With dozens of independent stores radiating from its Moncton Street main drag, Steveston Village is perfect for a spot of leisurely retail therapy. But if you’re pressed for time while searching for that ideal gift—or you just want to spoil yourself with a well-deserved reward—consider beelining straight to Scout & Co

Like a colourful, walk-in kaleidoscope, every surface of this long, slender shop is full of tempting handmade items, ranging from jewelry and bath products to baby toys and T-shirts. It feels like a permanent arts and crafts market in miniature, which isn't surprising when you hear its backstory.

Scout & Co
Scout & Co's sidewalk signs invites customers inside. | Photo: John Lee

Crafty Beginnings

“I used to work in finance, but I’ve always been a maker at heart,” says Scout & Co co-owner Ginna Caldwell, who counts crochet, macramé, and fibre arts among her skills. After hosting craft shows with business partner Jonathan Villocero—whose own creativity stretches from leatherwork to gourmet salts—the pair decided to take the plunge with a permanent storefront in 2016.

Scout & Co
Ginna Caldwell, one of the co-owners of Scout & Co. | Photo: John Lee

Moving from their initial Steveston location when a prime Moncton Street spot opened up in 2017, their store is a brilliantly curated cornucopia of items from multiple creators. Almost all are BC-based—including several from Steveston and many more from the wider Lower Mainland area. “Everything is made by hand, affordability is key, and we’re always looking for something different,” says Caldwell.

A Browser’s Paradise

On our visit, we spotted countless gift ideas for almost everyone we know (the phrase ‘shop early for Christmas’ suddenly made sense). This included pretty pottery bowls, super-cute knitted animal toys, aromatic teas in colourful cans, intricate necklaces resembling filigree butterfly wings, and an array of enticing soaps in a variety of cool colours.

Scout & Co
There are lots of handmade soaps to peruse. | Photo: John Lee

We also checked out the back wall of greetings cards, as well as some charming baby clothes and some beard and shaving products for hip men. In addition, there was an eye-catching menagerie of ‘ethical taxidermy’ artworks: a narwhal, a unicorn, a flamingo, and more, each fashioned from recycled woolen blankets and clothing, and mounted to look like old-school hunting trophies.

Scout & Co
There’s a great array of jewelry to check out. | Photo: John Lee

More than 300 artisans have been showcased at the store over the past two years, says Caldwell. But with so much to look at, newbies often don’t give themselves enough browsing time. “It can be a bit overwhelming: you really need to look at everything if you haven’t been here before. And if you find something you like, don't wait another week to buy it­­—our stock changes all the time and it might not be here the next time you come!”

Scout & Co
Cute knitted toys at Scout & Co. | Photo: John Lee

Vintage Finds and More

Just to make things even harder for shoppers, the store isn't only about new creations. There are also some carefully chosen vintage pieces in the shop. “We’re always looking for authentic items that catch our eye,” says Caldwell, adding that they source their retro stock from across BC, including the Fraser Valley and Vancouver Island. On our visit, these eclectic pop-culture items included nostalgic beer taps, colourful matchbooks, old milk bottle caps, and kitsch-cool pennants from Nanaimo, Osoyoos, and beyond.

Scout & Co
Every inch of the shop is filled with something cool. | Photo: John Lee

And as if tracking down great near-antiques wasn’t enough to keep them busy, Scout & Co also hosts in-store workshops for those keen to exercise their own creative urges, and they also organize and host offsite markets that connect makers and shoppers around the area.

“There’s so much talent in this region. We really try hard to support our makers and our smaller businesses—that’s what buying local is all about,” says Caldwell, as she wraps some retro industrial light fittings purchased by a delighted browser. “And if you’re a shopper, this is an awesome place to discover one-of-a-kind items you’ll never find anywhere else.”

Scout & Co
Earrings at Scout & Co. | Photo: John Lee

If you go:

Scout & Co is located at #130 - 3651 Moncton Street, in the heart of Steveston Village. The store’s current hours are 11:00am to 5:00pm Monday to Saturday, and noon to 5:00pm Sunday. These hours may change seasonally. There is plenty of parking in the village but it’s also easy to reach by bike or transit bus—plan your trip via the TransLink website.