The Purchase Pondered

Sometimes shopping can be a revelation. For instance, have you ever wondered…

What Coal Town’s Crest Is All About?
Last year, Nicole Leckenby and Deanne Peake, co-owners of Coaltown, commissioned Nicole Yanota ( to create a unique Fernie crest. “I just love her art,” said Leckenby, explaining why they decided to work with Yanota. “There’s a real positivity about her images.” And she’s been known to add touches of humour to her work, too. For instance, unlike the bear on Fernie’s official City Coat of Arms, Coaltown’s bear sports a fresh tattoo on his/her foreleg (complete with stubble). A radiant sun tops the crest (“My husband always says that the sun shines on the brightest,” explained Leckenby). A dogwood blossom (BC’s official flower) floats above the Three Sisters, the Elk River, and a coal seam. The bear and elk stand in huckleberry bushes. “Huckleberries are a big part of this town,” said Leckenby, pointing out how much Fernians enjoy picking them. The Latin wording on the ribbon, Leckenby said, states what she felt to be the three elements that best represent Fernie–the mountains, the river, and coal. The ferns symbolize, well, Fernie. So why isn’t there a bike, a board or a pair of skis? “Dee and I wanted this to represent more of the essence of Fernie,” said Leckenby, explaining how she wanted to tap into the town’s natural elements and “real simple core values” recognized by all generations. Coal Town Fernie Crest available in three sizes of wood wall hangings as well as sweatshirts, T-shirts and, new this summer, tank tops.

Small wood wall hanging, $38, at Coaltown, 591B 2nd Ave.

Where that Chopstick Truck Goes?
Sure, from spring to fall you’ve seen that distinctive green food truck parked in and around town. And you might’ve spotted it parked at The Alpine Lodge, up on the ski hill, when they catered a private event there. But possibly one of Fernie’s best-kept foodie secrets is that co-owners Sydney and Taylor Salvador will take that truck just about anywhere in the area where there’s a road, paved or not, to cater parties and weddings under the stars. “We can cater in very remote areas,” revealed Sydney, though off-roading isn’t an option. So if you’re planning a fete on the shoreline of Lake Kookanusa, for instance, give the sisters a call. They offer a full dinner menu or you can opt for appies to start off an event or re-fuel late night revellers (think platters of munchies served to dancing guests until 1 am). Heads up, brides and grooms–they offer a very special dessert not offered on their regular menu. Sweet Pillow Cakes, delectable deep-fried wonton shells filled with toasted coconut and roasted peanuts, are only served by The Chopstick Truck at weddings.

Full meal for a group, delivered on location, minimum order $1000. To reserve, call 250-430-7688 or contact

Why Fernie’s Own Kombucha is So Unique?
Just a couple of blocks from Fernie’s high street (2nd Avenue, not Highway 3), hidden within a cozy home, lurks a huge Mother SCOBY and her…erm…its babies floating in a vat of green tea and sugar. Luckily, Simon Lefrancois and Ami Lee have everything under control. They’re the owners/brewers behind Fernie Alpine Springs, makers of single brew kombucha. Working in partnership, so to speak, with the SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast), they create effervescent probiotic drinks subtly flavoured with herbs and fruits. Two of their seasonal flavours feature fresh harvests of quintessentially local ingredients. Their popular Spring Magic brew, for instance, is flavoured with rhubarb they grow in their own backyard. Since the amount they brew depends entirely on how much of a crop they get from their garden, it’s a limited edition. Last year, however, customers wanted more of Spring Magic so much that they surprised Simon and Ami by bringing them their own rhubarb. “We felt so loved!” said Ami. Later this summer, they’ll be offering Secret Huckleberry Patch, a brew from–you guessed it–a secret patch near town. (No, they wouldn’t reveal its location.) They limit this batch by choice. “We want to leave some for the bears!” admitted Lee. Here’s to sharing the tastes of summer–flavourful though fleeting.

Seasonal and year-round brews: 16 oz. filled bottle, $8; Bottle refill, $6. All year round brews available at Freshies, 632 2nd Ave. A selection of year-round brews available at the Farmers’ Market, Wednesday Concert Series, and Wapiti. Spring Magic, available now, and Secret Huckleberry Patch, available mid-summer, both for a limited time only, exclusively at the Sunday farmers’ market and Wapiti.