Fox & Oak is a community coffee and bakehouse in beautiful downtown Squamish, B.C. We produce high quality naturally leavened brioche doughnuts in the Sea to Sky Corridor, and serve them alongside specialty coffee from our local coffee roasting partners.
Question: How are you supporting other local businesses?
Answer: We buy from as many B.C. and Canadian suppliers as we can. We are a new business, we just opened at the end of February 2020. We saw all the COVID-19 supply chain delays that were happening, and so it was even more important to us to focus all our efforts on local sourcing. We hired only local contractors to build the shop – local artists, designers, metal workers, plumbers – we kept it all directly within the Squamish community. We used Kerschbaumer Design for the design and Yumi Studios (Whistler) for interior design. Rob Elgie did our wood finishing and custom millwork, and Bueno Custom Furniture made the furniture. We used all local trades too – Sound Plumbing and Garibaldi Electric.
Almost all of our ingredients are made in B.C. Our butter comes from Dairyland, so they are B.C.-made, but the parent company is Saputo, a Canadian based public company and our milk comes from Meadow Fresh. We’ve been switching out our alternative milk to get the best product for our coffees and baked goods, so this might change! For our other ingredients, we work with Snocap, a B.C. baking distributor and Slope Side Supply here in the Sea to Sky. We use organic flour from Rogers, who has mills in B.C. The grains are from Saskatchewan and the flour is milled in Chilliwack. We also feature seasonal ingredients – in the spring we have a lot of rhubarb Obella Farm in Langley. For Mother’s Day we sourced locally grown edible flowers for our doughnuts from local flower farm A Fox in the Flowers. We also work with Frostbites and Backcountry Brewing here in Squamish for various doughnut creations and you’ll find Be Clean Naturally stocked in the bathroom! We love to highlight all the local suppliers we can find, and look forward to doing more as we continue to develop the business.
For our coffee suppliers, we are a multi-roaster, so we switch between several small B.C. roasting companies. We highlight the roaster, educate our customers on the coffee, and make beans available for purchase, so we’re helping local brands. We first hosted Rooftop Coffee Roasters from Fernie. They do such good ethical and sustainable work, and they collaborate with local artists on their packaging. Currently we are hosting Moving Coffee in Richmond – they are Q graders – like the sommeliers of coffee.
All our packaging is from Ontario, from the all female team at Georgette Packaging. They are a carbon neutral company and manufacture the packaging in Ontario. We used local distributor Soave for coffee equipment sourcing, our speciality oat milks and other items. And our insurance is with For insurance we work with Nexus in Coquitlam.
We support hyper-local service providers – 95% are right in Squamish. All of our design, and printing is done locally. We use Squamish Valley Sign Company (formerly Sea to Sky Signs) for signage, Actuate Printing for our printing, and Wind Studio for our decals. For illustration and design work, we hired Squamish artist Natasshia Neary. She really helped establish the brand before we launched.
Question: What social and environmental practices are you proud of?
Answer: We honour a traditional means of production that produces a healthier treat – our products are naturally leavened without any commercial yeasts or bread stabilizers. They are hand made with butter, time and a lot of patience! We also cater to dietary needs, offering a vegan and gluten-free doughnut too.
We have 8 employees and we really value and take care of our staff. We provide meals and other support pay a living wage. We are all about community, and although it put a damper on it opening in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, in the future we want to host a lot of events, to bring people together in a welcoming environment, and to introduce people to excellent products but not be exclusive about it.
We’re on Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) land, and will continue to work with the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Nation about how we operate respectfully here. We know we won’t always get it right but it is important that we continue to learn and do better. They told us that it’s important for the Nation to preserve the language, and that entrances are very sacred, so we put the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh language on the entrances and the exits in our shop. We want to help integrate that into our events and do education eventually. We are also trying to be as inclusive as possible, to be a safe place in Squamish for the LGBTQI2+ community.
We are trying to reduce waste and we meet weekly as a team to track and discuss ways to reduce waste. There is so much takeout happening during COVID-19, so our packaging choice was extremely important. We spent many hours researching where recycling, waste and composting is shipped, to see what the best option really is. We wanted sustainable packaging and we have no recycling in Squamish. In the end we chose packaging that is Canadian-made, carbon neutral company and ethically sourced. Georgette, our packaging partner, invests in old growth forests.
We love to support local causes. We have monthly donation goals, and have already worked with Capra, supporting a local athlete trying to get to the Olympics who did a silent auction to raise money. We also donate to Under One Roof or the Squamish Helping Hands shelter up the street.
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