Buy Local funding promotes South Okanagan flavours

Photo courtesy of Howling Moon Craft Cider.

The South Okanagan is brimming with local flavours from a variety of companies, including the Howling Moon Cider House in Oliver and Bordertown Vineyards and Estate Winery in Osoyoos.

These British Columbia companies are receiving up to $30,762 of provincial government funding through the Buy Local Program. The funding from the program enables local businesses to grow their brand awareness and promote to larger audiences all over the province.

“B.C. is well known for quality and flavours in locally-produced wines and ciders, and the products offered by these companies are no different! Local events and markets bring communities together to celebrate the talents of neighbours and friends. The Buy Local funding helps these groups promote their artisan goods and increase their brand awareness throughout the province,” said Linda Larson, MLA, Boundary-Similkameen.

Howling Moon Cider House is building its brand of premium hard apple cider with Howling Moon Craft Cider, which is made from 100 per cent B.C.-grown apples. With up to $11,875 of Buy Local funding, the company is developing signage, point-of-sale materials, packaging, retail merchandise, and an updated company website to promote the brand and product line. Howling Moon Cider House is aiming to increase its sales by 25 per cent over the coming year.

“Getting support from the Buy Local funding program has given a huge boost to the brand and overall market presence of our family-run business. It’s been integral to the growth of our operations,” said Kate Durisek, owner, Howling Moon Cider House.

Bordertown Vineyards and Estate Winery is promoting their 100 per cent B.C. grown, award-winning wines to both connoisseurs and new explorers of B.C. wines. The company is receiving up to $17,387 of Buy Local funding to encourage British Columbians to enjoy their wines by offering online shopping on their new website and launch a wine club to capture the attention of the winery’s biggest fans. The winery is also sharing the fruits of their labour with the rest of the province at a series of farm-to-table community events, such as Feast of Fields. Through these marketing strategies, Bordertown Vineyards and Estate Winery is hoping to grow its customer base by 25 per cent.

“We are very honoured to be recipients of Buy Local funding. As committed members of our own local community, we see the investment as a fantastic opportunity to increase awareness of Bordertown’s award-winning wines to B.C. consumers, such as our Living Desert 2013 red wine, which recently won a B.C. Lieutenant Governor’s Award of Excellence in Wines. We are also very excited about using the funding to launch our new Living Desert Wine Club and build a loyal fan base,” said Mohan Gill, owner, Bordertown Vineyards and Estate Winery.

The Buy Local program has received $8 million in B.C. government funding since 2012 to increase sales of locally grown and processed agrifood and seafood products within the province.

The B.C. government’s Agrifood and Seafood Strategic Growth Plan supports the building of domestic markets and maintaining a secure food supply. The growth plan is a component of the BC Jobs Plan and the roadmap to leading the agrifoods sector to becoming a $15-billion-a-year industry by 2020.

The provincial government’s Buy Local program is administered by the Investment Agriculture Foundation of British Columbia. Applications are available at: http://iafbc.ca/funding-opportunities/buy-local/.

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