BC Buy Local Week 2016

bcbuylocalweeklogo-2016This year, the #BCBuyLocal campaign kicks-off with the 5th Annual  BC Buy Local Week on November 28-December 4, 2016.

Buy Local Week is an annual celebration of local business to promote the contributions that BC businesses make to our economy and our communities. Look for the pink dot to identify BC Local businesses as well as BC Local Made and BC Local Grown products.

Join the campaign!

Share your favourite local businesses or products and win!

Discover B.C. products and businesses at bcbuylocal.com

Download BC Buy Local assets for your business

Visit our campaign partners

LOCO Businesses are Hiring!

Homestead Junction is hiring a Purchaser & Warehouse Coordinator

If you become our new Purchaser & Warehouse Coordinator, you’ll be in charge of keeping physical items moving in and out of our store in an orderly manner. You’ll order stuff from our vendors, receive shipments as they come in, maintain our storage/warehousing area in impeccable order, track what needs to be repackaged or assembled, and oversee our web order fulfullment program. You’ll help make important decisions about what products we carry, and regularly contribute to improving our business processes. You’ll operate as part of a team, but with a great deal of autonomy and ownership over your role. And every once in a while, you might just fill in at front-of-house, because that’s what happens in a small company like ours! Find out more.


Novex Delivery Solutions is hiring a Sales & Marketing Manager

A solid and growing business for 35 years, Novex continues to be innovative and creative as it serves the Lower Mainland’s same-day delivery needs. The mission for the Sales and Marketing Manager is to grow Novex’s triple bottom lines, and attract and retain exceptional customers. This senior role requires working closely with the CEO to drive sales growth and sales activities in alignment with the company’s vision and values. Find out more.


Urban Digs farms is hiring a full-time Farmer

At Urban Digs we are farmers first, and it takes one to know one. We supply families and chefs with trustworthy meat, eggs and produce grown at our farm and by other farmers we know. We are looking for a full-time farmer to manage and operate our small farm in South Burnaby starting April/May 2016 through to October/November 2016. Might also suit a couple who want to job share. You must have at least 2 years’ experience and be able to work independently. Most importantly you must care passionately about the work that you do and be aligned with the farm’s values. Find out more.


RTOWN is hiring Digital Media Sales Representatives in Victoria, Kelowna and the Lower Mainland

We are seeking a sharp, experienced sales person with a proven track record of success to be the next Digital Media Sales Representative to join our growing sales team. This is a proven outside sales role with proven products. You will be acquiring & managing local clients – preferably in the neighbourhood or town that you live in. As a Digital Media Sales Representative, you will be responsible for listening, assessing and making service & solution recommendations that are aligned with success for all parties. Find out more.


JustWork is looking for a new Executive Director

We are looking to hire a new ED to replace our current director, who will be moving away from the area in the summer of 2016. The new Director will continue developing our capacity to offer meaningful employment by building and stewarding our partnerships with businesses, churches, foundations, customers and employees. Find out more.



#BCBuyLocal is a year-long campaign highlighting BC Local Owned business and well as BC Local Made and Grown products and the BC Local Champion consumers who love them.

Visit the campaign microsite at www.bcbuylocal.com to download free digital materials and see how business and consumers engage using the tag #BCBuyLocal.

The objectives of the campaign are to:

BCBuyLocalDot_webIlluminate B.C.-owned businesses and products to the market, allowing consumers to shift spending towards local businesses and products.

Engage locally owned businesses in identifying how they are local and how to market themselves as local.

Maintain an ongoing BC Buy Local campaign platform to unify and support the Buy Local message across the province.

Campaign reach is driven through partnerships with a growing number of community-based networks that spread the message throughout the province to businesses and their customers. 

The campaign is managed by LOCO BC, a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to grow the local economy by increasing market share for B.C. based businesses by advocating for local purchasing.

Join the Campaign!

Join the #BCBuyLocal campaign to link local buy local efforts across the Province. Participate in using the campaign framework and help us promote BC Local Owned businesses and their products, making them easily identifiable across the B.C.

Business Networks

  • Build the buy local movement by connecting to a larger message that is consistent across the province
  • Engage locally owned businesses in a campaign focused on their success
  • Capitalize on growing consumer buy local and #BCBuyLocal awareness


  • Communicate the local characteristics of their brands to consumers who care
  • Capitalize on growing consumer buy local and #BCBuyLocal awareness
  • Offer a way for local-supporting corporations to highlight their local grown and local made products

For more information contact us today.

The We ♥ Local Awards are back!

Nominate your favourite local grower, producer or business (this could be you!) in one of 15 categories for a chance to win a weekly prize or the grand prize!

