Articles : Think Local First
Join us as our Program + Membership Coordinator

ACCOUNTABLE TO: Board of Directors

SUMMARY OF THE POSITION: The Program + Membership Coordinator is responsible for the daily management of Think Local First according to the strategic direction set by the Board of Directors. The areas of focus of this position include:

  • Member relations, communications, and events
  • New member acquisition


Administration & Planning

  • Manage administrative aspects of TLF including maintaining records of member businesses including the ambassador lists, billing members for dues, welcoming new businesses, distributing new member packages and updating email list as required.
  • Update the TLF website – adding and updating new business profile when members join, de-activating profiles when members leave, updating the alphabetical list of members.
  • Create content for the website showcasing events and news.
  • Participate with the Board of Directors in developing strategic plans that reflect the priorities of TLF.
  • Participate as a non-voting member of the Board of Directors plus board committees as required.

Member Relations & Communication

  • Deepen and refine all aspects of communications—from web presence to external relations with the goal of creating a stronger brand.
  • Actively engage and energize TLF member businesses, board members, and sponsors.
  • Communicate with member businesses to keep them informed of the TLF events and benefits (mainly via an email newsletter).
  • Communicate with member businesses and prospective members via email, social media and in-person visits.
  • Establish productive working relationships with community groups, and local businesses with an interest or potential interest in TLF.
  • Actively recruit eligible businesses to become members; these businesses may be those suggested by Board members or member businesses.
  • Represent TLF at mixers, presentations, meetings, workshops and public events, as required.
  • Enhance TLF’s public image and positive profile through pro-active media and marketing activities sanctioned by the Board of Directors.


The following skills are required for this position:

  • A working knowledge of Microsoft Office products including Word, Excel and PowerPoint
  • Familiarity with updating a WordPress website
  • Experience managing social media channels for an organization
  • Ability to work without direct supervision
  • Strong work ethic and positive attitude and initiative for ongoing learning
  • Organized, resourceful and have impeccable attention to detail
  • Experience in membership-based organizations considered an asset
  • Familiarity with QuickBooks online accounting software an asset

Employment Type: Indefinite contract position. Work remotely as Think Local First does not have an office. Possibility of a co-working space membership.

Hours: 20 hours/week

Hourly Rate: $30/hour

Start Date: Flexible

Please send your resume and cover letter to by 16 April 2021.

March 24, 2021 / by / in
Holiday Lookbook

We encourage you to spend your money with local businesses during the holiday season in an effort to help your neighborhood businesses remain viable. There are good reasons to keep dollars local.

As customers, we are about to collectively spend a large portion of our annual shopping budget between now and Dec 31. If you join us in shifting those dollars to locally-owned, independent businesses, we’ll all help generate 2-3 times as much economic activity in our community than if we had spent our money at a national chain.

Supporting local businesses allows them to support local charitable causes which need increased support during this holiday season. This may not be at the front of your mind when you are ticking off your Christmas list, but know there is a huge benefit to your community when you spend your money at local businesses.

Browse our Holiday Lookbook and discover local businesses you should be adding to your list of shopping destinations!

November 27, 2020 / by / in
Explore :: The Shops at Mattick’s Farm

If you lived in Victoria in the early 20th century, you would likely travel to Cordova Bay for summer vacation.  Your family would sleep on the beach on a bed of hay and enjoy roasting corn and potatoes on a fire. Today, Cordova Bay is a destination of a different kind. This urban community has a vibrant feel with businesses, schools, shopping and residents.

One of our favourite destinations in this neighbourhood is the Shops at Mattick’s Farm.  It has just the right mix of services, retail, and dining options. The architecture is modern mixed with vintage which creates an atmosphere of visiting someplace with history and a bright future.

The Shops at Mattick's Farm in Cordova Bay is a great spot for shopping, dining, and enjoying a sunny day.


In the 1950’s, you could frequent the Mattick’s farm stand owned by Bill Mattick. Bill wanted to sell the produce from his farm directly to the consumer, eliminating the middleman. So, it seems appropriate then that the Shops at Mattick’s Farm includes a location of  Red Barn Market.  They keep the tradition of providing the residents of Cordova Bay with fresh, local produce and grocery items alive.

The Red Barn market location at Mattick's Farm was renovated in 2017 to make room for more grocery products.


