Page 1

Christmas Issue

The hidden gems of London, Ontario & more


November-December 2016

Letter from the Editor-in-Chief

People of London,

Let me introduce you to something fresh and new – CASA London magazine. CASA London is a project that has been built from the scratch, by a team of young and talented people, who want to show you how just beautiful, interesting, and diverse your city is! London has so many different levels and subcultures, where artisans, farmers, creative people, artists, enthusiasts, and community leaders all come together to create something unique and extraordinary. We would like to invite you to take a closer look at all the opportunities that London and its surrounding area has to offer, to help you open the door to discovering all the hidden gems in your city. This issue, our first issue, is a celebration of the forthcoming Christmas and New Year holidays. We have tried to show you London from as many angles and perspectives as we could find, giving you a diverse view of a modern and thriving city. Along the way we found some new places, tried some amazing products, met magnificent hard working people, made some new friends, and had the privilege to write the incredible stories of those who dedicate themselves to their craft, to bring Londoners the highest quality products and services. We are proud to have had the opportunity to get to know the people behind every business promoted in this issue. We met the real heroes of our community. We met people who are not afraid to try to change the world, who inspire us, who have showed us that if you love what you are doing enough, you can bring harmony and happiness to the world. I like this issue because of how it mirrors the real Canadian image – the idea of a unique, multicultural, and bright place to live, love, and create. Turn the page and delve into what we have discovered for you: sweet, bright, and fashionable gift ideas, interior accents, new places and products, the best Christmas getaway scenario, and even a festive recipe that will add a sparkle to your dinner table. As with every first step, you could call this issue our pilot project. However, we love what we are doing and we will keep going to bring you more interesting stories, to create more promising projects, and to unite our community. We will learn from you what the magazine is, and what it can be, in our ever changing and growing city. Keep an eye on our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/CASA519/) and Instagram feed (@casalondon_magazine), and feel free to let us know your thoughts and ideas. We are here to collaborate, to communicate, and to build a platform to showcase the very best that London has to offer. We wish you all the warmest autumn, the coziest winter, and the happiest holidays you’ve ever had! Stay tuned for our next issues published on www.issuu.com and www.casamag.london

The Dream Team

Anna Orishchenko Founder and Editor-in-Chief “I am a magazine enthusiast, born and raised in a huge megapolis – in Moscow, Russia. I always dreamed to create a special and unique magazine to connect people – and here, in London, ON, the dream came true. I really believe that no matter whether a magazine is delivered to your doorstep or to your computer, it still opens you a magnificent world of ideas, words and images of life possibilities and open opportunities. I have enjoyed this chance to discover London for myself and for our readers!”

Josh Hamilton Writer and Editor “I am a writer born and raised in Belfast, Northern Ireland. I love to explore London, and get to know the people that make the city tick! There are always so many little, magical places in every city, and I am always on the hunt for another hidden gem”.

Cover photo by Anna Orishchenko, processed in Prisma App for iPhone

Mikaela Shannon Photographer “I am a photographer, graphic designer, social media expert, and a creative entrepreneur devoted to inspiring the world. I am a Romanian born gal, now residing in Ailsa Craig, ON. I love creating images that make you feel. I love showing emotion and true life. I have a home studio, but still love doing lifestyle. I am currently a photographer for my own brand as well as for several other companies in London”.

Abigail French Graphic Designer “I am an artistic soul, born in the Philippines and raised in Toronto, Ontario. A life long love for arts and crafts, led me to have a career in the print industry for the past 10+ years. This has developed a fondness and expertise in layouts, conceptualizing and bringing ideas to life. I pursue my passion to give branding makeovers for small businesses, plan dream parties and create clever custom party décor. Follow my journey on www.facebook.com/papercloud143 and learn more about my passion projects at PAPERCLOUD.CA”

# 1 November-December 2016 Table of Content Bringing Geometry back 4 Aiming High 6 Punk Rock Skincare 7 Live on the Edge 8 London's First Antique and Artisan Supermarket 10 Chocolate As It Should Be 12 What Can’t You Do With Maple? 13 Frittersweet Symphony 14 sugar bliss cookies 15 Chicken Farming From The Whole Family 16 Deck The Halls: Holiday Fundraiser 18 Paper Cloud 19 These Books Are A Maze 20 Christmas in New York 21

“Upbeat, colourful, and vibrant“– These three words that perfectly encapsulate Emilio Barbero and Marbleknot Design S+udio! Emilio is a designer born and raised in Mexico City, trying to make his mark on the world from London, Ontario. His incredible passion for bright and unique style has already brought him a world of success at a young age, but this is only the beginning….

4 CASA London

Marbleknot Design S+udio – Emilio Barbero - “Bringing Geometry Back” CASA London: How did your career in art and design begin? I’ve been designing since I was 14. I sold my first logo, I wrote my first lines of code, and I’ve been designing ever since – twenty something years. I’m an interior designer by trade and I couldn’t find wallpaper that I liked, so I sent my designs to a manufacturer, and they seemed to like it. From there I started on the fashion side of things – ties, bowties, I have watches, and I did pillowcases for a very long time. CASA London: Is fashion the current direction you’d like to continue in? Yes, my main focus now is menswear. Right now I sell in a few stores, like From Mars and David E. White, and online, but I’m looking to get into more retail stores. In the mean time I am attending shows like the Gentlemen’s Expo in Toronto (Nov 10-13) and showcasing my patterns in NYC in the New Year. I want to focus on men’s fashion. Men are quite conservative, they like blues and greys, but there are so many more colours! CASA London: Who do you find is wearing your watches, pocket squares, bowties? For the most part, I’d say it’s 25-40 year olds who like to dress up, like colour, and don’t mind a bold statement. I personally design my products for someone who wants to stand out and be a little bit different. I want to find those people and I want them to find me. This is far from Emilio’s only project; he is a creative entrepreneur and is driven to an extent that some people might find overwhelming to consider in their own lives. His passion is clearly his driving force. But amongst the various projects and understandably hectic schedule, his drive and clarity shine through. I can imagine his hectic workload would take a toll on many people, yet Emilio seems almost excited by the prospect, it puts a spring in his step and pushes him to succeed. I run 3 design studios – graphic design, interior design and Marbleknot. CASA London: Is designing for Marbleknot your favourite job of the three? This is more like a hobby that I would like to become full time. I’d love to see my designs be mass produced and in stores nation-wide. This is my creative outlet, I want to be the next Jonathan Adler. Jonathan Adler is a potter (not the wizard), designer, and author from New Jersey, who has grown his business from a small ceramic collection in 1993 to a huge chain of home furnishing stores! He has forayed into writing, interior design, and often makes television appearances. Not a bad idol to have! CASA London: How would you describe your style? My style is upbeat, colourful, and vibrant, with lots and lots of contrast. I don’t wear anything black, I’m not against it, but there’s so many colours out there. I want to try them all.

