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Building community through local food – from the fields to Surrey’s Civic Plaza

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With over 11 years of experience in the community since Peter Leblanc and small group of farmers decided to launch the first ever Surrey Urban Farmers Market, this year’s market season launches in a new, bigger and better venue than ever – Surrey’s Civic Plaza.

The original market was created based off of a desire to make fresh produce accessible to the urban community, and since then it has continued to grow and thrive with the mission of reconnecting the city and it’s people with “local, sustainable, food sources and small businesses.” “The market brings people from diverse backgrounds together into a common area.

Surrey is such a large area and food is always a common ground between individuals” explains Anna Hall, Market Manager and Board of Director member.

This market not only gives an opportunity to the community to try and buy some of BC’s freshest produce and products (and meet face-to-face with the producers), but also creates an environment for community-building with it’s performers, community workshops, and kids activities planned each market season.

Surrey Urban Farmers Market is a member of the BC Farmers Markets, and a partner with the Food Nutrition Coupon Program. Made up of a five-person Board of Directors and one staff member (Sukhman Heir – Market Coordinator), this small and mighty group of individuals puts a lot of work and long hours to make this market a reality year after year.

“It’s a fine balancing act to juggle the market and all its needs while keeping in mind that we are all volunteers” Hall reveals. The planning begins as early as December – six-months prior to the season launch, and shortly after their AGM.

“It’s a collaboration (leading up to our first market day) of directors putting in their time to make the farmers market community an enjoyable experience for the vendors and community.”

“We believe that smiles and food are common languages” shares Hall. “This new venue is much needed for us.

While we loved our time outside the North Surrey Recreation Centre, it was time for us to move into the gorgeous Civic Plaza. We had issues three or four years back being at the Plaza due to construction.

It ended up becoming quite a problem back then, but now that the plaza is complete, we are excited to be there. We are officially in the heart of downtown Surrey.”

With the new location brings an increase in size to the market – translating to a larger depth and breadth of vendors!

Among the obvious increase in size to the market, Hall lists some of the many perks of being in the new location this year being increased accessibility with easy transit options, free 2-hour underground parking, and a broader range of volunteers from different cultures and age groups soon to participate.

“We have many amazing vendors this season. Earth-friendly vendors are becoming a bigger part of the market and reaching out to us!” An example Hall lists is Eat the Dishes – an immersive experience where you eat a delicious meal in a literally edible dish with edible cutlery.

Yes, you are really eating the dishes – this is no joke! You end your dining experience by having the option to wash and reuse your cloth napkin that comes with the meal too. Now that’s what we call sustainability!

New vegan vendors such as PlantBase Food and Natural Products and organic coffee and tea company Stephens Coffee Service will be new additions to the market roster this year. Other long-time Surrey Urban Farmers Market vendors such as Birk Farms from Abbotsford with their famous non-spray berries will be present, along with the Osoyoos Fruit Market King (bringing the southern Okanagan’s best pitted fruits such as fresh cherries and peaches). 

“We will have fresh, local veggies as well [such] as “Oh My Green” which sells delicious and nutritious sprouts and many other quality artisan items” Hall explains.

In addition to food-based items, home good vendors or craftspeople such as The Twisted Lemon will be bringing their natural soaps and lotions once again for another season, showcasing their products which aim to use ingredients that could have been found and/or made in the late 1800’s/early 1900’s.

Longest standing vendor at the market, Moonlight Wolf, will be selling handmade Aboriginal jewellery and dream catchers along with well-known silver jeweller, Wisla.

Besides the top-notch list of vendors, the Surrey Urban Farmers Market has an amazing lineup of performers and entertainment for the market season.

In celebration of Aboriginals Day, the market will be kicking off their performance schedule on June 15th with a performance from the Stars Of the North group performing in full regalia at 1:00PM with a journey-dance,

followed by two interactive drumming/dance numbers encouraging market guests to participate.

Stars Of the North is a contemporary, family, drum-group on a learning journey in search of their native Aborignal cultural roots.

Showcasing their own written music and hand-made regalia and instruments, they aim to retell stories passed down to them by their elders to share with their respective communities. Beyond the obvious buzz of the event itself, this year’s market is sharing four of it’s dates with other community events held in Central City, the Surrey Filipino Heritage Festival, Surrey Health Expo, African Heritage Festival, and a MOSIAC Seniors Event.

