Creating a community for local food at Home Grow-In Grocery

Mt Pleasant's Home Grow-In Grocery exemplifies a community based on trust and a wealth of local food.

Credit: Michael Robertson

Home-Grow-In local food store

Home Grow-In’s Deb Reynolds is a cross between a fairy godmother and The Godfather


Deb Reynolds at Home Grow-In Grocery in doing at least two things right in my book. And both those initiatives stem from “Aunty” Deb’s drive to give real meaning back to the word “community.”


Home Grow-In Grocery

196 W 18th Ave, Vancouver  

Deb and her staff take the time to get to know their customers—and to trust them. Deb is a firm believer that community is buit on trust. If you don’t have cash (or a cheque) on you, you can come back and pay later.


A country market in metro Vancouver

Sitting on the corner of 18th and Columbia, not far from the community gardens of Vancouver City Hall, the Home Grow-In Grocery store (with its blue adirondack chairs) looks like it belongs on the side of a country road. But the little corner store has made a home for itself on the quiet suburban street in the last year, and has become a meeting place for local residents.


Connecting communities and local foods in the city of Vancouver

Aside from the small-town conviviality of the store and the opportunity to chat to their neighbours, locals flock to the store to buy local produce.


A hundred percent of the goods are grown and produced in BC. In keeping with her sense of community, Deb (an organic farmer in the Okanagan before this latest venture) works closely with seven “family” farms from whom she sources her produce.


As well as selling the produce in her store, Deb hosts a co-op that connects the farms to residents. A hundred percent of the revenue from the co-op goes to the farmers.


Waste management

Home Grow-In exemplifies many of the qualities I was looking for in my last sustenance post on waste management and the redistribution of “waste” food. Deb’s close relationship with the farms, as well as her Okanagan connections, allows her to facilitate a connection between growers and many of the local foodbanks and women’s shelters. Thanks to Deb’s encouragement, many farms collect “imperfect” produce for donation, as well as making generous donations of food to fill shortfalls.


Definitely worthy of a buycott.


When was the last time you had a real conversation with a shopkeeper?