Ways to Give Back This Holiday Season

If you have visited our retail store or checked us out online, you know that we are all about supporting local! Why? Our experience has taught us that not only do Canadian Artisans make incredible products but that supporting small businesses helps to create strong communities.

Our mission is to make a national food community which helps define Canadian cuisine and generates a strong sense of food culture. By creating great food experiences for both Canadians and tourists alike through collaboration, celebration, and introduction to our great Artisanal food-makers, we are supporting the growth of Canada’s culinary collective; we are creating more opportunities for those who help shape the face of Canadian food.

We are also invested in creating a healthy community through socially and environmentally sustainable practices. We opt for products that are produced using eco-friendly methods such as using locally-sourced ingredients and/or compostable or minimized packaging. Additionally, we value products and companies that give back to the community by paying a living wage to their employees and providing opportunities for those in need.

We are proud of the Artisan food makers we work with and their incredible products. Read on to find out about which of our gift baskets and products you can feel extra good about indulging in this Christmas Season!

SHOP ARTISAN PRODUCTS IN OUR ONLINE SHOP

EAST OF MAIN

Not only does this basket contain the best of Vancouver-based Artisan food-makers, but it also supports the greater community through Hives for Humanity and East Van Roasters (a social-enterprise), who provide opportunities for at-risk individuals. A gift in so many ways.

What you will find in this basket:

Eve’s Savoury Sunflower Crackers
Candid Confectioners Classic Sea Salts
Batch Sweet Kitchen Spiced Pretzels
East Van Jam Duchess of Strawberry
East Van Roasters Dark Peri Chocolate Bar
Hives for Humanity Honey
Chocolate by Gaya Nut Mediants
Sriracha Revolver Cilantro Lime Hot Sauce

East of Main Basket Product Highlight: Hives for Humanity Honey

Hives for Humanity is a non-profit organization that, through mentorship, works to create job opportunities as well as bring people together through the act of beekeeping. Their vision is to ‘support healthy communities connected through the culture of the hive.’

When you walk into our store, you can always find little jars of Hives for Humanities Honey on our shelves or nestled into one of our many of our gift baskets and boxes. A close look at each of the jars will reveal where that particular honey was harvested. Locations such as: East Van, Kitsilano, Riverside and Strathcona are just some of the areas that you will see. The availability of that particular honey depends on the seasonal availability of the Vancouver neighbourhood where it’s harvested – it doesn’t get more local than that!  As a plus, the beautiful flavours of their honeys shift slightly depending on the specific neighbourhood it was harvested from.

Hive for Humanity’s Mission:
‘We work to create transformative opportunities for people and pollinators. Through mentorship based programming we create flexible opportunities for people to engage in the therapeutic culture that surrounds the hive; we foster connectivity to nature and to each other; we participate in local sustainable economies; we support at-risk populations of people and pollinators, and we do so with respect and joy. We create a supportive and connected network, and offer opportunity for building self-worth and community pride, so that all may thrive. We connect people to nature, to community and to themselves, and we do it through the bees.’

-HFH

East of Main Basket Product Highlight: East Van Roaster’s Chocolate Bars

East Van Roasters is Vancouver’s first bean-to-bar coffee and chocolate roaster located downtown at 319 Carrall Street (in the Rainier Hotel). This incredible 16-seat specialty cafe is a social enterprise of the PHS Community Services Society that provides their community with ethically sourced, locally-made products.

East Van Roaster’s chocolate bars hold a consistent spot on our ‘chocolate wall.’ Flavours such as Guatemala, Ethiopia, and Pangoa Peru indicate the location of where the cacao bean was harvested. With only three quality ingredients that make up their product: organic cacao beans, organic cane sugar, organic cacao butter, these bars offer our customers a decadent and ethically-minded treat, perfect for any chocolate lover.

East Van Roaster’s Mission:
‘EVR is committed to encouraging women that are re-entering the workforce through mentorship based programming and on the job training. We support at-risk people in a compassionate and supportive environment filled with meaningful work and nourishing food.’

-EVR

BY THE FIRESIDE

Nothing says seasonal gift quite like a basket filled with cozy snacks, perfect for sharing during those colder days over a cup of coffee or ‘By the Fireside.’ This basket is for that person who loves snacking on quality local products.

