It's Wendy Friday!

Wendy Tancock new designs

We've known Wendy Tancock from before there was a Mercantile. Over decades, she has created a body of designs that combine a naïve graphic style with a sharp sense of observation and wit that is engaging, concise, funny, instantly recognizable and always uniquely Canadian. From hand-selling topical T-shirts out of cardboard boxes at Toronto events in the mid-'90s, we've watched her distinctly cottage-industry-scale business catch on with larger and larger markets beyond the city limits.

Now, we're very excited for Wendy that a new distribution partnership is helping customers across Canada be as charmed by her as we've always been. That partnership is also allowing her to branch out in terms of products and we're thrilled to be able to offer her new line of tea towels along with an enhanced selection of coffee mugs and - as usual - her Canuck-centric greeting cards.

So, while you've always been able to find Wendy's greeting cards on our rack in the middle of the store and you've regularly been able to find some of her mugs on our shelves, we're celebrating her success this week with a special window display and an in-store feature spot.

Come in and be charmed. Everyone knows it's Wendy!


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Some thoughts for Canada Day

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Dad's Day Kickstart

We've said it before - for both Mother's and Father's Day: the best possible way to celebrate the people who play those roles in your life - biologically or otherwise - is with your time. Whether that's in the form of a phone-call or FaceTime or a home visit or dinner out or a brand new experience or just hanging as usual, that's what it's all about.

Of course, people want to present some little gift as well or do something a little bit special. And naturally we have all kinds of things in store that would be fitting tokens of appreciation - from BBQ sauces and rubs to snacks and cocktail accoutrements. The possibilities are as diverse as dads!

So here's one little uber-Canadian suggestion for Sunday morning: a breakfast Caesar cocktail (okay, okay - brunch. Let him sleep in a little!)

  • Start with Walter Caesar Mix. Actually, before you do that, check the ingredient list on the supermarket brands to understand why Walter is the clear choice: all natural ingredients, no artificial colours or preservatives and clam juice from OceanWise certified sustainable sources. Plus it's a Canadian company!
  • Once your due diligence is done, rim your glass with Saltwest Naturals Seasar Pleaser from Vancouver Island. (And here's a tip: don't wet the rim with water or a wedge of lime. Dip the rim in a saucer of vodka and let drip for 5 seconds or so before dipping in another saucer with the rimmer - you'll get the perfect rim every time!)
  • Put ice in the glass (or Mason Jar if you must). Add 1.5oz of your favourite vodka (or tequila or certain gins) or virgin if you need Dad alert right away. Depending on whether you're using the Walter classic or Walter mild or if you just like a little boost, augment with Worcestershire or tamari, a dash or two of your favourite No. 7 Hot Sauce, a small spoon of Bubbie's Horseradish (find it in the fridge at the back of the store) and a squeeze of lime, then top the glass with the Walter mix and...well...mix!
  • This is where it gets really fun: the garnish. We recommend an Extreme Bean or a Voth's Pickled Asparagus spear! Or you could go for the classic celery stick, or a carrot stick, or a plump chilled tiger shrimp, or a cube of cheddar or a chunk of chorizo or leftover steak from last night or some combination of any or all of these... again, the options are as individual as the dad-guy in your life.

With that fortification to start things off, let the day unfold. May it be a memorable one!

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Quality Advent Chocolate

Quality Advent Chocolate

Rogers Advent Calendars

I know there are people on our mailing list just because of this item. Customers have been asking about them since mid-October. And for good reason: there are a lot of junky-chocolate advent calendars out there. We're fortunate to get some of these every year from Roger's Chocolatier of Victoria B.C. and they always sell out, so, understandably, customers are looking for a heads-up. This is that heads-up!

There are two designs this year - by Rod Charlesworth on the left and Christine Genest on the right) and each comes in both milk and dark to accommodate different tastes and aesthetics. No matter what different stores and marketers say about the official start to Christmas, there's no countdown better than the advent calendar and no better advent calendar than Roger's!

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