Hot dogs sizzle on the BBQ outside the Royal Oak Country Grocer at a summer fundraiser for the Mustard Seed.
It’s just one of the many ways Country Grocer gives back to the community.
“I think that’s a big part of what we do, says Country Grocer Royal Oak Manager Shaun Erdei. “We’re definitely involved in the community and try to spread ourselves around to various charities and it’s near and dear to everyone’s heart.”
The family-owned and operated Island company donates hundreds of thousands of dollars a year — supporting a wide variety of causes.
“We’re a big part of the community, we’re where people shop, where they spend their hard-earned money,” says Craig Cavin, Country Grocer’s South Island operations manager. It’s just part of who we are, we like to give back.”
Cavin is the third generation to work in the family business and grew up seeing that commitment to the community.
“Our parents and grandparents were always huge proponents of giving back to the community,” Cavin explains. “Because what you put out there you get back as well. It’s a really easy thing to do.”
And now it’s as easy as a tap, to make a donation to B.C. Children’s Hospital at new ‘tip tap’ kiosks in all seven Country Grocer locations.
“Five, 10, $20, they can choose the amount that’s best for them and that money comes right off their credit card and the donation goes directly to B.C. Children’s Hospital,” explains Shaun Cerisano of B.C. Children’s Hospital Foundation.
Country Grocer’s part of the pilot for the tip tap campaign, which kicked off this month, and B.C. Children’s Hospital Foundation is hoping it will help increase donations as more and more Island children need to travel to Vancouver for treatment.
“Two years ago in 2020, there were over 3,600 kids from Vancouver Island that were treated at B.C. Children’s Hospital,” Cerisano says. “If you break that down, that’s over 10 per day. Last year in 2021, there were over 5,100. We’re up to over 14 kids per day.”
For Country Grocer staff, knowing they’re helping Island families with this and other causes is a win-win.
“You come in and do your job and that’s one end but the bigger picture of the community, it’s important to be involved,” Erdei says. “If you’re in a position to give back, I think it’s nice to give back.”
“Coming out of COVID especially, there’s a lot going on right now so giving back is an easy way to feel good and hopefully help others feel good too,” Cavin adds.