Customers scale the aisles at Save-On Foods in South Surrey

South Surrey grocery store first in B.C. to sell wine (with VIDEO)

The Save-On at South Point became the first grocery store in the province to stock and sell alcohol, on April 1, 2015.



B.C. wines have arrived on the shelves of South Point’s Save-On-Foods.

The grocery store became the first in the province to sell alcohol on Wednesday, after reports of the new product coming to South Surrey began circulating last week.

“As of this morning, you can buy wine there,” a Ministry of Justice official told the Peace Arch News Wednesday, prior to the unveiling.

According to a news release, the Save-On location is partnering with the BC Wine Institute to represent almost 100 wineries, offering around 500 different B.C. wines on its shelves. All of the wine is to be kept on designated shelves and must be purchased at tills that have a Serving It Right-certified cashier who is at least 19 years old, the release states.

“No one wants to alcohol in the hands of minors,” said Justice Minister Suzanne Anton, on-hand to drop the curtain on Save-On’s new wine aisles.

She also called concerns over price hikes (for customers) not just “fear-mongering” but “beer-mongering”, and she said prices would be more-or-less the same between private and government vendors.

“What customers wanted was wine in grocery (stores) and that’s why we’re here today,” Anton said, referencing the province’s findings from its Liquor Policy Review. Victoria says 80 per cent of all surveyed asked for liquor in grocery stores, which has been rolled out starting Wednesday.

“Liquor sales in grocery stores start today and that’s no April Fool’s,” Anton added.

See: ‘Liquor price changes small so far‘ by Tom Fletcher (April 1, 2015)

Food and wine pairings, including samples of wine, are also allowed in-aisle as a result of the province’s updated liquor rules.

Those changes – resulting from the Liquor Policy Review, which was completed in late 2013 – are intended to increase competition in the marketplace, support a level playing field for liquor retailers in B.C. and increase convenience, choice and selection for shoppers, the release states.Anton described it as “a milestone event for B.C.’s progress in modernizing our liquor laws.”

MLA John Yap, who led the press conference in Surrey, also said the new rules “reflect modern-day British Columbia”.

Overwaitea Food Group and Save-On-Foods president Darrell Jones said the addition of B.C. wines to the store is “a great extension of our already industry-leading selection of local products.”

“Save-On-Foods is the perfect pairing for B.C.’s wine-on-shelves model, as we serve many nearby residents and visiting guests,” Jones said, in a released statement. “We see local, high-quality BC VQA wines as a great extension of our already industry-leading selection of local products.”

An ad on workopolis.com invited applications through April 1 for the position of ‘Wine Advisor’ at the store.

“Being a part of the Save-On-Foods team, the wine advisor will work in our wine department to create an exciting legendary customer service experience with prompt service, product knowledge expertise, and quality local wine products…,” the ad states.

According to a Ministry of Justice news release issued last week, April 1 marked the first day that licensed grocery stores “are allowed to sell liquor through the store-within-a-store model and wine-on-shelves model.”

The government’s news release, issued Wednesday, says the “store-within-a-store” model will also allow grocery stories to offer a “full-suite of alcohol products”, and it will be adopted gradually at locations throughout B.C.

– With files and photos from Kolby Solinsky, Black Press

Backyard Wines in BC Grocery stores

Backyard Wines was featured on the shelves at Save-On Foods Wednesday, on the first day of B.C.’s new era offering alcohol in grocery stores.

Wines at Save-On Foods in B.C.

Customers look at the estimated 100 wineries and 500 different wines on display – and for sale – at Save-On Foods in South Surrey, B.C.

Wines at Save-On Foods

Wines on parade in South Surrey, for sale on the shelves of South Point’s Save-On Foods for the first time, on April 1, 2015.

Just Posted

Four years for manslaughter in Surrey drive-by shooting

Mahdi Halane was rendered a quadriplegic until his death in hospital six years later at age 24.

Author at Surrey event glad to have book published ‘before reality totally overtakes fiction’

Ari Goelman, a business and criminology instructor, speaks at KPU Reads gathering Jan. 22

Cloverdale banker shares his love of swing dancing

Cloverdale’s Phillip Kunz shows dancing newcomers how to get into the swing of things

White Rock cannabis and adult entertainment bylaws to move to public hearings

Council will seek input on potential of allowing contentious businesses in city limits

SURREY EVENTS GUIDE for Jan. 17 and beyond

Plays, concerts, fundraisers and more in our weekly guide for Surrey and area

VIDEO: Orcas put on a show near Hornby Island

Louis Jobodin shares photos and video of his experience

Body discovered in burnt out car near Trail

Police report a body was found in the burnt out trunk of a 1999 Honda Civic

VIDEO: B.C. Lions sign defensive back T.J. Lee to contract for upcoming season

The four-year veteran had a team-high four interceptions and 49 tackles last season with B.C.

How an immigrant to Canada helped Donald Trump prove his mental health

Test that cleared Trump was developed by doctor associated with McGill and Sherbrooke universities

Premier touches on multiple topics ahead of Asia trade trip

Housing and childcare are expected to be the focus of the BC NDP’s first budget in February.

UPDATE: Friends mourn boy, 15, killed in Vancouver shooting

John Horgan: ‘No stone is to be left unturned until we find the perpetrator of this heinous crime’

VIDEO: Explorers uncover Canada’s deepest cave in Fernie

The cave, named Bisaro Anima, was confirmed to have broken the record on New Year’s Day

Vernon to host largest Special Olympics B.C. Winter Games in 2019

Games to be held Feb. 21-23, with more than 800 athletes expected to take part

Ex-BC Liberal staffer focused on ‘favourable’ ethnic communities in scandal: lawyer

Former communications director Brian Bonney’s sentencing hearing for breach of trust is underway

Most Read