Voting with your dollar

It’s a regular occurrence unfortunately. A local business announces that they’re closing up shop for one of a number of reasons: lease terminated, profit margin too slim, irregular flow of business, cost increases, or just fatigue.

A lot of these reasons seem out of our control, so what can a community like New Westminster do? I believe it starts with small, regular steps and active decision making. I believe that every day we vote with our dollar. As such I wanted to share a few actions I take to vote with my dollar. But I also invite you to share what your favourite small businesses are in New West and what you buy from them.

Farmers Market
This year I made a conscious decision to purchase eggs from vendors at the New West Farmers Market instead of buying from the major chain grocery stores. This may have meant spending $1-2 more per dozen eggs but I knew that the money was going directly to the food producers and quite often the eggs were fresher, larger and proven free range or BCSPCA Certified.
During berry season (which was pretty amazing) I bought a large amount of berries from local vendors like Mandair Farms, Maan Farms, Peace Arch Farms and others. Their berries were normally picked and packed in the morning for delivery and sale that afternoon. My freezer is now packed with local produce ready for a smoothie or baked treat and I don’t need to buy imported berries at 3 times the price.

Pet food and products
Most major grocery stores carry a variety of pet products, some better than others. I made a conscious decision to stay out of big box providers and buy from small businesses in New West that offer the food my cat needs.

Spice, baking supplies and all things wonderful
Galloway’s is one of those incredible places that hasn’t changed much over the years. The ticket system sometimes works but the prices remain low and the products are pretty consistent. I remember my grandmother used to go there specifically at Christmas time to buy crystallized ginger claiming it was the best.

Did you know that Kozak Ukrainian Bakery in Uptown sells a dark chocolate sourdough loaf? I’m definitely a babka bun fan paired with a warm latte.

There are plenty of smaller product vendors scattered around New West. Each of them offer their own blend of unique products. While not all of their produce is locally grown, I try and shop there as I know the funds will go to a local business owner. I particularly enjoy shopping at Freshico in Glenbrooke North and try and go there regularly.

So, New West, how do you vote with your dollar? What are you favourite local businesses? Do you know of a gem? Share below and encourage others to keep them in business.

2 Replies to “Voting with your dollar”

  1. We had chickens this summer. Now we can’t bring ourselves to buy refrigerated store eggs, even from local producers and free range hens. We have found eggs from Rockweld Farms in Abbotsford to be excellent.

    As an eater of yogurt/fruit/otherstuff for breakfast, I survive until midsummer on frozen blueberries. I buy them from Gelderman Farms. The berries are good quality, and I think they freeze them better than I do. They aren’t cheap, but they’re local.

    Bosley’s doesn’t have all the pet products we need, but almost. I love going there! They give great service, and their store kitties are sweet. (We get one kind of food from our local vet.)

    I love Galloways too! I don’t know any other store that’s quite like it. I’m kind of an irregular shopper there, but there are ingredients that I know I am likely to find. Plus it’s in my ‘hood and a nice neighbour works there.

    Did Solodko finally change its name? I know they expanded the front a bit. They have lots of great baked goods. Have not tried soup but would like to.

    I sometimes get a snack at Russian Spoon in Royal City Centre. The woman there has both sweet and savoury pastries. I don’t go to Pamola Bakery in the River Market often because it’s down the hill for me, but I love their baked goods.

    1. > Rockweld Farms in Abbotsford

      They sell at the Farmers Market too, so you can buy them in New West!

      Galloways is incredible. “You want vanilla extract? Which of our seven varieties would you like?”. Don’t go in and ask for flour or you’ll be there all day 🙂

      Army & Navy is another source of wonder for me. Massive variety and super cheap.

      For fruit & veg that I can’t get at the farmers market, I agree… the farm market shops (Freshico’s great, also Dennys on 6th Ave) are brilliant because it’s all half the price of the grocery stores.

      Eating out is another way of spending our dollars in the local economy. New West has so many restaurants I’m fairly certain you could eat out twice a week and not have to go back to the same place all year. And at the rate that new ones open (is this a benefit of increased density?) you might never have to.

      One sin I will admit to: I shop at Amazon more than I should. But hey… the warehouse is in New West – can that count as shopping locally? Just a little bit?

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