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General News · 19th December 2020
Lovena and Ryan Harvey
Happy Holidays Cortes Islanders!

What a year 2020 has been – a challenge for almost everyone on some level. We are grateful, particularly during this time of uncertainty, to live on this island and be amongst such stellar folks. Our kids, Kai, Tosh and Asha have grown up here….and so has our business, Gathering Place Trading (GPT). GPT was founded on Cortes Island and for the first 10 years it flourished here. When our kids started to venture off island for high school 7 years ago, we moved our growing business to Campbell River, so it could have more elbow room to thrive.

Gathering Place has always been so supported by Cortes Islanders who are exceptional foodies and love to ‘spice things up’. Cortes folk drink a lot of Rooibos, liberally use our Sea Salt and enjoy snacking on our dried fruit and coconut. What a following of customers we have here! Thank you so much for your kind support over the last 17 years, your love of our products gave us the courage to venture selling our products off island and has been the root of our success.

We love to offer Cortes Islanders products that we have in abundance (often when new stock is on the horizon) or products that we are discontinuing. We have a few such offers at the moment.

All natural unsulphured Dried Figs – we ordered too many – 1kg bags are 40% off, Packages are 25% off
Figs store well in an airtight container in the freezer.
1kg Reg Price: $26.25 1kg Sale Price: $15.75
150g Reg Price: $6.99 150g Sale Price: $5.25

Organic Coconut Chips (raw) – we are discontinuing this line – 10kg bags are 50% off, 1kg bags are 25% off, Packages are 20% off Available while quantities last – these freeze really well – stock up on a years’ supply of coconut!
10kg Reg Price: $120 10kg Sale Price: $60
1kg Reg Price: $15 1kg Sale Price: $12.
150g Reg Price $5.99 150g Sale Price: $4.75

Organic Coconut Oil in 18kg buckets - we were testing the market and decided to not continue with this product. It’s messy to decant from the bucket, but it’s really worth it! We soften by the wood stove – and then scoop into mason jars, It’s the most delicious coconut oil we’ve ever tried. Now available at 40% off.
18kg Bucket Reg Price: $220
18kg Bucket Sale Price: $135

We will deliver to Cortes on two dates, Wednesday Dec 23rd at 12 noon and Saturday Jan 9th at 12 noon at the end of our driveway at 423 Whaletown Road, that’s two driveways on the left after the Whaletown Firehall as you head towards the ferry.
You can place orders for any of the above ‘Cortes Islander Special’ items by emailing with that subject line to: You can also go online to to order anything off of our website and we can bring those items to Cortes at the same time. Just select the ‘local pick up’ option when completing the shopping cart, rather than selecting a shipping option. In the notes indicate which day, Dec 23rd or Jan 9th that you would like your order brought to Cortes!
Thank you for your kind support!
Sending you much love from Gathering Place Trading and the Harvey family this holiday season!

For those of you who don’t know us, or for those of you who want to know more about the history of GPT, please read on.

The Longer Story – Gathering Place Trading Company

Gathering Place Trading was founded here on Cortes Island 18 years ago. Initially run out of a home we rented on Sawmill Road we started selling Rooibos tea, with the Cortes Natural Food Coop as our first customer. I remember those early days of selling Rooibos 100g, first on Cortes, then in Campbell River and slowly working down Vancouver Island. We were so happy that people loved our products and enjoyed drinking Rooibos as much as we did. Right from the beginning our commitment was to purchase products from the best, most ethical and integral farmers and cooperatives we could find, and never import a product that would compete with a Canadian farmer.

When our long-awaited dream of owning land (and building a home) happened in 2006 when we bought 22 acres in Whaletown with three other families, we moved our business to a small room in our jointly owned Common building. We ran the business from that small space for 8 years and began to employ local folks – we are grateful to those early employees who helped us grow. When we needed to go to Campbell River for our daughter Kai’s high school years, we brought the business there with us. The logistics of getting product to Cortes for blending and packaging and then off the island for selling became too cumbersome and costly. Our first year in town, we rented a home with two other families, on the island highway and ran the business out of the garage with two employees and ourselves. That winter was cold, cramped and awkward for GPT! The next school year we bought a home in Campbell River that was a legal duplex and ran the business out of the lower level. The business finally had elbow room to expand. We put a container in the driveway, got inspected by VIHA and the CFIA and had shipping and receiving leaving daily from our busy little office and expanded to four employees. We commuted back and forth to Cortes with one of us in Campbell River with Kai in high school and the other on Cortes homeschooling Tosh and Asha and running our little homestead. Over the 6 years we operated the business out of our ‘town’ house, Kai and Tosh finished high school and Asha began her journey. Then in a bold and scary move in 2019 we moved the business out of the house and found a spacious office/warehouse in downtown Campbell River. We went from 850 to 2500 sq ft! What a difference that made and again allowed us to grow and expand the business. Now a year later we have 8 employees, have filled the space and continued our journey of growth as a company, now expanding to being a nationwide brand.

While many things have changed with the business over the years the constant factors are our grassroots nature, our love for giving back, our commitment to quality, our connection with the farmers and cooperatives that provide us with the exceptional products we continue to be happy to sell.

We want to take this opportunity to thank you. Cortes folks were our first ‘customers’, the first people who believed in us, purchased our products and shared them with friends. You brought us joy every year at the markets, showing up, telling us your stories of how you use and love our products and continuing to inspire us. Truly, we couldn’t have done it without you!

2020 was the first year we didn’t attend the Friday or Christmas Markets. We love the markets, as it’s a chance to connect and socialize with so many people we hold dear. After the ‘lock down’ in March and April, we made the hard decision to not participate in the summer markets. We missed you all!

Now, as we move into 2021, we hold a vision for the future for GPT and our family. We want to live out our days on this glorious island and hope that all of our children choose to live here too. Surrounded by the beauty of nature and the authentic people whom we are so blessed to call friends and community. Our hope is that part of our GPT operations can move back to Cortes permanently, so that when we are done the high school years in June 2022, we can be here full time again.

Sending you love and light this Solstice and holiday season. May your hearth be warm, your heart full, your belly fed wholesome foods and may love surround you always.

With gratitude,
Lovena and Ryan Harvey

The Gathering Place Trading is a sponsor of the Tideline:

Organic Raw Coconut Chips
Organic Raw Coconut Chips
Rooibos Farm 2012
Rooibos Farm 2012