The We ♥ Local Awards invites people across BC to nominate their favourites in the following 15 delicious categories (find your favourite LOCO members for each one):

  • Favourite Farmers’ Market
  • Favourite Store to Buy Local
  • Favourite Local Meat or Poultry Supplier
  • Favourite Local Seafood Supplier
  • Favourite Local Cheese Maker
  • Favourite Local Sweet Treat
  • Favourite Local Advocate (you’re chance to give us at plug at LOCO BC!)
  • Favourite Local Winery
  • Favourite Local Brewery
  • Favourite Local Food Truck
  • Favourite Local U-Pick Farm
  • Favourite Local Orchard/Fruit Supplier
  • Favourite Local Restaurant or Chef
  • Favourite Local Florist or Nursery
  • Favourite Local Greenhouse or Veggie Grower

WHLAwardsHow the 2015 We ♥ Local Awards works:

NOMINATIONS: Nominations are open August 17th – September 6th, 2015. Anyone living in BC can nominate one or more favourites in the categories listed above by visiting: www.weheartlocalawards.ca

VOTING: Voting is open September 7th – September 12th, 2015, followed by a Shortlist Sprint on September 13th and 14th, 2015. Anyone living in BC can vote for their favourite nominees in the categories listed above by visiting: www.weheartlocalawards.ca

PRIZES: Nominating and voting for your local BC favourites automatically enters you in weekly draw to win a $100 gift card to your local VQA store. You will also be entered in the Grand Prize draw for a luxurious three-night stay at Taku Resort and Marina, along with your choice of a cooking course for two, valued at $2100. This prize includes a $300 gift card from BC Ferries to cover the cost of transportation. The Grand Prize winner will be drawn on September 15th, 2015.


Aphrodite's Organic Café & Pie Shop: Committed to Organic and Local

Peggy photoAphrodite’s Organic Café and Pie Shop was founded in 2002 by Allan Christian. He was working and living on the Glen Valley Organic Farm Co-op in the Fraser Valley. He first opened the Pie Shop and then 1 year later he opened the café, harvesting vegetables from the farm to serve in the restaurant. His daughter Peggy took over when Allan passed away in 2008. She is committed to keeping her father’s legacy alive by continuing to bring local organic food to the city.

Question: How do you support other local businesses?

Answer: We are committed to organic local products. Our produce is as local as you can get. We also have a seasonal menu to maximize what we can get local grown in season. During the summer, 95% of our produce is local grown. We buy most of that direct from the farmers. In winter we use local owned distributor Discovery Organics, who works to help small scale Certified Organic farmers here at home gain access to the larger commercial marketplace. The flour in our pasty is local made by Anita’s Organic Mill in Chilliwack from Canadian grains. We serve organic beer and wine. All our wines are organic, and we serve bottle organic beer. We just sourced a new local organic draft beer from Dogwood Brewery.

AphroditesByTheNumbersFor all our other products and services, we look for local whenever possible. We bought our uniforms from an east Vancouver supplier/manufacturer called Blackwood Apparel, we buy green cleaners and compostable take-out from Wisent Environmental, we bank with Vancity, and our accountant lives down the street!

Question: How else do you support your local community?

Answer: We try hard to be an excellent place to work. We provide higher than industry average wages. For instance, our line cooks make up to 20% more. We also give our employees extended benefits after they’ve worked with us for 6 months. We have a very low turnover rate – if you want people to commit to you, you need to commit to them.

We also support local charities and non-profits by donating thousands of dollars worth of gift certificates every year for their events and fundraising activities.

Question: How do you support the environment?

Answer: Our commitment to organic is probably the biggest way. And of course, our commitment to supporting local farmers.

Glenburn Soda: Serving B.C.’s Abundance by Sourcing Local

photo: Larry Wright, Burnaby Now

Glenburn Soda Fountain & Confectionary is a retro-style fountain shop on Hastings Street in Burnaby Heights owned by husband and wife team Ron and Roberta LaQuaglia. The soda fountain brings a taste of a time gone-by to the Heights of Burnaby. It’s a neighbourhood place where friends can meet and where families are welcome. They offer nostalgic treats – ice cream, soda fountain specialties like floats and malts as well as an assortment of vintage candy and bottled pop. 




Question: How are you supporting other local businesses?

Answer: We are committed to purchasing from local owned businesses, and local grown and made products. We get our ice cream from Birchwood Dairy, a local supplier in Abbotsford. We specifically chose them because they weren’t owned bya multinational. Our milk and cream come from Avalon Dairy, and our berries come from local farms – mostly Krause, but also Beckman and Forstbauer Farms. Our berries and fruit for sauces are often organic. The pies we sell are from local owned suppliers, and are local made. We know the baker, and often share sources of local grown berries, so they are often local grown too. We love their pies so much, we’ll pick them up if that can’t deliver that day. A lot of our other purchases, like laundry and banking, are from local businesses. I’d estimate about 75%.

Question: How else do you support your local community?