Today, you can also shop at Liquor Plus for an expansive selection of local and international wines, spirits, beer and cider. They built their business on providing their customers with amazing product knowledge and customer service. Today you can search for product information with one of their staff or by using on of their in-store tablets.

Liquor Plus at Mattick's Farm features craft beer, local and international wines, ciders and spirits.



Looking for something more fashionable and foot-friendly? The Shop’s at Mattick’s Farm have you covered with shoes from A Stable Way of Life. Their shop features footwear for a city or country lifestyle with the common elements of quality and style. If you are a cat, dog or horse lover, their collection of socks, handbags and accessories is sure to please.

A Stable Way of Life has footwear as well as clothing and accessories for the cat, dog and horse lover.


Download the Think Local First app to collect points when you visit our member businesses. You can redeem the points for discounts.

We love that there are three Think Local First member businesses  at Mattick’s Farm, which means that you can support local businesses when you shop with them, but you can also collect points on our app. Have you downloaded it and set up an account yet? Find out more so you can start collecting points and redeem them for discounts.




January 14, 2019 / by / in
Holiday Greetings

We love the holiday commercials our members create with CHEK TV each year. It seems to have become a trend to incorporate a theme or sentiment that really stands out (think plaid suit!). So, here are the commercials from 2018:


The first video features Chateau Victoria with their skit, Mayfair Optometric Clinic (Dr. Taylor and his ties!), and Help Fill A Dream.


Next is Ruffell & Brown Window Fashions, Frontrunners, and Island Blue.


The next set of holiday greetings are from EZ Lube, Max Furniture and Maximum Express Courier and Seafirst Insurance (did you catch the plaid suit?).


Monk Office, Dutch Bakery and Artina’s Jewellery also got into the holiday spirit.


Finally, please follow this link to see the holiday greetings from the Vitamin Shop, Spinnakers and Country Grocer (is that a turkey hat??).

THINK LOCAL XMAS 2018 -VIT SPIN CG 2018 from CHEK on Vimeo.

December 27, 2018 / by / in
Super Heroes in Victoria!

Are you looking for a Holiday gift idea that can make Dreams come true for local children?

We can help! Have your heard of the 2019 Junior Superheroes calendar?

Is it a bird, is it a plane, no, it’s … the 2019 Junior Superheroes crew! For one day only the Superheroes of Victoria transformed 11 Vancouver Island super kids into crime-fighting, power-wielding superheroes. Providing specially tailored costumes, green screen technology and a whole toolbag of props and tricks, some truly deserving kids got the chance to experience a transforming photoshoot.

This is year number two for this amazing project. Working in conjunction with Help Fill a Dream, nominations were sought for kids who would benefit from this unique experience. The children are all living with life-changing medical conditions that present daily challenges to them and their families. As well as being superheroes for the day the kids also became the stars of the 2019 Junior Superhero calendar. All funds raised from the sale of the calendars goes directly to making Dreams come true for local children with life-threatening medical conditions.

The photoshoot took place in September and on November 3,the calendar was launched at the Charlie White Theatre at the Mary Winspear Centre. There were many emotional moments as families shared their stories and the children got to see the photo of their super alter-egos for the first time.

The project has brought together many local artists, all of whom have volunteered their time and skills.

Help Fill A Dream has been a proud Think Local First member for three years and they were joined on this project this year by three other Think Local First members – Peninsula Co-op (costume sponsor) and Country Grocer and Monk Office (retailers of the calendar). Thank you to these incredible community partners. Calendars are also available online. Meet the Junior Superheroes through a “behind the scenes” video below.

Help Fill a Dream is a Victoria-based charity that supports local children whose lives have been changed due to a medical condition or severe health challenge.

Since 1986 Help Fill a Dream has been supporting those families from Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands whose lives have suddenly changed due to their child’s diagnosis with a medical condition or severe health challenge. This year, Help Fill A Dream has supported over 500 Island children and their families. 

December 12, 2018 / by / in
How to Celebrate Halloween in #yyj

It is that time of year again. To trick or treat, that is the question on everyone’s mind. This Halloween why not treat yourself and your community by supporting local businesses in your holiday shopping.

Many local Victoria businesses offer spooktacular Halloween decorations, costume materials and much more. There are tons of opportunities in the community to prepare for the ghosts and ghouls that will come out to play on October 31st.