What you will find in this basket:

Winecrush Merlot Wine Crips
Batch Sweet Kitchen Salted Caramel Popcorn
Butter Baked Goods Vanilla Shortbread
Milsean Original Demerara Butter Crunch
The Preservatory Fig and Walnut Preserve
Temper Chocolate Fruit & Nut Bark
SeaChange Seafoods Smoked Salmon Pate

By the Fireside Product Highlight: Winecrush Merlot Wine Crisps

Winecrush is a growing company that started in the Okanagan in 2016. The founders wanted to mitigate the environmental impact of the wine producing industry by reclaiming the organic by-product that is usually disposed of after the winemaking process. Once they had identified this industry gap, they used a business model often referred to as ‘circular economy,’ to reduce and reclaim wastage and create a gourmet food line of products including crisps, sausages and powder.

Because of the extensive variety of jams and preserves in the store, we are always on the hunt for a new cracker. Something with a flavour that’s delicious enough to be eaten on it’s own or as the perfect base to compliment a sweet, spicy or salty topping. Winecrush is new to our shelves but we have fallen in love with it’s story and flavour!

When snacking on Winecruch’s Merlot Crisps as part of your By the Fireside basket, enjoy them with SeaChange’s Smoked Salmon Pate or for something sweet, The Preservatory’s Fig & Walnut Preserve. The only thing that will make these combos even better is snacking through this basket while sipping on a fine bottle of BC wine.

Wine Crush’s Merlot Wine Crisps are fermented and made with natural ingredients such as fruit, seeds, grains and of course … winecrush!

‘What is Winecrush Powder? Winecrush is a concentrated source of grape skin and grape seed polyphenols. The deep purple Winecrush powder starts with organic pomace, or mushy pulp left over after the red wine grapes from the Okanagan valley have been crushed for winemaking (and normally thrown out). We transform it into a phytochemical-rich food supplement that can be infused in to any daily meal.’

-WC

By the Fireside Basket Product Highlight: Batch Sweet Kitchen Salted Caramel Popcorn

We brought this incredible – totally decadent- product onto our shelves and into our baskets and never looked back. Since that time, Batch’s Salted Caramel Pecan Popcorn have become a favourite snack of ours.

Batch Sweet Kitchen is run by the local foodie and entrepreneur, Sara Karby. She is the owner and pastry Chef of Batch Sweet Kitchen who works with a small team focused on producing delicious food and bringing joy to people through food.

‘At Batch, we believe that if you are going to indulge, you should do it well! We make scrumptious treats that will elicit moments of pure joy! Everything we make is from scratch, using simple and quality ingredients, including local products whenever possible.’

-BSK

As the name suggests, Batch’s Salted Caramel Popcorn is made in ‘batches’ using small-scale production. We value the level of attention and consideration that Sara puts into her production. From the freshness of the popcorn to the sweet crunchy caramel that surrounds it, it’s clear that this product is made with love.

It’s our belief that supporting Vancouver based food producers such as Sara, helps to bring focus back to our community and support the production of unique, quality foods.

BITS ‘N BITES

A taste of this ‘n that with some Bits ‘n Bites. This box is filled with flavour, a taste of indulgence, and something a little different.

What you will find in this basket:

Chocolate by Gaya Chocolate Mendiants
Butter Baked Goods Coffee Marshmallow
Hives For Humanity Honey
Saunders Family Farm Jam
R.J.T. Park Freeze Dried Blueberries

Bits ‘n Bites Product Highlight: Chocolate by Gaya Chocolate Mendiants

Chocolate by Gaya is a Vancouver based luxury chocolate company providing local, ethically sourced, Gourmet chocolate. We are proud that we are an exclusive store partner as we are the only ones selling the locally & ethically sourced Chocolate Mendiants.

Looking for stocking stuffer? The gourmet mendiants are a perfect-sized treat for your loved ones. Come by at Edible Canada, stock up for the holiday season with some delicious chocolate treats and give back to local Artisan makers.

Bits ‘n Bites Product Highlight: R.J.T. Park Freeze Dried Blueberries

R.J.T. Blueberry Park Inc. was founded in 2009. It is located in the Fraser Valley, 52 km to the east of Vancouver and has an 81.56 acres farm. The local company specializes in the planting, picking, and selection of blueberries and the processing and storing of blueberry products.

Blueberries have become very popular in recent years because they are not only delicious, but also contain a high level of anti-oxidants. Since the company’s establishment, its professional team has successfully cultivated 40 acres of blueberry bushes and created a variety of high quality, healthy blueberry products in order to satisfy growing customer demand. To that end, it utilizes advanced technology and outstanding processing equipment.

R.J.T. is aware that that food safety directly affects the health of individuals and society, and is fully compliant with food safety-related laws and regulations in Canada. Food safety is a priority for the company, and it guarantees the safety and quality of its products. Consequently, R.J.T. has earned an excellent reputation.