“We are excited about the opportunity and we are hoping this year will be a great one for the community” says Hall. Don’t forget, an event like this cannot be sustainable without its people, so if you are looking for a volunteer position for the summer – the market has the opportunity just for you!

With a variety of volunteer positions open with flexible time commitments ranging between 8:00AM and 3:00PM on Saturdays (and Fridays to put out signs around town), there is no excuse not to get involved.

It is too important to mention that the Surrey Urban Farmers Market is a registered non-profit organization which runs solely off of vendor fees and grants from Vancity and the City of Surrey. 

They are actively seeking sponsors to help the market succeed and continue to reach new limits. “Our market is more than just a farmer’s market, we host a beautiful place that allows people to start businesses. Lots of individuals started their companies, hobbies, or passions first in the farmers markets” explains Hall..

“We would like to thank everyone who makes our market possible, from our amazing volunteers, the City of Surrey staff, North Surrey Rec Centre staff, and so many more.

Thank you! We look forward to seeing you at the market” says Hall on behalf of the other Board of Directors and herself.

Mayor McCallam will be visiting the market and will host a cake-cutting ceremony at 12:30PM this Saturday to celebrate our local community of farmers and artisans, and the move to the new location – so don’t miss out!

And also important to mention, the market runs rain or shine!

“The rain during summer is a welcoming sign for farmers and adds fuel to all the fruits and vegetables that our community loves so much.”

Running from June 15th to October 5th from 10:00AM-2:00PM, come support the Surrey Urban Farmers Market as it debuts at it’s new location and promotes building community through local food.

To learn more about the upcoming Surrey Urban Farmers Market season or how you can get involved, check them out on their website or social media platforms:

Robyn is a status-quo disruptor, an old-soul, and has a serious passion towards continuous learning driven by a curiosity for the unknown. A creative and equally analytical thinker with experience in leadership, project management and marketing strategy. When she’s not working you can find her in the kitchen, searching for new music, or meandering local thrift stores, antique stores, or flea markets for a unique find.

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Award Winning Boosh Food Expands To Larger, Multipurpose HQ in Cloverdale

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Rapidly Growing Plant-Based Food Company Boosh Food responds to increased consumer demand for plant-based food options

Boosh Food Inc. (“Boosh Food”), a delicious plant-based ready-to-eat comfort food company that caters to the entire family, recently leased a multipurpose 8,500 sq ft headquarters located in Cloverdale, BC.

Upon completion of the tenant improvements, the facility will include a commercial grade test kitchen for new product development, a professional studio for filming cooking segments with guest chefs, extensive warehousing for their products and traditional offices and meeting rooms.

Founded by a seasoned entrepreneur Connie Marples in 2017, Boosh Food began distributing their family oriented, plant-based comfort food in early 2018. By the end of 2020, Boosh was being distributed to major retail outlets and independent grocery stores throughout Canada.

Current Boosh Food products feature six different 100% plant-based, heat and eat family-oriented entrees and meals. Boosh Food offers Single-Serve Bowls or sharable Entrées for two, including Coconut Curry Cauli Bowl, Veggie Bolognese Bowl (with Beyond Meat™), Mac & Cheeze & Peas Bowl, Mexican Fiesta Bowl, Rustic Veg Pot Pie Entrée, and Hearty Shepherd’s Pie Entrée.

“We are extremely excited about our rapid expansion and growth,” states Connie. “Over the past quarter we’ve made significant hires in key areas to assure we build a solid, fundamentally strong, corporate platform. The new multipurpose facility will allow us to continue and expand, invent new plant-based dishes, invite guest chefs into our kitchen, and create outstanding podcasts and videos in order to share the Boosh story.”

In Canada, more than 40% of the population is actively trying to incorporate more plant-based foods into their diets. Their compatibility with vegetarian, vegan and “flexitarian” lifestyles is now putting the spotlight on plant-based protein sources. (National Research Council Canada, Sept, 2019).

Globally, the plant-based protein market size was valued at USD 3.3 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19.4% from 2020 to 2027. (Grand View Research, Sept. 2020).

Boosh products are currently in the freezer aisle, with new products coming to the grocery aisle and cooler section of grocery retailers over the coming months. All products are gluten-free and non-GMO.

About Boosh Food Inc.

