Ron Everett has centred his business around the ‘100-mile diet’ concept.
Everett understands the value in locally-grown food and at his store, Local Market and Cafe, you will not find anything not produced on Vancouver Island.
“I’m dealing with really, really local people,” says Everett. “And that means you’re eating way healthier. I’ve learned that it’s not only healthy to support your neighbour but it’s healthy for your body.”
Everett, who is a logger by trade, opened his shop with the idea of selling fine crafted wood furniture and any other local products people were willing to sell whether it be soaps, birdhouses or hats. Everett soon found his furniture was not a big seller but the food was.
“My whole focus was never to be a restauranteur, the idea was to support the community and give back,” he says.
He does that by giving his business to local farmers. And in return, the customer is ensured a better product, without antibiotics or hormones injected into their meat.
Everett buys his bison from a farm off Hamm Road and beef, lamb, chicken, turkey and pork comes from the Comox Valley area. He also purchases beef off a farmer from Sayward.
The eggs come from a family in Merville and the honey comes from a beehive on Mount Washington.
All the seafood found in the market comes from local fishers and the free-trade, certified organic coffee comes from Quadra Island.
Vegetables are all grown locally, so if it’s not in season here, you won’t find it on Everett’s shelves.
“We don’t have tomatoes because you can’t find locally grown tomatoes right now,” he says.
The eat-in cafe’s menu mirrors what’s available in the market.
“What you see in the market is what will be on your plate,” says Everett. “I was never a foodie, and I’m still not a foodie. My motivation was to support my neighbours and showcase what we build and grow here.”