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fall 2020 | issue 02

cultivate MAGAZINE

Business Innovation with Plenty & Grace, BCLocalRoot and Grizzly Force

Regional Feature East Vancouver

Discover Your Anitdote + other members stories

We’ve got Eve n big g er

Whether you’re building new or upgrading, we’ve increased our rebates for a limited time* on select high-efficiency equipment and products to help you lower operating costs and improve energy efficiency. It’s just one way we’re doing our part to help businesses recover from COVID-19.*

That’s energy at work. For details on all our bigger rebates, visit fortisbc.com/bigger. *Increased rebates on select equipment and products are available until December 31, 2021. Full terms and conditions apply and are available on the individual program webpages accessible via fortisbc.com/bigger. FortisBC Inc. and FortisBC Energy Inc. do business as FortisBC. The companies are indirect, wholly owned subsidiaries of Fortis Inc. FortisBC uses the FortisBC name and logo under license from Fortis Inc. (20-051.4 08/2020)

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But this year had special meaning. In watching this years’ finalist videos, there was very little reference to COVID-19 and the chaos it created in the stories they shared. It was an important reminder of another commonality that we see regularly see from the industry - resilience. That word has taken on a whole new meaning for all of us in 2020.

For us, just about everything BCFB does – and how we do them – changed overnight. If someone told me in February that we’d partner with IAFBC to procure PPE supplies to make available to companies in the industry, I’d have laughed at the notion, but here we are. Moving all of our events virtually (the BCFB Awards Show was just one of many) was a big step, and we’ll continue to do so as much as we miss seeing everyone in person. Perhaps one day that will happen again.


I’ve heard many people joke about praying for 2020 to end. Believe me, I’ve thought it myself on occasion, but looking back at the past several months I’m in awe of how companies have managed to find a way to move forward. Some of you have moved to e commerce, while others have modified your products or looked at new channels of business. Others have had to step back in order to find a way ahead over the long term. While I’m not sure what the balance of this year has in store for all of us – or next year for that matter – I know that food and beverage processors will get through it, and we’ll do it together.

es m a J

James Donaldson, BC Food & Beverage CEO

FALL 2020

What I always look forward to most from the Awards Gala is the finalist videos; every year we get to see so much diversity, innovation, and most of all, passion. Companies large and small, representing a wide range of products from all over the province. At the risk of sounding corny, I personally look at their stories as an annual source of inspiration. It’s a great reminder of how unique the industry in BC is, and despite the fact this province’s 2,995 processors represent hundreds of different categories and are spread virtually all over BC, there are so many common threads that make them all the same. Access to skilled and unskilled labour, challenges around scaling the business, understanding the regulatory environment, increasing distribution, exporting, support for innovation and product development, sustainability, finding a co-packer, and access to tools and resources to train and develop staff are just some of the examples of challenges we hear from companies daily, and they come from everywhere.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on all food and beverage manufacturers in BC and their 35,700 employees. While many businesses have flourished this year, others (particularly those selling into the foodservice industry) have been decimated as bars, restaurants, hotels and airlines shut their doors, only to reopen in a limited capacity. Many smaller processors have also been challenged with capturing the attention of their customers as well during the pandemic.


On September 24th, BC Food & Beverage held our annual Awards Gala…….. sort of. It’s an event that we look forward to every year, but like everything (and everyone) else in 2020, BCFB had to dramatically shift gears and find another way to do things. This led to our decision to celebrate virtually, in a ‘late-night’ style Awards Show.

Help prevent injuries in manufacturing De-energize and lockout your equipment.

Ensuring machinery is effectively de-energized before you perform maintenance work is critical in reducing workplace injuries. Find resources on the safe use of lockout at worksafebc.com/lockout

p24 p14




01. news

02. members





MODERN MEAT -100% PLANT-BASED FOODS Creating Products that are Turning Heads

2020 PRODUCT OF THE YEAR - The Best of BC's Food and Drink




DISCOVER YOUR ANTIDOTE - From Tragedy to Empowerment




SOUL BITE FOOD - Vegan Bites, for the Soul and World Hunger

Cultivate Magazine is published 2 times per year by BC Food & Beverage. 310 9440 202 Street, Langley BC, V1M 4A6. No part of these publications may be reproduced in any form without the written permission of the publisher. Every effort is made to avoid errors and omissions. If you notice an error, please accept our sincere apologies and notify us. Cover photo by Heather Gill on Unsplash, heathergillphotography.com





PLENTY OF INNOVATION - New Food Hub & Innovation Centre Opens in Fraser Valley







Advertising, please contact Tanya Tait, tanya@bcfb.ca Publication Mail agreement # 43521018 bcfb.ca

FALL 2020


04. our future


03. our province




“It’s indulgent, it feels like junk food to me. I know it’s not but it’s hitting the spot,” page 16


BC FOOD EXPORT GUIDE - Helping BC Food and Beverage Companies Expand Their Business


2020 PRODUCT OF THE YEAR - The Best of BC's Food and Drink




Photo by Heather Gill on Unsplash, heathergillphotography.com



BC FOOD EXPORT GUIDE Helping BC Food and Beverage Companies Expand Their Business Story by Sierra Simpson

BC Food & Beverage joined forces with MNP, a business advisory firm, to develop the BCFB Export Guide focused on the Pacific Coastal States; Washington, Oregon, and California. The purpose of the Guide is to help BC food and beverage companies understand how to enter these US markets. Why did we focus on the Pacific Coastal States? It is the perfect market for BC companies to get their foot in the door when it comes to exporting.


