At the grocery store-café combo that sells local produce, praise for the efforts of small businesses


The Neighborly Cafe and Grocer in the Old Town District is a general store revival.

You can buy groceries and dry goods there, buy a gift, even have coffee and a sandwich.

And that’s a shining example for Small Business Month.

The majority of products sold at Neighborly come from local producers such as bakers, roasters, and food and textile manufacturers.

“We are not competing with small businesses, we are supporting small businesses locally,” said Neighbourly spokeswoman Karlie Scheifelle.

The 2031 Store St. grocery store and café are part of the space operated by Kwench, a company that provides creative studios, workspaces and offices to entrepreneurs. Many companies that have offices there, such as Fatso Peanut Butter and Dumpling Drop, also provide products to the store.

Scheifelle calls it a win-win, adding that the store promotes a plastic-free policy and uses refillable jars for items such as sugar, cereals, candy and other bulk items.

In British Columbia, 98% of businesses fall into the small business category. The challenges of the pandemic persist for these entrepreneurs, and officials say it is essential that Victorians continue to support locals when making purchasing decisions.

“Small businesses are the heart of our downtown core,” said Jeff Bray, executive director of the Downtown Victoria Business Association. “During the pandemic, we saw the power to buy locally by supporting small businesses and their employees.”

Small Business Month is a great time to continue showing your support.

Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps said the city’s Build Back Victoria program, which includes a streamlined center for small businesses to license and find space, is helping entrepreneurs.

“We have seen companies innovate and expand the space for services,” she said. “Now is a more important time than ever to buy local and support our neighbors, friends and family who run the city’s small businesses. “

Bruce Williams, CEO of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce, called small businesses “the lifeblood of our community”.

“The companies really appreciate the continued support across our region. This generosity of spirit creates a vitality and optimism that we all need as the holiday season approaches. “

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