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Rosemary’s baby turns 40
Ladner’s landmark health food store on Elliott Street turns 40 this year, although the building in which it resides is much older.
Halina Kwiatkowska, who bought the business Parsley, Sage and Thyme almost four years ago, says she found out how old it is when when municipal inspectors came this summer and told her the house is built on wooden pilings like the first settlements built in Ladner. The age of the home is estimated to be more than 115 years old.
The original owner was a widow from Belgium named Elizabeth, who worked as a midwife. Kwiatkowska says her great granddaughter, who lives in Vancouver, still stops by from time to time.
“When she visits the island she likes to drive by Ladner, say hello, buy gluten-free snacks,” says Kwiatkowska, before realizing that sounds likes a sales pitch. “Seriously, I’m not kidding you, she’s Celiac.”
The original health food store owners, Rosemary and Jim Asser, started the business in 1973.
“That’s why Rosemary came up with the name Parsley, Sage and Thyme. Because she was the only herb missing in that Simon and Garfunkel song.”
They ran it until 2002 when Rosemary moved to Victoria with her son.
Kwiatkowska says she’s pretty sure Rosemary stayed in business by selling halva and licorice.
“Because everybody that comes in here who is in their thirties, forties, fifties, say they used to come in as a child to get those candies. They don’t remember their parents bringing them to buy those herbs for a tea, they remember the halva.”
Many of their older customers continue to visit for the nostalgia.
Parsley, Sage and Thyme is located on 4916 Elliott St. in Ladner. Stop by for halva, health supplements, or some good conversation with Halina.