“Our membership reports 80% of their growth for the past several years, is from export markets. Export to the US is generally the first foray into exporting,” says James Donaldson, CEO of BC Food & Beverage, “This Guide is specific to the needs of BC’s food and beverage manufacturers, and really addresses a need of companies to learn how to export effectively, while scaling growth. We’re very excited to offer this Guide to our members.”

done by interviewing companies that have already exported to these markets to understand how they went about it. MNP interviewed a sample of 15 people; including 9 food and beverage companies, and 6 subject matter experts. “We decided the Pacific Coastal States markets could provide to more of the small to medium sized companies get their foot in the door with quick capacity and get the experience in exporting,” says Maria Gonzalez, MNP’s BC Consulting Lead, Agriculture and Food & Beverage Processing. “Once they move successfully into that market, they can go into other significant markets, potentially Eastern US and other places across the globe.” We would like to thank the Ministry of Agriculture, and the Agrifood and Seafood Market Development Program for funding this project. The Export Guide was achievable thanks to the support from Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC. 

One might be able to find direction online, but the Export Guide puts all the pieces in one place, and has all the contacts and links needed to get your program started. Primary research was


The Export Guide is available by contacting bcfb.ca as of November 2020.

Hardbite Chips: Take a long-term approach when entering the US. Companies should ensure that they not only have the capacity for sustained growth, but also the financial and human capital necessary to be successful. Consider the unique needs of your export target markets and tailor your strategies accordingly. Kirk Homenick, Naturally Homegrown Foods/ Hardbite Chips


Fatso Peanut Butter: Develop a sustainable and targeted approach, conquering one small region before expanding further. Understand their financial position prior to exporting and ensure that the company would be able to sustain a loss if necessary. Jill van Gyn, Founder, Fasto Peanut Butter

DeeBee’s Organics: Build an experienced advisory board/team that is experienced in your target market. Deebee’s Organics founder, Dr Dionne Laslo-Baker believes that exporting to the US can be humbling for a company, and recommends finding outside, expert help, as the US market is very different from the Canadian market and requires an entirely different strategy and approach. “Believe in your brand…[and] don’t give up!”


Sheringham Distillery's Seaside Gin, photo by Kate Whyte, katewhyte.com

Story by Sierra Simpson


BC Food & Beverage’s Product of the Year competition was held at the Vancouver Pacific Theatre on August 13th this year. This flagship award goes to a company’s BC-made product judged by taste, packaging, innovation marketability, and positive environmental or sustainable impact. From dairy-free yogurt and cashew-almond “cheeze” to gin and water kefir, a pristine panel of judges tasted and evaluated 10 finalist products in a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style pitch. “I really love the community involved in BC Food & Beverage. It really feels like a nice little club and it doesn’t really matter if

you win or lose – it’s more just about seeing your friends and processors that you don’t get to see very often,” says Mellisa Mills, CEO of Spread’Em Kitchen. Lyndsay Scott, CEO and Founder of Kindred Cultures enjoyed her experience gaining feedback from the judges, “They asked really relevant questions, they were thoughtful. One of the judges even said they had our product in their fridge, that makes me glow!” The gold, silver and bronze winners were announced at the 2020 BCFB virtual Awards Show on September 24th.

“This year’s group of winners was a perfect representation of the industry in BC; companies both large and small, with a wide range of products from all over the province. Congratulations to all the nominees, finalists and winners.” BC Food & Beverage CEO James Donaldson



TOP 10 FINALISTS: Bottom shelf from left to right

Middle shelf from left to right

Yoguu Foods' Yoggu Dariy-free Coconut Yogurt, Hippie Snacks’ Cheezy Chive Almond Crisps. The KB Honey Family’s Bee Complete, FARAFENA's

Lumette's London Dry, Spread'Em Kitchen's Firm Cheeze Block, Sheringham Distillery's Seaside Gin, Kindred Cultures' Strawberry Rosehip Water Kefir, Boosh Food's Hearty Sheperd's Pie

Nut-Free Tigernut Butter, FreeYumm Foods’ Zesty Cheeze Crackers

AND THE WINNERS ARE... Gold seaside gin by sheringham distillery sheringhamdistillery.com Sheringham Distillery’s Seaside Gin won the Gold Award for Product of the Year. Founded by Jason and Alayne MacIsaac in 2015 the Sookebased distillery hand-crafts small batch spirits made with 100% BC agricultural products. Sheringham are proudly committed to localism, quality, and sustainability. They source ingredients from Vancouver Island whenever possible. Jason explains his thoughts when creating the Seaside Gin - “How can we get the feel of this region into this gin.” And that he did, from the local seaweed infused in the gin, to the Sheringham typeface on the bottle coming from an ancient typewriter found in the historic building that became the Distillery. The judges raved, “It’s a really good gin. I would give it as a gift to my friends in Ontario,” says Alexandra Gill, from the Globe and Mail. Judge Ken Clark of Save on Foods added that it was a fantastic product to showcase BC.



DOUGLAS FIR SOUR 2 oz. Sheringham Seaside Gin 3 drops of Green Chartreuse 2 oz. fresh squeezed Lemon Juice 1½ oz. Douglas Fir Simple Syrup 50/50 Sugar to boiling water with Fir Sprigs 1½ oz. Egg White dash Lemon Bitters Add all ingredients into a shaker and give it a dry shake (no ice). Add ice and shake again. Strain into a coupe and top with a Douglas Fir sprig for garnish and aroma.


