CoffeeCrew Blog

Eat, Drink and Love
Like there's no tomorrow.
Because, hey, you never know.

Living in Victoria - Fernwood Bites · 4.06.14 by colin newell

Fernwood Bites - you have to eat here!

Fernwood’s tastiest event, Fernwood Bites, is back for the fifth year in a row. In partnership with Cook Culture & local restaurateurs, Fernwood NRG is offering food-&-drink-lovers a chance to sample Victoria’s finest fare at its annual tasting event and fundraiser.

Happening in Fernwood Square on Sunday, June 22nd, the event will feature an evening of food and drink sampling, live jazz, and a silent auction of items donated by local artists and businesses. Proceeds will help fund Fernwood’s sustainable food initiatives including the Good Food Box, Fernwood Neighborhood Orchard, and Kitchen Garden Pilot Project.

Participants in Fernwood Bites include 10 Acres Bistro + Bar + Farm, AJ’s Organic Cafe, Aubergine Specialty Foods, Be Love, Bon Macaron Patisserie, Bona Vini Wines Co., Cascadia Bakery, Charelli’s Cheese Shop and Delicatessen, Choux Choux Charcuterie, Cook Culture, Discovery Coffee, Fernwood Inn, The Hot & Cold Cafe, Hoyne Brewing Co., Lonetree Cider, Olive The Senses, Origin Bakery, Padella Italian Bistro, Phillips Brewing Co., Renaissance Wine Merchants, Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse, Silk Road Tea, Spinnakers, Stage Wine Bar, Stir It Up, Wildfire Bakery, Yates Street Taphouse, and Yonni’s Doughnuts.

Fernwood Bites 2014

Fernwood Bites will run from 5:30-8pm on Sunday, June 22nd in Fernwood Square (Gladstone at Fernwood). Tickets for this 19+ event are $50 and include all samples. Tickets are available online at

About Fernwood NRG
Fernwood Neighbourhood Resource Group is a charitable organization that offers programs and services to the neighbourhood of Fernwood, including childcare, affordable housing, family support services, parenting groups, community recreation and celebration. Led by a membership of neighbourhood residents, Fernwood NRG sets as its highest goal social, environmental, and economic sustainability. Fernwood NRG believes that a neighbourhood society should be responsive, active, engaging and fun. For more information about Fernwood NRG, please visit

For some more yummy looking photos of Fernwood Bites from last year – head over here

Colin Newell is a Victoria area resident and freelance food and drink writer – active in the Victoria area and Canada since 1995!

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Buying a house in Victoria B.C. Canada - the series · 27.05.14 by colin newell

House - found and bought... finally

Andrea and I, after over a decade of searching for the perfect place…

Have found a new home. And we will be taking possession and moving in later on in July.

This is a culmination of over a decades worth of effort. And I know what some of you are thinking…

“What took you so long? Ten years!? Your realtor must have died of shock or exhaustion. Think of all your lost time…”

And so on.

Picture – Standing in front of the house that Colin (and Andrea) bought!

Truth be told, we have been in a really nice suite in a great neighborhood with great water views and high above everything… but a kitchen the size of a large cardboard box – a galley kitchen… and this is what has been dragging us down for quite a few years. Lack of a decent kitchen and a guest ready 2nd bedroom has curtailed our life in ways that, yea, we will never get back… but now is a time for celebration and moving forward…

And a great opportunity to kick this blog back into gear and get some readers back.

So there it is – I will be talking about the joys of the search. The upside and downside of house hunting in some of the richest neighborhoods in North America (with a limited budget…) and
the necessity of buckling down and spending over 20 years saving for the house of our dreams…

Coming up. On the Coffeecrew blog.

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The Urban CBC Chickens of Greater Victoria · 28.04.14 by colin newell

Listen to the Podcast |

The CBC Chickens of Swan Lake

I consider myself an avid CBC Radio fan — and recently when a colleague told me about their urban farm in Victoria and how they named their chickens after local regional CBC Personalities – well, I could not resist pitching it to the local CBC station on 90.5

In the photo above, there’s Carol Off, (the black one), Jo-Ann Roberts (the gray one) and Anna Maria Tremonti (the red one)!

