One thing is clear from this year’s We ♥Local Awards: BC’s regions are thriving providers of an exceptional range of local treats; from wine and cheese to meats, flowers and fish. This year, we had 337 nominees across 15 categories, and the winners were voted in across the map, from Prince George to Black Creek. Now that the votes have been counted (all 37,000 of them!), enjoy this tour of BC’s fan-favourite flavours. It’s time to get up close and personal with this year’s We ♥ Local Awards winners!
Let’s start our tour up north in the Cariboo where two of this year’s award winners hail from Prince George: Prince George Farmers’ Market won the category of Favourite Farmers’ Market; while Nancy O’s Restaurant was voted Favourite Local Chef or Restaurant / Café. It’s easy to see what’s special about these winners: both are strong supporters of their community’s wishes. Prince George Farmers’ Market was the first farmers’ market in BC to stay open year-round to support local vendors; while Nancy O’s local food offerings help grow PG’s local arts and music community.
Winners from this region dominated the categories for growing and fishing. Burnaby’s Sun Tai Sang Farm won the WHL award for Favourite Local Florist or Nursery, while Delta’s Windset Farms won in the category of Favourite Local Greenhouse or Veggie Grower. To see why, check out their mouthwatering veggies like tomatoes, bok choi and peppers. The award for Favourite Local Seafood Supplier went to Bruce’s Country Market in Maple Ridge, where they provide wild-caught salmon all year round, along with finer specialties like crab meat.
Fraser Valley and the Okanagan
Not surprisingly, the fertile Fraser Valley is home to many We ♥ Local winners. From Nature’s Pickin’s, the Favourite Store to Buy Local; and Willow View Farms, the Favourite Local U-Pick Farm, boasting varieties like Gingergold and Elstar, members of Abbotsford’s community showed their strong support for local business. Abbotsford’s multi-generation-run Taves Family Farm also picked up the award for Favorite Local Orchard/Fruit Supplier. In Chilliwack, True North Kettle Corn’s sweet and salty kettle corn won for Favourite Local Sweet Treat, while Live! Chilliwack – the number one resource for all things local in Chilliwack – won for Favourite Local Advocate. In the heart of the Okanagan, Oliver’s Roxy’s Diner Food Truck won the community’s vote for Favourite Local Food Truck.
Got a craving for the tastiest meat, cheese or wine in BC? You’ll find everything you want within 25 kilometres of each other on Vancouver Island. The city of Courtenay boasts this year’s winners for both Favourite Local Cheese Maker (Natural Pastures Cheese Co.) and Favourite Local Meat or Poultry Supplier (Glen Alwin Farm, a century farm started in 1884!). Just north of Courtenay at the foot of Mount Washington, family-owned Coastal Black Estate Winery won the We ♥ Local community’s Favourite Local Winery.
In fact, the only thing our communities divided over was their favourite local brewery (it’s a tough choice, we know!). This category was a tie between Victoria’s Hoyne Brewing Co. and Squamish’s Howe Sound Brewery. Congrats to both!
Want to congratulate our winners (or visit them to try out their wares?) Visit our Facebook Page, to learn more, and then get busy planning a tasty tour of your region!