Local bakery making most of green opportunities

Lake Village co-owner Meagan Young-Bibby and employees Chantel Harder and Sam Laven prepare dough for a day's baking.

The Osoyoos community’s favourite boutique bakery is giving customers another reason to really, really like it.

The Lake Village Bakery is taking steps to reduce its carbon footprint.

“We love Osoyoos, and like many of our wonderful guests, we are passionate about the environment; both here in the South Okanagan, and globally,” explained co-owner Ian Young-Bibby, who with wife Meghan own and operate the popular Cottonwood Plaza business.

“Over the past year, The Lake Village Bakery has been thoughtfully implementing changes to the way we operate our business, working towards becoming a more sustainable and green business.”

None of the changes are unremarkable, but combined the little measures are allowing the bakery to set an example for others in the community to follow.

The changes include:

Storefront renovation — by moving the bread counter behind the till, the bakery has reduced the amount of plastic and paper bread bags given out each day;

Going paperless at the coffee station — the bakery no longer carries single-use coffee cups or lids, reducing the amount of waste leaving the bakery. It now provides ceramic, washable mugs that can be taken and returned, and encourages the use of reusable to-go coffee cups.

No more print receipts (unless requested) — by not printing unwanted receipts from till and debit machines, the bakery has saved almost 300 rolls of till paper over the past year.

Increased the use of reusable containers  — by using more reusable containers for storage, the bakery has cut down the use of plastic cling wrap and hopes to be completely cling wrap free.

More reusable items in our retail section — the bakery has introduced The Market Bags reusable bread and baguette, produce, and snack bags, along with a variety of sizes of Abeego Food Wraps.

“By giving our guests more sustainable options within our bakery, we can all do our bit to help reduce unnecessary waste in our community,” said Ian.

Purchased microfibre cloths for cleaning — by having more reusable cloths on hand for cleaning glass, work surfaces and shelving units, the bakery is no longer wasting paper towels, while still keeping its work areas sparkly clean.

Carrying local products — by committing to keeping our retail items local, the bakery cuts down on emissions from transport, while also helping to boost the local economy.

“We work hard each day to source the best products the province has to offer, and we feel very honoured to have such great industry partners and guests,” said Ian.

The bakery, Ian adds, expects to make additional upgrades and modifications to help it to achieve its goal of becoming a more sustainable business.

“In the coming weeks, we are doing an upgrade to our walk-in cooler and compressor that will not only allow us more space to increase production during high-volume days, but will also be more energy efficient,” said Ian.

“The new compressor unit will use less energy, while still allowing us to hold more loaves for cold proofing, in hopes of having less early sellouts during the peak season.”

The bakery also plans to eliminate plastic bread bags

“We have made a conscious decision not to order any more of these bags and will be going plastic-free when we run out of the current inventory within the next few weeks,” said Ian.

“In place of the plastic bread bags, all loaves, sliced or whole, will be supplied in a convenient, more environmentally-friendly, paper bag.”

That change, he added, will require some customer support, but the Youngs believe their clientele are on-side with the bakery’s efforts.

“If you would like to bring in a reusable bag (plastic or otherwise), we will gladly put your bread in that for you, or you are more than welcome to put your bread into your own bread bag when you get home,” he said.

“We have already cut down the use of plastic bread bags by only giving them out by request, and our guests have been fantastic in supporting us in that endeavour and helping us to reduce waste within our business.”

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