This podcast (interview) is around 4 minutes long – so strap yourself in.

Hats off to the CBC for listening to their listeners and knowing when a story has wings… and in this case, folksy charm.

Podcast – If you cannot see the audio player above, click here for the mp3 download.


Hot Wheels · 31.03.13 by colin newell

Hot Wheels. Got my first one in 1968. Played with them for a long time. Loved them. So long ago. Eventually, one has to move from one set of toys to a newer, brighter and faster set of toys…

Which brings up to this blog – hosted on a server that I run myself… to serve you better.

Welcome to the Blog on my own server cluster — administered by… me.

AND (whoops!) sorry for the brief black-out. Look who forgot to do some pointing and clicking and setting this and that!

And now that I am getting into some more stable hosting, please expect some more regular blogging! And to those that have been with me through the years… Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!!


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Growing it for a cause - Movember · 2.11.12 by colin newell

Helping the cause against Cancer - Movember

Here is a photo of my UVic – Systems Movember team – feel free to help the cause against cancer – we are growing it, not mowing it – to raise awareness and fight a nasty disease.

Left to right: Paul S. (CIO UVic Systems), Matt S, Donny L, Yours truly, Ryan P, Ryan E, Corey S.

Click here to toss us a couple bucks.


1964 Pick up truck and a song · 7.03.12 by colin newell

In the dusty summer of 1964, I was a 5 year old looking forward to entering Grade One.

To be honest, I kind of new that the gig was up. Had been living free and easy all these years. No responsibility. Long days of shooting the breeze, watching over our 4 acres of hay and horses and apples.

One afternoon, late August, in a moment of mischief, I tossed my sisters one and only Beatles album around like a Frisbee – not understanding the dynamics of plastics, glass and other fragile items that might break – and this one did… into a million pieces.

So into the back of a 1963 Chevolet pick up truck I was tossed by a neighbor with the approval of my mom and 8 bucks (I think it was, if that – to buy a new copy)…
Twist and Shout by the Beatles – released in February 1964. Literally days before an entire continent would be glued to their TV sets as the fab-4 would perform for the first time on national television. And I was there.

In the year 2012 one never sees children flopping around the back of a hay filled Chevy but in 1964 it would have been commonplace. And so it was: Off to the Eaton’s on Douglas at View Street. It would be a year before the greatest Christmas catalog of all time would be released; the 1965 Wish book from Eaton’s.


After picking up the new LP I was whisked to a farm in the countryside where my older sister was riding horses. And much to her surprise she was curious that I was dropping off a brand new copy of a record – this was my parents idea of remedial justice. Thankfully, I was not judged too harshly.
“New Beatles album? What is wrong with the old one?”
Funny observation from that point – I replied, “They broke up…”
WHAT!” My 10 year old sister shrieked… NOW she was mad.
It took some quick hand gestures while looking up at this girl who was easily 2 feet taller than me… “No, no… record… broken… hundreds of…”

It all worked out after that.

From that point on I started paying very curious attention to each and every Beatles release – because my much older sister bought each and every one – and with each record their music was evolving – morphing into something more adult each and every day.

By February 1967, I was a much, much older 9 year old – with more sophisticated tastes. While watching American Bandstand one Saturday morning with a youthful Dick Clark, he introduced a newfangled “promotional film” by the Beatles (we can them videos now…) for the songs “Penny Lane” and “Strawberry Fields”
I remember the reaction of many of the kids in the audience – of shock that the Beatles had moved on leaving many of them behind in their bobby socks.
Not me. I had known for some time that Beatlemania was over baby. It was well over by the summer of 1966… another hot and dusty Summer where old 60’s pick up trucks and beat up cars would play an important role…

In my life.


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