Meals on Wheels Campaign Drives Growth for Lower Mainland Farms
Launched in 2007 by COO and Chef Marcus VonAlbrecht, MAVA Foods maintains a simple but powerful mission—to make food that is good for people and the planet, utilizing all natural, seasonal ingredients from local producers like 63 Acres Farms, Delta Fisheries and the Blue Goose Cattle Company.
One way it fulfills this purpose is by preparing food for Meals on Wheels in the Lower Mainland, a program that provides homebound individuals with nutritious, delicious hot meals at their doorsteps.
While it has already offered a lifeline for hundreds of local residents, Marcus felt they could do more.
“It’s been proven that when you buy from a locally-owned business, significantly more of your money is used to make purchases from other local businesses,” he explains. “We knew that by boosting sales of MAVA Foods’ meals we could benefit ten different companies in the Greater Vancouver Area, including local farms.”
Determined to increase sales by 200 meals a week (or $3,200 every month), MAVA launched a local marketing initiative, targeting senior citizens with an advertorial campaign in local publications like the Vancouver Sun and Province.
“We also wanted to provide at least 200 candidates with printed material explaining that by choosing us, they are choosing local farms and producers which strengthens both their economy and their bodies,” added Marcus. “This way not only seniors would benefit but local companies would increase their sales, enabling them to create more jobs and keep the money within our communities.”
In less than a year they had surpassed their goal, achieving a monthly sales average of $4,600, which has led to three new jobs at the MAVA facility, more purchase orders from BC producers and more investment opportunities for both themselves and their partners.
“Our suppliers frequently visit us at MAVA Foods headquarters to discuss production matters and improvements, and many of them have reported increased hiring due to growing sales volumes,” says Marcus.
With new suppliers like Hazelmere Organic Farm, Gelderman Farms and Bremner Foods joining their network, MAVA is now able to source 85 percent of their ingredients from BC producers and is hoping to eventually become 100 percent locally-sourced.
For Marcus, buying local is fundamental to MAVA’s business success and will continue to remain one of their bottom lines.
“The support of local marketing funding is essential to expanding the outcomes of this value chain and benefiting the entire BC community,” he believes. “It’s a win-win situation to all stakeholders involved.”
Funding: $4,410 provided by the Government of British Columbia. (BL286)