A Shuswap grocer has been recognized for making a positive impact in its community.
The Blind Bay Village Grocer was recently the recipient of a Canadian Grocer Impact Award for Community Service. The inaugural award was created to celebrate Canadian grocery retail and CPG (consumer packaged goods) businesses “going above and beyond to make the world a better place.”
“When the pandemic hit, the importance of supporting our local community was crucial to our survival,” comments Blind Bay Village Grocer president James Inglis in a Canadian Grocer media release. Inglis explained the business immediately rebranded with the tagline ‘Love Local,’ and endeavoured to support local businesses by selling their products.
“We are very locally focused but we more than double downed our efforts to make sure that anybody that had a product locally that we could sell we did, and took less profit on that to support them,” Inglis told the Observer.
That Love Local philosophy was extended to local artisans, the Girl Guides through the sale of their cookies and, through the chamber, to other local businesses that may not have had the same access to health and safety products required for daily operations.
“We had access to masks, sanitizer and bleach that maybe the smaller outfits didn’t, so we were able to work with the chamber to make sure other businesses got that product at cost,” said Inglis, “And then of course we were trying to work with small business owners to offer a discount on anything we could offer them to help keep their doors open. To not take profits…”
Inglis said Blind Bay Village Grocer also partnered with the Ceder Heights Community Association in the early days of the pandemic to help get food to people who couldn’t or wouldn’t leave their homes.
This all happened while the business had to deal with its own pandemic-related challenges.
“It was a hard couple of years for us,” said Inglis, who is grateful for the ongoing support of the community. “We genuinely wanted to make sure we said thanks.”
The Love Local approach continues, as does the home delivery service for online orders offered by the independent grocery store.
“It’s corny and kind of a cliché because all of the big companies say it, but we are local and we do love our community,” said Inglis.
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