‘Elated’ is how Brad DeMille described his reaction to the news that DeMille’s Farm Market has received approval to sell B.C. wine, beer and spirits.
Because the property is in the Agricultural Land Reserve, DeMille’s applied to the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) for a ‘non-farm-use application’ to add B.C. alcohol products to the farm goods and grocery items sold throughout the year.
The idea, DeMille said, is to support and promote local wineries, cideries, breweries and distilleries. He noted that some smaller vintners, for instance, don’t have a place to market their products.
“We’re very happy with the result of this. We explained our strategy with the emphasis on B.C. wine and spirits as an extension of farming,” he said.
He pointed out that DeMille’s currently buys from about 150 local suppliers, contributing about $2 million to their local economies.
The application stated the proposed liquor sales area, at 57 square metres, would be within the existing 350-square-metre retail area, leaving the total size unchanged and no additional infrastructure such as parking required.
DeMille said the application process took about nine months and cost about $10,000 with fees, permits, consultants, architects and more.
“We had no guarantee this would work; the odds were about 20 per cent to begin with.”
He said he thinks the ALC made a good decision. The farm market still has a few hurdles to negotiate, such as zoning changes within the city, but DeMille said he’s confident the plan will get support from staff and council.
In its decision, the ALC stated: “In consideration of the products proposed for sale, the panel finds that the proposal will support local agricultural producers.”
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