2018 was a very different year than any previous I’ve ever had, full of transitions, new adventures, and beginnings. We started the year knowing it would be full of changes and new discoveries, but it’s nice to reflect on just how many and how far we’ve come. This is my chance to share some of my favorite things about this year, including places, people, and things!
10. Cannabis Legalization
This is probably a favorite for a lot of people, but in addition to being a positive for our business model of selling all kinds of glass together, it’s nice to not feel like a criminal! To go into a store and purchase cannabis is so civilized! You don’t need to know a guy, you don’t need to meet in some strange location, you don’t need speak in codes, it’s all legit! And our Kimberley location means we’ve got some of the first legally operating dispensaries (Tamarack and Earth’s Own Naturals) in the province – civilized!
9. Canadian Lumber Rolling Papers
Something that was really important to us starting out was to be able to carry – in as much as is possible – products that are made in Canada. It’s not too hard to find the glass artists, but finding Canadian-made products for the Smoke Shop proved a bit more challenging. I was super stoked to discover Canadian Lumbers, and even more stoked to discover they are awesome rolling papers!
8. Canadian Glass Artists
Here is where I could write a whole damned novel, but legitimately I have been overwhelmed by how warm, welcoming, and supportive glass artists have been to this wacky idea I had. Full disclosure, since I am also a glassblower many of the artists are people I know personally who are friends, but many were not; it’s been great getting to know everyone and seeing what amazing talent and creativity exists all over this massive land mass of ours.
7. Kimberley Fire Department/City Hall
I’m not sure if you watch the news, but we had some fire activity this summer around the neighborhood… I’d never been on any kind of evacuation alert before, and it was super scary and stressful, especially since we had just completed our move days prior, and just wanted to live our dreams!!! We were blown away by how hard the Kimberley Fire Department and City Hall worked throughout that whole period; we are across the street, and I cannot tell you how many evenings we would see lights on and people bustling around in offices, well into the wee hours of the morning. They’re also all super nice, friendly, and helpful people – and what’s not to like about that?
6. Lois Creek Trails
Okay, so admittedly Kimberley is legitimately full of trails and pathways, but Lois Creek Trails are the closest trailhead to our apartment, a whopping five minute walk. It’s absolutely magical – I don’t think we’ve ever taken then same route twice, and the terrain is full of surprises. I think my most favorite thing about it is how within just a few minutes walk I can be tucked away into the forest.
5. Beers (and food!) at the Shed
During the weeks where we were moving and getting settled, renovating our apartment and the gallery, we had a lot of late nights, often so late that we weren’t left with a ton of options if we needed a bite to eat and a beer. It didn’t really matter, because The Shed quickly became our go-to. Super nice staff, great food, a BC beer menu, and we can go in looking like we’ve just committed any variety of renovation disaster, and be treated like gold.
4. Coffees and Breakfasts
We moved to Kimberley from Calgary, where there is a chain coffee shop or a breakfast place on darned near every corner. We’ve been thrilled to discover that Kimberley is chock full of places that are just as good, if not better! Paper and Cup, Bean Tree, Kimberley City Bakery, Our Place, weekend breakfasts at the Sullivan Pub… and the list goes on!
3. Actually, shopping and restaurants as good as any large city
One of the things that made Kimberley so appealing as a place for Mountain Grass was that the city is full of great, unique shopping and dining experiences. Certainly a trip to the Platzl will provide you a great overview of much of what Kimberley has to offer, but there are shops and restaurants peppered all over the city, in hidden locations you wouldn’t imagine. Kombuchas and cheeses from Creme Cheese Shop, awesome unique gifts at KnickerKnacker, amazing things for your fuzzy loved ones at Kimberley Kritters, beautiful flowers and gifts at Flowers Galore – again, the list goes on! If you’ve never been to Kimberley before by all means start at the Platzl, but make sure you keep walking – there are no shortage of great places to stop in next time you’re in town.
2. Being able to do something that really hasn’t been done before, and people getting it
Much of what Mountain Grass is about is changing the stigma around cannabis, and the things we use to consume it. First and foremost we are a Glass Gallery, so glass is the star of the show, whether it’s the glass you smoke out of, the glass you drink out of, or the glass you put your flowers in. Second of all we are a Smoke Shop, but we aren’t a typical one of those either – it was important to me that the products we bring into the store are good quality, and I spend a lot of time researching brands and products to ensure things are a good fit. I think my favorite thing overall though is when someone comes into the gallery and they immediately get what we are doing – they understand that cannabis consumption isn’t something to be ashamed of, and you should be able to consume your cannabis out of something exquisite and beautiful, the same way you would with your champagne or fine whisky.
1. Kimberley, BC
There is no thing that would be more favorite this year than our relocation to our new hometown of Kimberley, BC. At least once a week we reflect on all the variables that had to come to play for us to be able to move here and just how lucky we have been. It’s so nice to live and work in a place that is so beautiful, friendly, and full of such amazing people. Its like no other ‘retail’ experience I’ve ever had – people here are wonderful to talk to, and so supportive of our new local businesses. We are so grateful for all the kindness we’ve received so far, and we are so looking forward to what 2019 will bring!