Save-On-Foods president Darrell Jones. (Special to the Langley Advance Times)

WHAT’S IN STORE: New title for tops Langley chamber staffer

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Sometimes it feels like all I talk about in this business column is food, but on occasion there are other issues.

Before I segue over to the topic of food, again, let me start with a congratulation to a prominent person in the Langley business community.

Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce announced Monday they changed the title for the top job in the business advocacy organization.

Colleen Clark, previously known as the chamber’s executive director, has been elevated to the title of Chief Executive Officer (CEO), announced president Jack Nicholson.

“The Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce initiated this title change to reflect the hard work that Colleen has done since joining the organization three years ago,” he said. “We appreciate her passion and knowledge, when it comes to our chamber and the network as a whole.”

The title change also reflects the direction that the chamber is taking as one of the largest chambers of commerce/boards of trade in B.C., with its 1,030 + members and volunteers.

And speaking of chamber happenings, there’s an upcoming chamber event you might be interested in.

The new CoWorks by Elevate has opened and is hosting the chamber’s monthly Business After Hours mixer this time.

The networking even is happening on Thursday, June 27, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

“Hosted on a monthly basis by Langley chamber members, the Business After Hours mixers are the perfect opportunity to connect with Langley’s business community in a casual and fun environment,” Nicholson said.

“On top of the great networking, you can enjoy complimentary appetizers, and be entered to win a door prize.” And in this case, it’s a chance to check out the reinvented Envision site at the corner of 206th Street and Fraser Highway.

It is a free event, but pre-registration is required by calling the chamber office at 604-371-3770 or by visiting the chamber website at www.langleychamber.com.

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Free chicken for charity on Sunday

Langley Food Bank will benefit directly from a special fundraiser happening this Sunday (June 23) at two Nando’s restaurants in town.

The restaurants are participating, between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., in what’s dubbed #NandosDash. In exchange for a non-perishable food item for the food bank, Nandos is giving guests a free flame-grilled 1/4 chicken with PERi-PERi fries.

This is your opportunity to help your local community in the fight against hunger and enjoy free chicken, said Nando’s Canada CEO Kevin Lindhorst.

“Nando’s is invested in the communities we are a part of. The Dash gives us such a unique opportunity to treat our guests while also giving back to local community food banks. What’s not to love?”

On your marks. Get set. Dash!

Race on in, and help feed your family and Langley’s homeless and marginalized.

Like every race, there are rules. In this case, it’s on a first-come, first-serve basis, so be prepared to race other PERi-PERi fans to get your free fix!

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Giving to food banks

The synergy between grocery stores and food banks is an obvious one, in my books.

And through the years, having volunteered with food banks, and worked closely with a number of the big name grocery chains, I have to commend all that has been done.

Two initiatives that have changed the ability of food banks to offer more fresh products to its recipients have been the advent of donating produce and baked goods as they near their expiry. And Langley-based Save-On-Foods has been a leader in that effort.

Likewise, Save-On also introduced – years ago – the $2 donation slip at the tills. You might be happy to know those donations made locally stay right here in this community.

I bring up these efforts, because I want to laud another initiative – albeit relatively new – that Save-On has embarked on to help feed the hungry in Langley.

They’ve just wrapped up the second annual Share It Forward event.

After the success of the inaugural Share It Forward last summer, the grocer held the 2019 event this past week (it wrapped up on Wednesday, June 19).

During the seven-day event, half of the net proceeds of every Western Family product sold at Save-On-Foods, PriceSmart Foods, and Urban Fare stores – up to $300,000 – was being donated directly to support local food banks in (you guessed it) Western Canada.

Each store across Western Canada – from Vancouver Island to Winnipeg to Whitehorse and everywhere in between, took part, including the Willowbrook, downtown Langley City, Walnut Grove, and Aldergrove stores in Langley.

Again, they keep those local donations in the same communities where they were raised, so that means a lot to Sources Langley Food Bank and all its clients.

“Last summer our stores and customers really came together to support their neighbours. I am so proud of what we accomplished together, and can’t wait to see what we [have achieved] this year,” said Save-On-Foods president Darrell Jones.

“Save-On-Foods is our biggest retail donor, and we are so excited to be involved in their Share It Forward event for the second year in a row,” said Laura Lansink, executive director of Food Banks BC.

