We have been in stages of quarantine and lockdown since mid-March. It’s only now, in the first week of October, that things seem more semi-normal with our neighbourhood allowing us out on the weekends with shops and outdoor cafe’s opening up. But when we couldn’t leave our house at all, and in the midst of online learning, I turned to retail therapy!
In Chile a small, medium business is called a PYME (Pequeña y Mediana Empresa) so these are my top PYMEs, with quality goods, great delivery and made by creative Chileans.
Food & Drink
We loved the croissants and pain au chocolate from Mi Chef de Paris. They came in large quantities (which would mean even more PE with Joe!) so we split the bags with another family. Flaky perfection. They come frozen and bake them when you have a craving. My other friends loved their macarons as well. For coffee we tried a variety and all offered incredible service and fast delivery. We really liked Tuesta, and I liked Cafe Femenino for quality and their business model. Our favourite, though, was Oggi for a combination of price point, taste and super fast delivery. I love a really good green tea with jasmine and I have tried many but La Teteria, hands down, is my favourite for flavour and it was super easy to buy from online and came quickly.
My husband really enjoyed sampling some Chilean craft breweries and has narrowed his favourites, with home delivery, down to Jester beer. As Canadians it was super fun to send beer named Manitoba as a gift to our Spanish teacher and friend! For wine you can not top Attilio y Mochi. I love going here when we can get out and about. A lovely, fun couple who have followed their passion. And we get the pleasure of sampling it! They do home deliveries in lockdown.
Wine sampling pre-COVID at Attilio y Mochi and waking up to coffee to get us through more online home learning!
I am really into knitting and fibre related arts. I needed to buy more yarn when in quarantine! I bought from a few places. La Tejeria had great delivery and selection, I made slippers for a friend with alpaca wool from them and woolly sheepskin from Papajo (also amazing service!) El Madejero is a family-run business which has been working with yarn since 1960. I bought merino for a gorgeous green sweater and also baby alpaca. Some wonderful fingering in rich colours (and all Peruvian wool!) was bought from Lanas de la Luzma who ended up being practically my neighbour! Great communication and I could go by and pick-up from her house which was great. I found Nube de Colores on instagram and ended up buying twice from her and was super pleased both times. I am thinking of a cardigan……..
I also love supporting other woolly friends and Daniela from Silvestre Arte y Fieltro made this beautiful codorniz (quail) for me. The real ones come into our backyard to feed, have babies and they run so fast it’s like a roadrunner cartoon! I love my little guy as a memory of Chile.
My other downfall is buying vintage items. I love a house of history and before lockdown I had been searching for a metal sign (still regretting not buying the Fruit one at Galpon de los Reyes before lockdown!) and a Canada Dry box. I was able to find both from Klau Muebles. I happened to spy them in the background of a photo she had about a sofa on instagram. Super pleased with my purchases and more great reminders of my home of Canada and my current land, Chile!
Creado en Chile has a wonderful web site and they represent local artists. We have bought jewelry, pottery, pyjamas (lockdown baby!!) and textiles. Wonderful choice, great prices and easy website. I bought a lovely alpaca throw as a going away gift from Mercado de los Oficios, which is typically my go-to store for any kind of gift during normal shopping times. I love this shop. It also represents Chilean artists and with each item there is a note saying who made it and where they are from. Another similar shop is Artesenia de Chile which I frequent at Los Dominicos for artesania. We also bought a handmade rug from recycled Patagonian fishing nets from Netaup Design which you can buy at Creado en Chile or on instagram.
The gifts that keep on giving
For all birthdays and our anniversary this year we treated each other to knives made from Coya. Made from Austrian steel, with a bulls horn handle it will be a lifelong gift and reminder of our time in Chile. And more of an excuse to have an asado!
And for when we get to go out again, my favourite shop for leather purses is Mikai bags, simple and timeless in a range of colours. I got a gorgeous mushroom coloured one for Mother’s Day.
Which are your favourite Chilean shops? I’d love to know! (My husband, maybe not so much!)