2000 lbs Orange Donation Inspired by Customer Kindness

Inspired by the thoughtfulness of one of our customers, we donated 2000 lbs (a full pallet) of oranges to the Mustard Seed Food Bank this week!  Mary-Ellen Lundgren posted the following comment on our Facebook page (@rootcellar) on a post launching our annual 12 Days of Holiday Savings – navel oranges were the fruit of choice for Day 1, on sale for 49 cents/lb this past Wednesday.

Mary-Ellen Lundgren FB Message: “If anyone stops by and has some extra $$ on hand, consider picking up a few for your local shelter or food bank! I dropped a bag off to the Saanich Peninsula Lions Food Bank because at this price, it’s affordable for me and something that a lot of people utilizing food banks can only dream about. Food banks get donations of produce but it is often the unsold reduced produce. Hey, I’ve got nothing against that stuff, I bought two clearance pineapples and 2 packs of clearance avocados too, but imagine the look on a person’s face when they are used to getting clearance and instead there are these glorious, fresh, fragrant, beautiful balls of sunshine to brighten up their hamper!”

Co-owner Daisy Orser said “I was immediately notified of the comment by our marketing lead as our corporate culture revolves around ‘calling out the good’, she knew I would love this one and would want to reach out, check out this site…”

Daisy Orser FB Message: Mary-Ellen this message warms our hearts!!💚 Your thoughtfulness is very touching – we will be sharing your note with our team, and hope that our customers too are as touched by your kind & thoughtful gesture! The oranges are cheap, but kindness is free! Happy holidays to you & your family! #peopleAREgood #kindnessmakestheworldgoround

Daisy continued “An enthusiastic private conversation ensued for we are firm believers that kindness is contagious, and the ball was now in our court. Within an hour we were in contact with the Food Share Network to discuss the donation of a full pallet of said oranges (2000 lbs in total) to the Mustard Seed Distribution Centre.”  Brenda Bolton of the Food Share Network said “This generous thoughtful gift of ‘Mary Ellen’s Oranges’ will be very much appreciated by the 43 non-profit agencies participating in the Food Rescue Project, and by the 35,000 the agencies serve”.

At the request of the Orser’s, The Victoria Foundation which manages the food security fund, in turn supporting the Food Share Network, has set up a dedicated Canada Helps page (https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/m/36922/donation) in the hope that this will inspire The Root Cellar’s customers, community and competitors, to contribute anything from a pinch to a pallet, inspired by Mary Ellen and her oranges.

Warm & Wonderful – Seasonal Coffees

Our very own Coffee Project has just launched their new line up of house made seasonal specialties and the menu is a positively perfect match to the crisp fall mornings we’re waking up to in this beautiful city right now! Yes, we’re talking pumpkin spice made with real organic pumpkin purée and gingerbread lattes with actual molasses. Don’t do dairy? There’s almond, coco and soy milk too. Pop in and find your new fall favourite!

Back To School!

We’ve got you covered this Back to School week with huge savings and hot prices in store plus kids buttons and a colouring contest for your littles as they head back to school!

Yes, we’ve got a special surprise for you and your little’uns this week!  These super cute guys are our limited edition back to school buttons just for your smalls (12 and under). Perfect for school bags, jackets, and pencil cases, and available at the tills while quantities last.

Spread a little sunshine with our Back to School colouring contest!

That’s right, time to get those art supplies out! We’re getting crafty for back to school. To enter, simply print this PDF: Back to School Colouring Contest and colour away. Then pop into the store and hand your masterpiece to one of our lovely cashiers at the tills – be sure to fill out all your details on the 2nd page!

There will be a winner in each of the following age categories…
Under 12 – A super sweet Root Cellar friends & farmers lunch bag.
12 to 18 – A $25 Root Cellar gift card plus one of our new avocado t-shirts.
Over 18 (that’s right, adults can enter too!) – A $50 Root Cellar gift card.

The contest will close at 8pm on Sunday September 9th 2018 and the winners, drawn at random, will be announced on Monday September 10th 2018.  Happy colouring!

Boulevard Magazine Feature

Join the Root Cellar owners as they chat about value alignment, food sustainability, big dreams, their love of food and this beautiful place in which we get to live here in Victoria, in the summer edition of Boulevard Magazine – see below or view the full magazine online here.


EAT Magazine – A Cherry on Top

Discover why Okanagan grown cherries – those sweet juicy summer lovelies, are some of the very best in the world in the newest Get Fresh article from Root Cellar owner, Daisy Orser, in the July/August EAT magazine.

Click here for the full article online or pick up the latest copy of EAT from news stands around the city (and of course, at the Root Cellar).

Best of the City Awards!

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!
WOW! BEST PRODUCE for 9 YEARS! And Best Farmers Market AND Best Place to Meet a Mate this year. We’re truly honoured, and humbled that you took the time to vote for us, thank you so much for your support these past 10 years! Congratulations to our amazing team for their hard work and effort at #thelittlegreengrocerthatcould 🙌 XO

10th Birthday Celebrations!

