Grand Forks’ food co-op thriving amid pandemic

Online orders and free deliveries behind trend, said store manager Mike Tollis

The Kettle Valley Food Co-operative has consistently doubled their sales since the COVID-19 pandemic set in last March.

From a steady baseline of between 20 and 30 orders per week, manager Mike Tollis said the co-operative hit a peek of 90 orders at the start of the Spring shutdown.

“What we’re hoping is that people are getting a little more conscious about where their food is coming from and how many people are touching their food before they get it,” Tollis explained.

Kettle Valley Food Co-operative manager Mike Tollis said recent sales have consistently outperformed pre-pandemic levels. Photo: Laurie Tritschler

Kettle Valley Food Co-operative manager Mike Tollis said recent sales have consistently outperformed pre-pandemic levels. Photo: Laurie Tritschler

“The impetus was definitely the fact that people could order online – that they could order groceries without leaving home. And, when people saw empty shelves at grocery stores, I think they made the decision to start shopping a little more locally.”

READ MORE: Celebrating fall at Harvest Festival

READ MORE: Harvest Fest 2018 offers food, fun

“We’d just started doing free deliveries when COVID hit, which became very popular” as people started spending more time at home.

Volunteer Mila Fraser reviews last week’s orders at the Kettle Valley Food Co-operative. Photo: Laurie Tritschler

Volunteer Mila Fraser reviews last week’s orders at the Kettle Valley Food Co-operative. Photo: Laurie Tritschler

“When you order from the co-op, the producer comes and drops it off. And then we put it in a box, so there’s only two people touching your food.”

Tollis said the co-op would explore “a number of potential avenues” to expand operations at a strategic-planning meeting toward the end of the year.

The co-op sells produce supplied by growers from Christina Lake to Greenwood.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

FoodGrand Forks

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

NAV CANDA is considering closing its station at the West Kootenay Regional Airport. Photo: Betsy Kline
Nav Canada considering closing station at West Kootenay Regional Airport

The organization is conducting a service review at Castlegar’s airport

Grand Forks' Everett Baker filed his nomination at city hall Tuesday, Oct. 27. Facebook: Everett Baker
Baker files nomination ahead of Grand Forks byelection

The downtown business owner stands unopposed in bid to fill vacant council seat

There has been COVID-19 exposures at two elementary schools in District 42. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 24 additional COVID-19 cases

This includes three school exposures in Kelowna

There have been no confirmed COVID cases among SD51 students since the school year got underway Sept. 10, according to School District 51. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Student absences spiked four times in Boundary schools in October

There have been no cases of COVID-19 in district schools, says Superintendent Ken Minette

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 18 COVID-19 cases, highest daily count since July

The total of COVID-19 cases in the region is now at 662

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. records 217 more COVID-19 cases, mask use urged

Infection spike continues, 21 senior facilities affected

Janet Austin, lieutenant governor of B.C., was presented with the first poppy of the Royal Canadian Legion’s 2020 Poppy Campaign on Wednesday. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
PHOTOS: B.C. Lieutenant Governor receives first poppy to kick off 2020 campaign

Janet Austin ‘honour and a privileged’ to receive the poppy

Premier-elect John Horgan and cabinet ministers are sworn in for the first time at Government House in Victoria, July 18, 2017. (Arnold Lim/Black Press)
Pandemic payments have to wait for B.C. vote count, swearing-in

Small businesses advised to apply even if they don’t qualify

A raccoon paid a visit to a Toronto Tim Hortons on Oct. 22, 2020. (shecallsmedrew/Twitter)
Who are you calling a trash panda? Raccoon takes a shift at Toronto Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons said animal control was called as soon they saw the surprise visitor

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The duffel bags were found to contain 84 pounds of cocaine, valued at approximately $1.2 million and 198 pounds of methamphetamine, valued at approximately $960,000. Photo courtesy U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
2 men accused of fleeing border agents near U.S.-B.C. border with $2M in drugs

Cocaine and methamphetamine seized by U.S. law enforcement in remote Idaho area near Canadian border

Slippery roads led to this crash in West Trail on Friday morning. Photo: Trail RCMP
First snow in Kootenays causes multiple crashes; one suspected of involving alcohol

The Trail and Greater District RCMP’s weekly brief contains details on collisions

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Pixabay photo
‘Horrific’ abuse of volunteers, staff by parents must stop: Chilliwack soccer club

Parents have become abusive after being told COVID-19 rules, email says

Most Read