CASA London: Do you think there is a big market for the kind of products you want to produce? It’s there; it definitely exists. There are people like me who want to dress well. So hopefully we can find them and bring them out! I’m looking for people that aren’t afraid of colour, and want to find something new. CASA London: So what’s the goal for your designs? The main goal is to change the world, to have an impact on people’s lives, and to make people happy. CASA London: Then it’s not about money for you? Money’s not my God; it is a motivator, but I want to be happy. I want to make an impact. CASA London: There are a lot of places in the world synonymous with fashion and design. But, for all of its beauty and charm, London isn’t exactly known as a fashion capital. So, why London? Why not New York, Paris, Milan, or even Toronto? I didn’t pick London; it was luck. I’ve always wanted to be in Toronto, to be in a bigger and more dynamic city, but here I am. I have clients all round the world - in Spain, Mexico, the Philippines, the USA, and the UK. You don’t need to be the best dressed guy in the world to wear a bright jacket or shirt. I want to reach more bold people, more people who want to take a risk, and show them that London has style. CASA London: Is there anything you haven’t done yet, that you would still like to try? At the minute I do everything myself, all my designs, all my social media, all my coding. I even host everything myself. But I haven’t done any car or product design, and one day I’d like to work for Umbra or for Mooi. I’ve designed houses, commercial buildings, home products, fashion, jewelry, and there’s so much that I could still do; so really I’m still working towards everything. I just do everything that I can! CASA London: Do you have a specific creative process you use to come up with your designs? I’m always working, creating, modifying, and sketching. There’s not a process per say. When it’s custom work I want to know what this person is about. It’s about understanding what people want. My goal is to offer them something funky, something different, something that will make them stand out. I did some custom work for the London Club, they asked me to do pocket squares for them. With the custom work I want a challenge – I want someone to come to me with an idea that makes me scratch my head. I want that challenge.

Working in three design studios, Emilio could certainly be called a creative! His designs brighten up every room with their clean cut and vibrant colours, which seem to mirror his own passion and personality. You can check out more of his incredible designs on his website (http://www.marbleknot.com/) and watch his Facebook page for news on new products and shows.

True Dope

The legalization of cannabis is a controversial topic, one that has been passionately fought for on both side of the isle. What has been a lot more difficult for critics to argue with, has been Justin Trudeau’s logic for the legalization and taxation of marijuana. The two biggest influencing factors on this policy have been, to make it more difficult for children and teenagers to get their hands on weed, and to stop the some $8 billion from pouring unchecked into the hands of organised crime. With legislation set to hit the floor for debate in the spring of next year there is a new generation of Canadian entrepreneurs ready to take advantage of this exciting emerging market.


As of September 2015, weed in Colorado was generating almost double the amount of tax revenue compared to alcohol ($70 million to $42 million). Similarly, in Washington, the first year of legalization racked up an incredible $82 million in tax revenue.

Currently, the cultivation and sale of recreational marijuana in Canada is estimated (conservatively) to generate around $8 billion per year. If the market was to be taxed similarly to Colorado (roughly 25%), that would equate to $2 billion dollars in untapped tax revenue. Imagine what could be done with that money in Canada.

Meet J. Peters, a 31 year old restauranteur, born and raised in Calgary, Alberta. He has been a recreational and medicinal user of marijuana for his entire adult life and is about to launch True Dope, a high end marijuana lifestyle brand. He is on a one man mission to dispel the myth that all cannabis users are just lazy “stoners”, and to legitimise marijuana in the eyes of the world. CASA London: So J., why did you start True Dope? My goal is to legitimize weed, both recreationally and medically. I want to debunk the idea that all marijuana users are lazy kids, smoking weed out of a Bob Marley pipe in a back alley somewhere. There are millions of hard-working and successful people like me who are recreational users, and it’s time that the stereotypical idea of the ‘stoner’ gets proven wrong. J.’s foray into the cannabis business was inspired by his Mother, who he lost to cancer a few years ago. Although there was evidence that medicinal marijuana could have helped ease her pain and treat the disease (she was in fact encouraged to try it by medical doctors) the stigma surrounding the plant and her strict upbringing prevented her from using it as medication. We now believe that by her using medical marijuana she would have not only increased her appetite and prolonged her life. But it could have also helped deal with her poorly managed pain, as she refused to take heavy opiates prescribed to her by her doctors. This is the reason for the #LegitimizeIt hashtag that you will notice on my corporate branding. Trudeau will legalize it, but it is up to this generation to legitimize marijuana use as both a medical tool, but also as a recreational drug. For the initial launch J. has produced a line of branded hats, hoodies, t-shirts, and a locally hand crafted rolling box. But his plans don’t end there.

CASA London: Where do you see yourself in 5 years time? Ideally, I’d like to grow this company into an international brand. I plan to start with a small clothing and accessories shop in a great location, and we’ll expand from there. Right now, very little is known about what legislation will look like, but I hope to have the brand poised to jump on any and all opportunities that come after legalization. CASA London: Any other sides of the business that you would like to develop? I am actually in talks with a couple of different (medical marijuana) growers about producing our own strains, as well as pairing with some like-minded companies to produce some co-branded higher end accessories for the sophisticated smoker. CASA London: Sativa or Indica? Everyone has a preference! I personally use Marijuana to decompress after a long day, so I’m partial to Indica. He certainly is aiming high (pardon the pun). After a showing at Calgary’s Hemp Fest, True Dope is launching this month at www.truedope.ca, so be sure to check it out! I get a feeling J. is going to do well, the market is definitely there. Who says the trend towards quality and local, hand made goods can’t extend to all aspects of life, including the booming global cannabis industry?


Punk Rock Skincare

Rokhsana Purdy founded Purdy Natural 4 years ago, 2 years later they moved to their current location and since then they haven’t looked back since. The shop itself (at 111 Mount Pleasant Ave) smells incredible, and looks fantastic as well; fusing traditional natural cosmetics with a punk rock vibe. Purdy Natural make all their products from scratch with the belief that if you can’t eat it you shouldn’t put it on your skin! We sat down with Rokhsana to talk about her journey with Purdy Natural. CASA London: Where did your interest in natural cosmetics begin? I started to research labels on skincare products and it really annoyed me that there are so many toxins in skincare. You have celebrities endorsing these massive products for millions of dollars that we are told are the best of the best, we don’t really have a choice. Knowing what I know I couldn’t sit by and not do anything, so I see it as a form of activism for me – providing natural skincare products. CASA London: Why did you want to start Purdy Natural? What I noticed about a lot of natural skincare companies is that they can be a little middle of the road. We just wanted to have fun with it. We have a soap called Rich Fat Ass, that was inspired by Fight Club, and another one called Sex Panther! Everything is so serious in life so why not have some fun with it. Our whole baby line is named after songs that you could sing to your baby, like Sweet Child of Mine. CASA London: Why the change of venue 2 years ago? We outgrew our first location, it was a tiny space inside an organic supermarket. We outgrew it, we had more of a vision about what we wanted to do. We’re able to have our own kitchen in here and showcase all the fantastic locally made products that London has to offer. We have a full DIY section that has grown out of control and we like to run DIY workshops so people can learn to make their own natural cosmetics. CASA London: So how has business been? I used to do all natural aesthetics and ran my own all natural spa, but I had to give it up because this grew so quickly. We’re just riding that wave. We had no idea what would happen, we had no idea that the business would grow so fast! London has become this local hub, we have seen huge success in working with everybody. If you have passion for what you are doing, a good well thought out product, and you really spend time perfecting and branding it, people really dig it. CASA London: What is the goal for Purdy Natural? Our goal is to be able to provide more education about healthy eating and all natural skin care. We would love to open another store in a different city, somewhere like Guelph or Toronto. We don’t want to be mass produced, it’s about the feeling you get when you come in here. It’s something special and we don’t want to lose that. There’s a lot of love and community in this store, and that’s not anything we did. It’s the people. CASA London: What’s your favourite product that you get to make? My favourite product to make is the soap, it’s really therapeutic. I love coming up with the names of the soaps and you feel really proud to see the log of soap you just made! It’s really cool to see people buy it, it’s out best seller. I can’t keep up! I guess it’s like cooking, I hate cooking, but I love making products. CASA London: Anything fun planned for the run up to Christmas? For the 1st weekend in November (that’s 5th/ 6th) Booch (that’s the London based Kombucha tea producers) are here, and then every weekend until Christmas, Saturday and Sunday 10am – 4pm, there will be lots of different artisan vendors in store selling locally made jewellery, skincare, and loads of different things (keep an eye on Facebook and Instagram for details). And on Wednesday Dec. 21st Christmas Open House – Life of Leisure, the menswear company will be here. We like to give people different options, rather than just going to the mall.

