A Letter from the Owners, July 1st 2020 – You know you’ve done it, we’ve all done it. No shame here…

Hi Root Cellar Community,

Let’s talk about global warming. Just kidding, let’s talk about blueberries! Specifically, BC Grown blueberries and that first pint of the season (it’s NOW, they’re HERE!). You know the one that you buy with excitement to share with your family or your roommate… but that you accidentally eat every last berry of in the car on the way home? I am confident that every single blueberry lover amongst us has made this blunder, or repeats this blunder every year. So do yourself a favour, buy two or three pints and put one in the back seat. While you’re at it, grab some whipping cream (no, not the kind in the can) and some of ‘the good maple syrup’ and you can pretty much not make dinner tonight.

OR you can just ride your bike to The Root Cellar, then you’ve handled global warming and the ‘I ate all the blueberries on the way home’ crisis in one fell swoop!


A Letter from the Owners, June 1st 2020 – When you give a girl a mushroom…

Hi Root Cellar Community,

Do you know what I love? I love my family, I love the forest and the ocean, and I love fresh beautiful food prepared and enjoyed with those dear to me. Bring me some veg from your garden or a fish that you caught, cook it with me slowly while we enjoy a nice glass of wine and some great music, then enjoy the meal with me, also slowly. If this can happen seaside, followed by a walk in the forest, my heart will pretty much explode. If someone else does the dishes, well then I have had prime ‘Daisy Dream Experience’, and I can die happy.

Foraged Morels are starting to roll in at The Root Cellar and for me Morel Mushrooms mean meals shared with friends & family. They aren’t something that we really bother with on a ‘school night (what’s THAT?!) or when we are rushing between activities and eating-to-live rather than living-to-eat. Morels are like the pomegranate of the woods… a little bit of a hassle (rinse….swish… soak… pat), but worth every second. And the hassle dissipates if you’re prepping mushrooms with friends, quite like shucking crab….It doesn’t take much to turn a pain in the A$$ into a dream when you’re rewarded with a delicious meal at the end.

Morel focused meals mean shared food. Shared food WITH PEOPLE WE DON’T LIVE WITH. And technically this is allowed now. But my comfort zone is lagging. I have spent a bit of time with a couple of people, and savoured every second, but socializing now has an air of trepidation to it for me. Many seem to have this sense of ‘we better do it before the second wave and they tell us we can’t anymore!’ perspective… and I get it for it is wild mushrooms that are now pushing me out of the wading pool and into the deep end.

When I haven’t had house guests in months, I get thinking about the state of my table cloth and maybe candles, and I notice how shoddy the mat at my front door is looking, and of course the perfect wine or cocktail for my mushrooms. I am steadfast in this with my food, but am also pretty diligent when I ‘need’ something (okay, I just WANT a new table cloth), about tracking it down at a locally owned store, preferably made or sourced by a local vendor. I am uplifted to hear more subscription to this kind of effort around me ‘mid-Covid’. I hate that everyone knows someone who has been hit hard, who has lost a job, whose business can’t pay the rent, or may not even re-open. But I LOVE that this means that everybody CARES. I now see oblivion about where our consumer dollars end up diminishing and being replaced with pride, and it brings me both great joy and great gratitude.

Thank you for your mindfulness.

Thank you for spending your dollars where it counts.

And thank you for contributing to the rebuilding of our economy.

XO Daisy

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!

It’s Turkey Time!


Whilst we enjoy the last few days of summer sunshine our thoughts are already turning to crisp mornings, autumn leaves and the bounty that is the fall harvest, all in perfect time for Thanksgiving.

Our Locally Raised Free Range Birds are from Ireland Farms here in Saanich. These naturally raised turkeys are grain fed, they receive no added hormones or antibiotics and are completely free range.  $4.69/lb

Our BC Raised Free Run Birds are from five generation family run Rossdown Farms, and are also grain fed.  Following successive generations of poultry expertise Rossdown now handles all aspects of its farm from eggs and chicks to turkey feed and preparation. $3.99/lb

Pop in to book your bird at the tills or give us a call at 250-477-9495 ext. 228. Deposit required. Locally smoked and raised hams are also available!

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!

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).

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.

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!