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TGIVD

How fortunate that, this year, Valentine's Day falls on a Friday! You get all this week to fire up your imagination, stoke the fires of passion and then ignite a weekend of loving bliss with a Friday night tête-à-tête/coeur-à-coeur.... if that's your thing.

Honestly, it's one of those holidays that makes us a little bit uncomfortable because it imposes a) an idea of how you express your love and, b) what the nature of that love is. Because in spite of all the emphasis on red and pink it really is a rainbow of feeling that the day is meant to celebrate.

So forgive us our nod to cliché but we do at least imagine that we've got a broad enough array of tools for you to build exactly the kind of tribute to whatever degree of fondness or affection or tenderness or passion that you have in mind to mark.

Special chocolate confections from Odile, Denman Island and Roger's to go the classic route; hibiscus flowers in syrup to drop into a glass of bubbly for a certain flair, heart shaped ravioli from Queen's Pasta in a dinner-for-two size for the home cook, candy hearts for the kid (or the kid in you), the best Valentine's cards on the strip and a whole lot more.

Last weekend was busy with those thinking ahead but there's still time to add just the right accent to your expression of love, so come on in before Friday!

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Boo!

Halloween Stuff

It starts with the Pumpkin Fudge that arrives early October. Not only does it taste and smell fantastic, it triggers something - something in the air. Then the Bat Signal really goes out! And before you know it the Mercantile is filled with spooky stuff.

For school treats try our YumEarth peanut free dummies. There's murderously hot mustard, scary Scoville sauces, bloody eyeball candy decorations for creepy cookies, special edition Laura Slack chocolate skull lollies, halloween lights, mugs, bottle openers, tea towels and other seasonally themed decor items.

Of course, there's  also black cat and black bat pasta from Queen's Pasta - spinach and ricotta filled black pasta ravioli made just for Halloween night dinner and available in our freezer at the back of the store.

And adults know we're a grown up trick-or-treater's dream store!

While we're at it, witches hats off to the people in the neighbourhood who make ours one of the most fun parts of the city to stroll at night with their awesome halloween yard displays. If you haven't walked down Grenadier lately......

Oh. And if you come in late and find we're out of treats, please don't TP our window. We're doing our best to make sure there's enough for all you ghouls and goblins.

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Time for a Heart to Heart

Valentine's Goodies

You know that we love our customers. And we know that our customers know that the Mercantile is the perfect place to provision for LoveDay - that's why they've already put a serious dent in our selection of Valentine's Day cards!

But don't worry, there are still treats galore - whether it's cinnamon hearts to pass out at school, luxurious chocolates from Roger's and Laura Slack, a sweet/tart combo for your sweetheart from Tout de Sweet or heart-shaped spinach and cheese ravioli from Queen's Pasta for a romantic dinner at home. Or all of the above wrapped neatly in a CandyHearts Tea Towel!

That's just a fraction of our Valentine's selection but February 14th is a day that tends to creep up on people so we thought we'd let you know before the rush.

XOXOXOXO from all of us to all of you!

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Fewer tricks, more treats

Halloween Pasta

In communities where they take Halloween seriously, it's a holiday that presents an opportunity to confront fears, exorcise personal demons and commune with the spirit world. At its commercial worst, Halloween is fundamentally about promoting characters from the comic book universe and collecting free sugar. Somewhere in between is where most of us experience this fascinating orphan of a holiday.

Now, if you're looking to provision for the great giveaway at the door, you might want to give us a miss. We don't carry anything "chocolatey", only real chocolate! But if you do want to get into the .... spirit.... of things then there's lots to choose from:

First of all, there's the pumpkin fudge. We have customers who seem to sniff it out a few days before we've even put it on the shelf and they've already made a considerable dent in our stock of this decidedly seasonal treat. If you don't want to miss this year's bumper crop, you might want to get here before the weekend.

Second, if you're making creepy-themed treats at home, we've got everything you need for baking that says "BOO!" - including spooky cooky cutters, blood-coloured icing and dagger, machete and monster-eyes cookie and cupcake decorations.

Third, if you want to be like Mrs. McAuley who always stood on the porch of her house at Halloween dressed as a witch, dispensing little cups of hot chocolate out of her dry-ice enwrapped cauldron while spooky music played in the background... well we've got lots of great cocoa and hot chocolate mixes.

Fourth, if you're thinking past the porch - more about interior decor - we have a variety of harvest and Halloween themed table charms and other decorative items.

And Finally, if you're planning a more adult kind of evening - perhaps a séance/dinner party, Bat and Cat shaped black pasta cheesy ravioli from Queen's Pasta (pictured above) is the perfect primi course for your feast of goat's blood or spiders-flambé or whatever you have in mind. Oh heck, the kids will love them too!

Have a safe and happy Halloween and don't forget to contribute your Jack-o-Lantern creations to the Pumpkin Parade in Sorauren Park!

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Cold Cold Hearts make a Warm Valentine's Dinner

You can pick up all kinds of Valentine's treats this weekend for the LOVE-liest day of the year coming up next week: Popcorn and chocolate Caramel Hearts from Be Mine, Laura Slack's Raspberry Ganache Valentine Dark Chocolate Bar and specialty confections from Denman Island and Saxon Chocolates.

But for a cozy night in, you might want to plan ahead. These ricotta-filled ravioli from Queen's Pasta are cold, cold hearts - but only because we keep them in the freezer at the back of the store. Boil from frozen until they float, finish in a pan with some brown butter, parmesan and pancetta, sprinkle with parsley, serve with a nice bottle of prosecco and things can only get hotter from there!

Pick them up this weekend - quantities are limited!

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'Ween 17

Halloween 17

A walk around the neighbourhood shows that lots of people take Halloween in the right...shall we say.... spirit. Decorations range from the rustic to the elaborate - from the macabre to the hilarious and no doubt the tricks and the treats will be just as diverse (though, please - no toothbrushes!).

In store we have just as much variety - whether you want to make a gourmet nod to the dark side, take your themed decorations down to the finest details or just have a little fun:

Plates, platters and pumpkins plush or permanent; mugs, candleholders, hot sauces, and many of our seasonal favourites - including bat-shaped ricotta ravioli from Queen's Pasta, dulce-de-leche-filled-copper-painted chocolate skulls from Laura Slack and the very last batch of the famous pumpkin fudge from Stratford's Nudge Nudge Fudge.

And, of course, candy in all its forms from health-conscious to luxurious, kid-friendly to grown up. Stock up for a weekend party or provision for the parade of ghouls and goblins, Wonder Women and Pennywises - as the spirit moves you.

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