Purdy Natural has a welcoming and homely vibe to the store, plenty of positive energy, and an attitude that will take them far; their commitment to natural and wholesome produce is highly commendable. The products are top quality and hand-crafted with the utmost care – a combination that works pretty well if you ask us!

CASA London 7

Live on the Edge

Rustix is an independent ‘live edge’ furniture producer run by Heather Torraville out of London, Ontario. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, ‘live edge’ (or natural edge) is a style of furniture that incorporates the natural edge of the wood into the design of the piece; leading to a more unique and individual look. The style was first pioneered by George Nakashima in his series for Knoll, a Pennsylvania based Furniture Company, in 1946. Nakashima said that the craftsmanship involved in live edge work was "not only a creative force, but a moral idea". It is an idea that has gained new traction in recent years, given the trend towards upcycling and vintage furniture and clothing that has come back in past few years. Now Heather and Rustix are here, to bring her own twist to this style of furniture, and (hopefully) take London by storm! After starting out under the name "Heather's Craft House" creating unique hand crafted rustic furniture, she is ready to launch her brand new showroom on Richmond Street, London, and we got a chance to sit down with her to talk about Rustix!

CASA London: So how did Rustix get started? I started making wreaths to make some extra money, then that became palette tables – I wanted one for myself - and then my friends and family loved it and started asking me to make them something, soon I had a whole business. I never realized how much I would love it, I’ve always been artsy, but now I could be sanding for hours and not notice how long it’s been. I found my passion by total accident! CASA London: Where do you get the pieces of wood for your furniture? And the inspiration for your pieces? I go to the mill and walk through to pick a few pieces, I like to go for odd pieces because I can envision what it could be. Anything I can get local I do. I get a local lady from Nova’s Handmade Creations to hand stamp my pieces, and the shirts [with Rustix logo] are also locally made by Fredin Graphics and Apparel. I like to avoid using commercial printing and producing corporations! I know what it’s like running a home business. For the actual furniture, I’ll go to my clients' house, look at their décor and we’ll design a piece together. I always send them pictures along the way!

8 CASA London

CASA London: Are you working on anything at the moment, apart from the showroom obviously? I’m currently building an 11ft dining room table. Some people think they want an 11ft table, but I try to go and measure myself first. We’ve had a lot of deliveries where if we’d made it 1mm bigger it wouldn’t have fit. We’ve had people who want to cut the live edge off, so we will go and choose a different piece of wood and I’ll keep the wood for another piece.

CASA London: Would you say live edge is your signature? Absolutely! Live edge is the majority of what I do. I love using wood in its natural state. Each piece is so unique in its grain pattern, colour and shape. There's beauty in every single piece, it's just hidden and I like to bring it out. CASA London: Do you make anything for your own house? Is it live edge everywhere you look? Everything I make I end up selling, 98% of my orders are custom, but I do want to take some time to make stuff for myself. My friends come to my house and they are shocked that there’s none of my furniture. Once I make time my house will be entirely outfitted with my own furniture. It’s tough, it’s kinda like your children. You pick a piece of wood, you sand it down, varnish it… you raise it and then it’s gone. I’ve always been into painting and drawing, but woodwork was not something I ever saw myself doing. I never tried woodworking, my background has always been within vehicle and aircraft maintenance. Now it’s odd going to work and having mechanics and co-workers ask me their opinion on woodworking or ask me to build something for them. But at the same time it's a great boost. CASA London: Is the upcycling/recycling something that is important to you? I love green – I went vegan for 6 months. I’ve always been into reusing stuff, I’m not a hoarder but I don’t like to throw things away. The bar stools I made were revived. I like to go into vintage and charity shops to look at old furniture and if I can re-use the base I will. It makes for something truly unique. There seems to a really big shift, right now people want to shop local and re-cycle and up-cycle. I have had people ask me to refinish cabinets, dressers and old antiques. I try to keep whatever I can, I try to keep all the end pieces. It can all be used, that’s the way I look at it.

CASA London: How long does it take you to finish a piece, from start to finish? A table takes about 4 weeks normally. Once you’re in someone’s house and you’re talking to them daily, sometimes twice a day, for 4 weeks you get to know them – they become more than a client. I’ve made some great friends from doing this. I usually have 3 or 4 pieces on the go at one time, I try to schedule them so I can sand them all at once or I will stagger them so I am doing it every few days. CASA London: So what is the goal here? Where do you see this going? My goal is to eventually do this full time. For the moment I’ll be here on the weekends but the showroom will be open even when I’m not here. It will run as the same hours as the amazing store above me, Loveleigh Boutique. I sat down to plan and write down my goals last month. I said that I want to have my own showroom by next year and then this became available. It might have been a bit sooner but I saw it and though I can work at it and make it nice. Almost every client I have had has been a repeat customer with 3 or 4 pieces for every house. My business has been growing faster than I ever imagined, so now I'm ready for the next step. Well, you must be doing something right! Rustix pieces look and feel like they have a lot of love put into them; and after having met Heather and seen her showroom I can confidently say that is the truth! No one piece will ever be the same, and I think that is the real draw for Heather and for her customers (it certainly is for me). Rustix showroom is located in the funky basement at 569 Richmond Street. After a successful launch party on November 5th, the showroom is now open daily. Pop in to get a first hand look at the incredible live edge furniture and accessories, and don't forget to #ordersomethingrustix!

Duck and Dodo

London's First Antique and Artisan Supermarket With the antique mall at Brydges Street Merchant Market shutting down and the artisan community in London booming, there is an untapped need for somewhere to house all these vendors. Enter Tiffany Hillman. She has worked for 12 years as an interior designer, and is ready to combine those skills with her love of arts and antiques to create Duck and Dodo, a fresh and exciting new antiques and artisans market in London.

CASA: Why don’t you start by telling us a little about what you are doing with Duck and Dodo? It’s going to be an antique and arts market, but there will be strict guidelines for what people can bring and sell there. For the artisan side of things we want anything that people have built or upcycled using old materials, to try to be as eco-friendly as possible. We want it to be everything from the homeopathic side of things, like natural creams and body lotions to artisan food, large pieces of furniture, and even clothing for infants and baby items. I’m trying my best to get a good balance of everything. Then for the antiques, we are trying to avoid anything younger than 20 years. What I want is good quality items, with a strong emphasis on home décor and decorating as opposed to collectables and nicknacks. CASA: Where did the idea come from? The idea came from a couple of different places. I did an outdoor market in the summer, with a whole range of antiques and artisan items that I thought was really amazing. It pulled in so many people in just one day, but there wasn’t a fixed place in London that brings these two worlds together. There are antique malls, and then there are local artisan shops and markets, but they can be quite small and restrictive. They don’t give the vendors any room to breathe and grow. So I wanted to create a market that was in the middle of those two worlds, somewhere that would give the customer a shopping experience that is really interesting and unique. CASA: And you think you can bring them that? Well, I personally have been in an antique mall for 3 years, the one that is shutting down at Brydges Street Merchant Market. I have my own antique business, I sell on Etsy, and I’ve been involved in a number of summer antique markets; so I can see where there is a gap. For example, the furniture dealers, who make incredible live edge furniture, don’t want to go antique malls because it is too much like a flea market. They play AM radio!

