Pride in product, pride in country are common themes in two award-winning exhibits at the recent Canadian Produce Marketing Association Convention and Trade Show.
Best Inline Booth was awarded to Peak of the Market for its rink display inspired by the hometown Winnipeg Jets. Every detail was brought to life with more than 20 types of vegetables forming a 70-foot living wall that replicated rink boards. Artificial ice was installed so that staff members could wear skates. The Peak of the Market logo was fittingly at center ice. And the smiling faces of grower families had front row seats in the mural of Winnipeg Jets fans.
“We came up with the idea last December,” said Mark Zachanowich, vice-president operations for Peak of the Market. “We wanted to bring all Canadians together and what better way than under the banner of hockey.”
The creativity didn’t end there. The booth was interactive, encouraging convention attendees to take a shot on net. Those who scored were entered for a $5,000 trip. Each entry was multiplied by 10 to represent a 10-pound donation to a food bank in Edmonton, Calgary or Winnipeg. Each score was recorded on a Jumbotron with a “growing” total.
As destiny would have it, the Winnipeg Jets won their seven-game series against the Nashville Predators, with a score of 5-1 on May 10 and now advance to the Western Conference NHL finals. No one is saying who had the inside edge.
Another winning competitor is EarthFresh Foods, who was awarded Best Island Booth for their maple-leaf display composed of red-skinned potatoes, contrasted with white-skinned potatoes.
“The inspiration for the booth came from our core values which include: growth, freshness, healthy living and energy,” said Stephanie Cutaia, marketing manager, EarthFresh Foods. “Showcasing potatoes as fresh, organic and true to our roots is what we do.”
The company commissioned a native Vancouver artist to create the potato art mural. The remainder of the booth showcased four product groupings: Nutrispud, Specialty Items, EarthFresh Usage Program (the right potato for the right cooking job) and Organics.
EarthFresh Foods is expanding its facility at Clay Avenue in Burlington to include a 30,000 square-foot distribution hub. This is to service continued growth. An exclusive program with the Whitney variety – a premium white potato – is having great success grown locally.