The City of Thunder Bay’s Pioneer Ridge Long-Term Care Home is now spending approximately 30% of its raw food budget with suppliers in Thunder Bay and the surrounding region. Feedback from the three farmers we asked about their experiences supplying the local institution was very positive. Orders from Pioneer Ridge are consistent and are planned in advance so the farmers know about upcoming orders. The negotiated prices are fair, and deliveries are regular.
Henriet DeBruin runs DeBruin’s Greenhouses with her husband Arjen and has been supplying the City of Thunder Bay’s Pioneer Ridge Long-Term Care Home with tomatoes, lettuce and cucumbers for about five years. She asks prospective buyers to be aware that they’ll likely spend a little more up front for quality local products, but will make up the difference in reduced food waste and greater customer satisfaction.
Mike Visser raises veal for the local market at MyPride Farm in Thunder Bay. He’s been supplying the City of Thunder Bay’s Pioneer Ridge Long-Term Care Home with ground veal and veal stew meat for eight years, and says that this was the sole income stream to remain stable and consistent during the upheaval of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jeff Burke of Brule Creek Farms grows cereal grains and canola in Kakabeka Falls to manufacture Brule Creek Farms flours, baking mixes and canola oil. He supplies the City of Thunder Bay’s Pioneer Ridge Long-Term Care Home and says his favourite part of the relationship is the way the kitchen team brings their own expertise to the table to customize products to best fit their needs.