10 CASA London

CASA: *laughter* So you’ll be doing what differently? Playing FM radio? I am going for a 100% hipster feel. There’s going to be a stone fireplace, comfy chairs and a record player! So when you come in you can flick through the records, put one on, and shop. I want it to be more of an experience, I understand when two people come in to shop they might want to sit down for a while, so that’s why I want to have a seating area. I wanted to make this market for everybody! The market itself will house (hopefully) up to 50 vendors under one roof! You could almost say it’s an antique and artisan supermarket! One thing that some of the vendors are struggling with is that there isn’t going to be any walls! It’ll be well organised but there won’t be any dividers between the stalls. I don’t want to put walls up because the ceilings are too high and it would ruin the open feeling. I want the vendors to be able to see it as almost like their mini store! I am encouraging them to really own theie space. The whole place has just been freshly painted. The Landlord has been great. Together we are trying to promote Hamilton Road as a destination, because there are so many great stores. CASA London: Why now? What gave you the motivation? The Forest City Flea which was hosted by Heist, and Illbury + Goose, that I did in the summer sparked the realisation that I’ve been giving up my items for other people to sell for so long that now I really want the opportunity to sell my own work. I don’t want other people having the feeling that they are handing their items to someone who won’t represent or sell them in a way that they disagree with. I am in sales, so I understand the importance of networking and bringing people together and I think that’s what the market is going to do. I am one of the few people with the stupidity or the guts to do it - I don’t think my thoughts and aspirations are too far-fetched.

CASA: I have to ask about the name, where did it come from? There are two reasons - I love double meanings. The duck and the dodo are both birds, so the duck represents the new artisans, and the dodo represents the antiques. So it’s the combination of the two! Where the Duck and Dodo themselves came from, is my love of Alice in Wonderland. There’s a line that goes, “There was a Duck and a Dodo, a Lory and an Eaglet, and several other curious creatures – Alice led the way and the whole party swam to the shore” That really sparked my imagination. Antique and artisan people tend to be really unique and interesting people, from different walks of life, looking for the same goal of selling the things that they love and trying to make the things that they are passionate about into a career. So I thought how can I use this little line in my name, and then I started to think of all the other meanings that ‘Duck and Dodo’ had! It also need to be something that would stick in people’s heads; ‘Antique and Artisan Market’ just sounds boring. Not boring as a concept, but boring as a name. I have a very good friend that I met through BATL (Backyard Axe Throwing League), who is actually making me a pub sign to hang off the side of the building that has a duck and a dodo on it! I have a taxidermy duck for the market, but I don’t know where to get a dodo from.

CASA: What is it you like about London? Why not set your business up elsewhere? The thing about London, is that there are so many little sub cultures and communities. We all know each other, we all help each other out, and it’s a very tight community in that way. There is so much going on, especially in the arts community in London. When I design a kitchen for someone, I become part of the family essentially for that period of time. And when I tell them about everything going on they are always shocked that there is so much going under their noses! As well as providing an outlet for local artisans, Tiffany is hoping to use the space to benefit the wider arts community in general. She plans to run special events for artists and musicians, and even encouraging students to sell and showcase their creations. So any budding artists should feel free to get in touch! The vibe and the feel of the space is very important, I am thinking of having art shows and opening the space up for that too. It’s a great way of bringing the community together. I wanted a space that was big enough to fit in as many people as possible. Everybody that is going to be working at Duck and Dodo is passionate about the things that they are selling. By allowing them to help build and shape things, they can feel like they have ownership of the space, and that helps them get excited. Down the road I plan to do shows where students can bring in items that they have created and sell them with no rent and only a very small commission. I really want to work with the schools to encourage the artists of the future.

Duck and Dodo opening weekend is 12th and 13th November, 11-5 on the Saturday and 11-2 on Sunday. After that they’ll be open Wednesday to Sunday (closed Monday and Tuesday) at 245 Maitland. For information on special events and the market itself check out the Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/duckanddodo/) or visit on opening weekend to get a real feel for the buzz of this exciting new market!

CASA London 11

Chocolate As It Should Be

It is always good to consider the ingredient list on product packaging. If you cannot pronounce an ingredient name, it is generally best to leave it on the shelf. Philippe, of Habitual Chocolate, is a Swiss born chocolatier, who has been in Canada for 8 years. He had worked for the company approximately three years when he was given the opportunity to take over the business, in January of 2015, on the very same day as the birth of his son! Philippe never imagined, after his 5 year apprenticeship in Switzerland, which included baking, pastry and candy-making, that he would end up owner of his very own chocolate shop in Canada. In general, chocolatiers are taught and practise making chocolate from an already prepared chocolate that requires tempering and pouring to be made into lovely treats. I never enjoyed the fact that I didn’t get to see the whole process through from start to finish. But once I’d had the opportunity to make chocolate from the bean, I was hooked! With commercial chocolate suppliers, you have some freedoms to make the chocolate your own, but there is only so much that you can do. The chocolate all comes from a standard recipe which will always taste the same, no matter the season. With ‘bean to bar’ there are so many possibilities; so many varieties and flavour profiles in the beans. Habitual Chocolate currently uses beans from 9 different countries, which include: Dominican Republic, Peru, Nicaragua, Madagascar and the Ivory Coast. As a small company, they prefer to purchase beans that support small family farms, wherever possible. This is something that Philippe is very passionate about. All of our beans are ethically sourced, which goes beyond ensuring fair wages and work conditions for farmers, extending to proper treatment of the environments and sustainability of the crops. We purchase beans from regions where changes in season, can actually affect the flavour profiles of the beans, in subtle nuanced ways. Sometimes these nuances are so subtle, that I’m still learning how to identify them. When we work with small farms, it often means that we will have bars which are limited editions, due to the small quantity of beans available. Although we like to keep our collection to 16+ varieties, we may not always have the same ones available from one year to the next. CASA London: What makes your chocolate different from commercial chocolate? Our chocolate has a base of three ingredients. These are: Cacao Beans, Cacao Butter & Cane Sugar. Your average commercial chocolate can actually have over 300 ingredients – many listed under general terms such as “artificial flavour�.We like to be as sensitive as we can to food allergies and sensitivities. All of our bars are made on a production line free of soy, nuts, and gluten. We also have a significant line of bars that are dairy-free. For most customers, truly understanding what is in their favourite commercial chocolate is difficult. Many people, who fear a chocolate allergy, are actually having reactions to all of the additives found in it, and not the cacao itself. It is often a surprise to our customers that our chocolate is quite healthy. It is high in fibre, and many necessary minerals that support your body. Many customers visit with the common misconception that all dark chocolate is terribly bitter, and that an increase in cacao percentage is always indicative of a more bitter flavour. Truly, it is the flavour and acidity of the bean that dictates the bitterness. The cacao percentage merely lets us know how much of the bar is made of the cacao bean itself.

