Orchard Plaza Save-On-Foods is now the first Okanagan grocery store to sell BC VQA wine.
An opening ceremony was held at the store Thursday afternoon, with appearances by MLA’s Norm Letnick and Steve Thomson, Premier Christy Clark and other dignitaries. The ability for the grocery store to purchase a liquor license came through changes to B.C.’s liquor laws in 2014, which Premier Clark described as common sense changes.
“We’ve made common sense policy changes that are making it easier for British Columbians to be able to find B.C. wines,” she explained. “The first was making it possible for BC wine producers to sell wine at farmers markets. That wasn’t legal until about one year ago. We also agreed that grocery stores should be allowed to sell wine, as long as it’s 100 per cent B.C. product.”
With the opening of the new B.C. wine section, the Save-On-Foods branch is now selling over 900 wine labels from 150 B.C. wineries.
“We’re excited to be able to pair high quality B.C. wines with the groceries you buy in the store every day,” said Darrell Jones, Overweita Food Group CEO. “We want to be able to provide a level of convenience for our customers right here in Kelowna, and across the province. Save-On-Foods is proud to be bringing these choices to Kelowna.”
As of Thursday, businesses can now bid on up to 18 more wine and grocery licenses, with the first successful bids able to open in April. The licenses are being auctioned by the province, and Clark noted the goals of providing more licenses are to prove customers and shoppers with more convenience, create more jobs and showcase B.C. wine while maintaining balance in the industry.