Introduction to SLO Foods Organic Buying Club
SLO Foods and how it works:
1. Create your account and follow all prompts to fill in the full account information. When you are finished, you will have filled in your name, phone number, address, and password.
2. We create the whole island’s order by compiling of all the SLO Foods buying club members’ requests and ordering with the suppliers as large of quantity as possible to keep our costs down. The home page of the website will always have the dates printed in BOLD so you always know the plan regarding order period cut off day/time!
3. I deliver the goods to your doorstep (or wherever you prefer to have your orders dropped out of the rain, safe from critters). It is explained in the FAQs that 1 car making deliveries is much more ecologically sound than 45 cars picking up at the Community Hall. I pay for your goods up front when i order from the supplier, so prompt payment upon delivery is appreciated.
SLO Foods is located on unceded territory of the Snuneymuxw First Nation in Tle:Ltxw (Gabriola Island, BC).
Gabriola Island, in addition to it’s obvious natural beauty, enjoys services that meet a vast majority of our immediate needs. On the food front we have several good markets, a wonderful farmers market in season and a handful of undeniable agricultural treasures. Recent media events are reinforcing the awareness that we need to be buying as locally as possible to reduce our carbon footprint but also to help sustain our community. One of the challenges to this is the lack of infrastructure to support the goals of local food security. Sometimes we even need to create new systems that better address our needs.
Original SLO Foods founder Eric Veale had twenty years of involvement in sustainable agriculture and organic farming in the Fraser Valley before he moved to Gabriola Island and started SLO Foods. SLO Foods operated out of Eric’s garage at first and over the last 17 years he has grown the buying club to what it is today with a home base in the Gabriola Community Hall and a regular monthly order-based organic bulk supply for our community.
SLO Foods is a buying club. Traditionally a buying club is a group of people who buy in bulk from wholesalers and work together to distribute it among the members – generally on a volunteer basis. There have been many such clubs started in the world and very often they have evolved into food co-operatives. Dinah works as “manager” of the buying club and is payed a tiny mark-up to cover the shipping and packaging of your organic bulk goods. You are not required to participate in any way other than as a consumer.
As we watch our local grocery store (now Nesters) change ownership over the last few years, we see fewer organic food options and still no bulk buying options. A few yrs ago Nature Spirit Earth Market (local natural food store) opened its doors and they do carry a limited supply of bulk items in small quantities. What SLO Foods offers is vast choice for gluten free, organic (and sometimes conventional) quantity organic bulk buying without the “store front” markup.
In November 2022, longtime local Dinah D took the helm of SLO Foods. Dinah and her partner Trevor Gear have been long time contributors to Gabriola’s food sustainability (Dinah 30yrs, Trevor 13yrs) Together they manage the Fun Farm, a small 3/4 acre farm with a large garden, chickens, ducks and angora rabbits. After being a regular buying club member, Dinah saw the value that membership in SLO Foods offers.
We think this is an ultimately valuable resource in our community and definitely the cheapest organic buying option for our island. Bulk buying requires you have a means to store the larger quantities of bulk food at your house where moisture and varmints can’t find it, of course!
We welcome suggestions, feedback and folks who order large quantities to share with their neighbours and friends on Gabriola.
“Think Locally – Act Neighbourly”
To advance awareness of the environmental, economic and nutritional impact of our food choices. To be an advocate for small scale local agriculture and the communities they serve and assist in the creation of systems that most directly connect the producers and eaters.