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Leading up to the grand opening of their store, Dane Brown and Clinton McDougall, co-owner’s of of Bestie (105 E. Pender St.) turned to crowdfunding site Indiegogo in hopes of raising $10,000 in 35 days to help their small budget- it only took them five. “It gave us some real breathing room,” explains Brown, “but mostly it was validation for our concept.” Those who anted up got glitzy Magic Sausage cards loaded with credits, plus buttons and T-shirts, and, for deep-pocketed investors, invites to tastings and private parties. And when Bestie opens later this month, new memberships will include first dibs on special events.
Limited selection and pain-inducing prices are the twin hallmarks of being a Vancouver tippler, but the siren call of the booze club offers a shortcut to enological nirvana. The best clubs, like Marquis Wine Club add variety to your drinking life. Marquis imports selected bottles not available elsewhere (like the standout whites from Washington’s Maison Bleue) for members and then FedExs them, gratis, to your house/office. For this semi-bespoke service you’ll pay $63 for two bottles up to $160 for six).
Okanagan-based Hemispheres Wine Guild is a little steeper: a trial membership starts with a case ($330; you can go all the way up to 12 cases for $4,400) of the rotating region of specific bottles chosen by winemaker Marcus Ansems as he travels the globe in search of hard-to-source gems (think stellar Hawkes Bay Syrah).
Finally, align yourself with the Campaign for Real Ale Society of BC and for $25 you can stand up for the glorious creation that is natural craft beer. Membership comes with a frothy head of saving: 10 percent off at a slew of hoppy joints.
Sunday Morning Delivery —the mobile arm of Genevieve Mateyko’s Sunday Morning Ice Cream project—brings the goods to you. Subscribers receive a curated (that means surprise) half-pint selection of ice cream delivered each Sunday morning. Kooky flavours abound, but each one is delicious, and not knowing what you’ll get is half the fun. Past deliveries have included Froot Loops, dark chocolate and smoked sea salt, gingerbread stout, cranberry and caramelized white chocolate, and kinako (roasted soybean flour).
Ten years after underground supper clubs first inspired conspiratorial whispers among the foodie elite, the options are now endless for a dinner experience beyond the confines of a restaurant. One of our favourites is Secret Spaces, a fundraiser for Theatre Conspiracy and an ongoing series of cocktail parties and intimate dinners held in architecturally cool locations. Past parties have been held poolside at The Keefer Hotel’s penthouse suite, on the roof of the Marine Building, and in the Arthur Erickson-designed Baldwin House by Deer Lake.
The best $10 you’ll spend all year is on a Cherry Tomato membership to the Vancouver Farmers Markets, which’ll get you discounts from your favourite vendors, a pair of tickets for the monthly market raffle draw, front-of-line access to the holiday market, not to mention major karma points.
Note to readers: The originally published version of this article stated that the opening of Bestie was stalled due to cash woes. This was incorrect. The restaurant was set to open even without the Indiegogo campaign.