By Catherine Kenwell

Lately we’ve been receiving some comments—and questions—about buying Canadian versus American. At BOO, we rarely discuss politics except in the context of our products, but we’d like to share some thoughts on buying locally, nationally and internationally, and why our store offers gourmet products from all over the world.

First, think of your favorite EVOO. Where’s it from? Do you know? As I write, we have fresh, mouth-watering EVOOs from Italy, Sicily, Greece, Spain and California. They’re all delightful and quite popular. The Californian Ascolano is one of the mildest, sweetest extra-virgins you’ll ever taste. And just saying the name of our Italian Ortice Leccino out loud is fun enough, but tasting it will blow your mind! Depending on the time of year and the crush cycle, we have northern hemisphere or southern hemisphere EVOOs on tap: the key? They’re all superbly fresh!

Our balsamic vinegars? They’re all from Modena, Italy, the true home of balsamics. We know if it’s not from Modena, it’s not balsamic!

My point is that we gather the BEST products from the world over, because we feel our customers desire and deserve only the best. We educate ourselves so that we can share the nuances and intricacies of each product we offer. Of course it’s up to you what you choose to purchase, but we want you to know that we are cognizant of the origins of everything at BOO—and we’re happy to share that info with you.

Now here’s another thought, following an interesting discussion with a customer earlier today. We’re an independent Canadian small business. We aren’t franchised, plus we’re pretty much the opposite of a big-box store—and our suppliers are the same.

During our conversation, we talked about the benefits and challenges of small business, and how as a whole, we trust that our product partners are ‘customer-centric’; that is, we put our customers first. We support ethical, community-minded small business. Period. In general, we hesitate to offer politics a seat at our table; frankly, our customer and I agreed, we think political discussions during dinner can cause indigestion!

We don’t employ market research firms to conduct focus groups—rather, as small businesses, we have a more direct and personal interaction with our customers. We ask questions. We learn what you want. We listen to what you say. We honour your choice. And we’ll always give you the best we’ve got.

Food for thought.

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