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By Tracy Rayson Belgium expats Wim and Veve Tas chose a career that would provide them with a great measure of joy and pleasure, in other words — happiness. Making and selling chocolate at ChocolaTas (half shop; half 5,000-sq-ft production facility) in Abbotsford has done just that; they’re happy every day. Coincidentally, a substance in chocolate acts as a natural antidepressant and perhaps is one more reason for all their smiles — customers’ too. Before pursuing his passion with the cacao bean, Wim worked in auto parts where people were often irritable — an environment with little joy he realized. After all, customers were getting their vehicles repaired — an inconvenient and unwelcome expense. “I told Wim that if he wasn’t happy with what he was doing, he needed to find something else,” says Veve. “Something where his heart was; something he loved.” Wim enrolled in night classes at first and went…

By Nikki Bayley Cited as one of the key players of the city’s culinary scene, chef Andrea Carlson has been quietly shaping the way that Vancouverites eat for more than a decade. From the (now closed) C Restaurant and the Rain City Grill, to Sooke Harbour House and Bishop’s, Andrea has worked at some of the province’s most important restaurants, whose locavore seasonal menus helped to lay down the foundations of a more sustainable way of eating in B.C. and beyond. Now chef/co-owner at Burdock & Co. on Main Street, and the celebrated local community store/delicious noodle soup bar, Harvest Union, we spoke to Andrea to find out more. “The driving force behind Burdock & Co is to present farm to table food in a casual environment and bring what used to be a bit elitist to families and the neighbourhood at a more accessible price point. I wanted to…

Watch the sun come up over the mountains, and then start your day exploring Abbotsford with a hearty country breakfast. Local food lover, Robyn Roste, has three favorite diners she recommends in Downtown Abbotsford: O’Neill’s Home Cooking “Found just off the beaten path this breakfast and lunch take-out joint is best-known for the O’Neill Classic: a homemade (every morning) sweet potato bun topped with egg, cheese, ham, mayo, and honey mustard. Owner Vernon O’Neill promises if you eat there once, you’ll bring a friend next time. What more could you want?” 33771 Gosling Way 604-746-4048 Mitch Miller’s “Located in the heart of downtown, Mitch Miller’s offers a huge breakfast menu including a wide selection of omelets, pancakes, and sizzlers. With gluten-free and vegetarian options as well as classic breakfast choices, there’s something for everyone at Mitch Miller’s.” 33758 Essendene Avenue 604-853-2425 Ann Marie’s Cafe “Abbotsford’s only 50s-style diner serves classic…