During the #LangleyEatsLocal challenge, I decided to go and see exactly what it took for someone to truly shop local. Farmer’s markets are the #1 choice of course and I support them as much as I can. This directly benefits the producers so that they can in turn, put your dollars back into their company and grow.
I wanted to see just how much the local supermarkets in my area did the best job in supporting local and it’s area farmers and producers. To keep all things fair, I went to 4 of the big supermarket store centrally located in downtown Langley. The difference was quite remarkable between them.
One store was the clear winner, and there was some disappointment considering it is owned by a Canadian family. I noticed that the majority of supermarkets would state that the product was from Canada but not specifically from where. I was pleased to see that when they could have it in season, most of them made an effort to highlight local fruits and vegetables. What disappointed me was the high price of the local products that were similar to the so called high prices at the farmer’s market. At least at the farmer’s market, it was super fresh and the farmer was at least, making a better profit.
Another thing that could be improved on was better signage stating that it was from the local area. Some stores you really had to look very closely on the signage or it didn’t even state it at all, I had to check the packaging. That is a missed sales opportunity in my books. I wont go into points and reward or club promotions (which I am not a fan of, but that’s another post) but most of the stores had comparable pricing so that was one even playing field.
Dairy seems like a big missed opportunity and from a store buyers point of view, this could be risky as most people wont lay out a lot of cash for an item that can go bad so quickly but all the stores fell down in this area. There is a market for this cheese at the average grocery store contrary to what the producers keep telling me. Make the packages a little bit smaller in order to get your product out there for a little bit less and once people try the product, people will buy it again. This is why at every farm market Ive gone to, the cheese stand is usually wiped out if you come too late. Just a thought for any cheese maker peeps out there. Easy for me to say they could mutter while reading this. Yes it is, but people are becoming more discerning with their palate and where their money goes. Hence the growth and popularity of farm markets.
I have to end this post with telling you the winner of who I, I’m my humble opinion, is doing the best job of highlighting local foods is: (drum roll please)
SAVE ON FOODS!
This was the winner 2 hands down. Local items was clearly marked for the most part, the prices were fair, and they have really made an effort to ask us to put our money where our mouth is. They have a lot of local or British Columibia items in all departments. The meat department had an extensive array of vegetable fed and even organic meats at very, very reasonable prices.
They even had locally made specialty items, like this French Canadian classic, Toutiere (French Immersion Teachers/Parents, take note, this is as good as you are going to find outside Quebec. Source: Mme Barkley – reknowned French Immersion Teacher here in Langley, trust me…she knows)
They carry some very specialized dairy items at a very reasonable cost. You couldn’t make this goat cheese yogurt yourself at this price. (Unless you have a goat.)
They have a small selection of local beauty products, not a lot but more than any big supermarket in the area. These items below were made in Coquitlam.
To make it even easier for you, they even have order online, store pick up but delivery vans that will come to you I haven’t had the opportunity yet to give them a try but a number of my friends have and were very impressed with the efficiency and careful attention to detail that went into processing their orders. I believe then also give you a discount on your first order.
Whoever designed the graphics on their delivery vans deserves a raise.
So there you have it, while your local farmer’s market is your best choice, your local Save on Foods is you best choice, in my opinion, to getting local foods and items in one convenient place. Does you local supermarket carry locally grown and produced foods and items? Ask them to start carrying them if they don’t. The old adage, vote with your dollars, carries all the weight here and they will listen.
I hope you enjoyed this post and I would like to note here that I was not paid in any way to endorse any of the stores or companies mentioned in this article. My opinions are my own as well as any photos contained therein.