Steven Mitchell

Steven Mitchell

Haven for UK ex-pats

Anyone visiting our area from Great Britain would probably feel right at home these days.

Day after day of fog and drizzle provide a nearly perfect mirror to the winters across the pond.

The will feel even more at home along Willow Street in Chemainus thanks to British Allsorts.

Steven Mitchell moved to Ontario from South London in 1987 to be closer to family.

Mitchell came to the West Coast and settled in Chemainus six years ago, opening a sweets shop in the Secret Garden area of downtown.

“I just thought we needed some British candies.”

“There lots of Brits and Scots here,” Mitchell noted.

According to Mitchell, British chocolate is different from chocolate we enjoy here, there’s something he feels makes British chocolate taste creamier. Mitchell said he is happy to be in Chemainus.

“It’s a great town, Chemainus. I wouldn’t go anywhere else really.”

Mitchell’s store in the Secret Garden only lasted about a year and a half when it became clear he would have to expand.

Mitchell said he gets a lot of people through the store from the UK, but also has a large group of local regulars who stop by for their fix of all things British.

Mitchell expanded his store from just foreign sweets to include all sorts of soccer gear from all the big UK sides, including jerseys, mugs, hats, balls and everything in between.

Walking in, it is clear British Allsorts is the first stop for any soccer-loving hooligan in North Cowichan.

Just be mindful to not say anything bad about the Crystal Palace team, you are likely to get a red card and ejected as Mitchell is a passionate fan.

Beatles fans, and general British music fanatics, will also be right at home as the store is filled with paraphernalia such as T-shirts.

Local monarchists should keep an eye on the store this year as Mitchell is planning to bring in Prince William and Kate Middleton souvenirs to commemorate their wedding and trip to Canada this year.