FALL 2020

By Ted Low / Alta Bistro / Whistler, BC

Pictured: Jason MacIsaac


“It’s indulgent, it feels like junk food to me. I know it’s not but it’s hitting the spot,” Top Chef Canada’s Mijune Pak

silver ZESTY CHEEZE CRACKERS BY FREEYUMM FOODS freeyumm.com FreeYumm Food’s Zesty Cheeze Crackers secured the silver award with much zest. The new gluten-free crackers are perfectly salted to satisfy your savoury cravings. Consumers are loving the crunch of flavor saying they taste like “a vegan Cheez-It!” The Product of the Year judges were also blown away by this new product. “FreeYumm got that word - ‘zesty’ – a lot of times people use that word zesty but don’t have that, in this you do. One of the best crackers on the market,” says judge, Ken Clark of Save on Foods. FreeYumm achieved the tangy cheeze flavour and crunch by using whole food, plant-based ingredients and make the crackers in their dedicated bakery, free from the top 9 allergens. “It’s indulgent, it feels like junk food to me. I know it’s not but it’s hitting the spot,” says Top Chef Canada’s Mijune Pak. In addition to Zesty Cheeze, the crackers are available in two other flavours; Himalayan Salt, and Herb & Seed.


bronze tigernut butter by farafena farafena.com


Farafena’s Nut-free Tigernut Butter took home the bronze medal for Product of the Year. Have you ever heard of tigernuts? They actually aren’t nuts, they’re tubers, similar to sweet potato but much smaller in size. They were given their name from the tiger-like stripes on their exterior. Farafena created Tigernut Butter and is one of their first products with new vibrant branding. “Tigernut Butter has many of the same taste profiles as the different nut butters we love and eat on a daily basis but without the allergen component and contain pre-biotic fiber” says owner Oumar Barou Togola. “It’s made from roasted tigernuts and has a rich umami flavour. It is also great from people on a vegan or paleo diet as well as being gluten free.” Farafena was founded in Vancouver by Togola and Dylan Beechy. Through social enterprise and direct trade, the company invest in women farmers in Africa to grow and harvest the purest grains and fruit. Farafena brings these superfoods to BC while building strong, healthy communities in Africa. Farafena are growers and producers of pure and healthy African whole foods that have been cultivated in Africa are now making their way into meals throughout North America. 


HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE: The KB Honey Family, Surrey SUSTAINABILITY AWARD: Coastal Shellfish, Prince Rupert PEOPLE FIRST - HEALTH, SAFETY & CULTURAL EXCELLENCE AWARD: Vitalus Nutrition, Abbotsford INNOVATION AWARD: Cascadia Seaweed, Sidney EXPORT AWARD: Hardbite Chips, Surrey

Story by Sierra Simpson


The 2020 BC Food & Beverage Awards Show was one to remember. The annual celebration normally takes place in person; in 2019 with more than 500 attendees from the food and beverage industry. This year, working with the talented crew at Picnic Creative, BCFB was able to present a virtual Awards Show that was livestreamed on YouTube on September 24, and can be viewed in perpetuity. “What an awesome example to the whole world, that [virtual] events can still be a huge success for their industry and be super fun as well!” says Cathline James, CEO of Wise Bites, and a finalist for the Rising Star Award.

LEADERSHIP AWARD: Christine Coletta, Okanagan Crush Pad, Summerland/Kelowna BCFB PROCESSOR MEMBER OF THE YEAR AWARD: Mogiana Coffee, Burnaby BCFB ASSOCIATE MEMBER OF THE YEAR AWARD: Glenmore Custom Print + Packaging, Richmond PRODUCT OF THE YEAR: GOLD: Seaside Gin by Sheringham Distillery, Sooke SILVER: Zesty Cheeze Crackers by Free Yumm, Vancouver

The annual event celebrates the accomplishments of companies, products and individuals that have truly made an impact in the BC food, beverage and natural health industry. Local celebrity, Fred Lee, kept the show fun and fresh as the 2020 BCFB Awards Show host. Special guests included the Minister of Agriculture Lana Popham and Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry who applauded the industry for keeping the food supply chain strong through the first wave of Covid-19. “We’ve seen incredible strength, resiliency and creativity in many organizations and businesses,” says Dr. Henry, “I would like to extend this this special thank you to everyone on BC’s food and beverage sector for all that you have done to help people in our province and respond to the Covid-19 pandemic.”

BRONZE: Nut-Free Tigernut Butter by Farafena, Vancouver

Show on the BC Food & Beverage YouTube channel: youtube.com/ watch?v=4dhBZnLIIDE


The Award Show allows products, creativity, innovation, leadership and entrepreneurs on the rise to be recognized for their efforts. This year, we were able to applaud the people in the industry for keep food in our fridge during the impact of the pandemic. We would like thank the food, beverage and natural health industry for the hard work and dedication. From food donations, to innovative ways in keeping the province safe and fed, we couldn’t thank you enough. 

FALL 2020

The BCFB Flagship Award, Product of the Year goes to 3 outstanding BC products. From the top 10 finalists rose the 3 winners; gold, silver and bronze. Sooke-based, Sheringham Distillery’s Seaside Gin was awarded the Gold Medal honours. “It was been very exciting to be nominated for Product of the Year, alongside my esteemed colleagues. To receive an award like this is such an honour, for the 2020 BC Food & Beverage Product of the Year,” says Founder of Sheringham, Jason MacIsaac. Watch the virtual Awards

Award created by Andrew Watson Design, follow them on instagram.

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“We want to leave the connections we make with people better than we found them,” says Ashley, “Every single interaction we have is part of our purpose that we were given another opportunity to make the world a better place.”

