We tried this local, sustainable grocery service for a week

Feb 22 2021, 7:05 pm

Growing up, I was one of those kids who looked forward to one part of going grocery shopping with my mom: picking out a treat in the aisle lined with massive bags of chips and boxes upon boxes of chocolate cookies.

Today, yes, treats are still something I appreciate (in moderation, of course), but finding a grocery store that checks the boxes for the food I appreciate as a fully-grown adult, plus the extras we adults like to indulge in at the weekend, can be a challenge.

Navigating a typical trip to the grocery store looks a little different today than it did over a year ago, and for this reason, ordering online offers a safe, contactless alternative. But not only that, it’s a way to ensure you’ve got your fridge and pantry stocked no matter what your workdays bring.

So, when I found out that I’d have the opportunity to experience SPUD.ca for a week, I couldn’t wait to see what the grocery service had to offer. One of the biggest draws to this service, for me, is the fact that it’s designed around supporting over 880 local vendors and over 60 local farmers in Western Canada, resulting in high-quality products for customers.

Catríona Hughes/Daily Hive

In my experience of ordering groceries online in the past, it often came with a hefty minimum order requirement. With SPUD, orders only need to be $30 or more to be delivered, and when you spend over $99, delivery is free.

The grocery service delivers to customers throughout the Lower Mainland — seven days a week. You can check out the exact delivery days based on your postal code on the SPUD website, and you may even snag next-day delivery pending availability.

I placed my order on Friday night for Sunday delivery, and I had the option to make changes to the order up until 5 pm the day before it arrived. Then, on Sunday, the groceries were dropped right to my door, within the timeframe SPUD provided. Since I ordered liquor, my ID was checked from a distance by a masked delivery driver, allowing for a safe experience at all times.

After I took the boxes inside, I noticed how everything was organized with care in recyclable packaging. Frozen items were resting beside wrapped dry ice sheets to keep them cold (ideal if your delivery arrives when you’re at work or running errands), fresh produce was packaged together, and glass bottles were protected.

Catríona Hughes/Daily Hive

When I’m doing grocery shopping these days, I try to look out for items that can help me recreate a café or restaurant dining experience at home. The SPUD website layout made this easy. I hit the bakery section first, nabbing some organic, ready-to-bake chocolate croissants and sprouted ancient grain burger buns.

Catríona Hughes/Daily Hive

Next, the dairy section for organic eggs and not-so-dairy oat milk (I’m obsessed with the frothy and delicious finish it brings to my morning coffee). Like many Vancouverites, I’m trying to add more plant-based meat alternatives to my diet, so I couldn’t pass up a pack of plant-based burgers and frozen falafel I found in the meat and seafood section. A warm falafel salad is one of my go-to dishes for lunch!

Catríona Hughes/Daily Hive

Avocados are fruits I love to have in the kitchen because of the versatility they bring to everyday meals. During my shop, SPUD had them in its super savings section — for just $.99 per organic avocado, which gave me more of a reason to add another to my cart.

I also found organic cauliflower for $1.99 per head as part of SPUD’s weekly hot deals. (It’s worth keeping an eye on both the monthly and weekly deals on the site while you shop because you can find some amazing products at great prices.)

Couple this with the tomatoes, yams, and arugula (all organic) from the produce section, and I had the makings for multiple at-home feasts. Below, you’ll see my attempt at loaded plant-based burgers (one featuring an egg on top) and roasted yam fries.

Catríona Hughes/Daily Hive

The last time I visited the Okanagan, I never made it to a wine destination on my list: Dirty Laundry Vineyard. Hush Red, a fruit-forward blend of malbec, merlot, and cabernet sauvignon by the winery, is one of many wine options available on SPUD. It also happens to pair well with burgers, so I went for it, and the light, balanced rouge did not disappoint.

Catríona Hughes/Daily Hive

For an option to sip on during work, I ordered organic lemon ginger cayenne kombucha. This was my first time trying the brew, and I loved how refreshing it tasted from the first sip right through to the last. (Plus, a little extra lemon and ginger can’t hurt at the coldest time of the year.)

Catríona Hughes/Daily Hive

From the moment I placed my order with SPUD to delivery and follow-up customer care, there was no guesswork involved.

The grocery service simplifies the entire process, making it a joy for those who are tight on time or simply prefer to get everything they need in one order as opposed to multiple store trips. Whether you need meal kits, bath and beauty products, or pet food, you’ll find it all on SPUD.

Every time you place an order, you’re having a sustainable impact. Already, SPUD has diverted 20,092 units of imperfect product from the landfill. It has also donated $345,758 worth of food to its food aid partners. In 2020, SPUD supported VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation, Leftovers Foundation, and Squamish Youth Resource Centre, among many others — an ethos that remains the same across its locations.

To learn more about SPUD and try the grocery service for yourself, head to spud.ca.

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