As Halloween creeps near check out our top ideas for the holiday in Victoria and where you can get all the gear you need.


Decorations and Treats


One of the best things to do leading up to Halloween is decorating. This is the one time of year when the more cobwebs inside your home the better. Capital Iron is the perfect place to find some new decorations to add some new fear to last year. Make sure your front yard is Spooktacular as well for all those trick-or-treat visitors you are expecting.


Halloween just wouldn’t be complete without having something to hand out at the door when all the kids start to visit in their costumes. This year try visiting Capital Iron for something other than edible treats, consider giving out glowsticks or stickers. If you just cannot bring yourself to part with handing out candy, choose a local grocery store like Country Grocer, Red Barn Markets or the Market on Yates. If you want to find organic, healthy or vegan treats try visiting The Root Cellar or Peppers Foods.




Would it even be Halloween without costumes? It would just be a bunch of people, with plastic skeletons in the yard, handing candy out to tired children in their regular clothes. If you want to support local this year for your Halloween costumes try shopping at Capital Iron or Women In Need Thrift Stores. We love costumes that are created based on the reused items found at local thrift stores like WIN. Not only does it save you time but it repurposes old items and you feel more pride having created the costume on your own. It is a Win-Win when you shop at WIN for your costume needs.


Are you super crafty and know exactly what you want? Making your own costume from scratch can be super rewarding and it will look amazing as well. Gala Fabrics has all of your fabric needs if you fancy some time spent over a sewing machine creating a masterpiece.


Want to go all out and find sustainable makeup to use on your costume that you could also use every day? Perhaps you are looking to change your hair up for the fall and your costume. DesignHouse Salon in Victoria would be happy to help you complete your Halloween look and set you up with sustainable makeup for your costume and your day-to-day life.



Part of the fun of Halloween is going out with friends in costume. Not many other days in the year can you can get away with some of the outfits you see on Halloween. If you want to head to a local watering hole with friends in costumes try visiting the Bard and Banker or Irish Times. Some even say these old buildings are haunted, perfect for all hallows eve.


Planning on having your own Halloween party for adults? You have the decorations, the food and the Halloween spirit but what about the halloween Spirits? For your Halloween Party liquor needs, speak to the fine folks at Liquor Plus or Vessel Liquor for some poison brew punch recipes.


No matter where your Halloween takes you, we are sure it will be frightfully fun. There are many local businesses that you can visit this Halloween in Victoria, BC to make your evening perfect. From decorations to costumes and candy, Think Local for all of your Halloween needs this year. See the full list of all the local businesses that are a part of Think Local.

October 25, 2018 / by / in
Get Outdoors with these 3 Day Hikes

Well, October 2018 is turning out to be a fabulous month to enjoy the sunshine and cooler weather outside. We asked Erin Boggs, co-owner of Robinson’s Outdoor Store, for some of her favourite day hikes around Greater Victoria. It was hard to limit her to only three but we did!

Mount Finlayson

This hike is in Goldstream Park and if you know how to read a topographic map, you will see that it is very steep. But along with that comes amazing views! Since this hike can be challenging, remember to bring extra water in either a water bottle or maybe a lightweight Camelback unit – you can find them all at Robinson’s Outdoor Store. You might also want some food energy at a break spot so swing by any of the Red Barn Markets on your way and grab a snack.

Erin Boggs from Robinson's Outdoor Store in Victoria took this amazing photo of the Coast Trail in East Sooke Park.

PC: Erin Boggs

Coast Trail in East Sooke Park

Ready for a 20 km loop trail that follows the ocean in one direction and interior forest trails in the other? There are rugged, uneven sections on the oceanside route, but the views and vistas are amazing. It will be a long day so remember to pack a light, insulated windbreaker such as the Atom SL from Acrteryx and pack some nutritious food. Our suggestion is to stop into the Western Foods in Sooke – you might want to buy your dog some snacks too from Wiskers and Waggs right next door.


Mount Work (starting from Munn Road in the Highlands)

This lush, forest hike takes you up a steady climb around Fork Lake. The second portion of the trail gives way to rocky outcrops and open rock bluffs. It ends in an incredible view of Saanich – the perfect spot for relaxing and opening your journal to sketch or record your experience. The  Stone Paper Notebook available at Monk Office is the perfect paper companion for all your day hikes – it’s pages are waterproof and tearproof.

