Two mainstays in Vancouver's grocery industry make big moves

Power to the pedallers! Hungry Vancouverites eager to increase their intake of local organic food can now decrease their carbon emissions by having their groceries delivered free–and free of guilt–by bicycle. Be Fresh Market Cafés, the brick and mortar shops of SPUD (Sustainable Produce Urban Delivery), have three locations in Kits and downtown where locals can shop and snack. Though the cafés may look small for the kind of one-stop shopping time-starved urbanites crave, they can deliver the goods–a virtual inventory of thousands of items from SPUD’s warehouse. Here’s how it works: shop online from home or office. Go to the café and add perishables: fresh produce and ready-to-eat (if it’s not there, order by in-store kiosk). Those who live within a two-kilometre radius and don’t feel like lugging their order home can have everything delivered to the door via cool-looking, zero-impact bikes. And no worries about stocking the larder: these bikes can carry up to 600 pounds (more than 270 kilos) each.

Downtown foodies no longer have to trek south for a taste of Meinhardt. This South Granville gourmet mainstay–acquired by the Jim Pattison Group of Companies in 2012–has spun off a new satellite at the southwest corner of Granville and Dunsmuir: Meinhardt Pacific Centre, just steps away from the SkyTrain.