The new Thrifty Foods location in Langford’s Belmont Market celebrated local food and a partnership with Buy BC on Saturday afternoon.
Thrifty Foods is the first grocery chain to prominently feature the Buy BC brand in its stores on Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland.
Through the Buy BC program, the province is providing over $2 million a year in cost-shared support to farmers, ranchers, fishers and producers who want to help consumers easily identify their product as a B.C. product. It aims to make it easier for British Columbians to explore new and different products from around the province.
“I’m thrilled to have Thrifty Foods on board as our first retail partner promoting the Buy BC brand,” said Lana Popham, minister of agriculture. “Having the familiar Buy BC logo on shelves and on products lets local consumers trust that the produce, fish, meat and packaged goods they choose have been grown, raised, harvested and made right here in B.C. by British Columbians in our agriculture and seafood sector.”
Travis Shaw, the local development manager for B.C. Sobey’s, said supporting local is a year-round commitment for Thrifty Foods.
“It’s our belief that supporting local producers and entrepreneurs contributes to help build strong communities,” Shaw said.
The event at Thrifty Foods on Saturday was also in collaboration with the week-long BC Seafood Festival that will kick of in Comox on June 7. B.C. seafood and fish was prominent at the event, with several tasting booths serving up unique and tasty seafood creations.
Chef Chris Andraza of Fanny Bay Oysters Restaurant in Vancouver served up some grilled Cajun salmon sliders while chef Sunshine Layton of the North Vancouver Island Chefs Association offered drunken prawn tostadas. Don Genova, a food journalist, made seared albacore tuna loin with sweet and sour caramelized red onions — a dish inspired by Sicily, Italy.
All three of them agreed that using fresh, local products in the food they create is the best way to go.
“I think more people care about where their food comes from now,” Genova said. “Chefs…were looking around saying we should really be using what we have here…it’s kind of a no brainer and we should use more of it.”
The 13th annual BC Seafood Festival will be held in the Comox Valley from June 7 to 16. It is Western Canada’s largest seafood festival and welcomes an extensive list of chefs to celebrate B.C. seafood.
Andraza, is involved in several events at the festival, said its great to be able to be part of it and showcase local food.
“It’s supporting what B.C. is and the shellfish and the seafood,” Andraza said. “It’s the epitome of everything that we do as chefs.”
More information about the BC Seafood Festival can be found at https://bcseafoodfestival.com/.