Hello SLO Foods Buying Club Members!
This is your friend and neighbour, Dinah D speaking. I would like to acknowledge that we operate the bulk buying club out of the original Tle:Ltxw village site of the Snuneymuxw First Nation, at the Gabriola Community Hall on what is now called Gabriola Island.
Feel free to read below about the change of hands of the SLO Foods Bulk Buying Club in Dec 2022, my history with Gabriola and Food sustainability on Island, and my excitement about my future with SLO Foods.

About SLO Foods’ change of hands:
When our mutual friend(and my neighbour)  Eric Veale arrived at my door with the last order and talked of shutting down SLO Foods, my heart sank, “but where will I buy my tahini and currants?” I am sure we all had that thought about one item or another on the SLO Foods website…it was hard to imagine finding  organic staples like beans, rice, flour, oats and nutritional yeast in any quantity on Gabriola.

I have been an organic farmer for 13 years, a beekeeper for 15 years and always fit this passion for good food around my passion to entertain the masses. I was raised in farming in Northern Alberta and community, food and art have always been braided equally in my heart.

About grocery shopping on Gabriola Isl:
When I moved to Gabriola in 1990, we didn’t have a grocery store! The entire island all walked over on foot to Thrifty’s for their grocery needs. There was a small convenience store at Twin Beaches and a small convenience store at what is now Pages in Silva Bay that sold very bare basics (canned weiners & beans, wonderbread).

I watched local builders erect our Village Mall from a pile of lumber left over from Vancouver Expo ’86 and our first grocery store was born! The grocery store ran successfully on Gabriola and the owners ran it respectfully and responsively with our community at heart. Now that our store has changed hands and suppliers several times we are all missing the bulk which has not been available for a number of years.  The relatively new health food store doesn’t have capacity for bulk in quantity but does a great job of filling the gaps in smaller quantities than SLO Foods. As a shopper, I know SLO Foods has great deals on large scale bulk, and this is why i got behind it- to help bring food sustainability to our island.

About me:
As some of you know, I am a professional entertainer and have been for the last 25yrs. With the help of the pandemic, the music industry has become difficult and working in the arts is no longer a sustainable way to make a living.
I have been the sole proprietor of The Kerplunks and taken that amazing band to the top of the Canadian Kids Music ladder and released 5 award winning children’s albums, and 1 live album with my adult music band (The Contraband Swingclub) over the last 25 years. I walked the Red Carpet at the JUNO awards 3 times with The Kerplunks, and 2 more times with other collaborators in the music industry with projects I played Upright Bass on. I won so many awards my shelves are full but as with all things in the arts and pop music, you cannot stay at the top forever. And you can’t eat awards!

In the last 8 years, I worked with the Arts Council to create my dream for our Island – The Cultivate Festival – a local music and arts festival, which I sincerely hope will have a lasting legacy in our community. My heart is not in the presentation of the arts but rather in the creation of art as a working artist, which i continue to do. I am not retiring from the arts, just slowing down as my body is requesting -the upright bass is one of the most physically demanding instruments to play.

Back to SLO Foods: The website has seen seeing some big streamlined changes since i took over with more goodies to choose from that we can’t get at our grocery store.  I am excited to meet you and I am REALLY grateful Eric Veale had the patience and kindness to guide me along in the learning process with SLO Foods, thanks Eric! He SO deserves the retirement he is now getting to enjoy!

How we operate: I (Dinah D) am the main contact you will be talking to for SLO Foods. My partner Trevor Gear has been instrumental in assisting with each month’s order packaging and for helping me get the website pricing sorted since I took over in Dec 2022. I’d like to note a few friendly folks who assist here regularly: Club members Frieda and David Gramit are wonderful companions and assistants many months for packaging and boxing. Our inventory assistant is Allen Darling who does the loading of our entire order into the SLO space at the Hall. Our delivery person is Bob Black. Please refer to this page for how the order works each month: https://buyingclubbc.com/how-it-works/

Emergency Shelter: SLO Foods operates out of the Community Hall , which is the South End emergency shelter for the Island.  We have an arrangement with the emergency providers that we are the emergency bulk supply for the island if a huge emergency occurs. We estimate we can feed the entire island on chili, rice, pasta, grains, fruits, cereals and nuts/seeds for at least 3 days with what we have on hand at any given moment. That will give us enough time to shuttle folks off Gabriola etc in an really huge emergency.

As members, you are free to email me any time with requests for items we don’t currently carry to request they get added to the website. Looking forward to getting to know you all,

Dinah D/ SLO Foods