Founded in 2017 by Connie Marples, Boosh Food is a Surrey, BC-based company that creates nutritionally balanced, heat and serve, family-oriented comfort meals that are 100% plant-based, non-GMO and gluten-free.

Boosh Food emphasizes less sodium and sugar in their entrees and bowls and contain no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives. Currently available for purchase in over 150 British Columbian retailers, Boosh Food continues to expand across the country.

For additional information on where to find Boosh Food products please visit www.booshfood.com.

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Food & Drink

Death By Donuts Brings Laughs, Live Music, Craft Beer And Espresso To Your Home This March

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SURREY, B.C. – Vancouver’s annual Festival of Artisan Coffee and Collaboration Beers is planning a special pandemic fundraising event that is suited for anyone who is keen on laughing, live music, craft beer and coffee can enjoy from home.

The 4th annual event Hopwired’s Death by Donuts will be broadcasted through a twitch and web livestream on Saturday, March 6th, hosted by Canadian Comedian Icon Ed the Sock and ©Certified Cicerone Mathieu Poirier of Matter of Beer.

This year is obviously a little bit different, so the festival has invited a whole roster of breweries and coffee roasters from across Canada and the United States, alongside several award-winning comedians and musicians to stream to your screens at home.

Fans can tune in to watch artists via the event’s website at — it’s streaming at beersupply.ca/hopwired

The broadcast starts at 7 pm, with artists including Daniel Wesley, Tonye Aganaba, Graham Clark and Ed the Sock with appearances from breweries and coffee roasters from across British Columbia and Canada. You can be reminded about this FREE show by subscribing now at beersupply.ca/hopwired.

The event supports the Surrey Food Bank through a live silent auction. “I am hearing and seeing a lot about the cost of food going up and the cost of living going up and everything is especially hard for so many people right now. My community is really struggling in Whalley.” says Mike Willis, of West Craft, who lives in Whalley.

“This year we are going to try real hard to bring some extra joy to people’s lives at no cost with the hopes of raising money and volunteer support for our Surrey Food Bank. It will be an entirely different event then we are used to run but we just want to find a way to add some fun and laughs in people’s lives, while doing something meaningful for the Surrey Food Bank”.

West Craft, the organizer behind the successful Hopwired Festival and Fruit Beer Festival, is promising a fun time to help cure the winter blues and help those who are less fortunate.

Singer-songwriter Daniel Wesley will be bringing his prominent reggae element and unvarnished rock music sound to this high energy livestream, alongside soul-neo-folk stylings of Singer-songwriter Tonye Aganaba who will be closing the broadcast with her who is akin to legend Lauryn Hill, 3-time Canadian Comedy Award winner & co-host of Maximum Fun’s Stop Podcasting Yourself Graham Clark, and many more will be stopping in.

For more information about Hopwired Festival, please visit: www.beersupply.ca

For more information please contact: office@beersupply.ca

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Food & Drink

Savour What’s Simple this National Pizza Day with Coors Organic and Bowen Island Pizza Co.

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Celebrate National Pizza Day and Support Local!

National Pizza Day, a day that’s garnered more than 200k Instagram shares, is coming up on February 9, 2021. And what pairs best with pizza? Beer, of course.

As the expert in brewing with simple yet high quality ingredients, Coors Organic wants to help Canadians Savour What’s Simple this National Pizza Day by partnering with Bowen Island Pizza Co. to create a limited time only ‘Savour What’s Simple’ pizza that gives back.

The Savour What’s Simple pizza will be made with simple, fresh and high quality ingredients and available to consumers exclusively on National Pizza Day.

HOW YOUR PIZZA GIVES BACK

For every Savour What’s Simple pizza ordered, Coors Organic will match the purchase price and make a donation to Second Harvest, a charity focused on connecting excess food to those in need.

HOW TO GET YOUR PIZZA

On February 9th, support local and order a ‘Savour What’s Simple’ pizza from Bowen Island Pizza Co. to enjoy on National Pizza Day.

Order in person, by phone, or through Skip the Dishes.

MORE INFORMATION

Coors Organic is one of the latest additions to the Coors™ portfolio and is a first of its kind for the brand. It’s a light, organic lager that is expertly brewed with minimal ingredients for an elevated taste.