CASA London: What is your favourite chocolate, that you make? My favourite is the 80% from Ecuador. It has an apple spice flavour profile, and the beans are very limited. We feel lucky to have gotten to work with this bean, even with only one bag. The “Nacionalâ€? bean, which is native to Ecuador, was thought to have gone extinct in 1912. More recently, they have rediscovered trees in a remote part of the country. They are now able to revisit this ancient variety, and you have the opportunity to try chocolate made from beans that were thought to be extinct! These beans come from one of the first batches that has become available on the market. We always love to share the story behind our chocolate, and it is an exciting experience for the customers to come in and try the latest limited edition bar and hear the newest tales. The modern customer likes to see a more natural & preferably local product. When customers come in to see us, we love to share with them that there is a world of chocolate that they may have yet to experience. Like coffee and wine, the flavour of the product varies between regions and with growing conditions. We like to take the opportunity to introduce customers to what goes into making our product, so that they can be comfortable in the knowledge that the quality will warrant the slightly higher cost, when compared to commercial chocolate. Although our climate in Canada is not conducive to growing cacao, we do try to source many of our additional ingredients locally. When someone comes into the shop, they can try samples of almost all of our products. We stand behind the quality of our products, and recognise that 16+ flavours can be a bit daunting, if you weren’t able to try them and be sure that each bar, that you chose to take home, was just the flavour for you! We feel that if you make a purchase that you’re happy with, you’re more likely to share that happiness with a friend, and positive word of mouth has proven to be one of the best marketing tools for our company. CASA London: What does the future hold for Habitual Chocolate? At this point, we aren’t looking at expanding through franchising, but we are always excited to see the growth in our business. I want to continue to be involved in the making of all of the chocolate. I have room to grow, but it is very important to me that the chocolate making process maintain a level of quality that I am happy to sell to my customers. We want to help customers realize that chocolatey indulgences do not have to leave one feeling guilty, or full of artificial ingredients. We love that Habitual has a wide range of customers, and are excited to see that people are excited by the things that we do. Find Habitual Chocolate at the Farmer’s and Artisan’s Market at Western Fair and in Fire Roasted Coffee shops around London. ;QWoNN CNUQ Ć‚PF VJGO KP 9QQFUVQEM QP &WPFCU 5VTGGV CPF KP specialty food and health shops around Ontario. Find more details at http://www.habitualchocolate.com and http://www.habitualchocolates.com.

Kinehdn Maple Sugar Co. Bill and Pat Reath have been in the maple business in one capacity or another for half a century. From having to scrub the sticky walls of their house after making VJGKT ƂTUV DCVEJ QH OCRNG U[TWR VQ TWPPKPI -KPGJFP /CRNG 5WICT %QORCP[ VJG[ JCXG YCVEJGF VJG OCRNG business grow and evolve over the years. I sat down with Pat and Bill to hear a little bit about their life in the OCRNGYQTNFCPFVJGUVQT[QH-KPGJFP/CRNG5WICT%Q $KNNXQNWPVGGTGFCPFEQEJCKTGFVJGNQECN-KPUOGP5WICT$WUJ HQTCPWODGTQH[GCTU.QPFQPoUCPUYGTVQVJGQNKXGXKPGUQH Italy or the grape vines of the Champagne region. Bill: We thought, if we’re going to tap the trees, we may as well make syrup. Kinsmen run a tour, and the syrup that they make, they sell it on site. The process of making Maple Syrup has changed a lot over the years. It has gone from tapping little wooden spiles into VTGGU C HGY JWPFTGF [GCTU CIQ VQ VJG OQFGTP XCEWWO techniques that are used today. The vacuum used is very UOCNNCPFECWUGUXGT[NKVVNGJCTOVQVJGVTGGUVJGOUGNXGUCU UCR JQNGU JGCN YKVJKP VJG [GCT s -KPUOGP JCXG UQOG VTGGoU over 100 years old that have been tapped every year. Bill: Today it’s a very simple process of reverse osmosis and boiling the water off. I don’t use reverse osmosis, I think it’s better the old fashioned way; I think you get more flavour. Call me biased, but I’ll put my syrup on the table in a blind taste test and customers will pick mine 95% of the time. You have to be proud of what you sell. All the products we stock are from suppliers that I have researched and trust. Pat: One of the key things to remember about maple syrup, is that there is nothing ever added. It is the sap that comes out of the tree, that gets boiled and that’s it! -KPGJFP/CRNG%QJCXGCHGYNKVVNGUGETGVUVJCVVJG[UJCTGF with me about how they makes their syrup that little bit DGVVGT6JGKT/CRNGU[TWRKUVJCVoUCNKVVNGJKIJGTVJCP CXGTCIG YJKEJ OGCPU VJG ƃCXQWT KU VJCV NKVVNG DKV UVTQPIGT and richer! Syrup in Ontario tends to be a little richer than normal.

9JCV%CPoV;QW &Q9KVJ/CRNG! Bill: The Wildfire line of products is made exclusively for us, the first hot sauce, Kinehdn Wildfire – I thought it was pretty hot. People said it wasn’t very hot, so I made another batch called Extreme Wildfire. And some people thought it was hot, some people said it still wasn’t. So I made another called OMG Wildfire, but still a few people think it’s not too hot! I won’t make another one, but the next batch of OMG Wildfire I am going to put a hybrid ghost pepper in…. %#5# .QPFQP 5Q KU VJGTG CP[VJKPI VJCV ECPoV DG OCFG YKVJOCRNG! Bill: I think we’re the biggest little maple store – we have 152 products and sizes. We’re a full service company, we try to do a little of everything. They stock maple sap water now, with similar health benefits of coconut water. And when you filter the syrup you get a fine residue called sugar sand that jewellers used to use. Now you get people putting it in body wash and facial scrubs. #VVJG-KPGJFP/CRNGOCTMGV[QWoNNƂPFJCPFCPFDQF[ NQVKQP DWDDNG DCVJ CPF NKR DCNO HQT C VCUV[ ƂTUV MKUU  #PF KH [QWoTG WPUWTG CDQWV YJGVJGT -KPGJFP /CRNG DWVVGTQTLGNN[KUHQT[QWECPVT[DGHQTG[QWDW[ Bill: We believe in sampling, it’s what sells. If you’re going to spend $65 on a big jug of syrup you want to know what it tastes like.

Bill: I bottle at 200 degrees, bottles are heated to 200 degrees, so it’ll rarely have mold. If it’s less than 200 there is a chance that mold will grow and if it’s over 200 there is a chance that you’ll get glucose crystals.

&GURKVGJCXKPIDGGPKPVJGDWUKPGUUHQT[GCTU[QWECP still see the passion that they both have for their product. 6JG[ CTG EQPUVCPVN[ GXQNXKPI CPF KORTQXKPI URTGCFKPI their love of maple to everyone that comes to their store.

Pat: The kids love the crystals. When we first started there would always be crystals at the bottom and the kids would fight over the bottle.

Bill: 50 years ago I would have said I know everything about making maple syrup. Now I’d say I know nothing, I’m still learning. I love sharing my knowledge with people – I love people. Part of what we do here is educate. I love working the market, it’s like a big happy family. Well a big family… if you have brothers and sisters you know what I mean.



