Save-On-Foods in Surrey first B.C. grocery store to sell wine

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Wine bottles/Shutterstock

It’s official: The Save-On-Foods in South Surrey will be the first grocery store to sell wine under the province’s new liquor laws.

Save On Foods at South Point (3033 152 Street, Surrey) is now the first supermarket in B.C. to offer the “wine-on-shelves” model of alcohol sales. This was achieved through a partnership with the BC Wine Institute, and means about 500 different B.C. wines will now be sold in the store, according to a release issued by the Ministry of Justice.

Wine bottles on store shelves/Shutterstock

SEE ALSO: BC's new liquor laws: 4 things you should know on April 1

“We are very pleased to be able to add to our high-quality shopping experience by bringing this choice to customers,” said Darrell Jones, president, Overwaitea Food Group and Save-On-Foods.

Under this model, all wine will be kept on designated shelves, and must be purchased at tills that have a Serving It Right certified, 19+ cashier. “Food and wine pairings, including samples of wine, are also allowed in-aisle, thanks to recently updated rules,” notes the Ministry of Justice. This is similar to the sampling that is now taking place at B.C.’s farmers’ markets.

BC Government/Save-On-Foods

BC Government/Save-On-Foods

“The B.C. government created this model to support the smaller B.C. wine producers – offering them space right on the shelves to promote their B.C. wines and providing shoppers with a unique new experience. Our BC VQA wine is a natural fit for this model, and one that we were able to adapt quickly and easily to fit Save-On-Foods’ new in-aisle option for wine on shelves,” said Miles Prodan, president and CEO, BC Wine Institute in the release.

What is still in the works is the store-within-a-store model of alcohol sales. Licenses for those operations are still being awarded and re-allocated. The “store-within-a-store” model will be rolled out gradually.

Other changes in B.C. liquor laws in effect April 1 include new on-shelf tax-less pricing at BC Liquor Stores, extended BCLS hours (including some Sundays and holidays), and the option for cold beer and wine sales at BCLS.

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Lindsay William-Ross Lindsay is a Senior Editor at Vancity Buzz, and currently runs the site's Food section. A fourth generation Vancouverite, she spent the last two decades in Los Angeles, where she was EIC of the city's top blog, earned her MA, attended culinary school, and was an English professor (among other things). Lindsay's first published piece was December 1980 in The Province; it was her letter to Santa. E-mail: lindsay@vancitybuzz.com
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