Cumberland’s green grocer celebrates milestone anniversary

Tina Willard-Stepan and her husband Jim opened Seeds Natural Food Market in Cumberland in March, 2008.

Owner Tina Willard-Stepan is pictured outside her Cumberland business.

It started over five years ago with a question: Why can’t we buy broccoli in our own town?

From that evolved a project to bring wholesome, local food to the Village of Cumberland and one very long learning curve.

Tina Willard-Stepan and her husband Jim opened Seeds Natural Food Market in Cumberland in March, 2008. Although both had operated programs and businesses, the natural food industry was new to them.

“Many of our skills transferred to this business, but food is a whole other game. The learning has been huge,” says Tina. “I have worked extensively in community development and we wanted to bring this element into the business. We wanted to build community through food, which influences everything.  Food is about wellness. It’s social, it’s political, it’s economic – it touches everything.”

Their products and services reflect these wider community values. They are committed to sharing educational pieces about sustainability and food with customers. Seeds’ purchasing policy is intentionally focused on supporting other local businesses, farms and food manufacturers, re-circulating money back into their community, and providing a venue for customers to reduce their carbon footprint.

Many of their health and beauty care products also come from local businesses. They are intentional about the fact that their shop promotes a viable and sustainable local food system, contributing to a healthier environment, improved personal health and a more resilient local economy.

Other projects include donating one per cent to preserving the forest surrounding their community, or presenting workshops for children about how far their food travels earned them a nomination for a BC–wide Community Impact Award in 2012.

“Being a green grocer is a great role to play in a smaller town,” Jim said. “We are a community gathering place. And where people come together, you can make a difference to their individual health and the health of the whole community. Celebrating five years of getting to do this is a big deal to us and to the rest of Cumberland.”

Join Seeds to celebrate this milestone Anniversary on Saturday. The store will be offering free ‘food art’ activities with the new mobile Earth Art Studio between noon and 4 p.m. There will be free cake and prizes.

The store is at 2733A Dunsmuir Ave.


Just Posted

Portables arrive for students on Hornby Island

Five portable classrooms have officially arrived on Hornby Island this week in… Continue reading

Cumberland multi-use development given the go-ahead despite parking concerns

Rideout Construction will pay $91,200 in lieu of 24 parking stalls

Union Bay police standoff ends peacefully

A police standoff in Union Bay was resolved peacefully Monday evening. According… Continue reading

First North Island College Artist Talk Series of 2019 features Barb Hunt

Internationally renown Canadian artist speaks at Stan Hagen Theatre

Frustrated Mariner Apartments residents find few answers in community meeting

Tensions were high Monday evening for frustrated renters of Mariner Apartments in… Continue reading

VIDEO: Car flies across median, flips over edge of B.C. overpass

Dash cam footage shows vehicle speeding across Brunette Avenue overpass in Coquitlam

Bob Castle’s Under The Glacier cartoon for Jan. 15, 2019

Bob Castle’s Under The Glacier cartoon for Jan. 15, 2019… Continue reading

Second fatal crash occurs in Alberni Valley

Traffic on Highway 4 is being re-routed as investigators are en route

Indigenous energy summit includes session on pipeline ownership options

Steven Saddleback of the Indian Resource Council says a session will feature presentations on financing models

Japanese grand champion Kisenosato retires from sumo

The 32-year-old Kisenosato was the first Japanese-born wrestler in 19 years to gain promotion to sumo’s highest rank

UPDATE: Accused B.C. high school killer found fit to stand trial

Gabriel Klein is accused in the 2016 stabbing death of Letisha Reimer at Abbotsford Senior Secondary

Right-wing, neo-Nazi, white supremacist groups an increasing concern: Goodale

Ten people died in April 2018 when Alek Minassian allegedly drove a rental van down the busy stretch in Toronto

Canadian stock exchanges to conduct lottery for ‘POT’ ticker amid high demand

The symbol became available after fertilizer Potash Corp. officially merged with Agrium Inc. in early 2018

VIDEO: Mattress fire at Cowichan Hospital under investigation

The Cowichan District Hospital was locked down on Tuesday afternoon due to… Continue reading

Most Read