Getting To Know: Royal City Donuts

(Courtesy of Royal City Donuts)

Calling all donut lovers! The much anticipated, Royal City Donuts will be participating in the Coquitlam Farmers Market this season. But before digging in, here’s some more information about who they are and what their products are all about.

Jonathan and his wife, along with their team of fellow donut lovers want customers to experience the balance of unique ingredients that are put into each batch of their donuts.

I want them [customers] to think they are getting more than they expected in terms of flavour and quality.

Royal City Donuts has strived to bring a European style treat, made by hand with care and quality ingredients into the local market. With an expanding team and an eye for food trends, we can expect new things from the company.

My wife has contributed greatly, and now with two members joining the team we are starting to forecast a month in advance with ideas to play with. The trends in the food scene are also very influential with sweet and savoury being so predominant.

(Courtesy of Royal City Donuts)

Continuously forecasting a month in advance, Jonathan says himself and his team are always mindful to balance new blends of interesting flavours while still maintaining the integrity of the donut.

Once you do a few markets or pop ups in the same place you want to keep things interesting and give people a reason to check you out again and again.

With excitement building around the company, Jonathan says Royal City Donuts will concentrate on summer markets for now, but talks about what’s next for the company are already in the works.

We would love to have our own, industrial space where we can do higher production for breweries, coffee shops, corporate and large scale orders while having a small store front where people can get their fix.

Royal City Donuts already has a supply partnership with Hive Cafe in New Westminster and customers can expect continued creativity with their donuts.

Getting to Know: Redl’s Home Grown Beef

July 7, 2017 was the beginning of evacuations, some lasting three to five weeks due to fires burning out of control.

Redl’s Home Grown Beef has be a part of the Coquitlam Farmers Market, and additional markets across the Lower Mainland for many years. Barrie and his wife Marge, along with the rest of their family have established a devout customers base. Sadly this past month, fires have taken control over parts of British Columbia, affecting many including Barrie and his family.

Physically our ranch property and our government range permits are still intact. We say this “HUMBLY” as other ranchers have not faired as well. Members of our community got together to help at the fire centres, community halls distributing foods, and other necessities.

Barrie and his family being evacuees of the devastating fires themselves, stayed back to help with efforts along with many other community members.

Many folks stayed to fight fire, help neighbours, house horses, cattle and other animals that needed a place to be safe. During this time we as ranchers were allowed to travel through check points controlled by the RCMP and military. We helped the SPCA to rescue livestock, helped evacuate cattle from burnt areas to new pastures. The fire fighters needed drivers to transport water to crews working in subdivisions cooling hotspots.

After a number of weeks aiding fire efforts along with many other community members, and countless nights spent watching tensely as a red hue filled the sky, Barrie and his family made their way back to the ranch.

We are seeing cattle in need of fall pasture, winter feed and ranchers attempting to locate them as they have vacated their normals rangelands due to the fences being burnt.

Despite the destruction, there were moments of comradery that was encouraging for the Redl family.

It was very heartwarming to see the community spirit. Some of the RCMP who came into our community from other cities across Canada were taken aback by the rural attitude concerning helping wherever needed.

So now with heavy smoke clearing and fires beginning to settle down, Redl’s Home Grown Beef has made its much anticipated return to market, continuing to develop their relationships with each and every customer, as well as provide meats from an environment that is respectful of the land and of the animal.

Old fashioned values are the foundation of our business. Treat every customer as a member of our extended family. Be truthful and up front to our customers-listen to concerns and queries. All questions are to be answered to the best of our knowledge and often can be somewhat educational.

Another important value for Redl’s Home Grown Beef is being environmentally sustainable.

Our operations are in sync with nature; the seasons and the climate. Our cattle spend most of their time contently grazing in a low stress environment.

Along with participating in farmers markets as a vendor, Barrie and his family are strong advocates for local, small scale producers.

We purchase products from small family businesses, who are involved in agriculture. We like to support family operations who put good wholesome food on the plates of their customers. They all have a story to tell from how they raise their products, and the dedications and perseverance they exhibit. Buy local, support the small producer, and eat healthy!

After a long journey of evading fires; first evacuating to the west avoiding lighting strikes; then returning home to bring back evacuated livestock as fires threatened to jump the Fraser River; to where the family ended up for about two weeks- east in Horsefly- before finally heading home, Barrie and his family has this to say.

From all of us at Redl’s Home Grown Beef, Barrie, Marge, Travis, Connie-lyn and our grandchildren; we have been overwhelmed by the emails, phone calls and cards expressing concern for our safety and well being. From customers, vendors and market staff members. We thank you all!

Getting to Know: Mandair Farms

The Farmers markets is what keeps me going, it gives me the strength to do what I do when people show their support and buy from us locally.

Mandair Farms has been a part of the Coquitlam Farmers Market for many years. Now run by a core team of five family members all of whom are under 25 except for matriarch Jasbir, the farm uses sustainable agriculture to produce some of the best fruit in the province!

Running out of Abbotsford, son and manager of all farming operations, Sajan says he is proud of what his young team has accomplished this year. Despite their young age, they still focuse on core values.

I am always looking for new innovative ways to run the farm and the business. I recently just went to Scotland for the international “Bridging the Gap” program that focused on passing down information from the older generation in Europe to the new young generation that is interested in sustainable farming.- Sajan

Mandair farms uses the best of both worlds in terms of conventional farming as well as organic methods. The family believes that both methods have pro’s and con’s and try to integrate them in order to create the best product.

In terms of keeping it sustainable, if there is a need to spray to save the crop we will do so instead of letting all of the hard work go to waste. Remember; spraying costs money, if we don’t need to we won’t spray.

Some of these practices have been passed through generations. Mother and guider, Jasbir grew up in a family of farmers.

My family has always farmed, even back in India. My grandmother used to grow food just to donate to the people that did not have anything, so I was born into. I have raised my kids into farming as well, my son now manages all the farming operations after his father passed away two years ago.-Jasbir

Mandair Farms began selling their produce to markets based on a fluke situation. With crop left over and a need to sell, Jasbir discovered the chain a farmers markets across the province.

I did not apply or contact anyone, I just showed up one Sunday and I think it was Tammi that was the assistant market manager. She asked who I was, and didn’t question that I wasn’t supposed to be there but let me set up. The following week Tabitha turned me away but told me about the application process. Since then markets have become our primary store front.

Jasbir says growing in B.C. posses no real difficulty in terms of production. The weather is good, the land is good and water is the absolute best. What she finds most challenging is finding suitable people to help out with operations.

The new generation doesn’t want to work in the farm doing labor. The other difficulty is selling the product to actually make a living. We can have a really good crop but the price that is paid from the cannery is sometimes not even enough to make ends meet.

Despite this, the passion to farm and the love of community continues to drive Mandair Farms. Jasbir says seeing where your food is coming from and speaking to the farmer that grew it really helps to connect people with the food that they eat, and supporting the farmer will always feel good.

Supporting local supports the local economy, if you buy from a local farmer they are able to increase their production to support the demand and therefore provide jobs to people in the community.

Jasbir argues locally grown food is the best for your health for many reasons. It is grown close to home and comes straight from the farm without being stored for longer periods of time. She also says the taste of locally grown produce will lead to higher satisfaction knowing your meals are healthy and homemade.

…so my first market was under an umbrella tent with a small table on a very rainy day.