Raising the bar in the Comox Valley

Grocery program showcases local flavours

When you grow up outdoors, exploring and experiencing the most beautiful place on the coast, you need the right fuel to keep you going.

Luckily for Irah Vet and Cayleigh Rees, who thrived on hiking, biking, swimming and paddling Hornby Island, that feel-good fuel came from Irah’s mother’s homemade energy balls, which she produced on a small scale for Island natural foods stores.

Armed with that great product, the couple knew they could take it farther. “I always knew there was room to expand, and so we took the concept and applied it to a bar form,” Irah says. Hornby Organic Energy Bars was born.

What began as a small home-based enterprise soon outgrew the space and the two made the move to Courtenay several years ago. Since then, deliberate, planned growth has allowed them to build the relationships they need to be successful. Last year, they also earned 100 per cent organic certification, a key goal from the beginning. They’ve also expanded from the original peanut butter base to include several seed butter options for those with allergies.

Having the Comox Valley’s established organic food industry to call upon – local favourites like Eatmore Sprouts and Denman Island Chocolate – has been vital, as has support from local retailers.

“The energy bar market is so competitive today that getting that initial in and initial buzz from the Island community has been huge,” Irah says.

“I’m loving the challenges and constantly learning something new,” he reflects, noting both he and Cayleigh grew up in entrepreneurial families. He’s also enjoying the family connection with the business his mom started.

“I think she’s excited to see the growth we’ve achieved, and it’s given us a real appreciation for what she did.”

Island made: Island Good

Hornby Organic Energy Bars is one of numerous Vancouver Island producers and growers participating in Island Good, an initiative with four Island grocers to increase consumer awareness of Island-made and Island-grown food products.

The Vancouver Island Economic Alliance pilot project, in all Island Country Grocer stores (except Salt Spring), Thrifty Foods, Quality Foods and 49th Parallel Grocery stores through August, aims to increase demand for products made and/or grown on the Island.

Shoppers can look for ‘Island Good’ stickers, posters and other signage highlighting these Island products in all store departments.

“We’ve been thrilled with the interest Vancouver Islanders have shown in the Island Good program since it launched and as we come into spring and summer, those opportunities to shop local, source local and eat local will be even greater,” says VIEA President George Hanson. “Shoppers have shown us that identifying Island Good options is important to them and we know that will lead to increased production, more jobs and more production capacity.”

Look for the Island Good tags, enjoy local food and support our local economy: It’s Island Good!

Comments are closed

Just Posted

NIC brings Likʷala/Kwak’wala and Nuu-chah-nulth language courses to campus

NIC will offer introductory Likʷala /Kwak’wala and Nuu-chah-nulth language courses in Campbell… Continue reading

VIDEO: 2018 Everybody Deserves a Smile campaign packaging day

Students from throughout the Comox Valley come to Ecole Puntledge Park to help the less fortunate

Greenwood Trunk sewer line construction complete

An important stretch of new sewer line diverting wastewater from East Courtenay… Continue reading

Valley student’s passion project helping Cumberland forest

It took a little while for Frederica Blouin-Comeau to find her passion… Continue reading

Emailed bomb threat triggers heavy police presence at Comox Valley RV

Heavy police presence could be seen at Comox Valley RV on Ryan… Continue reading

Fashion Fridays: How to change your beauty routine

Kim XO, lets you in on her style secrets each Fashion Friday on the Black Press Media Network

Increase in downed power lines in B.C., how to stay safe

BC Hydro study finds a third of British Columbians may be putting themselves at risk

Judge sets bail at $2.5 million in 1987 slaying of B.C. couple

William Talbott II, 55, is charged with two counts of aggravated first-degree murder

EU leaders vow to press on with ‘no-deal’ Brexit plans

European Union leaders have offered Theresa May sympathy but no promises, as the British prime minister seeks a lifeline.

Powerful winds set to hit Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Vancouver Island

The agency says winds in coastal areas will strengthen up to 70 kilometres an hour before the front moves inland and gusts reach 90 kilometres an hour.

Mandatory victim surcharge cruel and unusual punishment, top court rules

Stephen Harper’s Conservative government made the charges mandatory in 2013.

Tourism minister postpones trip to China amid tensions between two countries

Tourism Minister Melanie Joly’s office says Canada and China have mutually agreed to postpone a closing ceremony next week.

Police across Canada probe bomb threats as U.S. authorities dismiss ‘hoax’

A police spokesman said the emails were the same as those received elsewhere in North America

France shooter killed Thursday during police operation

7 more being held by police in shooting investigation

Most Read