Pictured: Modern Meatballs by Modern Meat

page 24


MODERN MEAT - 100% PLANT-BASED FOODS Creating Products that are Turning Heads


DISCOVER YOUR ANTIDOTE- From Tragedy to Empowerment




SOUL BITE FOOD – Vegan Bites; for the Soul and World Hunger







Story by Sierra Simpson

“There’s a sweet spot in developing a plant-based product that is packed with important nutrients like protein, has the perfect texture and tastes delicious,” says Tara Haddad, CEO Modern Meats. “Our chefs don’t stop tweaking recipes until they’ve reached that optimal spot.” Modern Meat, based in Vancouver, which has created a selection of nutritious, vegan food made from natural ingredients derived from plants. Modern Meat’s simple ingredient profile sets them apart from other meat alternative products on the market today. It all began when Tara found herself looking for healthier and sustainable ways of eating for herself and her family. As she researched protein alternatives available, she couldn’t find anything with an ingredient list she could trust. “While many plant-based products taste great, a huge ingredient used is gluten, while Modern Meat products are free from gluten, soy, nuts and GMOs. They are made with no artificial preservatives or additives; something I would eat all the time.” says Tara. “I felt that by creating a nutritious, high protein food without the chemicals and additives was helpful for me trying to make the switch to a plantbased lifestyle,” says Tara, “My dad has had some health issues recently attributed to eating too many red meat products. Just looking at how his health has changed by reducing his meat consumption has been dramatic.” Modern Meat began its R&D in 2019 creating recipes for the Modern Burger, Crumble and Meatballs, and at just over a year old they have a portfolio of nine core products including three sauces. “We did numerous tastings with chefs, friends, and industry people to solicit feedback in order to refine and perfect our products,” explains Tara. “It’s all part of the process.” In January 2020, Modern Meat began selling to food service and were hitting their stride when restaurants were forced to closed due to COVID -19. Fortunately, they were working on another revenue stream, a pre-made delivery service in partnership with PlantX, an online community and lifestyle platform for all things plant-based. This initiative was put in place to allow people to access nutritious vegan meals without having to leave their homes, which was timely particularly during the pandemic. This past spring, they’ve launched into retail and are now offering Modern Meat products at over 20 retail stores and independent grocers throughout BC as well as a one location in Winnipeg. “Our goal is to expand our distribution reach across Canada in the coming months and penetrate the US and international markets thereafter,” says Tara.


The all-female management team truly embrace the Modern Meat mission and philosophy of creating healthy alternatives and are passionate about reducing their environmental footprint by contributing to a sustainable food supply. “At Modern Meat we want to change the way food is produced and consumed for the benefit of people, animals and the environment, doing our part to live more sustainably. Equally important is to give back to our communities which for us means providing warm meals and food for those in need,” says Tara. This year, Modern Meat partnered with the Cause We Care Foundation, a Vancouver-based initiative that helps support vulnerable single mothers and children. They provided a Mother’s Day package of prepared plant-based food, a true gift from the earth.


FALL 2020

To learn more about Modern Meat or to find out where to buy their products visit: themodernmeat.com 


DISCOVER YOUR ANTIDOTE FROM TRAGEDY TO EMPOWERMENT Story by Sierra Simpson After a near fatal car accident changed their lives, Vancouver power couple Chris and Ashley Lewer combined their skills and healed themselves. Now they want to share their Antidote with the rest of the world. Their Vancouver based company Antidote Healing creates traditional Plant Powered Healing Elixirs medicinal beverages that helped them when their health needed it the most.


Chris has been a plant-based chef with a background in nutrition and food and has been working with plant medicine for over 20 years. Ashley has been a holistic personal trainer who specializes in rehabilitation and holistic health for 17 years. The two met travelling, and found they had a lot in common, their journey took off with their love for travel and learning as much as they can about herbalism and traditional medicine.


Then, in 2018 Chris and Ashley Lewers lives changed drastically. After surviving a near fatal car accident, the two were left with severe injuries. “I wasn’t able to train the way I was before. Everything was completely different, it was a life that I no longer recognized,” says Ashley. Before the incident both Ashley and Chris were highly active people and both emerged grateful to live another day. From their tragedy and struggle grew an empowering business that is helping them reclaim their health and strength.

out any cough or cold. They also offer ‘Rosemary Water’ to help boost mental clarity, improve memory and alertness by improving oxygen availability to the brain. Antidote Healing has allowed them to share the great health benefits with others. “We want to leave the connections we make with people better than we found them,” says Ashley, “Every single interaction we have is part of our purpose that we were given another opportunity to make the world a better place.” During the pandemic, Antidote donated $15,000 worth of product to local essential workers and frontline workers. If they heard someone was having a tough time, they would make sure that person got some Antidote as well. “It was amazing and rewarding to do something that really gave back to the people in our community,” says Ashley. Chris and Ashley also plan to save 100 acres of rainforest in Central America by creating a land trust and social endeavor where they can give proceeds to the ‘Be a Hero Foundation’. To learn more about Antidote Healing visit: antidotehealing.com 

“After the accident, we were suffering so much, we relied heavily on health and assistance, we were on painkillers and I had severe anxiety and depression,” says Ashley, “We found that anything could knock us down, that was when we turned to traditional medicine.” The two turned back to the roots of what they knew, including all the things they studied from different parts of the world. Chris started creating the initial flagship elixir, Jamu Recover, filled with turmeric and ginger to help reduce inflammation, pain and aid digestion. “Jamu Recover got us off painkillers within a couple weeks,” says Ashley, “we noticed a significant difference in the way we were able to manage our pain.” Chris and Ashley started creating other elixirs which all helped with different elements of each of the issues they were suffering from. The second creation was ‘Calm Your Crazy’ to help with Ashley’s anxiety. “This one got me out of fight or flight mode and into rest and restore, where I could relax enough to heal,” says Ashley. Another Antidote product is ‘Bandrek Immunity’ which helps aid in immune-boosting and knock Pictured: Chris and Ashley Lewers

Life gave them a lemon – they made way more than



sweet LIFE

members, partner content


WITH KIDD BROS. HONEY Blog & photo by Karen Davidson karenanndavidson.ca

When a company you're blogging about is just shy of the age of the city you live in you take some notes from the elders. Or is that just me? No not just me, you’ll definitely want to hear about this long standing company that produces non GMO honey. My favorite way to have my honey is with almond butter almond butter and honey hands down. What’s yours?


