The original idea for Westcoast Gourmet Provisions came from a need to “scratch my own itch”, when as a visitor to Vancouver Island, it wasn’t always easy to find fresh produce or seafood, locally roasted coffee, unique specialty foods, or the best local vendors. Not in a timely manner at least. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a box of local food products delivered to my vacation home or hotel room when I arrived, so that I could sit and stare at the ocean while enjoying award winning cheeses, smoked salmon, wine, and craft brews!
If you were to research “Food Provisioning” online today, Google will first spit out some formal definitions:
[pruh-vizh-uh n] noun
1. a clause in a legal instrument, a law, etc., providing for a particular matter; stipulation; proviso.
2. the providing or supplying of something, especially of food or other necessities.
3. arrangement or preparation beforehand, the meeting of needs, the supplying of means.
4. something provided; a measure or other means for meeting a need.
5. a supply or stock of something provided.
6. provisions, supplies of food.
You might then see a few articles about ‘The Biopolitics of Food Provisioning’, written in 2010 by David Nally. “Beginning with Foucault’s writing on food provisioning in the mercantile period, this paper explores how a moral economy of hunger is gradually replaced by a political economy of food security that promotes market mechanisms as a better protection against scarcity.”
And finally, you would see several references to provisioning sailboat charters and vacation homes. Now this is where it starts to get a bit more interesting. When provisioning a sailboat for a week long trip, or a longer excursion around the continent perhaps, you are planning for days at sea, where running out of milk and eggs is not as simple as running to the neighbourhood market. You may be planning meals weeks in advance, balancing food preferences for crew, looking at nutritional requirements, and not knowing for sure whether the next port will provide an opportunity to restock the shelves or not.
While on vacation, travellers are more interested now than ever in cooking some of their own meals, not relying 100% on restaurant food, providing healthy options for their families, and learning about the local culture and products available in the region that they are visiting. Television and the Food Network in particular have opened up a whole new world of ideas, not only for restaurants to visit, but also for ways to use new products, in new ways.
The end goal for Westcoast Gourmet Provisions is to offer more than an online market for specialty products, and to really share our love of Vancouver Island – it’s people, places, products, and experiences. Our focus is on food and beverage experiences, or culinary tourism, helping to promote and grow local businesses while allowing visitors to get a sense of what makes the Island so special. We are curators and connectors, and our focus is not only in provisioning visitors with local products, but in helping plan, provide, and prepare for local experiences.