Archive for January, 2008


Raincity Grill
Photographer: Hamid Attie

Any recommendations for “Where Else Organic” in Vancouver and surrounds,
like all over the world?
Lots of us travel and need to eat when we do! For starters, here are some local choices from our blog readers:

Raincity Grill (1193 Denman Street):  Lots of organic products on the menu (80 percent). This restaurant was recently awarded Vancouver Magazine’s GOLD Critics Choice award for “Best Regional Restaurant.” Website: www.raincitygrill.com.

Petit Ami (Granville Island Food Fair):  Fair trade ORGANIC coffee ONLY plus organic teas and hot chocolates. More information:  http://www.foodvancouver.com/restaurants.php?start=20&neighborhood=7. (80 percent Organic)

Bishop’s (2183 West 4th Avenue): Features fresh, seasonal, local ORGANIC food (meats, wild fish, produce and cheeses): 90 percent ORGANIC. Website: www.bishopsonline.com

Organic Connection (Granville Island Public Market): Owned and managed by local organic producers. (100 percent Organic.) Website: http://www.organicconnection.com/

Recommendation of your own for “Where Else Organic?” Local, or across the planet? The “Where Else Organic” blog averages more than 6,000 visitors/month. That’s a lot of hungry people, hungry for ORGANIC!  So, if you have favorites, let us know.

You can leave your recommendations on this blog  (www.whereelseorganic.com) as “Comments”, or send an email to newpostings@gmail.com.  

All suggestions are welcome!

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whistler chocolate

Photo: new Whistler Pocket Chocolate bars 

Posted by webrapper.

A new local ORGANIC brand of  “pocket chocolates” is now available. The bars are actually 6 inches X 3 inches (larger than the photos above), and are thick and flat and cut into small “pocket-sized” squares. Delicious!

I’ve been looking for other dark chocolate ever since Whole Foods “killed” my favourite Capers brand. I love dark chocolate, so I’m always checking out new brands. These Whistler Pocket Chocolates I found at the Marketplace at Dundarave for $2.99/each. (The price will probably rise to a more “realistic” level after everyone’s had a chance to try the new product, but that’s just a guess based on how much chocolate is in each of these bars!)

Kudos to Whistler Pocket Chocolates! (For those who like “milk chocolate,” there are also two kinds of milk chocolate.)  No website is listed yet. For more information, call Whistler Mountain Chocolate Company: 604-966-7665.

[Editor’s Note: one of our readers in New York also offers a 100% ORGANIC chocolate bar. Check out “Comments” (below) for particulars, also the company’s website: www.veregoods.com. “Vere” means “real” in Latin.] 

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Adam’s Logo

Photo: Rene Magritte painting, 1950

Hi Y’all! Adam here with greetings from Co-Opistan! Boy, do I have a bushel of information to share with you. I’ve been thrashing around in Discoverystan for weeks now! You should see how much is out here about “co-operatives.” Tons! But, that’s what I’m out here for: “to dig up that information” for all you folks in the community.

Lots of people have been wondering “what’s the difference between a co-operative business and a private enterprise business?” For that matter, they wonder WHAT a food co-operative can do for them that a large grocery store (organic/natural or conventional) with all its buying power can NOT do for them.

For many people, the concept of a food co-operative is a little hokey operation bringing them fresh fruit and produce and some crafty prepared food items during the summer and harvest season and then leaving them high and dry the rest of the year! SO NOT TRUE!

I have been checking out the following websites: Canadian Co-operative Association, BC Cooperative Association, and Co-op Zone. These are THREE massive sites which contain just about anything you ever wanted to know about co-operatives. I have assembled some precise answers to questions asked me in this exerpt from the “BC Co-operative Association’s Start-up Guide.” This guide is free for anyone to download and utilize to undertake the development of a co-op. Co-ops beget co-ops and the Association works in every way to help get cooperative projects off the ground.

There are many types of co-ops. In fact, almost any type of business is a candidate to be ‘co-opitized’. The CO-OPERATIVE ASSOCIATION ACT states very clearly that you can incorporate a co-operative in British Columbia “for the purpose of carrying on any lawful industry, trade or business on a co-operative basis.”

There are five basic types of co-operatives which can be established as either business co-ops or not-for-profit cooperative: Consumer (food, supply goods), Financial (credit unions, insurance), Marketing (agricultural, crafts, trades), Service (housing, health care, childcare, recreation, media), Worker (any type of business collectively owned and controlled by the employees).

You can see by the examples that the statement made in one of my earlier dispatches is true: you can derive literally every service and product required in life from co-ops. This is just a start! I’ll tell you more in my next dispatch.

Bye for now!


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Award for choices

Photo: Choices CEO Mark Vickars with 2007 Independent Grocer Award

choices 3

Photo: Choices Produce (pictured on Choices website)


News: Two of Choices Markets received awards from the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers in November 2007, Yaletown and Kitsilano.

 Choices Market Kitsilano was named as winner of the Canadian Independent Grocer of the Year Platinum Achievement Award, for TEN consecutive years of Award of Merits signifying superior achievements in the Canadian Independent Grocer of the Year Awards.”  

