Aphrodite's Organic Café and Pie Shop champions local suppliers
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Congratulations to Bethany Schiedel, winner of dinner for two at Aphrodite's. Enjoy!
Peggy Vogler, owner of Aphrodite’s Organic Café and Pie Shop, sees locally grown, organic food as the way of the future. In fact, she's based her business model on it.
"We live in a very fertile area," says Vogler, "and we have the most beautiful produce available right here." She doesn't see any reason to source her products from other regions.
Vogler's inspiration for using local and organic products came from her father, Allan Christian, who founded Aphrodite's in 2002. Allan had worked and lived on the Glen Valley Organic Farm Co-op in the Fraser Valley.
Explains Peggy, "he decided he wanted to bring that to the city, so he started an organic pie shop." Peggy took over in 2008 when Allan passed away. She keeps her father’s legacy alive by continuing to bring local, organic food to the city
Says Vogler of locally-sourced, organic produce, "that's what people want, that's why we're popular." And popular they are—Aphrodite's has expanded into a larger locale located right across the street from the original site.
The new location is 3605 West 4th Ave (across from the original).
Question: How do you support other local businesses?
Answer: We have a seasonal menu to maximize what we can get local grown in season. During the summer, 95 per cent of our produce is local grown. We buy most of that direct from the farmers. In winter we use local owned distributor Discovery Organics, who works to help small-scale certified organic farmers here at home gain access to the larger commercial marketplace. The flour in our pastry is local made by Anita’s Organic Mill in Chilliwack from Canadian grains. All our wines are organic, and we serve bottled organic beer. We just sourced a new local organic draft beer from Dogwood Brewery.
We look for local whenever possible. We bought our uniforms from an East Vancouver supplier/manufacturer called Blackwood Apparel, we buy green cleaners and compostable take-out from Wisent Environmental, we bank with Vancity and our accountant lives down the street.
Aphrodite's by the numbers
Private company with 43 full-time employees
8 per cent growth last year
100 per cent B.C.-based ownership
100 per cent B.C. operations
100 per cent of products are purchased from local owned businesses
90 per cent of products are local grown and local made
95 per cent of services purchased from local owned businesses
Question: How else do you support your local community?
Answer: We try hard to be an excellent place to work. We provide higher than industry average wages. For instance, our line cooks make up to 20 per cent more than the average. We give our employees extended benefits after they've worked with us for 6 months. We have a very low turnover rate – if you want people to commit to you, you need to commit to them.
We also support local charities and non-profits by donating thousands of dollars worth of gift certificates every year for their events and fundraising activities.
Question: How do you support the environment?
Answer: Our commitment to organic is probably the biggest way. And of course, our commitment to supporting local farmers.
Aphrodite's suppliers: Aphrodite's has a great relationship with suppliers that are also committed to encouraging, promoting and supporting local businesses. The following are some of the many businesses that Aphrodite's believes in.
Salt Spring Coffee. Photo courtesy of Alison Page.
Founded in 1996 by Mickey McLeod and his wife Robbyn Scott on Salt Spring Island, Salt Spring Coffee remains committed to its island roots: forming partnerships with farmers who grow quality coffee organically, using fair-to-farmer practices, pioneering environmentally-friendly standards and techniques, and fostering a team of expert roasters and baristas who get the most out of every bean.
The company's fresh-roasted coffee is now distributed and served across Canada. It can be found in cafés, restaurants, and grocery and specialty food stores. One per cent of its revenue goes to non-profit partners focused on making our planet better, including LOCO BC.
Viking Roastery | #105 - 3551 Viking Way, Richmond
Two Cafes: Ganges Cafe on Salt Spring Island and BC Ferries (Tsawwassen Kiosk).
Monday to Saturday: 6:30am – 6:00pm
Sundays and Holidays: 7:00 am – 5:00 pm
Monday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday: 6:00 am – 8:45 pm
Tuesday and Wednesday: 6:00 am – 7:00 pm