It hardly seems fair that the B.C. mountain community of Revelstoke enjoys such advantages. Aforementioned mountains. Stellar powder skiing. Charming houses with steep metal roofs to shed all that snow.
Okay, there are a few downsides. Often gloomy skies in winter. Soaring real estate prices (like many B.C. cities and towns). High-density developments threatening the charming neighbourhoods. Lack of affordable housing for tourism-industry staff.
But there’s a reason for this Revelstoke boom. It’s simply a great place to live.
Perhaps the most obvious sign of this unfairness is an abundance of places to eat and drink for a town of 8,200 residents. A quick sampling: fabulous Woolsey Creek Bistro, Paramjit’s Kitchen (Indian), Village Idiot pizza and Mt. Begbie Brewing, one of B.C.’s early craft beer makers.
But it’s the plethora of bakeries that pushes Revelstoke over the top. Modern Bakeshop & Café has been churning out great baked goods since 2005. And I’ve stopped at La Baguette more times than any other place in all my Marathon Mouth travels. Indeed, it’s one of my favourite bakeries in western North America.
Now, there’s a third contender: Terra Firma Kitchen. Ostensibly, it’s a farm-to-table restaurant, with plentiful ingredients from its nearby farm. But it’s the bakery we’ve come to check out, specifically its naturally leavened sourdough bread, of course featuring local ingredients. I devour an excellent savoury scone and start tearing into the fabulous loaf before we even leave town.
Our last stop is at Local Food Initiative, a block-long, outdoor Saturday farmers’ market that can rival most big-city markets. There’s Stoke Roasted Coffee at one end and the lined-up Monashee Spirits Distillery at the other.
In between are three or four (I lost count) vegetable growers, where we load up on big bags of various organic salad greens from market fixture Wild Flight Farm, out of Mara, and local First Light Farm. They’re harvesting these greens in early June, when the seedlings in my Calgary garden are scarcely peeking out of the ground.
It’s really isn’t fair. Damn you, Revelstoke!
Terra Firma Kitchen
415A Victoria Road, Revelstoke, B.C.
Daily 7 am-4 pm
Local Food Initiative Farmers’ Market
First Street East between Mackenzie and Orton Avenues, Revelstoke
Saturday 8 am-1 pm till mid-October