Arts & Culture

Eden in Coombs

If the phrase “God’s chosen elixirs” isn’t in your phrase book (is that a thing?), then it is now. One sentence in and you are wondering what I am referring to—so let me explain. Several weeks ago, the Trueblue team was granted an interview with the owners of an alternative lifestyle tea shop. It is no exaggeration when I say this was an experience of a life time, indeed, something we have all called a highlight of our career.

The day was a Sunday. Early in the morning, Allison and I left south Nanaimo, bound for North Nanaimo to pick up Sarah. After arriving at Ms. Bowman’s house, we loaded the gear into the car. Poor Sarah had to be squished in the backseat beside lights, tripods and a few camera bags. (A Mazda 3 isn’t that big, if you were wondering.) After leaving Sarah’s house, I was asked to turn on the GPS because “Sebastian’s directions aren’t as reliable”—a phase I would like to debate in my circles


After a 45 minute drive to Coombs, Apple Maps told us we were within 100M of the shop. We pulled in, parked and unloaded the car promptly. And there is was—The House of Leaves. Our excitement could be seen from space! We entered the shop and directly to our right were God’s chosen elixirs. Blue Ribbon Cookie, Buddha’s Bliss Vanilla Lemon, Brown Pecan Sugar to name but a few; there were easily over 50 in the shop.

Though probably not necessary, we introduced ourselves and were welcomed with open arms by the handsome Oakley Thompson and the beautiful Danielle Lagah. Not kidding, I think they hugged us, but I can’t be too sure as the memory is foggy. The shop, after a while, was like stunning shrapnel, as in it stimulated the senses all at once.

Before getting down to business, we decided to go on an excursion. The scents were heavenly, they brought me to a time and place of tranquilly. My surroundings were filled of gifts and collectibles from around the globe. Pipe pins, cat pencil sets, unique blouses. Sarah went to the right of the shop exploring gifts for loved ones to be purchased at another time. Allison went to the room hidden to the far left, where sculptures and some clothing were. I decided to indulge in the teas the owners had brewing.


After perusing for nearly 20 minutes, we decided it was time to set the gear up for the interview. Following the interview we hung around to photograph the place, sipped the liquid ambrosia and chat for a few hours. We even decided to indulge—Sarah purchased Christmas presents and I bought the team just under $100.00 worth of bespoke teas and a nifty infuser, which I needlessly reviewed (remind me to edit and publish).

From the Trueblue team, with love, we would like to thank The House of Leaves for allowing us to have such a great time. We are so grateful that strange circumstances brought us together. We wish you two the best of luck in your future endeavours and hope that you will have us back when the new store opens.

Even after leaving the House of Leaves, the trueblue team has stayed in contact with the owners — conversing about teas, making orders for friends and families. Asking advice about how to put the video and pictures together. It turns out that we found friends in the process and that is a gift that actually may be bigger than going to The House of Leaves that Sunday.

If you want to find out more about The House of Leaves, please follow them online

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