Nanaimo— April 1, 2021 — While it’s been hard to find much of anything to celebrate in 2020 and 2021, our increased dedication to supporting local products deserves our enthusiastic endorsement.
Island Good is celebrating its third anniversary!
Watch for Island Good entrepreneur stories, virtual cocktail events showcasing Island Good companies and 8 weeks of Island Good giveaways. All starting April 6th on the Island Good social media platforms (@islandgoodbrand).
The Island Good brand was developed over three years (2015-2017) and launched in March 2018 with a 6-month pilot project in 45 grocery stores with four retail partners that achieved an astounding average sales lift of 16.4% for Island-made products.
Island Good has since grown to include over 135 businesses featuring everything from potatoes to mattresses, from furniture to whiskey, from tortillas to cosmetics, and from yogurt to spice mixes. If it’s Island Good, you know it is contributing to our Island and Gulf Island economy!
The Island Good Brand is easily recognizable and helps consumers identify local, Island products. “I love walking down the aisle of a grocery store and seeing all of the Island Good logos on the shelf. The vibrant blue stands out symbolizing the abundance of opportunity for quality local goods. We are incredibly fortunate to live in a place where local is celebrated and valued.” said Israel Alvarez Molina, Owner of MAiiZ Nixtamel Tortilleria.
Especially in the last two years, Island Good has been all about community and collaboration.
Bringing Community Together
It can be isolating as an entrepreneur to take the risk and bring an idea to fruition. This year, in particular, has been difficult to connect with community.
“Being part of Island Good this past year has helped us mentally” said Linda Holford of Rocky Creek Winery. “Not only has Island Good created a website and a brand to support consumers find Island products but it is a venue where we as producers can learn from other Island Good businesses. We are small and it is hard to connect and network with other Island goods producers. I feel like I’m part of a neighbourhood where I can connect with others that have a passion to create goods on the Island and be sustainable.”
Island Good grocer, Country Grocer, recognizes the importance of supporting citizens on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands struggling with their mental health. They have teamed up with United Way and created a “Blue Love Campaign”
“With the one-year anniversary of COVID-19 upon us, many individuals, youth and children are suffering with anxiety, stress, fear, isolation and depression.” said Tammy Averill, Marketing Manager, Country Grocer “Our goal is to fund more peer support, outreach, and counselling services for individuals struggling with mental health challenges to ensure early intervention, relapse prevention and to build connection with other to reduce isolation. For the month of April customers can buy a blue heart at any till for $2 with all proceeds going to the United Way.”
Collaboration is the Key – Everything is Better When you Work Together
“Ever since I’ve started Singing Bowl Granola, I’ve looked for opportunities to collaborate” said Jessica Duncan of Singing Bowl Granola. “When COVID hit last year, it was even more important to be collaborative. Island Good is what I had been waiting for. Island Good provides a collective community reach that we don’t have as individuals. They make it easier for the consumer to find us and easier for us to get out to the consumer.”
“I would have never gotten into Quality Foods without the support of Island Good. As a small food producer, it takes so much effort to get into the larger stores. Then Island Good is suddenly there and supporting us with the link between producer, grocer and consumer.”
Linda Holford of Rocky Creek Winery acknowledged collaboration is key. “Island Good has increased our brand awareness by offering shared advertising opportunities with other businesses and we are soon to be part of the Island Good boxes. This in turn opens the doors to new stores to stock our wine. Island Good is an opportunity to increase the local economy.”
Communities are seeing the importance of helping local businesses weather the pandemic storm and have sponsored Island Good licenses to promote products being made and sold in their communities. What was started by the City of Campbell River has expanded to include Cowichan Economic Development and Community Futures Cowichan, City of Langford, City of Port Alberni, Port Alberni Port Authority, Sidney BIA, Victoria BIA, and the Women’s Enterprise Centre.
“I might not have joined Island Good without the initial support of Cowichan Economic Development and Community Futures Cowichan” said Paul Gill, Owner of Sutra Sauces. “When you’re starting out as a business you are watching your finances and the support of Cowichan was instrumental. As soon as we joined, I recognized the value of Island Good. Our social media following doubled within 3 weeks of joining. Island Good has created a family and provided us a platform to connect with each other.”
Israel Alvarez Molina, the owner of MAiiZ Nixtamel Tortilleria agrees. “Addressing the needs of our community by enlisting members to help each other strengthens our ability as local businesses to adapt and compete with larger corporations. Looking out for and supporting our neighbours allows us to build each other up. We are stronger together.”
Brenda Hetman-Craig, Owner at 40 Knots Winery expressed “to be part of Island Good has immense benefits. Island Good has created this powerful brand that consumers trust and seek out. With the movement of consumers wanting to buy local, social and environmentally sustainable products, this brand is most timely.”
So, how can you join us celebrating the third anniversary of Island Good?
- Look for/ask for Island Good wherever you shop;
- Visit islandgood.ca to discover Island Good products and where you can buy them;
- Check out Island Good gift boxes and shop for Island Good products at islandgood.ca;
- Follow Island Good on social media (islandgoodbrand)
- Sign up to receive the Island Good newsletter at islandgood.ca.
For more information contact
Suzanne Hedges, Relationship & Business Development Manager