CASA London 13

Frittersweet Symphony CASA London: Why don’t you tell us about Fritters? Explain them for those of us who haven’t had the pleasure of trying them yet! The apple fritter is something that you eat on New Year’s Eve in Holland. We start with a ring of real apple, which is then filled with home-made custard. It’s wrapped in a pastry dough, coated in a cinnamon sugar, and made fresh every day. They have no additives or preservatives, whereas today most things are mass produced. Our Mantra is back to the basics, an old fashioned way of doing things, in modern times, with a modern brand. It's as natural as it gets. CASA London: Where did your forays into baking begin? With the baking aspect of it, I have learnt everything from my dad. I always kinda helped out as a kid, but when I was 14 I really started to take it seriously. I always enjoyed it and took it seriously, but I didn’t think that was the path I was going to take. Dutch baking is definitely the best in the world, not that I am biased! CASA London: When did you realized that this was something you wanted to do professionally? I always knew I wanted to start a business, when I was 17 my dad said to me about the family business, and then I really started to take it seriously. So that’s when we started to make all the new flavours. I thought, we make the apple fritter, but what about other flavours? My Dad didn’t really want to do it, so I kept nagging him and nagging him. Eventually he gave in and we made blueberry – it was a big hit! Now at Kelvin’s we make 11 flavours, and I’m always trying new things. CASA London: What have [QW NGCTPV HTQO [QWT ƂTUV year in business? I’ve learned and grown so much since opening in January. Something I have underestimated a lot, is the amount of work that goes into running your own business, but you just have to organize everything, and get it done. I have really learned the importance of planning ahead before any type of event. It can get very stressful when something goes wrong. Another thing I've learned is that you can't be afraid to ask questions. You have to accept that there are things that you don't have the answers to. It is so important to put your ego aside and ask for help. Being willing to do that has saved me a lot of time and stress. CASA London: Where do you see Kelvin’s Fritter Shop going in the next couple of years? I’m thinking of growing it into the manufacturing and wholesale side of things. At the minute we are in Fire Roasted Coffee and we’re growing across all of Western University; it’s a great way to spread the product. In the next few years I hope to be all over London and have people everywhere selling my fritters. We are looking at potentially getting into supermarkets but haven't put that strategy into action just yet. The issue with supermarkets is that it’s such a natural product, it has a really short shelf life, and we want to make sure we don’t compromise on the quality! CASA London: What’s your favourite part of running Kelvin’s Fritter Shop? For me it’s really the sales, I love being at farmers markets. That’s where you get to hear the best feedback on your product, it’s the best way to keep in touch with your customers. You can see what’s selling the best, what people think. The best part is when people haven’t tried the fritters before, they take their first bite and their eyes light up. It’s such a unique product, it is a traditional Dutch fritter, but we have our own recipes. It’s a hand crafted pastry, half of it is just fruit and then it’s wrapped in the fritter dough. One of the big things I like about the market is that it kind of takes you back in time, you can still get everything local and hand crafted.

It’s 1989, you’re wandering through the hazy streets of Amsterdam on a crisp November morning. As you wander past Lieuwma Bakery you get a waft of some incredible authentic Dutch pastries. This was a scene that would have been lived a thousand times. Until in 2001, this particular baker decided he wanted a new challenge. Moving the whole family to St Thomas, Ontario, he carved out a new niche in Canada and laid the foundations for the business that still thrives today. But that is not the story we are here to tell. We are here to talk about the son who spent his childhood making apple fritters and dreaming of how he could do things a little differently. A year after graduating from the business marketing program at Fanshawe he launched Kelvin’s Fritter shop, a thriving little bakery that specialises in fresh, delicious, and hand crafted Dutch fritters.

Kelvin’s Fritter Shop is an incredibly unique addition to the growing market of local and independently producers in the London area. You can catch Kelvin and his delicious fritters (including Blueberry, Cherry, Brownie, and even Banana Almond) at the Western Fair Farmer’s Market every weekend or in the Dutch Bakery on Talbot St. in St. Thomas the rest of the week.

For many years I have loved baking and decorating beautiful, yummy cookies for my family and friends. Their compliments and encouragement, along with my creative streak, ignited my entrepreneurial spirit to launch my baking business, sugar bliss cookies, in 2016. My handcrafted, beautifully detailed cookies are made with only the best ingredients, including organic cane sugar, unbleached flour and Madagascar vanilla. They are truly the perfect option to consider for every occasion, holiday, and special moment! Find us on Facebook: sugarblisscookiescanada Follow us on Instagram: sugarbliss.cookies

Tracey Koivu

Owner, sugar bliss cookies

Little Sisters Chicken

%JKEMGP(CTOKPI(TQO6JG9JQNG(COKN[ 1WVUKFG.QPFQPVQYCTFU.CMG*WTQPNKGUCHCTOHCOKN[YKVJ DKIKFGCU.KVVNG5KUVGTU%JKEMGPKUQYPGFCPFQRGTCVGFD[ 6QP[/CPF[9KNNGOUGCPFVJGKTVYQFCWIJVGTU*CPPCJ .[NC6JG[UGVQWVVJKU[GCTYKVJCDQNFOKUUKQPUVCVGOGPV p6QTCKUGVJGOQUVPWVTKVKQWUN[FGPUGEJKEMGPYJKNGIKXKPI VJGOCJKIJGTSWCNKV[QHNKHGCPFDGKPICUGPXKTQPOGPVCNN[ conscientious as we can� #TOGF YKVJ C UVTQPI DGNKGH KP NQECNN[RTQFWEGFJQNKUVKEHQQFCPFCYKNNKPIHCOKN[QHJGNRGTU 6QP[ CPF /CPF[ CTG TGCF[ VQ DTKPI VJGKT EJKEMGP VQ .QPFQPCPFDG[QPF CASA London: What made you want to start Little Sisters Chicken? As a lifelong farmer, Tony was interested in beginning a new on-farm business, and I was looking for an opportunity to be at home more. We knew there was a demand for locally produced chicken especially in niche markets so we decided to apply for the Artisanal program through The Chicken Farmers of Ontario. Our customers love knowing where there food comes from and we understand that and were happy to become a local producer for them in our area. We decided to focus on a specific type of chicken, feeding our birds a GMO-free feed mix and putting them on pasture daily where they can graze on clover, alfalfa, grasses, bugs, and kale, and have access to lots of sunlight. We also decided to raise our birds without the use of antibiotics. Basically we wanted to raise a type of chicken that currently was hard to find in our area. %#5#.QPFQP*QYJCUVJGƂTUV[GCTIQPGHQT[QW!We got our first chicks in March, and we processed in May, so this is all still relatively new and we have already changed so much. We feel very privileged to have had success in selling our chicken so far and look forward to more growth and opportunity. It's a unique and wonderful thing to actually connect with your customers on a personal level, and to be able to hear great feedback about our chicken is truly the most rewarding part of this. 6 months ago we only had whole roasters or whole roasters cut into pieces for our customers. That was it. Now, we offer whole roasters, flattened boneless roasters, wings, boneless/skinless breasts, bone-in skin on breasts, thighs, boneless/skinless thighs, drums, ground chicken, chicken feet, soup bones, liver & hearts and will soon be offering chicken tender strips. So, as you can tell, we have already grown in ways we really didn't foresee just a few short months ago! We were at the Farmers Markets this summer (Grand Bend & Bayfield) and we sell off our farm as well as at the Village Meat Shop in London, Cloverleaf Farms in New Hamburg and are going to be adding some new locations to that list in 2016. %#5#.QPFQP9JCVUGVoU[QWCRCTV!9J[CTG[QWFKHHGTGPVVQ what you could buy in the supermarket? I suppose what sets us apart from the chicken at the supermarket would be that when you see our label you know exactly where those chickens came from. Little Sisters Chickens were raised on our farm at 2049 Elginfield Road, Parkhill, ON, in our pasture. You know, without a doubt, they are free range chickens, and we did the best job we could as a family to produce a good, humanely raised product for you. From our farm, to your table truly applies in this case.

