As British Columbians prepare their dinner tables for Thanksgiving this weekend, here are a few suggestions of local, B.C. products that you can proudly serve your friends and family along with the turkey and all the trimmings.
The four companies highlighted below are also receiving funding from the B.C. government's Buy Local program.
Let’s start with a garden salad and the perfect dressing to go with it. Twenty years ago, Little Creek Dressing created an artisan salad dressing from their organic farm on the shores of Lake Okanagan. Today, the company offers five dressings: Original, Spicy Strawberry, Cherry Balsamic, Okanagan Caesar, and the just-released Asian Apricot.
Time for the main course and an ideal complement to your turkey, ham, or meat substitute is fresh, B.C. vegetables from BCfresh. This company is 100% owned and operated by B.C. growers and the options they provide include B.C. grown potatoes, carrots, cabbage, beets, squash, and parsnips.
Have you left some room for dessert? A Thanksgiving meal would not be complete without pumpkin or apple pie. How about this year, you support a B.C. company that produces premium quality pastry products including pie shells. Vancouver-based Tartine Tarts provides what they call ‘Clean Label” products – no additives or chemical preservatives. Their pastry products including both savory and sweet tarts and pies are waiting for you now at most major grocery stores throughout the province.
After thanking the chef, it is time for us to move away from the table and make our way to the living room to relax after our tasty dinner. Cocktail anyone? The Liberty Distillery on Granville Island selects only the best B.C. grown organic grains to produce their world class spirits including vodka, gin, and whiskey. The perfect nightcap for our made in B.C. Thanksgiving meal experience.
The Buy Local program has received $6 million in B.C. government funding since 2012 to increase sales of locally grown and processed agrifood and seafood products within the province.
Building the local market for B.C. foods is a key commitment of government's Agrifoods Strategy, a component of the BC Jobs Plan, to lead the agrifoods sector growth into a $14-billion-a-year industry by 2017.
The provincial government's Buy Local program is administered by the Investment Agriculture Foundation of British Columbia. Applications are available at: http://iafbc.ca/funding-opportunities/buy-local/
Agriculture Minister Norm Letnick –
“I know when we prepare for Thanksgiving each year, we are always on the lookout for B.C. products to showcase on the Letnick Family dinner table. I encourage you to do the same – support our province’s producers and processors – and the B.C. economy. Happy Thanksgiving!”
Little Creek Dressing owner Donna Denison –
“Little Creek Dressing is very grateful for the Buy Local Program as it has provided a valuable opportunity to bring a greater awareness to our products. Through the Buy Local Program, we have extended our distribution to a wider customer base in B.C. and beyond, thus supporting our local community by employing more local people, using more local businesses and products from right here in the Okanagan.”
BCfresh Vegetables president and CEO Murray Driediger –
“We are thankful to the B.C. government in supporting over 60 farm families that market their produce under the BCfresh brands. As we encourage people to incorporate locally grown potatoes and veggies into every meal through the #HalfYourPlate campaign, we appreciate Buy Local Program support in making this strong commitment to our growers.”
Tartine Tarts owner Geraldine Pelletier –
“We are a small, but growing, food manufacturing company that provides local grocery stores, cafes, and chefs with premium pastry products. The Buy Local Program has been a big help to us to grow our brand awareness and increase our sales in our home town and province. We can then increase our support for our local community, suppliers, and co-workers while continuing to innovate and create even more of the quality products our customers want.”
Lisa Simpson, The Liberty Distillery, co-owner and director of operations –
“The hand crafted ‘small batch’ spirit segment is experiencing explosive growth. However, it is still not well understood what makes ‘craft’ different, or why someone would spend extra dollars on a hand crafted bottle. We are delighted the B.C. government does understand and the Buy Local program support helps us create awareness for what makes us unique and what makes craft – ’Craft’. It is an incredible program that supports the entire supply chain.”
Little Creek Dressing: http://www.littlecreekdressing.com/
BC Fresh Vegetables: http://www.bcfresh.ca/
Tartine Tarts: http://www.tartinetarts.ca/
The Liberty Distillery: http://thelibertydistillery.com/
A backgrounder follows.