Kidd Bros. Honey was established in 1884 making it the oldest honey company across the provinces. Its first home was in Kitsilano in the heart of Vancouver. In 1964 the warehouse and store moved to Burnaby and another move in 2012 to its current location at the Cloverdale/Langley border which is where we gained international recognition. Ed and Diane Stubson along with their daughter Chelsea are the fifth generation of beekeepers in the Kidd Bros. Honey lifespan. Don’t you just love this legacy? I sure do. There are three branches to the delicious honey that Kidd Bros. Honey produces. The original line of products in the Kidd Bros. Honey Family was established in 1884, next there’s Queen’s Bee in 1932 and the baby of the pack is Western Sage in 2012. Kidd Bros. Honey is a pure honey, it is RAW, natural, Canadian honey, kosher certified, CFIA, USFDA, and internationally approved. Makes my heart sing this natural delicious product.


The original line includes alfalfa clover liquid honey and Pure Royal Jelly among many others. The Pure Royal Jelly is a potent antioxidant renowned for its ability to increase your immunity, improve your energy as well as its anti-aging properties. I think we can all agree that this is a stellar product. But wait, there are two more product lines. The Queen Bee line was started in 1932 and contains the Queen Bee properties. This line brings us “Bee Magic’ which is chalked full of nutrition and has a combo of honey, pollen and royal jelly in a single jar. Pure Bee Pollen is available in this line as well. Bee Pollen has been identified as an antioxidant source helping to protect your body from free radicals. My love for cinnamon just got brighter when I tried the newest product line. It’s Cinnamon honey. Lordy people, it's divine, right from the spoon or shall I say spoonfuls. The cinnamon is

pure and comes from Ceylon in Sri Lanka, its ground down and added into honey is part of the line they call “Western Sage”. This branch of Kidd Bros. Honey is the baby and was established in 2012. There’s alway a story. This story is that Diane and Chelsea wanted to open a Western store. The idea was to sell western apparel alongside Sage bonsai trees. This is how the third line in the Kidd Bros. found its name “Western Sage”. Glacier Honey was born in this new line of products. Glacier Honey is known for its smooth and creamy texture that will forever stay perfectly spreadable. Diane was working with the honey and recreated a childhood favourite - Cinnamon honey! I am so glad she did - and you will be too!! Back to the Western store for a moment -- the launch date for the store opening was fast approaching and in addition, the demand for the Glacier Honey and Cinnamon honey was growing rapidly too. These two products were in so much demand from suppliers that the store never did open and they propelled right into the launch of Western Sage Honey the third brand label under Kidd Bros. Honey. Flavoured honeys in the line now include ; Lemon Honey, Raspberry Honey, Maple Honey and more. KB Honey is a deep rooted company in our local food producer family. A company that is built on integrity, quality, sustainability and clean heath practices. With being a 5th generation family operated company, I’d say the bee keepers are strong and they know how to work with the bees and make sure they stay happy and healthy. We love happy and healthy bees! Community support you bet! KB is all about spreading local love through the honey they donate gift baskets for draws, raffles and fundraising events. Kidd Bros. newest initiative is to grow their line of products in the local community (let's get the word out), into more local including speciality stores (excellent house warming gift or perhaps a wedding favors?). Did you know that honey is the sweetest food found in nature? - go and get some KB Honey! You can find more information on Kidd Bros. Honey by visiting the hive at kbhoneyfamily.com



Hall of Fame Inductee


enjoy a hot toddy Hot water, KB honey, a whole lemon stir it up – might I suggest the Alfalfa cream, Alfalfa Clover, Queen Bee liquid, Queen Bee Ginger Boost, Cinnamon Honey or Glacier Honey. Who am I kidding any one of their products would be a welcomed addition to this hot toddy beverage!





VEGAN BITES for the Soul & World Hunger Story by Sierra Simpson

Soul Bite Food offers a range of delicious frozen meals influenced by old ethnic recipes with traditional flavours from Eastern Europe and the Middle East. The recipes come from different corners of the world and carry within them an ethnic line meant to enrich the Canadian market. Their line includes; Stuffed Peppers, Stuffed Eggplant, Cabbage Rolls, Balkan Mushroom and Taste of Persia. “This has been an amazing journey,” says Soul Bite Chef Alaia Fayad. “I have been able to learn a new style of cuisine, and working closely with family and friends, we have transformed simple, traditional dishes into extraordinary products. I love the opportunity to work with new ingredients and share my knowledge with the huge network of volunteers dedicated to fighting hunger.” Soul Bite Food was innovated by the Immigrant Link Centre Society (ILCS), a charity created in 2016 to combat world hunger. In the last five years Igor and Ali Haeri, Manager of ILCS and Soul Bite have put their own time and money into the program, which led them to creating their social enterprise, Soul Bite Food in 2019. It was shaped to help ILCS grow, keep more people fed and contribute to other charities dedicated

“ILCS volunteers come from 4 different continents, over 15 countries with one common goal and that is to give back to the local community living in Canada,” says Ali, “We are all in one of the most important missions nowadays, and that is to prevent food waste as much as possible. In this way, not only do we save resources, energy and time, we also return money to the economy by repurposing edible food.”


ILCS originally delivered food to about 20 families once a week in Coquitlam and has since grown to 7 days a week at 15 different locations. Volunteers at ILCS collect food from grocery stores that would otherwise be thrown away and distribute over 500 tons of food annually, feeding over 2,500 people in need every month. In February 2020, Soul Bite Food won silver for BC’S Most Outstanding New Product at the From the Ground Up Tradeshow. “We were so happy to see the good feedback from our products and people believing in us,” says Ali. “After that, we wanted to get our products on the market and onto the shelves of the stores.” The following month took a turn for most of us when the pandemic started, including new food manufacturers. It pushed back new products entering stores as the grocers had to put a pause on the process. “We still continued to get ready and work on things to the capacity that we could,” says Ali, “this included developing our website and preparing for when stores would be accepting new products again.” Currently Soul Bite products can be found at Vegan Supply Chinatown in Vancouver, Pomme Natural Market, Gardenia Foods Co in Port Coquitlam and online at bclocalroot.com To learn more about Soul Bite visit: soulbitefood.com To learn more about ILCS visit: ilcs.ca 

FALL 2020

“Originally, we sold jam and pickles at farmers markets, with help from a group of mothers who happened to be very skillful in the kitchen,” says Igor Bjelac, Executive Director. “We then expanded to our now vegan comfort food. We’re passionate about the environment and that’s why we went with a vegan product.”

to fighting hunger and food waste. Igor and Ali donate 50% of profits from Soul bite towards ILCS and other charities.


