Every story starts somewhere, and Bowen Island Pizza Company’s owner Melanie McCready’s comes from Friday Night Pizza Nights in her mom’s kitchen on Bowen Island. Melanie grew up there, spending her youth and 20’s working seasonally for family businesses on both Bowen Island and Horseshoe Bay while she was in school. One of Melanie’s goals is to eventually own a business on Bowen. McCready and her team have been serving pizzas made with local and organic flour to hungry market-goers at the Londsdale Quay Market since Spring 2015. They are also a deli, with a selection of local and imported charcuterie, olives, cheeses, fresh pastas and salads. They are almost reaching capacity in the tiny 288 ft2 space they occupy, and employ a great team of young foodies.
Question: How are you supporting other local businesses?
Answer: By developing an ever-changing pizza menu and increasing our deli product offerings, I have discovered a great community of local suppliers here in Vancouver. We are proud to buy from other BC companies. We love our local produce, cheese and meat suppliers – from my mom’s garden in the summer, La Grotta del Formaggio, Two Rivers Meats, Lekker Foods, Anita’s Organic Mill, Dovre Imports and many others. All the companies we work with offer quality ingredients and products, employ Vancouverites, and have solid networks in place to support both BC and Canadian companies. We also work with Vancity, Futurpreneur and the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) to grow our business.
Question: What social practices are you proud of?
Answer: We are very proud to provide a safe and positive work environment for our employees. We pay a living wage, and we make benefits available to those who might not have coverage through their parents or post-secondary institution. We hire local young people, and teach essential kitchen and customer service skills. We make an effort to participate in the community, and are involved in our local Business Improvement Area. We work to support our community and business owners in the area, connecting with suppliers who have values in line our ours.
Question: What environmental practices are you proud of?
Answer: In addition to sourcing local, we also follow environmental purchasing practices. We use local vendors that focus on one or more elements of sustainability that are important to us. As much as possible, we seek seasonal and local produce from BC owned and operated suppliers with environmental, community-based values. For the amount of inventory we hold, we produce only a small amount of waste. We recycle, we compost, and we provide customers with compostable cutlery and pizza boxes.