Monday 27 April 2020

Hidden Neighbourhood Gem: The Federal Store Luncheonette & Cafe

When it comes to hidden gems, neighbourhood cafe-grocers are at the top of my list. These little establishments are so much more than a place to grab some pantry staples or a quick bite to eat. Nestled between some of Vancouver's most beautiful early 1900s homes, The Federal Store Luncheonette & Grocer has helped foster a sense of community, inadvertently uniting the neighbourhood. 

The Federal Store is definitely a special place and can be found at the corner of Quebec Street and 10th Avenue. Despite being only a block away from the chaos of West Broadway and Main Street, the atmosphere surrounding The Federal Store is calm and tranquil. On any given sunny day, you will find patrons chatting away happily inside as well as at the tables and lawn out front. It is honestly nice to get away from the big city noise and linger around at the Federal Store and basking in the warmth of the sun. 

Taking into account the pandemic, The Federal Store has modified its operations and offerings to ensure the safety of its staff and patrons. The Federal Store is now doing online orders of pantry staples and groceries. You will also be happy to know that they work hard to stock their shelves with local products and brands. They are also open for in-person orders and I am happy to report they are doing a limited cafe menu. So if its a baked goodie you fancy or quality good ol caffeinated beverage you so desire, you will definitely want to swing by The Federal Store because they will surely help you satisfy that craving of yours. Most importantly, The Federal Store is still doing birthday cakes! 

During my recent visit, I picked up a few goodies:
  • The Federal Store Ginger Coconut Granola - excellent toasted goodness
  • The Federal Store Waffle Mix - yet to make
  • Chicken Salad & Sliced Apple Sandwich - fresh delicious on sourdough bread
  • Roasted Plum Cupcake 
  • Sprinkle Roasted Strawberry Cupcake
I need to take a moment to talk about the cupcakes at The Federal Store. The moist cupcake comes with a generous amount of buttercream which has been applied in the most effortlessly rustic fashion. I do not know how the baker did it, but he managed to infuse the buttercream with the most phenomenal roasted plum and roasted strawberry flavour. It is without a doubt he took his time stewing and roasting the fruit for optimal flavour development before whipping it into the frosting. No artificial flavours or colourings here! Only real flavour!  

Bursting with undeniable charm with a touch of quirkiness, The Federal Store resides in a space with some serious Vancouver history. I cannot help myself, I am a sucker for old architecture. The building was constructed in 1922 by John Coville, a notable Vancouver architect who is behind numerous Mount Pleasant homes as well as the stunning Frontenac Apartments on Quebec Street - just a short walk away! John Coville had built this building for his wife who ran and operated Coville Bakeshop out of it - so romantic! Over the century, it has passed through various owners and in 2016 into the hands of Chriss Allen and Colette Griffiths. 
FUN FACT: Chriss and Colette made the decision to keep the name The Federal Store which operated corner store in the space from 1964 up until the keys were passed over to the current owners. Along with the name, Chris and Colette saved the vintage sign, the one which at first glance looks like Coca-Cola. 
So if you have been looking for a place to pick up pantry staples from local brands or just want to get out for some coffee and cake, then The Federal Store is just up your alley. 


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