People, Planet, Profit is the triple bottom line that passionate food entrepreneurs strive for. Soul Bite Food, offering vegan comfort food, is a social enterprise created last year to combat hunger, scale down food waste, and give new immigrants employment – the perfect trifecta.

Cultivate your opportunities for growth It’s hard to control costs, streamline operations and plan for expansion when local and global markets are in a state of flux. Our advisors are here for you – delivering the consulting and export development strategies you need to thrive. Maria Gonzalez, MFRE, A.Ag BC Consulting Lead, Ag and Food & Beverage Processing | 604.637.1508 | maria.gonzalez@mnp.ca MNP.ca

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Photo by Lucas Finlay Photography, lucasfinlay.com


“East Vancouver is our home,” says Peter, “we’re very familiar and comfortable with this area.” page 34

our province

East Vancouver also referred to as East Van or the East Side has tons of history as it has been the first home for many non-British immigrants since the 1880s. The area is best summarized by its diverse community within a dynamic urban neighbourhood. The diverse identity is strengthened by many active ethnic communities, a talented artistic presence, a politically engaged youth population and vocal gender-identity groups. We had the pleasure to chat with three East Vancouver based companies that take pride in their community and learn more about what they do. Stories by Sierra Simpson



Story by Sierra Simpson


FALL 2020


our province


East Vancouver based company Sunrise Soya Foods has grown to be the leading tofu manufacturer in Canada. Since 1956, the family run business has given consumers the familiar selection of healthy and delicious soy products. Sunrise Soya serves hundreds of stores across Canada and into the US. With their locations in East Vancouver, they’ve opened operations in Ontario and most recently in Delta BC.


Leslie and Susan Joe established the company in 1956 when they immigrated to Canada. They opened their grocery store, Sunrise Market and began making small batches of fresh tofu in the back of the store. From there grew the now well-known company, Sunrise Soya Foods. Peter Joe and his 3 sisters began helping his parents at an early age, and since then have dedicated their work to support the family business. By 1984, Peter’s role became fulltime management and he is now the CEO, working to achieve his vision of having “tofu in every fridge” across Canada.


Sunrise Soya started on the 300 block of Powell Street in East Vancouver. “At the time the area was known as Japantown and also close to Chinatown – allowing us to be close to service both the Chinese and Japanese community,” says CEO, Peter Joe. Now the main headquarters are at 700 block of Powell Street, since they wanted to stay in the Downtown Eastside. Peter grew up always around the family shop or the store when he was young. “Myself and my three sisters worked for the business as part of the labor. I started, even during high school, I was already working at the store,” says Peter, “After university in 1983 was when Sunrise Soya Foods became my fulltime job and career, to run the tofu business.” Because of the high demand for tofu and other soy-based products, Sunrise Soya plan to keep their manufacturing growing. “As the market grows, customers are choosing more local, organic, plant-based and exploring different cuisine's like Asian foods,” says Peter, “We plan to keep educating on tofu - even though it’s much more known compared to the 70’s and 80’s when I use to do a lot of demos, sampling and giving recipes to teach people how to incorporate tofu into their diet.” Sunrise Soya Foods mission is to be the leading provider of high-quality, traditional and innovative tofu and soy products. “We know that we service the traditional market but we also service the mainstream and health market with tofu being a vegetarian and plant-based protein,” says Peter, “Our roots are the traditional, ethnic and Asian product. Now we service both consumers.” For numerous years, Peter was the President of SoyFoods Canada and currently serves on the board of the Strathcona Business Improvement Association. While Peter runs the business side of things, his three sisters run Sunrise Market, located in East Vancouver where you can find a wide range of produce, meat, dairy, packaged goods and the full selection of Sunrise Soya Foods products. To learn more about Sunrise Soya Foods visit: sunrise-soya.com


LEFT: Peter Joe, 1970's RIGHT: Leslie Joe, 1950's

our province


BC’s large brewery scene has created a challenge for microbrewers – finding a way to get rid of spent grain, which is the malt leftover after the brewing process. Spent grain makes up approximately 85% of a brewery's by product. While some brewery’s are lucky enough to have a relationship with a nearby farmer (where it can be used as livestock feed or compost), the amount produced exceeds the demand, requiring some breweries to pay for proper disposal. This is especially the case for the urban craft brewery, whose distance from the farmer adds another complicated logistical component. Marc Wandler, owner of Susgrainable based in East Vancouver came up with an innovative solution to this issue – upcycling beer “waste” into premium baked goods!


It all began when Marc attended UBC and met a colleague who came from the beer industry. Marc learned how the issue of disposing spent grain was growing bigger as microbreweries expanded in Vancouver. The two of them researched what the spent grain could be used for. With Marc’s background in healthcare, working with a lot of diabetic clients, he found that spent grain’s macronutrient composition was exactly what people needed in their diets to prevent these sorts of diseases. The idea of Susgrainable was born. Marc partnered with two of his friends, Angela Poole and Clinton Bishop, forming Susgrainable Health Inc. In July 2018. “We worked out a relationship with Café Bean on Granville to utilize their kitchen in exchange of them selling our baked goods,” says Marc, “this way we could get some feedback on our products before getting into farmers markets.” After Susgrainable started telling their upcycling story, the sales went up drastically. “A big issue is that we’ve started drinking all our calories while taking out all the fibre from beverages, such as beer, and throwing it away.” says Marc. “If you go back 50 years ago, people used to brew beer and then used the grains left over for baking bread and other baked goods.” Once the spent grain is dried, it’s milled into what Susgrainable calls Upcycled Barley Flour, a flour that’s low on the glycemic index and full of protein and fibre.


