Staff members and managers from Peppers Foods in Cadboro Bay Village nabbed a bronze medal at the 2020 Canadian Independent Grocer of the Year awards on May 11 for being one of the top stores under 15,000 square feet in the country. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Staff members and managers from Peppers Foods in Cadboro Bay Village nabbed a bronze medal at the 2020 Canadian Independent Grocer of the Year awards on May 11 for being one of the top stores under 15,000 square feet in the country. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Saanich grocery store takes home bronze at national independent grocer awards

Pepper’s Foods nabs Small Surface category award for top-notch customer service in 2020

Whether they’re peckish beach-goers or starving university students, the team at Pepper’s Foods, tucked down by Cadboro Bay, welcomes customers for locally-sourced fare with a warm smile. Their hospitality has earned the little grocery store many awards over the years and this month, their trophy shelf got a little more crowded.

On May 11, the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers (CFIG) hosted its annual awards in a virtual ceremony. Saanich’s Pepper’s Foods took home the bronze Independent Grocer of the Year Small Surface award – the category for all Canadian grocery stores under 15,000 square feet.

Pepper’s 2021 awards season kicked off when they picked up the Family Business Excellence award at the Family Business Association of Vancouver Island’s annual ceremony in April. Then came the CFIG awards.

Before the winners could be selected, a judge toured independent grocery stores across the country to score them on everything from cleanliness to customer satisfaction, explained Cory Davits, Pepper’s Foods general manager. He’s worked at the store for 35 years alongside his family – his father, John, is the owner, his uncle, Don Way, serves as store manager and his wife, Shannon, and daughter, Madison, also work at the store.

Pepper’s Foods picked up the regional Small Surface award as the top-scoring store in B.C. and the Yukon. This put the 4,000 square-foot grocery store in contention for the national award which was announced this month.

Upon hearing they’d been awarded bronze in the national competition, Davits “went around and congratulated everyone (on staff) for their efforts.” Because of COVID-19, the team couldn’t attend the ceremony, but he hopes to have a belated celebration once the restrictions loosen.

“It’s an honour because we’re beating out stores that are three times the size of us,” he said. But, it’s not all about the awards, it’s about making customers happy – something he says he couldn’t do without his dedicated team.

The accomplishment was more poignant this year because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Davits commended his team for making the store shine under the stressful conditions they faced as frontline workers.

Across town, Country Grocer’s Royal Oak store won the silver national award in the medium surface category – 15,000-25,000 square feet – and a gold award for the medium surface category for the B.C. and Yukon region.


Do you have a story tip? Email: devon.bidal@saanichnews.com.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

AwardsDistrict of SaanichGroceries

Just Posted

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.’s Indigenous language, art and culture

North Saanich advisor says initiative supports urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

General manager Lindsey Pomper says Sidney’s Star Cinema cannot wait welcome audiences when it reopens June 18, amid an easing of public health measures. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Sidney’s Star Cinema raises curtain for the first time after months in the darkness

Iconic theatre to reopen at half capacity for Friday night showing

A dogs in parks pilot study unanimously approved by Saanich council will evaluate how park space can best be shared between dog owners and non-owners alike. (Photo by Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)
Saanich to study park-sharing strategy between those with and without pets

District-wide People, Parks and Dogs study to produce recommendations by fall

Staff member Lena Laitinen gives the wall at BoulderHouse a workout during a media tour on June 16. (Rick Stiebel/News Staff)
BoulderHouse raring to rock Langford

Popularity of bouldering continues to climb across Greater Victoria

The Sooke Potholes is a jewel in the community's crown. Transition Sooke hosts a town hall meeting on community growth on June 26. (Courtesy: Sooke News Mirror)
Sooke forum tackles community growth

To Grow or Not to Grow online town hall meeting set for June 26

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: When was the last time you visited the mainland?

The films are again lighting the screens at local theatres, the wine… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of June 15

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Chief Rosanne Casimir stands outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School after speaking to reporters, in Kamloops, B.C., on Friday, June 4, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Kamloops chief says more unmarked graves will be found across Canada

Chief Rosanne Casimir told a virtual news conference the nation expects to release a report at the end of June

A woman wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. ranks among highest in world in COVID-19 first-dose shots: health officials

More than 76% of eligible people have received their 1st shot

An artists conception of the new terminal building at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.
Air travel taking off in B.C., but lack of traffic controllers a sky-high concern

There will be demand for more air traffic controllers: Miller

Canadian Armed Forces experts are on their way to North Vancouver after a local homeowner expressed worry about a military artifact he recently purchased. (Twitter DNV Fire and Rescue)
Military called in to deal with antique ‘shell’ at North Vancouver home

‘The person somehow purchased a bombshell innocently believing it was an out-of-commission military artifact’

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz have set their wedding date for February, hoping that more COVID-19 restrictions will have lifted. (The Macleans)
B.C. couples ‘gambling’ on whether COVID rules will let them dance at their wedding

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz pushed back their wedding in hopes of being able to celebrate it without the constraints of COVID-19

Most Read