Located in the heart of North Vancouver in popular Lonsdale Quay, Bowen Island Pizza Co. creates high-quality, thin crust pizzas that have become a favourite among locals!

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Food & Drink

New “50 Mile Menu” Encourages Vancouverites To Eat Local

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Collaboration between Oroweat Organic and DALINA exclusively
features ingredients produced within 50 miles of Vancouver

In a first-of-its-kind collaboration, Oroweat Organic and local cafe-grocer DALINA have teamed up to create the “Oroweat Organic 50 Mile Menu”, a new collection of delicious sandwiches made entirely from ingredients produced within 50 miles of Vancouver.

Available from February 7 to March 14, the “50 Mile Menu” shines a spotlight on Metro Vancouver’s producers and showcases the amazing food available on our doorstep.

The “Oroweat Organic 50 Mile Menu” was developed by DALINA’s Innovation Chef, Matt Sanderson, and features three limited edition sandwiches – Roasted Chicken, Porchetta with Fresh Herbs, and Roasted Portobello Mushroom (vegan).

Each recipe is created with the freshest and best quality local ingredients sourced from producers such as Surrey’s Evergreen Herb Farms, Rossdown Farms in Abbotsford, Golden Ears Cheesecrafters in Maple Ridge, and others.

All sandwiches are made with Oroweat Organic bread, available in three varieties and also produced locally at Oroweat’s bakery in Langley, B.C.

Oroweat Organic chose to partner with DALINA as it shares Oroweat’s commitment to local ingredients and sustainable practices. Oroweat’s loaves are sustainably baked using certified organic ingredients.

Oroweat Organic also matches 100% of the electricity usage that goes into baking its bread with electricity produced from renewable sources and 100% of the fuel usage that goes into delivering its products with green certificates

The “Oroweat Organic 50 Mile Menu” is available from February 7 to March 14, exclusively at DALINA stores in Vancouver (992 Broadway & 687 Main St.) and for pick-up via DALINA’s mobile ordering Craver app or for delivery via Uber Eats.

For more information on Oroweat Organic products visit oroweat.ca or follow @OroweatCanada on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

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Food & Drink

What to eat when Jollibee opens in Strawberry Hill

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If “yum” is your favourite way to talk about food, you’ll get a mouthful ordering at Jollibee.

And you’ll get that chance sometime in the coming months when the cherished Fillipino fast-food chain opens in Newton’s Strawberry Hill Shopping Center.

The wildly popular Jollibee first launched as an ice cream parlour 45 years ago and claims to be the “largest fast-food chain brand in the Philippines.

” It boasts about offering a taste of home for the international community as “a stronghold of heritage and monument of Filipino pride.”

Jollibee is aggressively taking its cheerful vibe, mash-up dishes and family-friendly atmosphere around the world and opened its first Canadian location in 2016. It has yet to arrive in B.C. though is expected to open imminently on Vancouver’s Granville Street.

Chickeyjoy

 

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What’s for you? Spicy or regular?

Dubbed the “McDonald’s of the Philippines,” Jollibee is also known as “JFC,” and the Jollibee Food Corporation embraces the acronym that hints at its own finger-licking-good fried chicken and signature secret recipe.

Amazing Aloha Yumburger

There it is. Yum is right in the name.

The Canadian menu includes the Big Yumburger, the Cheesy Yumburger, and the Amazing Aloha Yumburger with bacon and a slice of pineapple. Hawaiian pizza on a bun, basically. Can’t wait!

Jolly Spaghetti

When Anthony Bourdain visited a Manilla location of the “wackiest, jolliest place on Earth,” he dove right into that Jolly Spaghetti and its hotdog toppings. His review: “Deranged, yet strangely alluring.”

Burger Steak

This pile of hamburgers and mushroom gravy is missing an adjective. May I suggest, “Yum”?

 

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Palabok Fiesta and Family Platters

 

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When it arrives in Surrey, there will be platters and palabok.

The Strawberry Hill Shopping Centre will get a facelift near the intersection of 120th and 72nd with Jollibee’s new 3,400-square-foot restaurant and outdoor patio.

The City of Surrey approved the development in December and said the new Jollibee will “improve the streetscape” near the busy intersection.

Ube is made from taro and used in all kinds of desserts, from pastries to ice cream, and is a striking, photo-ready shade of purple.

Peach mango pie is also on the Canadian menu.

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