Susgrainable initially planned to produce the flour to sell and quickly learned that people needed to taste it first. They decided to start with selling cookies at farmers markets and see what blossomed from it after one summer. Right now, the cost of producing spent grain flour is expensive. Based on the amount of volume Susgrainable goes through, it makes it okay for them making the goods but selling the flour at wholesale isn’t even an option currently. “In the future though, we would like to get an upcycling facility off the ground,” says Marc, “where we can actually make flour in bulk and sell it at a more affordable price.” To learn more about Susgrainable’s story and all their great products visit: susgrainable.com

Pictured: (left) Marc Wandler (right) Clinton Bishop

BRASSNECK BREWERY BREWING FOR EAST VANCOUVER SINCE 2013 Located in the heart of East Vancouver sits Brassneck Brewery – a niche micro-brewery, serving mighty good beer. Their business model is quite different from most breweries and may surprise you. From the beginning, they’ve focused on their East Van brewery site, including the tasting room and bottle shop, sticking to pretty much exclusively onsite sales aside from a handful of keg accounts. Brassneck likes to keep things simple; serving great beer and the occasional sausage. Whenever the opportunity arises Brassneck collaborates with local food trucks on location, allowing guests to order outside and bring the snacks inside to pair with their beers. At Brassneck, they keep the batches really small, which in return keeps the beer fresh and delicious. This also allows them to offer as many options as possible to their little community and anyone else who stops by.


In 2013, Nigel Springthorpe was putting the pieces together to open Brassneck and met Conrad Gmoser in the industry, they became friends and decided to partner up. “Having Conrad there from the beginning, especially for all the engineering aspects of putting a brewery together was great, he brought so many things that I didn’t know to the table,” says Co-Founder Nigel.

Back in action! The tasting room is now open and Brassneck invites you to come check out their new outdoor patio. Visit, brassneck.ca to see what's new on tap and learn more about the brewery. 

Photos by Lucas Finlay Photography, lucasfinlay.com


When the pandemic hit, the brewery had to shift gears and completely change their model for 4 months. ‘We had to go from this tiny little neighbourhood brewery that relies on people physically coming to the tasting room and having a beer to solely relying on our single-head, one-at-time can filler,” says Nigel. They closed the tasting room and opened a little hatch door out of the front of the brewery, offering pick-up for their customers. The brewery got hit hard but they still had a number of people come by. “We’re lucky in that way – we are a neighbourhood spot, with loyal regulars. People treated our little hatch and counter time almost as a little bar, where they wanted to have that interaction.” Brassneck received a lot of gratitude from those regulars. Locals appreciated the way they shifted operations, to make it easier and as safe as possible to get their favourite brews during this drastic upheaval.

FALL 2020

When it came time to pick a location for the brewery, the pair landed on a spot in East Vancouver on Main Street which felt like the perfect fit. “What’s really nice is the density of the area, allowing us to have lots of regulars. People take a bit of pride in their little neighbourhood joint; they like to support us,” says Nigel. “When it comes to beer, people really take ownership and want to feel a connection to it.”


PLENTY OF INNOVATION - New Food Hub & Innovation Centre Opens in Fraser Valley



"Not only will this benefit the producers, but it will also help family farms stay sustainable and help secure our food chain in the Fraser Valley."

FALL 2020



Photo by Calum Lewis on Unsplash



our future


PLENTY OF INNOVATION New Food Hub & Innovation Centre Opens in Fraser Valley

In July the Plenty & Grace Food Hub and Innovation Centre opened its doors to the Fraser Valley agri-foods community. The Centre is a 5000-square-foot shared-use food production facility built to support and connect B.C.’s artisanal food producers and Fraser Valley farmers. We spoke with the founder, Lee Murphy, about the new facility and how innovation has a big impact on the food and beverage industry.

We are creating a cooperative community of like-minded entrepreneurs who share innovative and creative values all while producing delicious products from B.C. grown ingredients. The shared commercial manufacturing space is focused on the processing of local B.C. fruits, vegetables, tree nuts and herbs for value-added product production. The shared use facility and custom-built workstations have been designed for shared workflow and lean manufacturing practices.

How has the Food Hub and Innovation model helped in your own growth? Lee: Personally, this is my first foray in the Food

Hub model and this project has taught me the value of partnerships and sharing of information and resources. The research we did on this model shows it can be one of the more sustainable methods for small brands to compete nationally as well as internationally, through the sharing of knowledge and the cooperative buying opportunities.


I’m most excited to see the collaboration of the food hub clients and the farmers – that connection is what built our brand, The Preservatory. Not only will this benefit the producers, but it will also help family farms stay sustainable and help secure our food chain in the Fraser Valley.

What piece of advice would you give to a new entrepreneur starting out in the food and beverage industry?



Find mentors and strategic partners who challenge your growth, give you solid advice and support your crazy ideas, nonetheless.

What are you most proud of as a BC Food & Beverage business owner? Lee:

Creating a product using BC ingredients and showcasing that around the world has been so rewarding and I cannot wait to see the P&G FHIC clients experience that excitement of sharing their products locally and with the rest of world. The Canadian and BC brand is strong, and one recognized on the world food stage as safe and of premium quality. We should all be proud of the work done by other BC producers to pave the way for all of us to grow our brands on the world stage. 

