Like many immigrants from Taiwan and Hong Kong, Clarinda Kung and Peter Tai started their entrepreneurial careers by owning a grocery store.
The food business was incredibly competitive, but Clarinda and Peter soon found a demand for Oriental items like bamboo blinds, ceramic elephants, silk jackets, and namesake ginger jars.
Sensing a market for wicker and rattan furniture, they opened stores in both North Vancouver and Richmond, and also owned The North Shore Wicker Warehouse.
Furniture styles changed and so did the demands of the buying public. Ginger Jar began importing outdoor furniture, eventually broadening lines to include Natuzzi leather, kicking off an expansion into Modern styling. Ginger Jar’s 20,000-square-foot flagship showroom at the corner of Fell and Marine in North Vancouver features transitional and contemporary home furnishings to relax, dine, sleep, and work in.
The owners pride themselves in offering international collections which are a bit eclectic. Indoor galleries feature designs from Nicoletti, Bontempi, Dinec, Rossetto, Maria Yee, American Leather, Gamma, Calligaris, Stone International, Stressless / Ekornes, Vogel, and Designmaster. They strongly believe in supporting Canadian and B.C. suppliers as well.
Ginger Jar offers items from stock for quick delivery, however, over half the firm’s business is customized orders. The owners are always happy to assist clients in personalizing their selection to meet functional and aesthetic needs.
Ginger Jar has designers on staff who will also offer advice on lighting, rugs, occasional tables, window treatments and even paint. They also work with clients who have their own designers as well. In fact, designers who facilitate their clients’ visions are instrumental to the business.
The furniture and accessories you choose are indeed an expression of your personality. Ginger Jar’s passion is helping clients find furniture and accessories which are unique and reflect a personal style and far beyond ‘run of the mill.’ They want clients to be proud of their homes and their friends and family to be talking about them!
Ginger Jar not only serves residential clients, also assists in larger commercial and contract projects. They assist many commercial clients in designing and fitting show suites, foyers, pool sides, lounges and dining areas.
This past February, OMG it’s small by Ginger Jar was born. Located at 1400 Marine Drive (at Philip Ave), this 3,000-square-foot store was created to fill the increasing demand for Modern, multi-functional furniture designed for the smaller, ‘space-starved’ condos on the North Shore and downtown and beyond.
OMG it’s small presents furniture that is truly space conscious – glass dining tables which fold down, or expand from four or eight. You’ll find a coffee table that turns into a dining table, an ottoman that turns into a single bed, and beds with their own storage space. Plus, there is lots of hanging bling-bling lighting!
OMG it’s small’s clients are primarily first-time home owners going ‘beyond Ikea’ and downsizing empty nesters who haven’t purchased new furniture in 20 years.
The owners want to thank everyone in the North Shore community and beyond for supporting Ginger Jar; a local, family-owned and operated company for over 33 years. They are ecstatic to be part of peoples’ lives and hear about life milestones: births, celebrations, travels, and careers. They have clients who have purchased a rattan set or an outdoor grouping over 20 years ago and who still come in for replacement cushions, slings, or parts. That in itself is a testimony to how well-made the furniture is.
Ginger Jar is where it is today because of loyal clients like you.