Whiskey & Cake
By Annemarie Tempelman-Kluit 

An Ecclectic Mix for Ladies and Gents

Eva de Viveiros is best known for her beloved Barefoot Contessa boutiques in Mount Pleasant and on Commercial Drive, but her newest venture, Whiskey & Cake, takes things a step further, expanding her focus from feminine fashions to housewares and entertaining accessories.

Whiskey & Cake is more of an expression of where I am now in my life," Eva says of her new business venture, which opened in the spring of 2016. "Barefoot Contessa is still me and I still love it, but here I carry pieces like table settings, housewarming gifts and bar cart accessories. It incorporates rustic elements with vintage elements and more of a masculine vibe.”

The boutique's unique name highlights the juxtaposition between its feminine and masculine influences. “It’s a fanciful way of explaining I have gifts for men and for women," Eva explains. "It’s Yin and Yang, male and female, hard and soft. And also two of my favourite things."

Located on a jam-packed block near Fraser and Kingsway alongside the Bloom Room, Heartbreaker Salon and Matchstick Coffee, Whiskey & Cake's quirky aesthetic and unique collection of lifestyle goods sets the space apart. "There are lots of antique stores and lots of gift stores, but not a lot of stores that mix antique with new,” Eva notes.

I’m trying to bring more heirloom-quality, more story, to the entertaining aspect of people’s lives. - Eva de Viveiros, owner
A mix of new and vintage goods on display at Whiskey &Cake.
A mix of new and vintage goods on display at Whiskey & Cake.

Heirloom Entertaining

An seasoned entertainer who loves to throw a good dinner party, Eva stocks Whiskey & Cake with “precious little surprises” such as soaps, candles, body products, tabletop serving pieces, hostess gifts, vintage glasses, jewellery, cards, men’s gifts and more. “I’m trying to bring more heirloom-quality, more story, to the entertaining aspect of people’s lives,” she explains.

Eva’s been collecting heirloom pieces for years. “I have three storage lockers full of vintage finds and antiques,” she admits. “I love the history and finding the beauty in the forgotten. I have such a hard time letting go of things sometimes because I want people to see the value in them as well!”

Customers at Whiskey & Cake often comment on how items at the store remind them of something from their past or their childhood. “It triggers a memory,” says Eva. “Everybody loves vintage even if they don’t realize they do. Everybody has a soft spot for something.”

A lovely selection of table-top goodies on display at Whiskey & Cake.
A lovely selection of table-top goodies on display at Whiskey & Cake.

The Thrill of the Vintage Hunt

As for Eva herself, she loves “the thrill of the hunt, the thrill of seeing other people’s eyes light up, whether that’s over a dress or a bar of soap.”

And though you might suspect Eva would have become a bit jaded after working in the retail industry since the late 1990s, that’s hardly the case. “I still really enjoy how much people enjoy what I’m doing. That’s the most fulfilling thing, the connections you make with customers,” she says with a smile. "That people could love something I created is fulfilling, gratifying and humbling.”

An enchanting stag's head greets customers as they enter Whiskey & Cake.
An enchanting stag's head greets customers as they enter Whiskey & Cake.
Whiskey & Cake is part of the bustling Fraserhood in East Van.
Whiskey & Cake is part of the bustling Fraserhood in East Van.
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