FALL 2020

for BC’s small to medium producers to reach their full food processing potential, increase their capacity and meet and exceed food safety standards required by new markets, while still maintaining the unique artisanal quality of value-added, British Columbia grown products. Plenty and Grace’s vision is to enhance and enable growth in the agri-foods community of the Fraser Valley through engagement and collaboration.

What are you most excited about with the launch the new facility?


Tell us about the Plenty & Grace Food Hub Innovation Centre, what is it all about? Lee: The Centre was built to create opportunities

our future, partner content




The First Online Market with Delivery for 100% BC Food and Beverage Products Story by Meghan Carter, Marketing Manager at BCLocalRoot and Good To Grow

The last seven months has highlighted the vulnerability our local food system has to disruptions in global supply chains and has shone a light on how crucial it is to nurture and build province-wide food security. New and emerging local food manufacturers are feeling the sting of being small, with stories abounding of packaging shortages and extended lead times. Now more than ever, the importance of purchasing local should be understood by the everyday consumer -- people’s livelihoods in our communities depend on it. BCLocalRoot.ca is committed to helping strengthen our local food economy by educating consumers on the importance of purchasing and eating local and highlighting the abundance of food and beverage brands in BC. One such way BCLocalRoot. ca is doing this, is by creating personal connections between consumers and the makers of their food through storytelling on their website and social media. As part of their onboarding process they ask vendors how their business has been affected by the pandemic and why it is important for people to buy local products. Moving forward, they plan to dive deeper into the different aspects of local food with more videos and vendors. BCLocalRoot.ca is made up of a small team of women driven by a hunger for change and a belief that supporting BC brands has a positive impact on our communities, local food security, the BC economy, and the environment. The company is founded by Andrea Gray-Grant who is a trusted mentor in the industry and has worked with hundreds of BC food and beverage companies through her other Company Good to Grow - which offers coaching, workshops, and annual From the Ground Up Cohort, Conference, and Trade Show. “Our team at BCLocalRoot.ca envisions the role of our platform to be a positive force for change by creating a bridge between BC brands and hungry consumers. With more than 4,000 food brands available, we believe that everything we truly need is right here at home in BC”. - Andrea Gray-Grant, Founder, 


BCLocalRoot.ca is the very first online market offering 100% BC only food and beverage products with deliveries on Tuesday and Saturday for Metro Vancouver residents and curbside pick-up on Saturdays in North Vancouver. Delivery is free when you spend over $50, when you spend less there is a flat $10 delivery fee.


The online market currently has 450+ BC grown and made products from 65+ brands representing 9 regions in the province and new products are added every week. Shoppers can navigate the site by “New Products”, “Sale”, “Shop by Product”, “Shop By Brand” and “Shop by Diet”. To learn more and shop all the amazing local products visit: bclocalroot.ca

FALL 2020

BCLocalRoot.ca launched in April 2020 as a rescue initiative in response to the devastating loss in sales our local food manufacturers experienced from the global pandemic. The company has since evolved to include a greater mission; to positively impact our local food system by engaging and empowering our communities to choose an economic and food-secure future by purchasing BC only food and beverage products.


Good to Grow expands its role supporting BC food and beverage brands by creating an online market selling 100% BC grown and made food.

our future






We spoke with Marianna Kownacka, Marketing Lead at Grizzly Force to learn more about their innovative app that empowers temporary labourers.

MARIANNA: Grizzly Force we’re evolving the way Canada works. We provide an integrated, technologydriven platform to connect employees and employers for a flexible solution to market labour gaps. Whether it’s our same day pay cheque, 24/7 job posting, or our employer review system, we’re giving plenty of reasons for Canadians to say yes to Grizzly Force. Since 2017 we’ve expanded to serve multiple cities across Canada serving clients like Que Pasa Foods, Sysco, and Sleep Country.

MARIANNA: Innovation means challenging the status quo for the industry that's been brick and mortar for decades. It means not only to compete within our industry but to compete within the general technology space. It’s all about pushing the boundaries.

What are some examples of business innovation at Grizzly Force?

MARIANNA: Being able to connect the employers and employees seamlessly while using all available data points and optimizing strategy.

How has the workforce landscape changed due to Covid?

MARIANNA: While the Government has been providing a stable income for many Canadians, Grizzly Force has been able to subsidize that income while strengthening Canadian economy and supporting our partners.

Have you had to elevate your business innovation during the pandemic? How so?

MARIANNA: Yes. Teaching our workforce and employers that we can still get to work safely, even during these challenging and often scary times. A lot of workers aren’t aware of the rules around Covid, if they’re allowed to work, if environments are safe. We are using our technology to make data driven decisions to help screen and place workers. We’ve implemented an inapp screening process which is available on every job to ensure all our partners safety.

What are some great innovative ways you’ve seen from the business you work with?

MARIANNA: We’ve seen businesses being able to completely pivot their operations and adjust to the new landscape. There have been some amazing changes happening often within just a week or two!

How can innovation help businesses achieve success?

MARIANNA: Being able to innovate, means you’re challenging yourself, your organization and others in your industry. Pushing forward with innovation helps us all during these new and challenging times. 


FALL 2020

What does innovation mean for Grizzly Force?


What is Grizzly Force?

FOOD FUN What vegetables are the most fun to be around and the one everyone wants to hang out with? One day, a bean fell in love with some water. The water said they could get married if the bean became used as a flavoring agent. The bean replied that they could get married only if they lived in a colder climate. They agreed and had a baby who happened to be a good rapper. What did they name their baby? What vegetable always loses in every competition, yet is a terrific rapper?

Answers: Fungi, Vanilla Ice, Beets

Profile for Cultivate Magazine - BC Food & Beverage

Cultivate Magazine - Fall 2020  

We're are happy to introduce Cultivate - filled with great stories about our members and information about the food, beverage and natural he...

Cultivate Magazine - Fall 2020  

We're are happy to introduce Cultivate - filled with great stories about our members and information about the food, beverage and natural he...