will be posted shortly for you to meet them, and for you to VOTE on who you think should do the branding for Harvest.

In the meantime, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!!!

See you again in January.

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    243 Union Street
    Vancouver, BC
    V6A 2B2

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