One Big Table, a local grocery store, may have to close its doors after a difficult May. (contributed)

One big problem for downtown Kelowna co-operative grocery store

One Big Table may be forced to shut its doors after slow sales

A Kelowna co-operative grocer with a focus on locally grown and seasonal foods could be forced to close up shop after a slow May.

One Big Table has served the Kelowna community for nearly two years at its downtown St. Paul Street location, but a dwindling cash reserve has left founder and co-operative director Giulio Piccioli asking if it’s feasible to stay open.

On June 25, One Big Table aired its financial strife in a public plea on Facebook.

“The situation has been delicate for a few months and because of the month of May, we decided to reach out to our members first and to the community as a whole,” Piccioli said.

READ MORE: West Kelowna fire ‘considered suspicious’ after one unit engulfed in flames

VIDEO: World’s largest grizzly bear sanctuary sees first set of safe triplet cubs in 13 years

“In May, we went from barely above the water to below the water essentially.”

To ensure the doors can stay open, One Big Table staff asked its nearly 1,200 members to bring friends in to the shop, buy gift cards and spend a little more on each visit.

“The most important one is to come to the shop and support us,” he said.

Piccioli hoped the Facebook post would start a conversation about participation and the biggest question he’s asking is does the shop provide a service deemed necessary in the community?

“We have had lots of community support,” he said. “First and foremost from our members—who are our owners.”

Piccioli said if members spent $5 extra per visit, “it would put us in a position where we’re not as worried.”

READ MORE: Parks Alive! kicks off its summer schedule next week in Kelowna

Now, the co-op director is asking members and the public to join One Big Table for its annual general meeting July 10 at the CoLab Space at 1405 St. Paul Street. Anyone interested can save their spot for the AGM on eventbrite.

The company’s financials have been released online in order to prepare shareholders before the AGM to encourage a “better conversation,” Piccioli said.

“We’re not asking something that is too difficult to reach,” he said. “The main goal is to spark a conversation with our members first and the community as a whole.”

The struggles the local food grocer is experiencing is evident of a larger problem, Piccioli said.

“There is a big argument to be made around the real cost of food and that conversation of local isn’t relevant right now due to the high cost of food,” he said.

READ MORE: Food Bank makes over 6,000 food packs for Kelowna children

The prices of the goods and produce sold at One Big Table support local farmers in the Okanagan. They represent fair wages and best businesses practices, said Piccioli but the cost is often undesirable compared to bigger chains stores.

“(These prices) are a clear reflection of what goes into food production, rather than importing foods from different parts of the world,” he said.


@KelownaCapNews
newstips@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

The company has shared its financial struggles online through a Facebook post to both its co-op members and the public. (contributed)

One Big Table has served downtown Kelowna for nearly two years. It sells locally-produced foods that encourage sustainability, best work practices, fair wages and a small environmental impact. (contributed)

Just Posted

B.C. Culture Days hits Kelowna next month

The event will offer a variety of free activities in Kelowna, West Kelowna and Lake Country

Vernon man facing drug trafficking charges in Kelowna

The man was found with suspected cocaine, heroin and fentanyl and thousands of dollars in cash

Lawyers to hold pro bono ‘advice-a-thon’ in Kelowna’s City Park

Free legal advice will be given to low-income Kelowna residents from 10am-2pm on Sept. 10

Hell’s Angel prospect back in custody after being charged with assault

The 30-year-old man now faces several additional charges

B.C. family stranded in Croatia desperate to come home

Funds being raised to bring back mom and two children

Grass fire breaks out on highway south of Vernon

Highway 97 traffic slowed as firefighters snuff grass fire

Wildfire sparks beside Highway 3 west of Keremeos

A wildfire on the side of Highway 3 just west of Keremeos… Continue reading

Summerland relaunches net metering program

Event open house will be held Aug. 27 from 3 to 6 p.m in Arena Banquet Room

Conan turns to the Property Brothers for tips on buying Greenland

Jonathan Scott suggests removing glaciers and mountains to bring in ‘more natural light’

Jaws of Life used to rescue driver in North Okanagan crash

Single-vehicle MVI causes traffic delays on Highway 6

Forests minister visits B.C. town rocked by multiple mill shutdowns

A third of Mackenzie turns out for rally, not much to cheer about

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

Preliminary inquiry set for accused Penticton killer

John Brittain, 68, will be back in Penticton court from Jan. 27 to 31

Most Read