April 16, 2013 - 11:22 AM
Naturally Homegrown Foods Limited will promote their line
of B.C. grown and hand-cooked potato chips with the help of $100,000 in
funding from the B.C. government's Buy Local program.
Owners Pete Schouten and Wes Heppell are fourth generation farmers in
Maple Ridge where their 600-acre farm is home to the B.C. potatoes used
in making Hardbite chips. With growing costs associated with
transporting food to markets, they feel it is vital to build their
brand locally and maximize market share in the B.C. marketplace.
The Hardbite brand currently provides work for eight employees and has
a unique product profile as it utilizes local ingredients from local
growers. The Buy Local funding will be used to increase awareness for
Hardbite potato chips using strategies such as brand development,
social media and promotions. They also wish to increase distribution of
their products through local retailers and foodservice outlets.
The Buy Local program offers successful applicants matching funds up to
$100,000 to launch or expand local food marketing campaigns.
Building the local market for B.C. foods is a key commitment of
government's Agrifoods Strategy, a component of the B.C. Jobs Plan, to
lead the agrifoods sector growth into a $14-billion-a-year industry by
The provincial government's Buy Local program is administered by the
Investment Agriculture Foundation of B.C.
Minister of Agriculture Norm Letnick -
"Food and beverage processing is the largest manufacturing industry in
the province, generating sales of $7.5 billion in B.C. and employing
over 18 per cent of the province's manufacturing workforce. Hardbite
chips are not only produced locally, they're grown locally as well. You
can't get more homegrown than that."
Naturally Homegrown Foods Ltd., president Kirk Homenick -
"The Hardbite brand already has a grass-roots following of loyal
consumers and the product's profile as being local has broad appeal.
The Buy Local funding will help us to establish core brand values for
Hardbite, which we want to leverage to bring new products to market and
increase demand for potato and other agrifoods-based products."
* Hardbite produces potatoes using B.C. grown seed potatoes.
* The Heppell family has been potato farming since 1920. They also
produce corn, carrots, pumpkins, squash and parsnips on the 600-acre
* Mushrooms and potatoes were B.C.'s highest-value non-greenhouse
vegetable crops in 2011 with 78,609 tonnes of potatoes being produced
* B.C. Buy Local program: http://www.gov.bc.ca/agri/buylocal.html
* Naturally Homegrown Foods Ltd.: www.hardbitechips.com
* Keep up to date on the latest in B.C. foods and beverages:
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013