For those who don’t already know about Choices Markets, here’s what Wikipedia says:

  Choices Market is a Vancouver-based supermarket chain that is Western Canada’s largest retailer of natural and organic food. There are currently seven Greater Vancouver locations, including one Rice bakery. Choices was founded in December 1990 by brothers Wayne and Lloyd Lockhart [2]. The owners emphasize that the store caters to a range of diets, including Gluten free, vegetarian and vegan. Lockhart cites this is a guiding principle for the chain: “It’s all about providing choice.” 

The company has relied on various techniques aimed at increasing customer loyalty in order to compete with larger chains in the area, such as providing customers with loyalty cards and providing an in-house nutritionist to help advise customers. The Kelowna Store was added recently to Choices Market to make eight store locations. Like all the other stores it has the great variey and customer loyalty as well as amazing staff.”

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New Choices!

 Thanks to “Wholey Moley” for the “head’s up” about corporate BRAND KILLING.

I think more and more of us are “sorry it happened this way.” But the irony of Whole Food’s “trash and burn” policy toward small “community” markets is that it’s “waking up” that very same “community,” a few people here, a few there. Me, included!

As I left now dead “Capers” for the LAST time yesterday, I realized–and I would NOT have believed this possible even a few days ago–the destruction of these “community” stores has turned me into an “activist”! I realize–at last–that EVERY CHOICE I make as a consumer has consequences for the “community” and for the “planet” in a way that is now “raw and real” versus simply intellectually “understood.”

I’m on my way downtown to Yaletown later today to check out the nearest Choices Market. There are half a dozen Choices organic markets spread over Vancouver (and one in Burnaby). [These markets are ALL Canadian owned.]

 Hopefully the prices at Choices are more reasonable than Whole Foods,  AND NONE of the cashiers obliged to repeat (with plastic smiles stamped on their faces like some kind of demented Stepford Wives): “Did you find everything you were looking for, did you find everything you were, did you….???” Give me a break!

This smarmy phrase is standard at Save On Food stores too–NOT just Whole Foods!
What is it with Big Fooda? Something against “real” conversations, and “real” human interaction?
“Did I find everything I was looking for?” NO, I did not. What I was “looking for” was a “COMMUNITY” market.” Today, that search goes on.

Posted by webrapper.

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Editors Note: I asked “Wholey Moley!” (this blog’s US corporate conglomerate “insider”) this question recently:

 What do you know about “brand killing” as a policy? This is the answer:

Brand Killing is a practice that is not discussed except at the buying level. If it is a corporate policy for this ‘absorption’ [of Capers Community Markets] then it will not be discussed as such. There will just be evidence of it as the group [of markets] is digested.

As for brands that you are used to seeing now disappearing, it will be explained by “corporate preferences” and of course the introduction of the (rather extensive) 365 brand. I know from working in PR (Public Relations) that different merchandisers (read buyers) have different supplier preferences, and they rule the roost in the store.
Then there are the regional merchandisers, now in Portland, who operate the same way. It is all part of the change of life now. I believe I warned people about this as well in the fall. Nothing can be done about it.

I am sorry that it is happening this way.”

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Robson Produce

Photo: Robson Capers Produce

NO more red tag days at Capers. Now that Whole Foods has swallowed Capers computer system: no more sales! That may “cost” in the long run . Too much of the “character” and “offerings” of Capers is already gone. I’m surprised, though, at how quickly the “look and feel” of a “community” store can be lost.

I’ve also noticed that the ID on the awnings for Capers stores is only a thin flap “sewn on” with a long cord (or perhaps, more aptly, “held by a thread”). In less than an hour the Capers name and logo could be cut down, and Whole Foods ID hung in its place.

I was shopping at Robson Capers yesterday (Saturday afternoon). In months past I would have avoided Saturdays, since Robson Capers would be so packed with shoppers I could hardly push a cart up the aisles. Yesterday, mid-afternoon, you could have shot a canon in the store without hitting anyone. I was almost shocked!
The whole look and feel, so distinctly Capers, is already gone. It is almost eerie to see shelf after shelf with everything priced FULL price. No sale offerings even on chocolate or energy bars or bulk food! Weird!
The end of Capers is much nearer than I would have thought possible a couple of months ago. 

I also noticed,  almost from the beginning of regular shopping at Robson Capers (in November 2007),  that smaller brands were being eliminated or “killed.” Probably 25-30 percent of certain brands of chocolate, salad dressings, and supplements (which  I had been buying for years from Capers) have been axed (with various excuses given as to “why”). That’s called “brand killing.”

If you’d like to know more about “brand killing,” here’s an article that covers all the angles: Killing Brands Successfully posted on “Knowledge Zone.”Of course, in the case of Capers stores, the biggest “brand” to be “killed” will be Capers itself. Ah, the realities of corporate take overs…

[Editor’s Note: The “deed is already done.” I was on Robson earlier this afternoon. The Capers’ awning has ALREADY been replaced. No longer does the awning  read “Capers Community Market”. The word “Capers” is relegated to small what looks like “paste on” (and “off” later?) letters on a corner. All the rest of the words on the BLACK strip are “generic,” like “fresh produce,” “organic” and such.

Inside the store, Capers “brand” is also fast disappearing. The sack of Capers “cloth bags” at the end of each check out has been replaced by “Whole Foods” green bags.  Other bags, like paper, also now bear ONLY the Whole Foods name.  NO more Capers Community Market!

The COLOR of new awning is especially appropriate! It’s black, the color of “death and mourning”!]

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