“Unlike most products on the market, we only use Grade A blueberries to produce freeze dried blueberries. The freeze drying method preserves taste, texture and nutrients better than any other food preservation method ever invented. Hence, the freeze dried blueberries are just as nutritious as fresh blueberries! Eat them as a snack, sprinkle onto cereals or add them to any one of your favorite recipes.”

– RJT

Store Product Highlight: Abeego Beeswax Wraps

In 2008, Tori Desrosiers, Founder of Abeego Beeswax Wraps started her company with the goal to create the first beeswax-based reusable food wrap. Her product confronted the fact that regular plastic wrap does not let food breath and is made out of inorganic materials which make direct contact with the item. Like the perforated peel of fruit, Abeego allows food to ‘breath,’ creating a more natural method of storage.

Abeego comes in sizes ranging from small to extra large. They wrap around every type of food you can think of – loafs of bread, onions, a bowl of soup, a bunch of celery, etc. We love their multipurpose quality and the fact that they are reusable, organic and contribute to the mitigation of waste. Plus, the packaging is gorgeous – every size comes in a different colour which we see as a representation of the beautiful colour palettes found in different types of foods.

This product is the perfect gift for any person who is interested in reducing waste and improving the quality of the environment. We suggest grabbing an Abeego wrap (or two), a Salt Spring Island Jam and a block of cheese from the Granville Island market to create the perfect present this holiday season.

Why you can feel great choosing Abeego:
Abeego saves honey bees by saving food.Did you know the average household throws 1 in 4 produce items into the trash? Imagine the positive effect we would have on honey bees if we took good care of the fresh food they supply us with.

Abeego is all natural.Every ingredient used comes from the earth and will return to it without a trace.

Abeego is zero waste.“Waste” is actually a resource. From day one Abeego adopted a waste free commitment. So, Abeego makes amazing twist ties and fire starters with the excess.

Abeego lasts. Planned obsolesce should be obsolete. Beeswax is valuable so we make Abeego durable.

Abeego uses minimal energy to produce. Primarily people powered, except the awesome waxing machine that has tripled the output using the same amount of energy.

-AB

FINDING PRODUCTS THAT ALIGN WITH OUR VALUES

At Edible Canada, every product in our store is hand-picked, tasted and selected by our team of retail experts. Our goal is to make sure that the company and their product aligns with Edible Canada’s Mission and Values.

We ask a series of questions to guide us through the selection process each time we bring a new product into the store:

1) How does the product taste?
Once the product arrives in the store, the first step is to sit down and start tasting! Needless to say, this stage of the process is always our favourite part. It’s also a crucial part of the process as we will only carry items that ‘wow’ us! Everyone on our team is part of the tasting process, we must come to a unanimous decision before bringing a new product into our store. Luckily for us, many of the unique and beautiful products that come through our doors are are made with the highest quality ingredients and attention, resulting in incredible taste profiles.

2) Is the product ‘one-of-a-kind?’
Acquiring products that are produced through large-scale production or sold in huge supermarkets is not something that interests us. Instead, we want to provide people with a place that they can find unique items that aren’t’ available in mainstream stores. Items that are produced by ‘Mom and Pop’ businesses who have been around for years or ‘up and coming’ Artisans that are just breaking into the world of food production.

4) Does the product support a healthy community?
We are interested in supply-chain transparency. We want to know that the ingredients and the manufacturing process are executed in a sustainable manner. We ask questions such as: are the ingredients sourced locally? Do they include palm oil or other ingredients that don’t support a healthy environment? Is the product seasonally harvested?

As mentioned above, a major selling point for us is if the company ‘gives back to the community.’ This can come in any form, such as donating profits to charitable organizations, providing jobs to people in need or at-risk individuals.

Here at Edible Canada, we focus on supporting programs such as Growing Chefs, the Children’s Wish Foundation and various other local charities. Currently, we are supporting StreetSmart Canada, a program focused on eliminating hunger in communities across BC and change the lives of the many families who turn to food banks everyday in order to feed themselves.

SUPPORT THROUGH SOCIAL

There are so many innovative and exciting new businesses, products and projects popping up in Vancouver that give you the option to spend your money in a way that ‘gives back’ this holiday season.

If you purchase one of our store’s products that contribute towards this goal – snap a picture and tag us and the Artisan maker on Instagram!

We believe that supporting small businesses through social media helps them to grow their business and gain recognition for their value-based products. Help us spread the word so that others can access the same benefits during the gift buying season.

Happy Holidays from all of us at Edible Canada!