Local business gets nod for work well done

At the 12th Annual Small Business BC Awards, Kelowna-based endeavour Soil Mate was awarded the Best Concept in BC for 2015.

At the 12th Annual Small Business BC Awards, Kelowna-based endeavour Soil Mate was awarded the Best Concept in BC for 2015.

The 12th Annual Small Business BC Awards are one of the province’s largest and most prestigious awards ceremonies, recognizing and celebrating the important contributions BC’s entrepreneurs make to their local communities and the global economy.

Soil Mate went through public nominations, public voting, written applications, and finally a Dragons’ Den style pitch to win the competition.

Some of the judges’ comments as to why Soil Mate was chosen included;  “Soil Mate is a forward thinking organization that has managed to carve out a strong position for themselves in the marketplace” and “They (Soil Mate) are making a powerful impact in the agriculture and tech industry, not only on a local level but also on a global scale. Driven by strong values and innovation, Soil Mate is primed to achieve great things”.

The local and global impact the judges referenced relates to Soil Mate’s rapid growth and influence across North America. Since its launch in May 2014, Soil Mate has grown to operate in every province in Canada and each state in the US. Soil Mate also boasts some of the highest web traffic engagement of all local food and drink sites, with visitors spending an average of 15 minutes on the site per visit, and helps connect producers and consumers on a much deeper level, letting them exchange their stories and values.

Soil Mate’s premise is simple. It is about understanding the origin and values of the food and drink you feed yourself and your family.

Soil Mate is a fully mobile optimized website that allows consumers to see all the great local products within a 100 mile radius of them, from great local produce, grains, and meats to some of the world’s top wines and beers. They can see how it’s grown, raised, and produced, when it’s available, and where they can buy it.

The site even has a trip builder (named ‘My Route’) where you can build driving, cycling or walking trips to any locations in the system that are open to the public. Soil Mate launched with just farms, farmers’ markets and wineries but has now expanded to include craft breweries, cideries, distilleries, associations, and local sourcing restaurants and stores. Stores and restaurants listed on Soil Mate have to be ‘Farmer Verified’ to appear, meaning that soilmate.com is a place where local is not just a slogan, local means something.

Soil Mate also donates  50 per cent of its gross revenue from its listings to local food security charities, putting its money where its mouth is in community building and development.

To learn more about Soil Mate visit www.soilmate.com