Long Table Grocery co-founder Amy Quarry (centre) and a couple of her team members, Terri Smith (left) and Chelsea Lepine, as they get ready for the weekly Pop-Up Market May 9. Long Table Grocery is one of the suppliers featured in the new Buy B.C.: Eat Drink Local campaign. Lindsay Chung photo

Quesnel’s Long Table Grocery is part of new Buy B.C.: Eat Drink Local campaign

Cariboo businesses impacted by 2017 wildfires can register for free

Lindsay Chung

Observer Reporter

Quesnel’s Long Table Grocery aims to connect local food producers with local food consumers and build community, while also supporting farmers and entrepreneurs and making it easier for people in the Cariboo to get an organic, local meal on their tables.

Its mission is a lot like the mission of the recently-launched Buy B.C.: Eat Drink Local dining campaign, so it seems fitting that Long Table Grocery was one of the first area businesses to register.

The month of May marks the start of the Buy B.C. campaign, a new promotion aimed at educating British Columbians on the positive effect their choices have in B.C. when they choose to support local agriculture, seafood and food processing companies.

The Buy B.C. campaign will help local producers connect with the hospitality sector and increase the number of B.C. products that are profiled and served in restaurants and food service establishments around the province, according to a press release from the Ministry of Agriculture.

The Ministry of Agriculture has partnered with the B.C. Restaurant and Food Services Association on the campaign, and as part of it, has launched a month-long dining promotion, which offers consumers a chance to learn about and enjoy fresh dishes made with local ingredients at more than 300 restaurants in 48 communities.

The campaign will also feature the return of the Buy B.C. logo, making it easier for people to support B.C. farmers, seafood and food processors, with an easy-to-identify brand on food products grown and made in B.C.

British Columbians can learn which restaurants will be serving Buy B.C.: Eat Drink Local menus by visiting eatdrinklocal.ca.

While the dining promotion is for the month of May, the website will remain active beyond May and provide a place for suppliers like Long Table Grocery to be found and to share their stories.

Long Table Grocery offers a range of essential grocery items and prioritizes locally-grown, organic and fair-trade products. In partnership with local food businesses, Long Table offers bi-weekly grocery deliveries to locations within the Quesnel area.

“I’m optimistic about the government’s commitment to the local food economy, and it will be interesting and exciting to see how the programs they’re implementing impact our food system,” says Long Table co-founder Amy Quarry.

“There are lots of really great things happening in the local food scene, particularly in Quesnel I think, and it’s great to be part of that and see people get excited about local food and community.”

Quarry believes there is a lot of potential for growth in the local food scene, and she feels there is more interest in local food these days. She also believes there are many exciting and positive things taking place, like more businesses starting to localize their menu and producers collaborating with other local producers.

Building community and connection is a big part of Long Table’s mission. Long Table is open Wednesday afternoons for shopping at 678 Doherty Drive, and online shopping and harvest box subscriptions are available at longtablegrocery.com.

Long Table Grocery hosted a Farm to Market Mixer in February, bringing the people who produce the food and the people who buy the food together, and Quarry says it was very positive.

“We do know some good connections came out of that, and we’re hoping to do more of that,” she says.

Quarry thinks the Eat Drink Local website will be an interesting way to see which restaurants are committed to localizing their menus, and it might even encourage more restaurants to include more local food on their menus.

Quarry has noticed there seems to be more interest in local food and where food comes from.

“It seems like there’s a lot of interest in food in general, and because local food and organic food, we think, tastes better, people who are interested in food and cooking come to us,” she says.

“I think people are more interested in the farms, knowing where their food comes from; animal welfare and how the animals are treated is important to our customers. The people who seek us out are interested in organic. There’s lots of interest in food at farmers’ markets too, and we think it’s great.”

Quarry hopes more local suppliers take part in this campaign.

“The suppliers we work with typically are busy farming and don’t necessarily have the time to put together websites and are less active on social media than other businesses,” she says.

“This is an easy online tool for them to promote them. That’s a good benefit, and it makes it easier for chefs to find them, and that’s great too.”

Cariboo businesses that are interested in this campaign can contact Tamsin Scholz at 604-669-2239 or Shalan Pozer at 250-306-2601 or shalanpozer@gmail.com.

Agriculture Minister Lana Popham has asked that the registration fee for Cariboo businesses be waived in light of the 2017 wildfires. Instead of paying the registration fee, Cariboo businesses will be asked to provide a $50 gift certificate that will be used in promotional draws.

There is no deadline to register, and Cariboo businesses are encouraged to register at any time, as the eatdrinklocal.ca website will be active throughout the year.

Just Posted

Big victory for Quesnel’s U16 girls softball team in Kamloops

Unstoppable bats and a gem from Musselman propelled the girls to the win

Local athletes impress on Day 1 of Zone track and field event

CSS, QJS students showed off impressive skill as Quesnel hosts North Central Zone Championships

Tsilhqot’in community names officially recognized by Province

Tsilhqot’in names will now appear on provincial government resources, maps and databases

Editorial: respect where it’s due

Quesnel’s youth are impressive in their maturity and eloquence

Billie Bouchie Day celebrates Bouchie Lake’s community, culture and heritage

Activities planned for May 25, 26 include a Pioneer Family Tea, Métis history presentations and more

VIDEO: Grand Forks shores up defences as floodwaters rise to peak levels

Canadian Forces, volunteers working to protect low-lying areas

Chilliwack Chiefs moving on to RBC Cup final after thrilling win over Ottawa

Kaden Pickering scored the winning goal in the 3rd period as Chilliwack won their semi-final 3-2.

VIDEO: As floodwaters recede, crews assess the damage to Grand Forks’ downtown

More than four dozen firefighters and building inspectors came out to help

Wellington Dukes pull off epic upset of Wenatchee at RBC Cup

The Dukes are off to the championship game after downing the Wild 2-1 Saturday at Prospera Centre.

Canada to face U.S. for bronze at world hockey championship

Canada was looking to play in the gold medal game for a fourth straight year, but saw 3-2 loss

Searchers for Vancouver Island father turn focus to Cowichan River

Cowichan SAR joined by many other SAR groups, volunteers now determined to find missing man

Vacationers urged to check for stowaway bats that could carry deadly disease

‘White-nose syndrome’ has killed millions of bats in North America, but hasn’t arrived in B.C. yet

Are B.C.’s gas prices enough to keep you from travelling May long weekend?

Gas prices in B.C. ranging from 125 cents per litre to more than 150 cents

Prince Harry, Meghan Markle wed in Windsor as millions watch

Windsor sparkled on a warm spring day as tens of thousands of people jammed its quaint roads

Most Read