With mushrooms from Langley, apples from the Okanagan, and salmon from the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Thrifty's is becoming a one-stop-shop for B.C. food.
"Why would you buy anything across the border when you could buy it in B.C?" asks Michael Mockler below, director of produce operations for Thrifty Foods.
The push for organic, local food has created a huge market, according to Mockler.
"We can't believe how many people are looking to buy organic eggs," he says. "The demand is in excess of the actual supply."
For Mockler, buying B.C. foods is an investment in our own health as well as the long-term health of the province.
"We're not a big proponent of the 100mile diet because if you actually drew a line around Vancouver for a 100-mile diet, you would actually include a hell of a lot of growing areas in north Washington state," he says. "When the money's spent in the local economy, it benefits everybody."
One of the challenges of promoting local food production is showing growers their options for creating a steady revenue stream, according to Mockler.
"No matter what you do in the province of British Columbia you really can't grow 12 months a year in hothouses, because no matter how much heat you put into it, we just don't get enough sunlight come November and December."
Bergen Farms may have found an answer to that problem.
The Abbotsford grower helps supply Thrifty's with fresh blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries during the summer, but when fall hits, Bergen offers a frozen line.
Mockler, a confessed "tomato freak," says it's difficult to compete with local flavours.
"You can't beat the taste of something that's grown in the soil in the Okanagan in the heat because tomatoes love high heat levels," he says.
But while the flavour is strong, the prices tend to be high, something Mockler says is difficult to avoid.
"In the middle of winter, California by itself can supply everyone in North America with their lettuce," he says. "B.C. has only got a three to five month window to harvest out of the fields, but they've got to pay for themselves for 12 months."
For Mockler, creating vibrant local gardens is more important than saving a few dollars.
"Consumers have got to make a value decision about what they spend, and buying B.C. in the long run actually benefits them because it makes our economy stronger. And really, they've got to think harder than just the price at the till," he says.-Jeremy Shepherd