“We are so thankful for the support of Save-On-Foods and their customers, as these donations go towards providing nutritious meals to the 80,000 British Columbians who rely on the food banks in their communities every single month.”

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Me -N- Ed’s turns 50

Okay, so here’s a skill testing question to all you folks out there who are new to Langley.

Do you have any idea what used to occupy the space in downtown Langley City that’s now home to Me-N- Ed’s Pizza Parlor?

The overall company has been around for 50 years, as of June 21. While I’ve been around a little longer than that, I wasn’t always in Langley all that time, but I know the restaurant didn’t actually come to town until much later.

So back to my question. What used to be in that space on the southwest corner of 203rd Street and Fraser Highway?

My recollections were, when we arrived in town during the early 1970s, that the space was used by the former provincial liquor store – before it moved up to 64th Avenue.

Can anyone offer more history of the site.

What I can tell you is that it is now, and has been for many years, the Langley location of Me-N-Eds Pizza.

While there have been a few of these restaurants around the Lower Mainland through the years, Langley seems to be the only one in the Fraser Valley that survived. There are three others across the river in Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam, and Burnaby.

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Serving up Canadian birds

Again on the topic of food, I wonder if KFC recent partnership with Canadian chicken farmers is going to be felt at the local farm level.

We still have a few such farmers in the Fraser Valley that might herald news that the fast-food giant is launching a Canadian farmer branding program.

What does that mean? From what I understand, it means the KFC Canada restaurants will be selling chicken raised in the country and to a set quality and care standard, said Nivera Wallani, president and general manager of KFC Canada.

“KFC Canada stands behind its chicken quality and taste credentials and we’re proud to serve chicken that Canadians trust and love, from our classic original recipe buckets to our boneless tenders,” Wallani said.

“Featuring the Chicken Farmers of Canada Raised by a Canadian Farmer seal on our products demonstrates and reinforces not only our support for Canadian chicken farmers, but our commitment to serving chicken raised with industry-leading animal welfare, food safety and sustainability practices.”

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O’Canada pancakes campaign?

For the third year running, Ricky’s restaurants (we have one in Walnut Grove, another in Murrayville, one on the Langley Bypass, and another on 64th Avenue) are showing their Canadian pride by helping feed hungry kids.

From Monday, June 24 through Canada Day, customers can order one or more of Ricky’s limited edition Canada-themed pancakes (traditional pancake with a red maple leaf in the middle, and loaded with strawberries and whipped cream) for just $1.50 (before 11 a.m.) and all proceeds are being donated to Breakfast Club of Canada.

The goal of the campaign, said senior vice-president Stacey Hansson, is to provide breakfasts to as many youth as possible.

With much of the focus being put on fundraising campaigns during the holiday season, it is sometimes forgotten that the same struggles exist year round, Hansson said.

This community, through a number of incredible in-school initiatives, does a great job ensuring local students are not going hungry.

This is just one more initiative that helps those efforts.

Astonishing facts: In Canada, one child in five is at risk of starting the school day on an empty stomach due to a lack of access to nutritious food. This number is even higher in Aboriginal communities and among immigrants.

The Breakfast Club of Canada’s mission is to nourish children’s potential by making sure that as many of them have access to a healthy morning meal before school as possible, in an environment that allows their self-esteem to grow and flourish.

Since beginning their partnership, Ricky’s has raised $250,000 for the organization.

So, if you’re having for a hankering for pancakes, consider this option next week.

Those unable to make it to Ricky’s during the campaign need not worry, as they can contribute year-round by ordering the Breakfast Club sandwich, which donates $1 per sandwich to Breakfast Club of Canada, as well.

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RECENT COLUMNS:

WHAT’S IN STORE: New on the grocery front in Langley

WHAT’S IN STORE: Caffeine drip, please

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Flame-grilled 1/4 chicken with PERi-PERi fries are yours Sunday, if you bring a non-perishable food donation to the local Nando’s restaurant between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. (Special to the Langley Advance Times)

Ricky’s has returned with their special O’Canada pancakes next week, using them to raise money for the Breakfast Club of Canada. (Special to the Langley Advance Times)

Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce president Jack Nicholson (right) announced this week that Colleen Clark, the former executive director, now has a new title. She’s CEO. (Langley Advance Times files)

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