Cardboard House Businesses
The Cardboard House Bakery, Pizza Galore,
Carefree Café and Gecko Design
In 1974 a group of eight families bought 80 acres of land on Central Road and created the Syzygy Cooperative Community. The property came with a cleared field, an old farmhouse and an orchard. The farmhouse had been stripped of its' siding many years before, leaving a layer of flattened cardboard boxes - thus it had been known on the island as the 'Cardboard House'. How did this happen? Legend has it that a man named Frenchie Leroux lived in the house, and walked to the Co-op Store everyday to shop for groceries, which he carried home in a cardboard box. As the weather got colder he used the siding (or shakes) as firewood and replaced it with the cardboard boxes having first soaked them in oil. Of course, when we bought the property, the first thing we did was cover up the cardboard! But the name just stuck!
In the late 70's, a few members of our land co-op began a food business by setting up a tent right beside the old co-op store where we prepared and sold lunches during the summers. By 1982, we were ready for a more permanent structure, and our own Cardboard House was sitting empty. We kept the funny name and converted it to the Cardboard House Bakery and Pizza Galore; then later the Carefree Café and Gecko Design were added. These are all independently owned businesses that share the co-operatively owned space.
The Bakery - Helene Cregheur, proprietor
Our goal at the Bakery has always been to provide quality products that everyone can afford. We bake entirely from scratch using wholesome ingredients and of course, genuine unsalted butter! After several years of recipe invention and experimentation we hit upon the right combination of baked goods that brings loyal clientele back time and again. Responding to our customers' changing dietary needs we now offer a few vegan and gluten-free treats and breads.
Our daily selection includes sourdoughs, several types of whole wheat and specialty breads including organic spelt. We also make savory breakfast pastries, several kinds of croissants, sweet buns, muffins and many different squares, tarts and cookies. For a more dazzling sweet experience our dessert case boasts cheese cakes, chocolate 'clairs and our famous blueberry sour cream pie!
In recent years, we started making Hornby Island Pate in two vegetarian flavors. Its' popularity became quickly apparent, and, as the demand grew, we expanded the distribution to include some off-island markets. The demand for this excellent product continues to grow and you can find out where you can purchase it on Vancouver Island and the mainland.
The Bakery is open for the Summer season only.
Pizza Galore - Leslee Richards, proprietor
Our famously delicious pizza is made with fresh herbs and spices and do we ever load on the toppings! There's nothing 'light' about our pizzas unless you ask for it (thin crusts are available). We also make a pesto sauce and a barbeque sauce for a different taste. And for those who want to avoid wheat, we created 'Torts'- a unique mini-pizza using corn tortillas as the base. Not eating dairy? Have we got soy cheese for you!
We also make a wide selection of dips and spreads (under the label Dips Galore) that can be used as an appetizer, or indeed a whole meal! Some are dairy-based (cream cheese, feta, yoghurt), some are spicy salsas. All are absolutely delicious. Some of these products are available at the Co-op Store and Ford Cove Store.
Pizza Galore is open weekends in the Spring and Fall and 6 days a week in the summer (closed on Mondays)
Carefree Café & Gecko Design
Laura May, proprietor
You haven't enjoyed a latte 'til you've had it our way, in a tall glass, in the orchard, in the shade. It makes
you want to sit a spell and relax! Our giant fruit smoothies have a similar effect. Put your feet up in the quiet
shade while you quench your thirst with an espresso milkshake, or any other of our many interesting drinks.
At Gecko Design, we search the world for exciting and interesting natural fiber fabrics to create distinctive garments for all occasions. There is also an eclectic mixture of local handcrafts, jewelry and gifts from around the world. It's always fun to shop here, and plenty of gift ideas!
Special Summer Music at the Cardboard House
On Wednesday and Sunday evenings, (and only if the weather cooperates!), from 6:30 - 8:30pm, we have live music in the orchard. Come and enjoy a meal in our lovely surroundings as you listen to both local and visiting musicians. Sometimes our orchard is used for other events such as weddings and book readings. And although most the orchard was planted in the 1920s/30s, it still produces fruit!
See who's playing from the schedule links in the left column.