The Root Cellar celebrates its 10th year in the community with official celebrations kicking off today with huge savings on their Dirt Cheap This Week EIGHT-day sale.  The customer appreciation week will include demos from local producers including Babe’s Kombucha, Phillip’s Soda and Fatso Hybrid Peanut Butter, as well as an afternoon of cheese wheel cracking (and sampling!) on Saturday June 9th, loads of live music performances (their very popular #rootcellarjams), the launch of a limited edition 10th birthday jute tote (with all proceeds going to their long time community partner, The Rainbow Kitchen), and giveaways galore including $1000 in groceries.

Saturday also sees Root Cellar owners, Daisy and Adam Orser, along with owner and manager Phil Lafreniere host a ‘fruit tent’ from 11am – 3pm, with free watermelon and jackfruit, and a few other surprises on hand to thank customers for their 10 years of loyalty.  Daisy Orser said: “Our journey thus far has been one of pure joy. We could not have dreamed of a more welcoming community, of more enthusiastic and loyal customers, of more dedicated and hard working team members, or of more committed growers & makers of the amazing food we have the pleasure of stocking our shelves with. We are celebrating a decade touched by each and every one of them, and are so very grateful for everyone’s contribution to our success.”

Opening in 2008, The Root Cellar is much loved in the community for its farm fresh, dirt cheap and delicious approach to fresh food sourced with a local focus, and its championing of local farmers and producers throughout the years.  Additional departments were added which has seen an expansion of the original 5,600 square feet to over 12,000 square feet – The Potting Shed florist and garden centre in May of 2013, The Chop Shop full service butcher and deli followed later that year, and most recently The Coffee Project in March of 2008.

NOW OPEN! The Coffee Project at the Root Cellar

PRESS RELEASE: This new venture for the Root Cellar sees the expansion of their retail space, which, from its humble green grocer beginnings of just 4500 square feet in 2008, now encompasses the island’s largest selection of local produce, a full-service butcher and deli, an extensive bulk foods department, boutique floral and garden market, artisanal grocery products, locally baked goods and dairy products to an 11,000 sq. ft. locally focused shopping experience with the addition of their new coffee space, The Coffee Project.

Root Cellar Co-Owner, Daisy Orser said “We are proud of our deep roots in the community and see this expansion as an opportunity to strengthen our relationship with our customers, give them a little treat to look forward to while they shop or to bring home to their families.  We have been overwhelmed by requests and suggestions for this space and as a small business we are thankful to have the opportunity to really listen and give our customers what they want, as that why we have the best employees to give attention to our customers, and we manage the payroll using a paystub software online for this.  Pop in for a locally roasted coffee and a wholesome lunch to go (with a local & gourmet nod) on your way to work or enjoy a brew and a sweet treat while you shop (often to the sound of live local music in store).”

The Coffee Project opened its doors on March 20th and embodies the Root Cellar’s local focus, offering honest to goodness lunch and snack options to go from 7AM to 8PM EVERYDAY – think a sandwich of house roasted orange & fennel pork loin with kimchi, garlic aioli and arugula, or a soba noodle salad with bok choy and house marinated mushrooms – in addition to serving locally roasted Discovery Coffee featuring a special Root Cellar blend, Jaga Silk and Silk Road teas, as well as locally made cold pressed juices and turmeric lattes.

The Root Cellar’s loyalty to local farmers and producers, passion for providing sustainable lifestyle choices and long-standing commitment to their community is clearly reflected in every aspect of their new space, from the locally made and lusted after Yonni’s donuts and giant delicious Sidney scones to the compostable cutlery.  Every new offering is intended to inspire you as well as introduce you to Vancouver Island’s culinary treasures.

Easter Long Weekend Hours

It’s Easter weekend and we’re open everyday for your feast favourites BUT we are closing  an hour early on Easter Sunday so our team can spend Easter with their friends and family!

Start planning your Easter dinner – we’ve got free run and organic turkeys, local and island raised beautifully smoked hams, AAA canadian prime rib roasts and all the lamb from legs to racks in the Chop Shop.

Find your favourite florals in the Potting Shed, pick up a little something lovely for your table or the host, or ask one of our lovely team for a custom bouquet or arrangement just for you.

There’s sweet goodies galore in store – gluten free treats from Laughing Daughters on Saltspring Island, cookies from Bond Bond Bakery in Victoria and favourite classics (including hot cross buns!) from Portofino Bakery in Saanich.  Pop into the Coffee Project and find irresistable Yonni’s doughnuts, giant home made deliciousness from Sidney Scones and much more.

And, of course, all the fresh fruit and veggies you could wish for, with plenty of locally grown and BC goodness for your feast.  Celebrate with food this Easter!