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Sobeys launches a local box to highlight female food entrepreneurs

Collaboration with Nature Knows comes just in time for International Women’s Day

A new Sobeys initiative in Ontario lets customers discover local products from women-owned businesses.

The grocer launched the Fab Female Local Box featuring 17 products from 12 women-owned businesses. The products range from tea, popcorn and granola bars, to lip balm and hand wash. The box will be available until March 8, International Women’s Day, and retails for $39.99 with a $65+ value.

The initiative was a collaboration between Sobeys and Nature Knows, a woman-owned business that sells ready-to-eat, fresh fruits and veggies in custom-designed sustainable packaging. Nature Knows designed the Local Box itself, which is biodegradable, and helped curate the products.

“Sobeys began as a small, family-owned business, so we are very committed to supporting small and local whenever we can,” says Sheri Evans, Sobeys’ local development manager, Ontario. “We wanted to highlight some of the great women-owned businesses right here in Ontario for International Women’s Day, and that’s how this box came to be. Sustainability is really important to us, so we knew we wanted this project to be as eco-friendly as possible.”

Each box contains a card with an overview of the products and a QR code that takes customers to the Canadian Women in Food website, which helps support women-owned food and beverage businesses.

“There are so many phenomenal women-owned brands and we want to give them more of a spotlight,” says Andrea Watson, CEO of Nature Knows and national ambassador for Canadian Women in Food. She adds that woman-owned businesses play a valuable role in helping families, communities and the economy. “We don’t realize just how many companies really do hold us all up,” says Watson.

The brands featured in the box are: From Farm to Table, Genuine Tea, Giddy Yo, Gldn Hour, Happy Pops, Healthy Crunch, Hitchhiker Beverage Company, Lemon Aide, Metta Tea Co., Provisions Food Company, Rawcology, and Walton Wood Farm.

The products were already available at Sobeys, but the initiative brings them together. “We know that Canadians are looking to support local businesses more than ever, and we want to connect those customers with the great local brands we carry in our stores,” says Evans. “With in-person demonstrations cancelled due to COVID-19, we were looking for unique alternatives to get these great products in front of customers.”

Watson notes that representatives from the brands featured in the Local Box came together to pack the boxes (minding safety protocols) at a co-packing facility. The boxes were shipped by a Black-woman-owned logistics company called Simplify Supply Chain Solutions.

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