Thursday, January 5, 2012

Aubergine Specialty Foods

Address: 1308 Gladstone Ave

Phone: (250) 590-1031
Notes: Like a mini-Market on Yates, also carries eggs & milk & meat & such for those emergency weekend breakfasts as well as import foods


It sounds a little weird to write about a store that stocks a lot of import foods in a blog dedicated to local food, but Aubergine also carries quite a bit of local produce (they claim to be the only place that goes to the farmers and selects their produce by hand!) and meats, including kosher meats, and besides, if you're an expat pining for goods from your homeland, Aubergine just might be the only local place to get such things! Heck, if they carried British-style raspberry sponge cakes or curry Pringles (sadly, I think, discontinued everywhere now) I wouldn't be able to stay away and I'm only an honourary expat!

I also have a huge fondness for Fernwood groceries. As a former employee of Wall's, the now-closed but oldest (to my knowledge) small grocery in the neighbourhood, and friend/fan of Mom of the far-too-short-lived Mom's Market, I am so happy to frequent Aubergine.

It's a tiny store, but jam packed with product! Some of it is pretty pricey but obviously you will pay a premium for import/organic/specialty foods and it will be absolutely, totally worth it! They're hitting a pretty good note for the neighbourhood, lots of organicy foods to satisfy the hippies, plus enough snacks to satisfy the stoners (including "Hippie Chips" which I had to giggle at, since it satisfies the large number that occupy the overlap on that venn diagram).

Buy a deck of Taste Locally deals & receive $5 off your purchase when you spend $25 or more before tax plus one free Vij's curry when you purchase three at Aubergine! 

Find out more about supporting local restaurants, wineries & cafes in Victoria and becoming a local hero at

* Expires October 1st 2015

January 5, 2011

Leon also wins a price for being the first person to "out" my secret blogger identity. Good job, Leon!

I've been visiting more and more frequently lately... initially I started visiting mostly because it's closer to my house than the big grocery store (and I am really good at lazy), and a good walk for the dog (plus a good tying up spot outside) but now I just prefer it for the quality of the ingredients and the comfort that comes with the conversation and camaraderie of the corner store vibe. Also - he is now stocking Cold Comfort which we have an addiction to...

July 24, 2011
I've been in a few times to pick up odds and ends, and I have really noticed how much the owner is part of the community - several times I've seen him chatting to people outside the shop, joking with regulars and generally being lovely. Today was no exception!

March 3, 2011
The owner was there when I arrived, but left shortly after as it was pretty late in the day. I did get a weird look for tying up my dog, but that could be because she then chose to sit right in front of his car. (Not sure when she got so silly - despite growing up on the street in Mexico she seems to have un-learned that cars are dangerous. Mental note to find a better tie-up spot next time...). The staff member was very friendly.

January 5, 2011
I've got lots of stuff here lately:
- amazing eggs (although it sounds like his local supplier is replenishing the hens so they will be out of stock temporarily. If you have a source for local eggs I'm sure he would appreciate the connection!)
- curry! Leon has been getting a local South African chef to make ready-to-go curries in microwavable containers with cous cous. They're pretty tasty.
- produce (local. awesome.)
- my christmas tree! still going strong with very little needle droppage even though we've neglected to water it frequently... the one we got last year was dropping needles and thirsty from day one. plus, we were so busy before christmas that we ended up getting it late... and half price which was unexpectedly awesome.
- lots of exotic fancy sauces
- there is quite a selection of exotic cookies and treats and most the christmas treats are on significant sale right now.
- house-roasted coffee that is quite good.

He has also started stocking South African-style Meat Pies. This Sunday, January 8th between 12 and 1:30 he is giving away Free Pies so stop by if you want to sample them.

I haven't tried them myself yet (I'm not so much of a meat pie person...) but I might give in if it's free since I've been convinced by my partner-in-food-and-life that I need to re-try everything I don't like because my mom cooked it for me.

July 24, 2011


I had craving for some boerwors - I've had it for a while now (ever since Fernwood Bites). My first love was a South African, and he and his family introduced me to the delightfully spiced sausage spiral that is boerwors! It was the Perfect day for barbecue, so off to Aubergine we walked. They had a special on - two packages for $17 which sounds expensive until you realize that these are huge links of sausage! His boerwors (as mentioned above, imported from Vancouver) is pretty spectacular - subtle spices, and super juicy.

We decided to serve it on a 'bun' today which was really a piece of garlic & pepper Portofino bread cut in half and then sliced again. A marinated portobello topped some local & organic greens and an heirloom tomato.  (Bacon in the salad & grilled onions were not purchased at Aubergine but also pictured.)

It was so good that plating it up, I drooled on myself not once, but twice. Truly. Epic.

March 3, 2011
They have a sale on GT's Organic Raw Kombucha drink right now ($2.99 a bottle). I've never tried or heard of Kombucha before, but despite how it may appear to readers of this blog, I am interested in the idea of raw foods. I opted for the 'gingerade' flavour figuring if it was weird tasting, the ginger might cover up a multitude of sins! I was pretty much right. Kombucha is a drink fermented with a funky yeast-monster. There are claims about health benefits, which I can't really support or dispute except to say that I have not keeled over. Yet.

I also discovered that Kettle Chips make an organic variation, which I was previously unaware of, and also that there's a chipotle barbecue flavour, ditto the unawares. I love chipotle and kettle chips so I was very disappointed to find out that the flavour was more like barbecue and less like chipotle. I'm not sure the organic is the best value, the bag seemed smaller and I'm sure they charge you more despite that... but then again, can you really put a price on "chemical-free" food? ;)