Facing competitive industries and thin margins, three young entrepreneurs from different segments of the Okanagan’s food and agriculture economy have partnered in what they are calling a Micro-Marketing Cooperative. Tyler Harlton of TH Wines in Summerland, Jordan Marr of The Homestead Organic Farm in Peachland, and Paul Cecconi of Brodo Kitchen and Catering in Penticton plan to take advantage of overlapping customer bases by working together to cross-promote one another’s businesses.
One unique idea the three are considering is a multi-stage tour of their businesses, culminating in a lunch at Brodo featuring products picked up along the way. “Tourists could come by my farm for a garden tour and harvest some veggies, then visit Tyler’s tasting room and choose a bottle of their favourite wine, and finally, bring it all to Brodo to be incorporated into their lunch there,” explains Marr.
“The three of us were having a beer together last winter when we realized that a lot of our potential customers are the same people,” he says. “We decided that by working together to promote ourselves we could get a lot bang for our marketing buck.”
“Our businesses are interdependent to a large degree, so why not work together?” Harlton muses. “There are over 100 wineries in the Okanagan alone, and most of them are much bigger than mine,” he continues. “Teaming up with Paul and Jordan seemed like a great way for all of us to promote ourselves.”
Their first venture together will be what they are calling a VFC Dinner, to be held at Brodo on August 29th. VFC stands for Vintner Farmer Chef. Harlton’s wines and Marr’s veggies will be featured on the three course menu, and the three men will host the event together.
“I think an added benefit to what we’ll be doing is that it will give eaters and agri-tourists a more complete picture of the Okanagan’s food economy,” Cecconi suggests. “People eating at my restaurant know we source locally, but don’t necessarily get to connect what they’re consuming to the people who produce the stuff. Our VFC Dinner will connect all of the dots, and give customers a chance to interact with the people producing their food and drink.”
For more information please contact:
778 476 1275
The Homestead Organic Farm
250 767 6636
250 494 8334
Note: Press release issued August 13, 2013 by TH Wines.