%#5# .QPFQP 5Q JQY FQGU VJG YJQNG HCOKN[ IGV involved with the business then? Tony is a farmer by trade, he owns and operates Willemse Baling Inc. alongside his parents. He also farms crops and hogs at our farm and he really looks after the day to day operations for our chickens as well. I look after the sales and marketing portion of it and our girls, who are just 6 & 7, generally help with putting the chicken on & off pasture and enjoy playing with them and naming them! I'm sure as time goes on the girls will help out with some more “chores�, but for now they are learning the importance of bio-security and animal welfare at our farm. Soon they are going to have another baby sister (I'm due in February), so I'm pretty happy we decided on the name "Little Sisters Chicken" for our business! It seems to suit our farm. %#5#.QPFQP9JGTGFQ[QWUGGVJKUIQKPI!9JCVFQGU VJG HWVWTG JQNF HQT .KVVNG 5KUVGTU %JKEMGP! In the next 5 years we’d like to see some pretty big growth, and we would love to be quota holders at that time. Hopefully we’ll be offering fresh chicken weekly and, ideally, you’ll be able to find us in some local supermarkets! Honestly, right now we are very happy with fulfilling our local market and seeing where this takes us. We are still very new and really just want to continue to build a relationship with our customers and produce the best quality chicken we possibly can.



Orange & Cranberry Glazed Roasted Chicken

1- (7-8) lb whole chicken 1 orange 1 bunch of Rosemary salt & pepper 1 carrot & 1 celery 2 cloves of garlic 1/2 small spanish onion 1/4 cup of butter

This delicious recipe is simple to make but it presents very well and adds a beautiful touch of Christmas to your dinner party. It's also fun to dress up your table or platter with fresh cranberries, sprigs of rosemary and orange slices to impress your guests.

Orange/Cranberry Glaze 1 cup orange juice 1/2 cup cranberry juice 1/4 cup of fresh cranberries 2 tbsp of honey 1-2 tbsp of brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees 1. Add 1 tablespoon of chopped rosemary to melted or softened butter and stir. 2. Using a sharp knife make a few cuts in the skin of the chicken and brush the rosemary butter mixture under the skin as well as all over the skin. Sprinkle salt and pepper liberally all over the bird. 3. Quarter a fresh orange and add 2-3 wedges to the cavity of the chicken. Add carrot, celery, garlic and 2 sprigs of rosemary to the cavity as well. Tie legs together with kitchen twine if desired. If you want to prevent the wing dips from getting too dark just tent them in tin foil. 4. Put bird into the oven and cook for approx. 2 hours or until your chickens internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.

Making the glaze 1. Add orange juice, cranberry juice, fresh cranberries, honey & brown sugar to a small sauce and bring to a soft boil. Allow mixture to cook down for approximately 15 minutes or until the glaze has reduced and thickened. 2. Brush the glaze all over the chicken every 10 minutes for the last 30 minutes of cooking time. 3. Take chicken out of the oven, tent it in foil and let rest for 15-20 minutes before carving.


CASA London 17

Please join us for the second annual Deck the Halls Holiday Fundraiser in support of PAIL Network. This family event has something for everyone. With over two dozen local vendors we will provide a unique holiday


shopping experience. While you are


here check in with Santa and have your picture taken with all proceeds going to PAIL Network. Face painting


Sunday, November 27 2016

and sparkle tattoos will also be

10 AM TO 3 PM

available, as well as some goodies for

Ramada Inn London

purchase and a large assortment of

817 Exeter Rd, London, Ontario

AMAZING prizes to be won at our

To learn more about

raffle table. The first 50 attendees will receive a goody bag to take home

PAIL Network be sure

and everything supports a cause that

to spend some time

is gaining momentum by the day.

learning through

All money raised will go to help PAIL Network fund amazing resources

their site www.pailnetwork.ca

and supports including: - Peer Led Self Help Bereavement Support Groups - Subsequent Pregnancy Support Groups - One-To-One Support, offered in many languages - Annual Memorial Events PAIL Network holds a number of annual memorials to acknowledge and validate the importance of a baby’s short life and facilitate the mourning process.

18 CASA London


IN LONDON, ONTARIO Creativity brings joy for our soul and when we add them into special events, magic happens. When you hire us, you don't just employ a designer, but someone who will stand beside you, guide your vision through the objectives, take our collaborated ideas and let them Ĺ´RXULVKLQDEHDXWLIXOZD\\RXSUREDEO\GLGQ W even know could happen. From invitation creation to party decoration, VHWXS DQG KRVWLQJ ZH RIIHU LW DOO :KDWHYHU \RXQHHGMXVWDVNDQGZHĹ?OOĆ“QGDZD\ &UHDWLYHUHVRXUFHIXOQHVVDWLWVĆ“QHVW

www.papercloud.ca DIY CRAFT Party


www.facebook.com/papercloud143 Instagram @papercloud_143 papercloud143@gmail.com

City Lights Book Shop

These Books Are A Maze


%#5#.QPFQP9JCVFTGY[QWVQVJGUVQTGKPVJGĆ‚TUV place? Teresa: We loved books. Loving books beyond all reason. I always have and I always will. I find the act of reading one of the most transcendent experiences. You can become inspired by someone else’s words. For me that’s the magic and it’s still unsurpassed. People thought Kindles were going to be the death of books. We aren’t against Kindles, but if you love a book there is something so unique and indescribable about it. There is something unique about the captured knowledge of a book. And you can drop it in the bath and just dry it out. CASA London: What have you added yourself since you took over? Teresa: The second level, it’s another level of exploration. On occasion we have opened the attic to create a strange nostalgia store of objects. We did it last year for the 40th anniversary and called it ‘Grandpa’s Attic’. We try to keep a fun hand-made vibe to it. We’ve been here long enough to see generations come back; parents coming back in years later with children and grand-children to show them where they went as a child. We are in a way a community time capsule. The staff make all the posters in the store, whether they think they have any artistic talent or not (though they often find that they do). The result is a collage of colour and words that perfectly embody the spirit of the shop. The whole store has an air of magic about it, you could get lost in there for days and not realise. The staff have always been terrific – that is one of our greatest resources. Our fortunes rise and fall on our staff’s knowledge base. They have the power to make executive decisions about what to buy. But it isn’t just a place to find books and records, it’s a place of discussion. Even the whole way back in 1975 people would just come in for a chat about what was going on in the news or around town. People will still call us up to ask our opinion on things going on about the place. It’s a place of information, if you work here you are seen as informed. CASA London: What about the future? We haven’t quite found a way to move on yet, things have to evolve. I’m sure there is a lot someone more tech savvy could do with it. It’s a great place for someone to add to the collage. To us it’s a living game, we see it as a Rock’n’Roll kind of place. It’s the best job I have ever had, my 24 years here haven’t dragged at all. But we do want to move on in the next few years, find someone who will take care of it like we did. For the sake of the people of London I hope that when VJG[ EJQQUG VQ Ć‚PCNN[ RCUU VJG DCVQP QP VQ UQOGQPG else that they will keep the spirit of the store alive! City .KIJVU KU VJG RNCEG VQ Ć‚PF DQQMU QP CP[VJKPI [QW ECP FTGCO WR 5EKĆ‚ CTEJKVGEVWTG NCPIWCIG QT YTKVKPI IWKFGU+H[QWECPKOCIKPGKV[QWECPĆ‚PFKVUQOGYJGTG on the shelves of City Lights Book Shop. Maybe even lose a few hours to the wonder of the store.

20 CASA London


Christmas in


There is no place in the world like New York. With its heart full of pulsing energy, the city is always in motion, inspiring those who walk the streets to follow their wildest dreams. You’ll always arrive to find New York crowded and bustling with life, the people streaming hurriedly through the city like drops of water down the Hudson River. It’s this perpetual state of life that makes people fall in love with the city, it’s contagious. You have no hope of remaining indifferent to the Big Apple. Though the season is of little consequence to this love affair, there’s definitely something special about New York at Christmas. It really is a magical time, the streets are adorned with Christmas trees, crowded with Santas, and the songs of carol singers shimmer in the air – it’s like stepping into your very own Christmas movie. At other times of the year you can explore the city intuitively, just listening to your heart and walking through the streets. But in a busy holiday season, you’re much better off planning your route.

