Grocery store steps up to help resident after Saanich jams her stand

Pepper’s Foods will start selling jams previously sold through roadside stand

A local grocery store is filling the gap left by the closure of a popular roadside jam stand.

Starting Thursday, Pepper’s Foods will start selling jams and salsas that Katherine Little had previously sold through her jam stand on Queensbury Avenue.

The stand closed at midnight, June 22 following a bylaw complaint from one of Little’s neighbours and a lengthy but so far unsuccessful campaign that has attracted close to 1,000 supporters to keep the stand open.

Scott Zaichkowsky, head of Pepper’s grocery department, said Little’s offerings fit the business’ mould of featuring local products.

“It fits our theme as far as Pepper’s goes,” he said.

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Zaichkowsky said the store will feature 10 varieties of jam and four kinds of salsa.

Pepper’s Foods will not be the only place Little’s offerings will be available. John’s Place, a downtown restaurant on Pandora Avenue, will start selling her jams on July 15.

That will be exactly one week after Little is before Saanich council in an attempt to get her stand re-opened.

Saanich staff, meanwhile, are looking at “options and implications for considering bylaw changes” that would permit local produce and processed food stands to operate in Saanich on private property and immediately adjacent to boulevards, both inside and outside of the Urban Containment Boundary (UCB).

It all started two months ago with a bylaw complaint that focused on two elements: signage and the stand itself, with staff noting that Little’s home lacks zoning for individual business and retail sales. Saanich permits produce sales of items produced on rural zoned properties.

Little started the operation about a year ago, preserving surplus fruit growing on her property. Donations from friends and family helped Little expand her offerings as the stand started to turn into a neighbourhood attraction. The stand also helped Little to deal with personal issues.

Little worked for Canada Borders Services in Vancouver for 18 years before suffering injuries in the line of duty that left her physically unable to work and with post-traumatic stress disorder. “I have been mentally and physically retired,” she said earlier.


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