It may be a small village tucked away in Richmond, but the cosmopolitan town of Steveston is expanding beyond its fishing roots and has become a destination for tourists, prospective owners and business owners from around the globe.
Where else can you browse handmade Ukrainian-influenced jewelry, get eyelash extensions from an Iranian woman who speaks Japanese and pick up some authentic German sausage, all in the same neighbourhood?
Jens Hertha has co-owned the D-Original Sausage Haus on 1st Avenue in Steveston for about a year, the only place in town where you can get local, German-made sausages.
He first set foot in the village about 12 years ago as a visitor from Germany, and after stints in Kamloops and Vancouver, the 37-year-old former banker now calls Steveston home and his place of business.
"Even though you're in the middle of a big city, Steveston still has the atmosphere of a small fishing village," said Hertha, who originally looked at emigrating to the United States before choosing Canada and its more European and multicultural feel.
"We have Japanese with Mega Sushi, we have Chinese, we have Vietnamese. We have an Iranian who lived in Germany at Bean & Beyond, we got guys next door in the bakery, they have a Danish and Irish background."
Hertha actually met his current business partner, a fellow German named Thorsten Stock, after moving to the area.
"We watched a lot of hockey games and he started bringing sausages to our house. I was like 'Wow, where do you get these from?' and he said, 'My dad makes them.'"
Stock's father was already in the commercial sausage business, but Hertha helped bring them into people's homes.
He and Stock found a location to set up shop and have been selling their specialty salamis since last February.
Over at Moncton St., Sasha Shkolnik owns Juvelisto Jewellery Boutique.
Originally from the Ukraine, she has lived in Steveston for almost 18 years and owned her business for two.
"Eighteen years ago, it wasn't what it is now, it was half the size. When the new shops started to appear, it became much more cosmopolitan," said Shkolnik, who has noticed many of the changes occurring in the last five years.
"With the new condos being built there's definitely a younger crowd. I see some really cool-looking people hanging out at the restaurant behind my business. It doesn't feel like a typical Richmond destination, it feels like Yaletown."
A trained goldsmith, Shkolnik makes custom one-of-a-kind pieces of jewelry for her clients that range from earrings to rings to necklaces.
Right now she is putting out a new "organic" line of jewellery that is inspired by nature.
Multiculturalism is a term that Shabnam Goto, owner of Papillon Paradise Spa on No. 1 Road, knows very well.
Born in Iran, she grew up in Japan when her father relocated there for work.
It wasn't until seven years ago that Goto came to Canada and found a home in Steveston with her two children.
"When I cam here my dad was already in Richmond," said Goto, who speaks Farsi, Japanese and English.
"He's been in Richmond over 25 years and he told me about a Japanese community. When we moved here my two kids started going to the Steveston Community Centre Japanese school. They go there once a week, and my son also started learning karate."
Goto took over the spa from her stepmother a year ago, and said she loves seeing the myriad of cultures that passes by her shop every day. "To be honest, being in Steveston I don't feel like I'm in Canada," she said, laughing.
Sarah Gordon, marketing chairperson of the Steveston Merchants Association, moved to Steveston with her family in 2003.
Even coming from Vancouver, she said she was fascinated with the diverse cross-section of people in her new town.
"We were new parents and we were absolutely astonished when we went to the Steveston playground.
It was like the UN to my husband and I," said Gordon, who believes like her, people from abroad are drawn to the small-town charm and village atmosphere.
As chairperson of the association, Gordon monitors the pulse of the business community closely and said there are all sorts of neat businesses sprouting up like a tattoo parlour, vegan restaurant, Romanian bakery and even a wine bar called Gudrun that has the feel of a local downtown tavern where everyone gathers.
"They serve wine, pâté, cheeses and they have these wooden benches where you can't help but get involved in a conversation with your neighbour," said Gordon.