Area businesses up for local food awards

Nominations are now in for the second annual We Heart Local Awards

Several North Okanagan businesses are in the running for B.C.’s most cherished food and agriculture.

Nominations are now in for the second annual We Heart Local Awards, which includes 15 categories for residents to vote in.

“We had more nominees than last year across B.C.,” said Cinci Csere of the Social Agency, which is helping to spread the news about the awards.

“In 2013 we had 239 nominees and this year we have 343. What a huge leap. People do love to support their local bounty.”

Categories with local nominees are as follows:

Local brewery: Okanagan Spirits (currently in the sixth spot)

Farmers’ market: Vernon Farmers Market

Local chef or restaurant/cafe: Bean There Bistro

Local food truck: Crepe Bistro

Local greenhouse or veggie grower: Bellmann Specialty Produce (currently in the third spot)

Local meat or poultry supplier: Vale Farms of Lumby

Local orchard or fruit supplier: Gatzke Orchard (in third) and Davison Orchard (in fourth)

Local sweet treat: Chillin With Cheesecake and Gatzke Orchard

Local winery: Arrowleaf and Gray Monk, both in Lake Country

Store to buy local: Monashee Community Co-op in Lumby and Gatzke Orchard

Voting is open until Sept. 16. Anyone living in B.C. can vote for their favourite nominees once per day, per category at www.weheartlocalawards.ca.

New this year is the vote sprint, which means the top five category favourites have two days of quick-fire voting on Sept. 15 and 16.

By voting, each person is automatically entered to win a $100 gift card to their local farmers market as well as three nights at Taku Resort on Quadra Island for a culinary weekend including cooking classes from some of B.C.’s most popular local chefs.