Okanagan Falls residents can finally get their groceries in town again, nearly two years after the local IGA shut its doors.
Little Falls Foods quietly opened up this week, flipping their store sign over to welcome passersby inside and online to check out the new shop.
Derek and Dahlia Millington had a goal last year to get a grocery store up and running for the town, after falling in love with the area and noticing the lack of options.
“We came up with this idea last July and went home and started working on it. And here we are in June, a year later, not even a full year and we're open and we're hoping everybody else will come out and support us,” Derek said.
“I'm quite proud actually, that we were able to pull it off as quickly as we were. We had to make some changes to the physical floor plan and it meant that we had to source materials and cooler and freezer rolls, and the delay on everything was quite long,” Dahlia added.
But the team was determined to get up and running as soon as they could, pushing their electricians, construction crews and suppliers to work as fast as they could.
“We just kept saying, ‘OK Falls has been without a grocery store for a year and a half. This has to be done as quickly as possible,’” Dahlia said with a laugh.
The duo behind the market did have to shift their store into a newer-style model throughout their plans, opting to have a warehouse grocery with pickup and delivery options.
“Basically, when they go online, they can look at the products and add them to their cart. They can pay online, or they can opt to pay in the store, when they come for pickup or they can pay on delivery. We've got free delivery within a seven kilometre radius so that we can feed the people in this region, so that grocery shopping gets easier for them,” Dahlia explained, adding that people can call in or order in the store too.
Grocery store clerks fill and pack up the orders for the customers, with an option for pick up or delivery.
As a proudly vegetarian store, Little Falls Foods offers a selection of standard and specialty items for the community to enjoy.
“We do have some really excellent vegetarian products that are more like meat substitutes. So not just your typical things that you find in the regular grocery stores. We've sourced some from Taiwan, Taiwan has been vegetarian for decades,” Dahlia said.
“But realistically, people are still going to be shopping in Penticton and Oliver, of course, and so people let us know, they're happy to pick up meat when they're doing other areas. So people are just generally happy to have a store here.”
And so far in their few short days of being open, the response from the community has been positive.
“People are excited. They've experienced the corporation backing out on them in groceries previously and so I believe that they want to support the locally grown independent grocer,” Dahlia said.
“This gives them the opportunity to have something local that they're able to get their food from,” Derek added.
Little Falls Foods is located at 5129 10 Avenue in Okanagan Falls, open seven days a week from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. To order online and see what is in stock in the new shop, visit their website, littlefallsfoods.ca