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


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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Poll #3 – What name for this Local Foods business?

What name for this Local Foods business at 243 Union?

You’ve helped decide the type of business. And in recent weeks, you’ve submitted over 100 name ideas for this Local Foods business. Thank you to all who submitted an idea! We liked many of them so it was tough, but we’ve narrowed it down to FOUR potential names for you to consider. Vote Now!

A ) Harvest

Submitted by Guy Incognito

B ) Locavore

Submitted by Anne Fleming

C ) Row by Row

Submitted by iloveMYneighborhood

D ) This ‘n That

Submitted by Lisa


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Poll #2 – What Type of Local Service?

What type of Local Service do you think belongs at 243 Union Street?

In Poll #1, Local Service (46%) beat out Restaurant (40%). If you were hoping for sushi and tacos, perhaps Another Space will provide them soon for Chinatown and Strathcona! As for This Space, the most popular Local Service suggestions were for evening groceries, bakery and community activities. So, we’ve come up with three concepts centred around these suggestions, and are proposing them to you now as Poll #2. We think each is financially viable and reflective of your comments.

We are proposing the grocery and bakery choices as combo concepts with eateries. These combos will (1) offer food by selling grocery/bread items to some customers and using these same items to make meals for others; (2) not ignore a clear demand for more eating options, as reflected by the 40% Restaurant vote in Poll #1; and (3) make Union Street more vibrant in the evening. On the community activities choice, we think we can develop a mixed-use business with many possibilities.

Please consider these choices and vote for your favorite Local Service:

A ) Local Foods Grocery & Meals

This Space would be a local products grocery store and healthy meals eatery, centred around salads, snacks and juices. The business would offer fresh groceries that will also be used to prepare meals for those who prefer a dine-in or take-out meal option. To maintain reasonable costs, we’ll draw on local producers, and will vary our grocery items and menus seasonally.

One wall of This Space could be dedicated to all things veggie. It would house the fresh ingredients we would use to make you a salad, but also serve as a grocery wall for people who want to cook at home. An assortment of our house-made dressings, salsas and toppings would accompany the fresh salad ingredients, made/grown locally and with eco-friendly packaging. Dine-in seating would include a bar that provides a front row seat to the chef’s chopping skills.

Think fresh, think healthy, think local…all at reasonable and fair prices.

B ) Fresh Bread & Accompaniments 

While This Space is too small to be a full-scale bakery, we can offer a bread focused café and take-out delicatessen.

We could make limited signature breads, with other bread options sourced locally and delivered daily. Select from local quality breads and all that should accompany bread.

Local residents, nearby offices, and cycling commuters will find it convenient to pick up sandwiches in the morning for lunch or take out nicely plated bread, cheese and olives in the evening for dinner. Perhaps swing by Union Street for a Spanish-style chorizo plate with a freshly baked ¼ loaf of olive bread.

Think all things bread. Meats, cheeses, an olive bar, oils, and delicatessen. Want a cosy place to have a glass of wine in the evening? This Space can be that too.

C ) Mixed-Use Activities Studio

We think we can make some community activities work in This Space. Bootcamp or Kung Fu classes? Art Exhibit or Comedy Show? Independent Films and Mommy Matinees? All are possible. And we’ll need some of you to lead these activities. Maybe you’re a Kung Fu master who starts out at This Space before you open up a dedicated studio in Chinatown.

We’ll also rent out This Space for other activities. Are you a local business or designer who needs a meeting room to make a presentation? Maybe you didn’t get invited to speak at TEDx and want to set up your own talks. Or do you need to rent a studio for a photo shoot?

This Space will keep transforming throughout the day, during the week, seasonally, and over time to respond to people’s demand for services. We’ll ensure that some time is allocated for community-related activities that serve Chinatown and Strathcona, even some that need to be funded by other activities. And we can have Ping Pong nights there too.

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Poll #1 – What Type of Business?

What type of business do you think belongs at 243 Union Street?

We’re excited to share Poll #1 with you. What business does this neighbourhood need? Place your vote. Know other people who are interested in the Chinatown/Strathcona area? Tell them to vote too. Help us decide this first question, and we’ll be well on our way to starting a business here that the community wants.

A.) Restaurant

Do you think This Space would make a good eatery? Restaurants such as Campagnolo, London Pub, Caffe Brixton, Phnom Penh, Bao Bei and Keefer Bar are already attracting people from around town to the Chinatown/Strathcona area for dining and entertainment. This Space is small, but want more dining options in the area? Sushi bar? Taqueria? Gourmet sandwiches? Vote “Restaurant” and post a comment about what you’d like to eat.

B.) Retail

Can This Space help Union Street become a vibrant shopping destination for Vancouver? New clothing boutiques Charlie & Lee and The Board of Trade have become instant attractions for the block. And retail on Union Street is not just fashion. Land (baby & gift items), SHOP/TASK (roller blades), jett grrl bike studio (customised bikes) are next door neighbours. Vote “Retail” if you want more shopping on Union Street. And post a comment.

C.) Local Service

Union Street is a convenient location for a diverse Strathcona community, condominium residents in the new V6A and Ginger buildings, and the bicyclists using Union Street as one of Vancouver’s designated bike lanes. Should This Space provide some basic service to the local residents, children, or commuting bicyclists? Grocery store? Art, music or books? What about something for pets? Vote “Local Service” and post a comment about what is needed.

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    243 Union Street
    Vancouver, BC
    V6A 2B2

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