Buy Local grows Langley’s agri businesses
Langley residents are treated to fresh, local flavours year-round thanks to the hard work of owners of agri businesses.
Langley is known to have nutrient-rich soil and hard working, entrepreneur-type farmers who have brought us quality beer, wine, berries and more.
Now the B.C. government is celebrating this local bounty.
Seven companies in the Fraser Valley including six in Langley, have received a combined total of $281,460 of Buy Local funding from the B.C. government to develop promotional materials, advertising campaigns and participate in tradeshows and events.
Among those agriculture businesses that have benefited in Langley are Backyard Vineyards, Dead Frog Brewery, Driediger Farms, Vista D’Oro Farms and Vineyard, Gramma Dees Gourmet Snacks and Gojoy goji berries in Aldergrove.
Since 2009, Backyard Vineyards has been producing award-winning varietals, blended, and bubbly wines from 100 per cent B.C. grapes that are grown on-site in their vineyard in the Township and complemented with fruit selected from the Fraser Valley and South Okanagan.
James Cambridge, winemaker at Backyard Vineyards said the funding of $75,000 let them increase sales and expand their presence in VQA stores, private stores and restaurants as well as through print and media advertising.
“It’s incredibly important to support local farms and small business in British Columbia. The financial support provided through the Buy Local BC program allowed us to punch above our weight in a number of areas of our business, resulting in one of the most fruitful years we’ve had yet.”
A staple at many watering holes throughout B.C., Dead Frog Brewery has been offering its craft beer since 2006.
Located in Aldergrove, the company creates flavours offered all year round as well as seasonal specialty beers, such as Blueberry Blast Kettle Sour and Winter Beeracle Winter Ale. Dead Frog brews its beer in small batches with no preservatives or pasteurization.
Derrick Smith, CEO of Dead Frog Brewery, said the $70,000 allowed them to increase their brand by being at more beer festivals, trade shows and market new products.
“The Buy Local funding has helped give us the resources to launch our Collect Experiences, Not Things campaign, which has led to some of our most successful products ever.
“With the funding, we’ve been able to get the word out on our new Dead Frog Dozen Mixer Pack and our seasonal Atomic Cherry Tart Cherry Ale, and increase sales over 300 per cent over last year for certain products.”
Established in the early 1960s, Driediger Farms is still all in the family, as a wholesale and retail producer and distributor of fresh and frozen berries.
Grown on over 160 acres of land on 72 Ave., their berries are available during the season from their on-farm retail market and well-known U-pick.
Vista D’Oro Farms is a culinary agritourism destination located on a picturesque South Langley proerty.
The farm grows culinary herbs, orchard fruits and grapes on 10 acres of rich, fertile soil and produces and sells preserves from on-farm ingredients at the Farmgate Shop and Tasting Room.
The Preservatory at Vista D’Oro creates seasonal lines of artisanal preserves using traditional cooking methods combined with distinctive flavour pairings. They also have produced some quality wines, growing vines on site.
For over 40 years and five generations of farmers, Fraser Valley Specialty Poultry of Chilliwack, received funding too.
Locally processed and packaged, Gramma Dees Gourmet Snacks are vegetarian, vegan, gluten free and full of flavour.
Owner Doug Davidson was introduced to cheese bread in Brazil and became so fond of it that he and his family used an old family recipe to create Gramma Dees Gourmet Snacks so everyone can enjoy the Brazilian-style cheese bread.
Another Langley success story is Gojoy goji berries. Whether they are fresh or frozen, Gojoy goji berries are full of flavour and antioxidants.
Peter Breederland is operating the only goji berry farm in Canada right here.
People are invited to the farm in Aldergrove during harvesting months to pick their own fresh goji berries. Gojoy also sells frozen goji berries year-round and processes berries into a five-fruit blend smoothie mix.
The Buy Local program has received $8 million in B.C. government funding since 2012.
“Thanks to the hard work and dedication from these individuals, B.C. have fresh, local options at their local grocery store, full of the flavours our province is known for,” said Langley MLA Mary Polak.
The provincial government’s Buy Local program is administered by the Investment Agriculture Foundation of British Columbia. Applications are available here.
Dead Frog CEO Derrick Smith said the Buy Local funding helped them launch their latest ad campaign which has increased sales. Submitted photo.