In support of Autism Speaks Canada, ATN Access and the Old East Village Grocer hosted a “bubly Smile Stand”. The event took place on September 5th, 2019 at the Covent…
Good Food At Fair Prices
Ever struggle to decide what’s for dinner? Wonder if you’re providing the right nutrition for your family? Once a month, Paula Leighton has all the answers. A job coach for the Old East Village Grocer, Paula spends most days helping people with employment barriers to get job-ready. But she also shares the OEVG’s mission to help make fresh, nutritious food available to the community at fair prices. Once a month, Paula assembles added-value ingredients and recipes to people who subscribe to London’s Good Food Box Program.
The Good Food Box is exactly as it sounds – delicious, seasonally available food offered at a discount through the collective buying power of subscribers in London neighbourhoods. It’s available through the Crouch Neighbourhood Resource Centre, The Glen Cairn Community Resource Centre, and the London InterCommunity Health Centre at its Northeast and Old East Village locations. Neighbours order a box for $10 and pick up a box with at least $15 value. Or even more when it’s Paula’s turn to buff up the order with recipes and the extra ingredients needed to make them.
Interested in nutrition all her life, Paula is excited by the opportunity to make cooking more rewarding. “Cooking’s more enjoyable,” she says, “when you know that you have all the ingredients you need to make a meal and you’re confident that you’re providing your family with a healthy and nutritious meal. It’s so helpful to have the OEVG support this opportunity by making its full range of products available.”
For more information or to buy a Good Food Box, you can visit Paula and the OEVG at the 2018 Meaningful Market, Wednesday, December 5, 4-8pm at Innovation Works, 201 King St., London.
From Sirens to Shopping Carts
Everybody Learns New Things
A small community grocer might find it challenging to compete against the big chains, but Victoria Savchenko can help even the playing field. Between semesters at Western University where she studies Business Management with a specialization in Human Resources, Victoria worked this summer as a marketing assistant at the Old East Village Grocer. Her goal: to increase awareness of the store and its mission.
A non-profit operated by ATN Access for Persons with Disabilities, the grocer is a live classroom for people with employment barriers to learn valuable job skills that can be transferred to other careers. “It feels great to work for a company so inclusive,” Victoria says. “Working here has taught me that it’s remarkable what people can do in an accepting environment,” she says.
Committed to spreading the word about the OEV Grocer, Victoria set up photoshoots to be posted on social media, designed brochures and posters, and interacted with the public at community events. And, with her new perspective in hand, Victoria effectively advocates the benefits of giving those who are often overlooked the chance to shine. Victoria says, “I know this is going to be a valuable experience for me that I’ll be able to apply to my future career path in Human Resources.” The appreciation goes both ways. Victoria’s back in class, but the OEV Grocer will continue to benefit from her work.
Healthy Collaboration, Healthy Community
If your business is all about inclusivity there’s almost nothing better than collaboration with a like-minded enterprise. Take the Old East Village Grocer and the London Bicycle Café, two local shops devoted to making a better, healthier, more accessible community. Ben Cowie opened his bike shop in 2017, offering well-built bikes from around the world and well-made coffee from Rosso Coffee in Calgary. To help make the shop a welcoming, everyday destination, he added a menu of locally-sourced foods, including sandwiches from the Old East Village Grocer.
“The OEV Grocer was a great fit for us,” Ben says. “We both value accessibility and want our city to be a place where everyone belongs. And both businesses are about building relationships in the community. Plus, the sandwiches are great!”
The focus on accessibility was a key for the Old East Village Grocer, too. Owned and operated by ATN Access for Persons with Disabilities, the store is a live classroom where people learn job skills to prepare for work in the private sector. But Ben’s café is a good match all ‘round, says the store’s community relations manager Paul Seale. “We encourage people to make small, frequent trips to the store to buy fresh, reduce their own food waste, and plan healthy meals better. In our neighbourhood, walking and biking are perfect ways to get here, so we love that the café supports the same active, healthy living. And our customers are happy that they can support the store by having lunch downtown.”
The London Bicycle Café launches its 2019 season March 1st, and the OEV Grocer is proud to renew this healthy collaboration based on a shared vision of creating a community accessible by all.