WHY DID YOU FORM LOCAL GOODS COMPANY?
The aim of Local Goods Company is to reconnect communities to those who live in and visit them! We operate as a hub to let people know who makes what product, who provides which service and and who offers what activities all within a 100-mile radius (or platform service area).
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Local Goods Company is a community focused web platform that lets people shop locally for products, services and experiences. In order to use our platform, customers must shop, and business owners must operate within the platform service area. Note: tourists can participate as long as they can provide an address in the Sea to Sky.
PRODUCTS: Local Goods company offers a home delivery service that sells goods packaged in re-usable glass or sold package free. Through our Glass Returns Program we charge a small refundable fee on the glass which holds our goods. The concept is similar to that of milk delivery in glass bottle where we refund the deposit when the glass is returned. If a customer chooses to keep purchasing products, we send customers discount codes that can be used on their next purchase.
EXPERIENCES: The experiences we provide focus on getting people outdoors or to participate in local social activities that support their community.
SERVICES: Like our products, our services are provided by the best business owners who live & operate within the platform service area.
WHAT IS A REFILLABLE STORE?
A refillable store provides goods to consumers using packaging that is washable and re-usable. Most of these stores encourage the customers to bring their own containers.
WHERE DO YOUR PRODUCTS COME FROM?
All products, produce and ingredients (local and imported) are made, grown and sold by companies located within the 100-mile service area. If an ingredient, produce or product cannot be sourced locally; we may choose to purchase it from the nearest location outside the platform service area, while staying within the country where the platform operates. If we cannot source from within that country, we will then choose whichever country is geographically closest.
HOW DO YOU KNOW THE PRODUCTS YOU STOCK ARE HIGH QUALITY AND ETHICAL?
All our suppliers are located within a 100-mile service area of Local Goods Company so we can visit our product makers onsite to see if their goods are up to standard. We regularly review production methods and the ingredients providers use as thoroughly as possible, and will disclose whether products contain any synthetic ingredients, and in what quantities. If ingredients are imported, we will let our customers know what certification they have received. Lastly, we make sure that goods haven't been unnecessarily processed or transformed. We also have a list of ingredients we make sure aren't in any of our products.
WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR INGREDIENT INFORMATION FROM?
Our company uses a variety of sources when it comes to choosing what ingredients we allow to be used in the products we sell. From very conservatively funded organizations to alternative medicine practitioners, we like to look at what the overall opinion is on ingredients we are unsure of. If we choose to stock a product with an ingredient that has these organizations divided, we will make this clear to our customers.
WHY DO CERTAIN NATURAL PRODUCTS SEPARATE?
This has to do with Emulsifiers, which help blend oil and water together. Some emulsifiers, such as wax, are blended with alcohol and synthetics to get the best results. Some products makers may choose to stay away from these synthetics and this is why their products separate.
Please visit the Ingredients page for more information.
WHAT PACKAGING DO YOU USE?
We use re-usable glass that we do our very best to purchase from local companies. If that isn't possible we then purchase glass made in the country or neighboring countries that the platform serves. We will consider other types of packaging if we find anything that has a low carbon footprint or is fully compostable. See environmental section below to read why we don't use plastic apart from lids, when metal ones aren't readily available.
WHY DON’T YOU USE PLASTIC PACKAGING?
Plastic, however convenient it may be, never disappears. So once a plastic container is made, it can only break down into smaller pieces which often end up in the ocean or contaminating soils in landfills. Plastic is also made of oil which can be detrimental to human health as it seeps into our food and is used to almost everything that surrounds us: from the clothes in our wardrobe to the furniture in our living room. Furthermore most plastics can only be recycled once before they are sent to the landfill. We want to reduce the amount of consumer waste, not add to it.
WHERE IS YOUR PACKAGING FROM?
We source our packaging from local distributors and prefer to purchase glass made in the country that the Local Goods Company platforms serves. If we cannot source a particular model of glass from within that country, we will then choose whichever country is geographically closest. i.e. if we cannot purchase glass in Canada, we will source glass from the U.S.
WHY IS GLASS BETTER THEN PLASTIC?
Glass is the best container to preserve the quality and taste of products. It can be washed and recycled as many times as the glass can handle while plastic is often recycled once and then sent to landfill. Also glass doesn't seep into food, while plastic does, so there are no harmful toxins to worry about. It is also the oldest form of packaging which was invented by the Mesopotamians in 1500 B.C. Read about the history of glass here.
ISN'T RE-USING PACKING UNHYGIENIC?
It is hygienic. The idea is the same as when you go to a restaurant and eat a meal served on a plate that's been sanitized using a commercial dishwasher. Commercial dishwashers are made to clean dishes using water between 65-71 Celsius / 150-160 Fahrenheit and sanitation is then achieved by the use of a booster heater.
WHERE DO YOU DELIVER?
Our platform currently serves Pemberton, Whistler and Squamish but this does not include Squamish and Paradise Valleys just yet. Our platform will eventually serve the Greater Vancouver & Vancouver Island.
WHAT ARE YOUR DELIVERY CRATES MADE OF?
Currently we re-use boxes that we either get our goods in or that we source from stores around town.
HOW DOES YOUR COMPANY HELP THE LOCAL ECONOMY?
All companies we buy from are located within the platform service area, enabling us to support local enterprise. We also help locals to start businesses by helping them understand their community needs.
WHY IS SHOPPING LOCALLY IMPORTANT?
Shopping locally keeps your money within the community instead of supporting national and international companies. By shopping locally you are receiving a unique product and most likely better service as consumers often know the people who sell to them. Larger companies can appear faceless and difficult to deal with because of their size. In many cases small businesses are more likely to support charities and community groups who in turn bring help to those in need.
WHY IS YOUR COMPANY BETTER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT?
PACKAGING: We reduce the amount of packaging used which will most likely end up in landfill as plastic can only be recycled a certain amount of times and not all plastics are recyclable. Ingredient companies sell us their goods in large bags which would usually be then re-packaged in smaller quantities. This is the step we are currently aiming to prevent. Certain companies will directly refill the glass bottles we provide them with so this cuts down on waste even more. What we are doing is new and as we grow, we will work with our partners to further cut down on packaging.
DISTANCE/FREIGHT REDUCTION: Our system focuses on trying to keep trucks off our highways and freight boats out of the ocean by choosing, in most cases, distance over price. The exception to this rule will be when we purchase outside of the 100-mile radius or service area. For example, we will choose to buy from the east coast of Canada over the west coast of the United States as we want to keep the commerce within the borders of the country that the platform serves.
FUEL: Instead of having all our suppliers on the road driving their products around, we are instead doing this for them, which in return keeps cars off the road. We also set-up our system to assure that our trucks are always full, whether we are dropping off goods to our clients, picking up goods from our products makers or empty glass from our customers, we always make sure the space in our vehicle is occupied.
ENERGY: Less refrigeration is used since produce and products are picked locally and don't have to be driven across the country.
ISN’T RECYCLING ENOUGH THOUGH?
Recycling is of course a great incentive and reduces waste and energy use massively but at the current rate with which people consume, we think that focusing on reducing waste is the main area of focus for our company so we can have maximum impact. Also, contamination of packing often results in it having to be thrown away and most plastics can only be recycled once and can't be re-used to package food because of the bacteria it holds.