Kamloops winery starts petition to restart grocery store wine debate - InfoNews

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Kamloops winery starts petition to restart grocery store wine debate

A collection of wines from local Kamloops winery Harper's Trail available at the Sahali Liquor Store.
Image Credit: Instagram
May 24, 2016 - 7:30 PM

KAMLOOPS - The fight to get wine into a Kamloops grocery store isn’t over.

Vicki Collett, co-owner of Harper’s Trail Winery, says she’s not willing to give up on efforts to allow B.C. wine in the Sahali Save-On-Foods.

“I believe that Kamloops city council made the wrong decision,” she says. “City council will be hearing from all of us again.”

Collett has started a petition to convince city council to review their vote from Tuesday, May 17, which blocked Save-On-Foods from selling wine in their Sahali store. She says she’s spoken to other wineries in the region and they all support the petition.

The grocery chain purchased the B.C. wine-specific licence from private wine store Discover Wines expecting to use it at their Sahali store. However, a city bylaw created last year to restrict liquor licences to one kilometre from each other came into play. The grocery store shares a parking lot with a B.C. Liquor store and is within one kilometre of at least two other private liquor stores. Discover Wines was previously in the same shopping complex as the grocery store as well.

The grocery chain requested a variance to allow the licence at their store, but at a packed May 17 meeting the request was rejected by the majority of councillors.

Collett takes specific issue with the fact the licence is not a new licence, but was purchased from Discover Wines, which sold wine in the same area.

At the council debate about the issue, speakers supporting the grocery store’s bid to sell wine said if the city doesn’t allow wine to be sold at the Sahali store, all other Save-On-Foods in the city are within one kilometre of a liquor store as well, raising concerns that the licence may leave the city. Collett says she agrees, because it's a grocery chain with stores outside of Kamloops.

She says the petition may work, because this council has changed its mind on this subject before.

“They really based their decision on their feelings and not on the facts,” she says. “Why wouldn’t they overturn their decision again?”

Collett says she has physical copies of the petition as well as an online version at Change.org. The online version currently has more than 300 signees.

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