Cory Davits, general manager of Pepper’s Foods, and Scott Zaichkowsky, head of Pepper’s grocery department, show off salmon sliders available during the 10th annual Local Island Showcase organized by Pepper’s Foods. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

Saanich samples the best of local food at Pepper’s Foods showcase.

Tenth annual showcase celebrates local food producers and vendors

Hundreds, if not thousands, sampled and noshed the offerings of more that 40 local food producers during the 10th annual Local Island Showcase organized by Pepper’s Foods.

Held outside the store between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., the event showcased Pepper’s local suppliers.

Scott Zaichkowsky, head of Pepper’s grocery department, still remembers the first showcase. While 25 vendors participated back in 2009, this year’s event drew 45. Of those, 20 had participated in the first showcase. For Zaichkowsky, it is a sign of loyalty on behalf of vendors, but also sign that customers want locally grown food, when vendors more than happy to respond. “Customers come here to show local stuff, and this is the perfect event to showcase that,” he said.

RELATED: Local grocery store steps up to help resident after Saanich jams her stand

The growth of the event is not just evident in the number of vendors. Zaichkowsky estimates some 400 people attended the first showcase. “Last year, we are anywhere between 800 and 1,000, and this year, I pretty much guarantee we will well surpass that [figure].”

This growth has coincided with changes in the attitudes of people towards food. “People have an appreciation for local businesses,” said Zaichkowsky. “When customers come here, they don’t always look for the big brand name, because it is popular or cheaper. They don’t mind spending the extra money to get better quality and something that it is produced locally, and a vendor that they are trying to help along the way. All of the vendors are good, perfect examples of that.” Ultimately, you get what you pay for, said Zaichkowsky.

This commitment towards the local also accounts for Pepper’s decision to feature the product of The Little Stand, a popular roadside jam stand in Saanich that shut down following a bylaw violation.

RELATED: Saanich jam stand at the centre of controversy prepares to close

RELATED: Saanich woman won’t get jammed over stand that serves as therapy

Katherine Little, along with her husband, were among the vendors participating in Thursday’s showcase, which they used to introduce new product. Little said the customers’ response has been outstanding.

“This has been an absolutely amazing community event, and we are really happy to be part of it,” she said.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Decline of Canadian manufacturing hurts men, according to new study

A five per cent drop in manufacturing drops the weekly wages of men by at least 6.9 per cent

Number of U-Hauls entering Victoria plummeted in 2019

Data compiled from two million one-way U-Haul transactions

Esquimalt explores creating portage beach for choppy Gorge waters

The portage beach would add safety to the Victoria Waterways Loop

Six months to Francophone Games, 600 volunteers needed

Online applications open on Jan. 14

Tech consortium invests $25 million into four University of Victoria research projects

Investments come with goal of developing, implement technologies created by Canadians

After cashing in on QB gambles, Chiefs and 49ers to clash in Super Bowl

KC beats Tennessee, San Francisco dispatches Green Bay to reach NFL title game

How to beat Blue Monday, the most depressing day of the year

Multiple factors can play a role in seasonal depression, says Fraser Health psychiatrist

B.C. VIEWS: Few clouds on Horgan’s horizon

Horgan’s biggest challenge in the remainder of his term will be to keep the economy humming along

B.C. forest industry grasps for hope amid seven-month strike, shutdowns, changes

Some experts say this could be worse for forestry than the 2008 financial crisis

Northern B.C. RCMP investigating alleged sexual assault in downtown Smithers

One person was transported by ambulance to hospital following RCMP investigation at Sedaz

UBC, Iranian-Canadian community create memorial scholarship in honour of victims

The Jan. 8 crash killed 176 people, including 57 Canadians

Disrespectful that Horgan won’t meet during northern B.C. tour: hereditary chief

Na’moks said he was frustrated Horgan didn’t meet with the chiefs

Most Read