Designers Zoe Miller and David Goodman found their creative calling when they started making exclusive children’s books and products for London’s Tate Publishing back in 2002. Based in Brighton, the husband-wife team continues to win over the Babar set with their geometrically-designed wood blocks and toys, some born directly from their beloved 72-page Shape book, which imaginatively introduces concepts such as symmetry and patterns. “We are very happy to be promoting creative, open-ended tactile play in a world obsessed with screen-based entertainment,” Goodman notes.
MUST-BUY: PlayShapes, a stunning set of 74 geometric rubberwood shapes that can make anything from an owl to a cowboy (among other animals, people, and vehicles)
Formed during the controlled melting and cooling of liquid chocolate, form-5 beta is the most desirable form of cocoa butter crystallization; hence the name of this Vancouver-based artisanal chocolate company. All that science translates to chocolate with lots of shine and snap. At Beta5’s warehouse-like shop, watch co-owner and pastry chef Adam Chandler craft raspberry caramels, truffles, and éclairs (he and his partner, Jessica Rosinski, use only ethically sourced chocolate from legendary French supplier Michel Cluizel). The company also recently introduced pastries such as almond croissants, brown-butter shortbread, and apricot-poppy seed Danish.
MUST-BUY: The imperial stout and caramelized banana-filled chocolates; seasonal butter caramels infused with mango-passionfruit or raspberries; and a few of the solid Polygon chocolate bars cast in a mountain-like mold to reflect Vancouver’s surroundings
413 Industrial Ave., Vancouver