20 Feb $6 for a Can of Tomatoes?!
Yesterday I attended my very first cooking class at Well Seasoned in Langley, BC. For those of you who’ve never been, it’s a fantastic experience and I highly recommend it; Angie (the owner) is awesome, the food is delicious, and it’s a great way to spend an afternoon!
But that’s really not the point of this story. This story is about a $6 can of tomatoes.
Angie taught our group how to make the most amazing tomato soup I’ve ever eaten. The recipe called for a large can of plum tomatoes, and Angie used a brand she imports from Italy (which Well Seasoned of course sells in its retail store). They taste unbelievable, but each can costs $6.
Now $6 is pretty steep for a can of tomatoes, compared to the $1.49 bargains at most of the major grocery chains in Vancouver. They’re just tomatoes, after all. I mean, what kind of sucker would be crazy enough to buy tomatoes that expensive?
See, for me, buying a $6 can of tomatoes wasn’t about paying $6 for a can of tomatoes. I’d built a connection with a local business, who taught me how to use these tomatoes in my own cooking? I value that.
By buying these tomatoes at this local business, I’m supporting my community and a business that’s willing to sell a can of tomatoes for $6 because it’s the best! And Well Seasoned cares about that. I value that.
Sure, the tomatoes themselves aren’t local; they’re imported (from Italy), but Angie knows everything she needs to about where those tomatoes come from to know that they’re some of the best you can buy. I value that too.
You know what’s in that can of tomatoes? Tomatoes. That’s it. No chemicals, no preservatives, no artificial colour, no added sugar. So much cleaner than a $1.49 can of tomatoes, and the kind of food I want to put in my body. I value that.
Of course, not everybody is willing or able to spend $6 for a can of tomatoes. If I was on a tight tomato budget and didn’t have $6, I wouldn’t have bought them. I can go just about anywhere and find cheaper tomatoes. But it’s about more than just the price. It’s about the value, and I do my best to purchase goods and services from businesses that care about what I care about.
What do you value?