Be Fresh completes the neighbourhood.

Laura van der Veer, General Manager and Marketing Director of Be Fresh, said, “We are creating healthy communities one store at a time.”

Laura van der Veer and Laura Darcy.

Spud’s concept store Be Fresh Market and Cafe has done it once again, this time in their new space on west Broadway Kitsilano. They chose this location because West Broadway is a foodie destination.

The hood has been gentrifying, in a good way, where young couples and their young families are moving in to connect with each other.

Be Fresh is a place where people pride themselves on being nice, and loves being a part of their community. You may have visited the first location on Cypress and West First Avenue. The signature store first opened its doors to great welcome from the neighbourhood.

What I like about Be Fresh is that they aim to complete a neighbourhood, never to compete with the community.

The new space on west Broadway is centrally located, with a Crossfit centre right across the street. Gym goers can pop into Be Fresh for a healthy meal anytime of the day. These meals are chock full of goodness with ingredients like salmon and quinoa, brown rice and vegetables, and loads of fresh greens.

On this stretch of West Broadway is a Persian grocery store and Parthenon Greek supermarket, Neverland Tea Salon for an afternoon’s extravagance, and lots of boutiques and specialty shops.

When I visited I picked up organic milk, vegetables and rice, then I popped into the the fish shop next door to get some sustainably harvested mackerel. A healthy and feel-good dinner was served an hour later. Supporting local suppliers and businesses can do wonders for the soul.

Be Fresh choose their products based on an internal system – local, organic, community involvement – and then moves up the chain to fill the gaps.

They will always choose the little guys first, and the number one requirement is clean products.

For example one supplier they choose is Agro Roasters, a local very small coffee bean roaster business.

Laura van der Veer said, “They supply a great product and they need a helping hand up, that is what Be Fresh is here for.”

Be Fresh quickly becomes a community hub for the neighbourhood, a place where locals can meet, eat and network.

This is a place where you can pick and choose your ingredients. Or have a healthy breakfast of avocado smash on toast.

They also offer a catering menu for those impromptu parties, and there’s free parking too.

They are aware, prepared, and believes strongly in a waste-free society – excess produce and meats are used up in the store’s creations and the rest is donated to Food Stash Foundation.

The happiest and healthiest bunch of people I ever did see. Team Be Fresh.

“There is success in growth. Be Fresh believes success is possible for every small business if local businesses support each other. ” – Laura van de Meer.


I love my Vancouver communities.


Samantha McLeod

Vancouver based food and travel writer.

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