Saba Bistro

Sabà Bistro is a family-owned restaurant, bakery and coffee shop located in the historic Fort Langley area. It’s truly a family business – mother Simone is the owner, her daughter Laura helped create the cocktail menu and helped with opening the business, her daughter Danielle helps with the website and food photography and social media, and her daughter Emma works in the bakery. The family loves providing the Fort Langley community with their morning coffee, breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner.  Whether you are in the mood for a coffee, a light pastry from their bakery or a full meal at any time of the day, Sabà has something for you.

Question: How are you supporting other local businesses?

Answer: For our ingredients, I buy from local farms and local businesses whenever I can. I estimate that 75% of our purchasing is local, and about 5% is Canadian. For the most part, if I can’t get it locally, I just won’t have it on the menu. There’s a few things like avocados, but our menu fluctuates because we go way out of our way to get everything that’s locally produced.We try to exclusively buy from local businesses. As much of our produce as possible  – our lettuce, kale, zucchini, etc. – comes from Black Table Farm. They text me at the beginning at the start of the week to let me know what they have, and mostly our menu is based on what’s available. All our berries are local. We buy a little from all the locals – Driediger Farms, Krause Berry Farms, Kin’s Farm Market sometimes, and Lee’s Market in Fort Langley sometimes.

We use Meadow Fresh for all of our dairy, and buy fresh, local Oceanwise seafood from Intercity Packers (formerly Albion Seafood). We buy local meat from Two Rivers. If we can’t get meat from B.C. then it’s from Alberta. I never buy fish or meat from the U.S., it’s always as local as we can get it.

For our cheese and charcuterie, we buy some cheese from local farms. We get our sausage and eggs from Hills Foods. We buy Rossdown chicken through Intercity Packers. For our bakery, we make the products in house and buy the ingredients from local producers when we can. We buy direct when we can, purchasing some flour from Anita’s Organic Mill in Chilliwack, and otherwise buying products from B.C. based distributor Snowcap. We don’t have the capacity to make all our bread in house, so we also buy bread from A Bread Affair.

We buy spirits from Rebecca at Roots and Wings and we buy as much local wine as we can. We buy from Township 7 in Langley, and other wines from the Okanagan. We have a few French and Italian brands but we stock as much B.C. wine as we can. We exclusively sell local beer. We rotate through some local brands – Trading Post (Langley), Four Winds (Delta), Parallel 49 (Vancouver). We also have locally made Kombucha and we brew locally roasted Rebulica Coffee.

We also use a lot of local service providers – about 90% are B.C. businesses. It makes more sense to me to do it that way, I feel part of the community. All the trades that we hire are local. When we built this place we hired all local trades for the construction. We buy our insurance from Homestead Insurance in Walnut Grove. Our bookkeeper is a local independent person. My daughter does all the social media, all the photography. Our waste management company is Super Save Disposal in Langley. Plumber is local. Our take out packaging is from a company in Richmond agreen products from Meshline Manufacturing Inc.

Question: What social and environmental practices are you proud of?

Answer: We employ about 40 people between the two businesses. I aim to bring all our employees into what we call the “Sabà family”. I just really want to create a place where our employees feel a part of it. If our staff have special needs in any way, we try to be flexible and give them the work environment that they need and can thrive in. It’s all about a human connection, whether it’s between me and my staff or the business and our customers. The amount of time I spend in the business wouldn’t feel fulfilling to me if I couldn’t connect with my staff as real people. I worked my way up in this industry and I know what it feels like to work in a company that cares. It doesn’t always make business sense but it speaks to me as a person so I can’t do it any other way.

We support so many local causes and charities. We give product, gift certificates, money, and our time. I have a close relationship with with the Langley Fine Arts School, and the Rotary Club. I regularly donate to the Vancouver Eastside Women’s Shelter, I delivered a van full of food to them during the early days of the COVID-19 crisis. I also work with Wagner Hills Farm Society that provides support for people in addiction in Langley. We also donate to Ishtar Women’s Resource Society. Every Christmas we pick an organization, we coordinate a big event and we donate all the proceeds to them. We also do so many in-kind donations. Any time there’s anything at the art gallery, we donate time and product by providing beautiful charcuterie boards.

We’re very environmentally aware, we try really hard to reduce our environmental impact. Most of my staff live right here in Fort Langley, so many are walking or biking to work. Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, we were trying very hard to eliminate all takeout packaging. We give away reusable mugs to our regular customers, and encouraged customers to bring their own mugs and containers. It’s a hard moment because we have to use takeout containers after pivoting to takeout. All of the takeout packaging we use now is compostable of course.

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