Vernon-Monashee MLA Eric Foster and BX Press owner Melissa Dobernigg check out the Buy Local brand on the ciders produced at BX Press

Vernon-Monashee MLA Eric Foster and BX Press owner Melissa Dobernigg check out the Buy Local brand on the ciders produced at BX Press

Buy Local benefits BX Press and organic association

BX Press received $21,805 while the Certified Organic Association of B.C. gained $12,500

A Vernon company struggling to keep up with demand for its product admits its not a bad problem to have, but BX Press is happy to get some help to boost their stock.

The cider company is one of two North Okanagan groups benefitting from the province’s Buy Local program, to help them take their business to the next level.

BX Press received $21,805 while the Certified Organic Association of B.C. gained $12,500.

“The support we have received from the Buy Local Program has enabled us to promote our BX Press ciders, showcasing them as very local as they are crafted on the same land the apples were grown,” said owner Melissa Dobernigg.

“Buying locally produced products helps small businesses like ours keep the tradition for the craft alive, giving British Columbians a taste of our passion and hard work.”

The third-generation apple orchard added cider making in 2014, turning unmarketable fruit into a new source of revenue.

“You’ve got an incredible product,” Vernon-Monashee MLA Eric Foster said.

So incredible in fact, that Dobernigg admits they struggle to keep up with demand. Therefore the business is expanding from 6,000 litres to 40,000 (representing 80,000 bottles).

“We’re hoping that stock will allow us to carry it further,” said Dobernigg of the ciders that this year expanded to Victoria, the Lower Mainland and more rural areas of B.C. But locals can look forward to a new product in the works: vanilla plum.

Vernon-based COABC is a not-for-profit umbrella association representing organic certifying agencies across the province.

“It’s been growing really quite quickly and the last five years or so it’s really taken off,” said Jen Gamble, COABC executive director, from Salmon Arm.

The Buy Local funds will help the association campaign and market as interest in organic products continues to grow.

“There are many reasons to choose local certified organic products, such as supporting local farmers and enjoying great tasting food,” said Gamble. “Whatever the reason, we encourage British Columbians to look for certified organic products when grocery shopping. And, thanks to the help of the Buy Local funding we received, we have been able to promote at markets and increase awareness about certified organics.”

The Buy Local program funds aim to increase sales of locally grown and processed agrifood and seafood products within the province.

“We have a long, rich agricultural history here in B.C., and a company like The BX Press is continuing those traditions, passed on from generation to generation,” said Foster. “The Buy Local program is supporting B.C. companies and organizations by promoting their products through buy local initiatives to help them succeed in the industry’s competitive market.”