Answer: We’re passionate about kids, sports and active lifestyles. We hold fundraising days and donate $1 per item sold on those days to local schools. We prioritize active lifestyles, but also help local school PACs to fund technology upgrades for schools.

Question: How do you support the environment?

Answer: Unlike other ice cream shops that use disposable plastic cups and spoons, we encourage our customers to enjoy our products in the store in glass. If they want take-out, we encourage customers to use no packaging (cones!) or we provide compostable and recyclable packaging. We produce very little waste. We work to reduce packaging coming into the shop, and we recommend less packaging to our customers. We give our ice cream buckets away to arts studios and to food scraps collection programs to give away as compost buckets.

Saul Good Gift Co: Generating Local Social Impact through Collaboration

When Saul Brown, a founding member of LOCO BC, started Saul Good Gift Co—a certified B Corp—in 2006, it was with the intention of creating and growing an environmentally sustainable gift basket business. In addition to his commitment to environmentally sustainable business practices, Saul’s business practices are also driven by a commitment to local purchasing (73% of his suppliers are locally owned companies) and developing mutually beneficial relationships with other local businesses and social enterprises—a commitment that has generated a high level of local social and economic impact over the years, particularly for the growing social enterprise sector in Vancouver’s Downtown East Side.


Question: What inspired you to start collaborating with social enterprises?

Answer: A series of events and decisions that occurred within the first few years of launching my business got me thinking about the social side of sustainable business. One of my earliest collaborative partnerships with a social enterprise occurred in 2008. It emerged out of a networking event where I met a Rona employee who told me about Tradeworks Custom Products. I started working with the business to locate and procure local, sustainable materials for their products and I helped them grow their business. I also learned a lot about the social side of sustainable businesses through sharing work space—and collaborating—with Toby Barazzuol (Eclipse Awards) on a variety of community initiatives that sought to address both social issues and environmental sustainability concerns through business.

Question: How does collaborating with social enterprises generate local, social impact?

Answer: When we looked at the top 75% of our expenses, we see that 25% of the dollars spent go directly to local social enterprises such as Starworks, Tradeworks Custom Products, and East Van Roasters. However, generating this kind of impact hasn’t happened overnight; it’s been the result of having a clearly defined vision, goals and strategies that have steered decisions at each stage of business growth. It isn’t just about the social impact: these collaborations and partnerships also create value and a competitive advantage for both parties. For example, we have been working with our fulfillment partner, Starworks, to enhance business processes and systems in place that now makes it possible for them to provide “pick and pack”, just-in-time fulfillment requests from clients. ). I collaborate with social enterprise vendors and partners in ways that empower them to access new business opportunities or markets. Saul Good Gift Co also generates social impact through sharing the stories behind the products in the gift baskets. The stories are a “non-preachy” way of raising awareness about social enterprises and social issues.

Question: What advice would you give to other socially responsible business owners who are interested in collaborating with social enterprises?

Answer: First, start with a clear goal and understanding of what the strategy is behind the decision if you want to generate a social impact through cultivating mutually beneficial relationships with social enterprises. Second, you need to be really clear about your company’s culture and values and ask yourself what resonates with employees, customers and other stakeholders. Third, it’s best to start small. Do a little bit, then step and evaluate the process. A key question to ask oneself is, does it create value for both partners?

visit Saul Good Gift Co. at www.itsaulgood.com

What’s Local?

At LOCO our work is centred on the economic impact of local. And as an organization that coordinates a Buy Local campaign, ‘What’s local?‘ is often the first question we’re asked.

We know the greatest local economic value is created by businesses who are locally owned and operated. Based on our research study, the Power of Local Purchasing, we know these businesses re-circulate dollars in our local economy 2.6 times more than their non-locally based counterparts. For every $100 dollars spent with a BC-based business, $46 will stay in our economy (vs $18 for non-local counterparts).

At LOCO we’ve been working on creating a definition of local that centres on maximizing the local economic impact consumers and purchasers can generate. These definitions are at the centre of the BC Buy Local campaign.

When asking ‘what’s local’, follow these guidelines.

Local Owned: 

Local owned businesses are:

  • Private companies (ex. single owner or partnership, employee owned, co-operative or social enterprise/non-profit)
  • Headquartered in BC
  • > 50% of owners residing in B.C.

Local Made*

  • A product that is wholly or largely (>50%) manufactured or processed in B.C.

*Can include products produced without local materials or ingredients. Local made products with local ingredients or materials can add “Local Grown” if applicable.

Local Grown

  • An agricultural product grown in BC (ex. food, plants, fibre, wood)
  • A manufactured product with >50% materials grown in B.C.

Local Champion

Anyone who purchases from Local Owned businesses or buys Local Grown and Local Made products can be a Local Champion. Let your customers know you value them as Local Champions.