CASA London 21


What morning starts without a good cup of coffee? If you walk down the West Broadway to the intersection with Spring Street, you will find the cute and cozy Ground Support Café – it’s probably one of the best coffee shops in New York. Take a seat in the front of the window and while you wait for your first cup of freshly brewed coffee, enjoy the street view. Take in hurrying passers-by and the morning sun, rising over the awakening city. Next up, you can take a stroll through SoHo, where you’ll find the best dressed New Yorkers; it’s a district steeped in the latest fashion trends. If you’re lucky you’ll be able to snap a selfie with some of the locals like Taylor Swift, Alicia Keys, John Legend or Samuel L. Jackson. If it is chilly outside you can always find ways to warm up, be sure to check out Russ & Daughters Café on Orchard Street. You can order yourself some fresh bagels with cream cheese and smoked salmon and a hot cup of tea. But if you are really hungry, head to the Sarabeth (at the intersection of Park Ave. South & 27th Street); the breakfasts there are delicious - the eggs and omelets come highly recommended. But New York will only be starting to open up its heart for you, there’s a whole day ahead and countless places worth visiting.

Before it gets too overcrowded, head down Fifth Avenue – everything on this street is soaked in Christmas spirit. Holiday windows at Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman, and Lord &Taylor stun with their unique beauty, with each of them telling a fascinating story. By now hundreds of Santa Clauses are heading to begin the new day, all whilst enthusiastic bell ringers sing Christmas songs so incendiary and infectious that you just might have stop to sing and dance with them. When you reach the intersection with 59th Street near the Plaza, turn right and go straight into the Columbus circle, to the charming holiday market. If you are passionate about finding vintage Christmas toys, you’ll find yourself at home right here, and just like the Union Square Market, there is a bounty of treasures waiting to be found.

After your shopping, you can order some hard earned mulled wine with gingerbread cookies right there, at the market. Now, you’re just a few short steps from Central Park and its famous Wollman Ice Skating Rink. There you can enjoy skating with a picturesque view on Manhattan: powerful skyscrapers rising above tiny snow covered tops of the trees. Further down Fifth Avenue (at the intersection with 42nd Street) you’ll also find Bryant Part Winter Village, complete with a holiday market and another fantastic ice rink. However, the real highlight here is the incredible New York street food that lines the sidewalks nearby. For those of you who love Greek food, the Gyro food truck is a must try, with gorgeous Greek style shawarma – a juicy sandwich with lamb, onions, tomato, and tzatziki sauce rolled into a pita. Or alternatively you can bounce down to Gyro II at the intersection of 7th Avenue and 33rd street.

22 CASA London


EVENING As the evening descends on New York, the city miraculously transforms. Department stores compete with each other, performing fabulous light shows on their facades; parks are lit with colorful garlands and webs of bright lights envelope every building and every tree.

If you stay around the Central Park west entrance (the Merchant’s gate), you can sit on the bench and enjoy performances of colorful street musicians and passionate dancing students from theater colleges. At this point you might need to catch your breath for a moment and escape from the busy streets. Well, you’re in luck! It’s just a few short steps to the Ralph Lauren store at 711 5th Avenue, then a hop up to the 2nd floor and you’re in Ralph’s Coffee. You can gaze out of the huge glass windows at the madness of city life below, all while enjoying a piping hot cappuccino – and the lemon poppy seed muffins come highly recommended! Luckily, not everybody knows about this laconic and stylish place, so you’ll normally have a good chance of finding an empty table.

CASA London 23


Addresses Ground Support Café 399 West Broadway, NYC Mon -Fr 7 a.m - 8 p.m. Sat-Sun 8 a.m.- 8 p.m. www.groundsupportcafe.com Russ & Daughters Café 127 Orchard street, NYC Mon -Fr 10 a.m. -10 p.m. Sat-Sun 8 a.m. -10 p.m. www.russanddaughterscafe.com Sarabeth 381 Park Ave. South at 27th Street, NYC Tue-Sat 8 a.m.-11 p.m. Sun & Mon 8 a.m.-10.30 p.m. www.sarabethsrestaurants.com Union Square Market Union Square Park, Southern Side Nov 17th – Dec 24th Columbus Circle Market Columbus Circle, 59th Street and Central Park West November 29th – December 24th

From there you can take a stroll five streets down, to the Rockefeller Center. It is home to, what many consider to be, the Christmas tree of the America; shimmering and sparkling with thousands of lights. However, once you’ve snapped some photos, it’s unlikely that you’ll want to hang around too long – you’d be hard pressed to find busier place in New York during holiday season! You’ll be much better off crossing the street to the Radio City Music Hall at 1260 6th Avenue to get a breath of pure Christmas spirit at the Christmas Spectacular. The Christmas Spectacular, performed by the Rockettes, is an amazing and vibrant show, that is bound bring out your inner child - the plot, narrated by Santa, is absolutely breathtaking. And if you can’t get enough of the show, you can take the backstage tour at Radio City to uncover all the secrets of the theater and quiz the legendary Rockettes girls in person. The perfect end to such a magical evening should be in a cozy, atmospheric place, such Tavern on the Green at the intersection of 67th street and Central Park West – we suggest you try the scallops served with a beautiful cauliflower puree. You’ll find yourself in a secret garden in one of the most beautiful parks in New York City, to hide away and reflect on your whirlwind tour of the city that never sleeps. You may be tired but New York never slows down! It is absolutely impossible not to fall in love with New York - it pulls you in and doesn’t let you go, even for a second. Once you come here, you’ll be hooked – you might even find yourself planning your return on the journey home. To plunge head first into this sea of noise, life, and culture for the first time is an experience you will never forget. New York is terrific at any time of the year, but Christmas Eve is reminiscent of a fairy tale - and that bit of magic is something we could all do with a little more of in our lives. by Michelle Romanyuk Ambassador of CASA London magazine in New York, United States

Bryant Park Winter Village 41 W 40th St between Sixth and Fifth Avenues Oct 29th - Jan 2nd Wollman Rink 830 5th Ave, NYC Mon-Tue 10.00 a.m. – 2.30 p.m. Wed-Thu 10.00 a.m. – 10.00 p.m. Fri- Sat 10.00 a.m. – 11.00 p.m. Sun 10.00 a.m. – 9.00 p.m. www.wollmanskatingrink.com Gyro II 427 7th Ave New York, NY Mon-Sat 9.30 a.m.- 9.30 p.m. Sun 11.00 a.m. - 9.30 p.m. Ralf’s Coffee 711 Fifth ave (2nd floor of Ralf Loren shop) Mon-Sat 10.00 a.m.-8.00 p.m. Sun 11.00 a.m.- 8.00 p.m. Radio City Music Hall Rockefeller Center 45 Rockefeller Plaza, New York www.rockettes.com Tavern on the Green 67th street & Central Park West Mon - Fri 11.00 a.m. – 11.00 p.m. Sat 9.00 a.m. – 11.00 p.m. Sun 9.00 a.m. – 10 p.m. www.tavernonthegreen.com Photos: Shutterstock Images

CASA London magazine


# #casalondonlaunch


Profile for CASA London

CASA London November-December 2016  

The first Christmas issue of CASA London magazine. CASA London is the fresh, unique, and exciting new lifestyle magazine for readers in the...

CASA London November-December 2016  

The first Christmas issue of CASA London magazine. CASA London is the fresh, unique, and exciting new lifestyle magazine for readers in the...


Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded