October 07, 2016 - 12:16 PM
KAMLOOPS - After more than a year of debate, wine is actually on the shelves of a Kamloops grocery store.
Sahali’s Save-On-Foods grocery store held a grand opening today, Oct. 7, for its wine department, the first of its kind in Kamloops and 11th in B.C. Politicians, grocery store personnel and members of the wine industry were on hand for the ribbon cutting.
Kamloops Winery Association executive director Trish Morelli says the new location gives locally wineries access to new customers.
“It took a while to get here, but well worth the effort,” she says. “This is going to have a significant impact on the local wineries.”
While provincial politicians were on hand for the opening, no city councillors — who ultimately gave their stamp of approval to the grocery store wine sales — attended. City council had debated wine in grocery stores on and off since the provincial legislation changed in 2015.
A bylaw to restrict how many liquor outlets are allowed in an area was defeated and then approved in the summer of 2015.
In November 2015 Save-On-Foods bought B.C. wine licences from Discover Wines. While the grocery store chain was allowed to open a store in Kelowna in February, Kamloops council initially blocked the application Kamloops, but eventually approved it in July after a clarification of what exactly was to be allowed.
In Vernon and Penticton similar issues were debated.
Vernon council recently gave to go ahead for wine to be sold in grocery stores, while in Penticton, councillors initially blocked wine in grocery stores with a bylaw but amended it to allow B.C. wines to be sold.
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