New Canadian store sells ‘imperfect’ produce for half the price

A new store has opened in the Canadian province of British Columbia, to keep food out of landfills and make sure more local families get fresh fruit and vegetables.

ReFresh, a shop that offers produce deemed no longer sellable by grocery stores at lower prices, had its grand opening in the Cowichan Valley city over the weekend. Executive director Judy Stafford said the opening was a big success.

“It was pretty exciting,” she told All Points West host Robyn Burns. “Everybody was just really surprised, mostly about the quality of the food. It’s beautiful. When you walk in it just looks like a little store. You wouldn’t know by walking in … the produce being sold has been recovered.”

The produce, which comes from local grocery stores, has imperfections that would normally relegate it to the landfill. Stafford insists it’s perfectly edible. The store takes that produce and resells it at a heavy discount. “We look at the prices and we make sure that it’s at least 50 per cent cheaper,” she added.

The non-profit initiative started as a food recovery project but has now pivoted to a storefront after about nine years of work, according to Stafford.

With files from CBC Radio One’s All Points West