We hope to see you enjoying the breathtaking views from these and many other trails around Greater Victoria this month. Let us know if we should add a location for each of these hikes on our Think Local First app. That way, you can collect points when you reach the summit and use your points for discounts at our member businesses. Find out more about our app and the local, independent businesses that support it.


October 15, 2018 / by / in
Crossing the Finish Line with the Goodlife Fitness Marathon

Successfully crossing the finish line on a marathon is a hard thing to do. There is months, if not years, of training that goes into such a goal. On top of all the training, there is a lot that goes into completing a marathon that many forget. With the Goodlife Fitness Marathon coming up, make sure you have dotted all of your i’s and crossed all of your t’s.


The right gear

Running a marathon means having gear that can last. You need quality runners that can provide you with the support you need. You also need clothing that will allow you room to move while keeping you at a comfortable temperature. Frontrunners is your go-to spot for advice on the gear you will need to complete the marathon. This locally owned and operated business lives and breathes running and will help you get the right products for your needs.


Physical and Mental Shape

To run a marathon you need to be in the right shape physically and mentally. Part of your mental preparedness is knowing that you have done all that you can physically to be ready. Training alone can leave you open to doubt. “Am I ready?” “Should I have been cross-training in another area?” Marathons are long and hard and can lead to injuries if you are not properly prepared. Just practicing your distance running is not enough. A run of this length is hard on your joints and bones in a way many cannot anticipate. Proper preparation is a must. Talking to a specialist to get the right training routine for your body can mean a world of difference for your physical and mental state before a race. Core Personal Fitness is a locally owned business that wants to help you get ready for race day.


Injury prevention

Injuries happen often in marathon running. You are asking a lot of your body. The best way to avoid injury on race day is proper injury prevention before the race has even begun. This prevention comes from having the right gear, being physically and mentally ready, as well as making sure no pre-existing conditions are waiting to flare up. Seeing a physical therapist at Dockside Physiotherapy or Shelbourne Physical Therapy before race day can help with injury prevention. Post race, it is important to follow up to make sure nothing is out of alignment before getting back to your day-to-day life.


Proper fuel

A car does not run without gas in the same way your body will not run without proper fuel. The best thing you can do before a race is eat properly, stay hydrated and get plenty of sleep. The sleep is up to you. As for proper diet, there are many local grocery stores that have excellent organic options to properly fuel your body. Try Peppers Foods or the Root Cellar and see what a difference a balanced locally grown diet can do for your energy and recovery time.


Locally owned businesses make a world of difference in our communities. They actively support community activities and events through sponsorships and partnerships. They offer many local jobs and they put more money into our local economies. The local businesses that you support in turn support you. With the Goodlife Fitness marathon coming up it is important to lean on this tight-knit community to cross that finish line. See a list of the other local businesses in Victoria ready to help you accomplish your goals.

October 2, 2018 / by / in ,
Get in the mood for the Victoria International Wine Festival

The Victoria International Wine Festival is just around the corner on September 20th to 22nd. Don’t you wish exciting events like this lasted longer? An easy way to extend the excitement of the wine festival is to celebrate wine all September long. There are a bunch of local businesses dedicated to sharing wine knowledge and enthusiasm. Take some time to sample some local and international wines this month before the festival. Who knows, maybe you will become a wine aficionado before the festival even starts.


Wine Bars

A great way to catch up with friends, family and coworkers has always been over a few drinks or appetizers after a work day. Instead of the brewery tours of summer or defaulting to your favorite martini, why not try a new red or white this happy hour meetup. Suggest to friends to get together at local wine bar such as Vis à Vis in Oak Bay. Try a new varietal, or better yet, ask the server to surprise you.

Vis-a-Vis Wine Bar in Oak Bay is a fabulous spot for Rose's and all sorts of wines.

Liquor Stores with Expertise

Want to sample some wines at home over a good Netflix movie or with a home cooked meal? Head into a local liquor store and pick up a bottle for dinner. Liquor Plus now has in-store tablets that can help you find a wine to pair perfectly with the meal you are planning on creating.

Another great opportunity is when local liquor stores offer classes to further your knowledge. Vessel is offering a VINcabulary series to help you learn more about the vocabulary of wine. You could be bringing the perfect wine pairing to your next dinner party in no time with these helpful resources.

Vessel Liquor will once again have a pop-up shop at the Victoria International Wine Festival.



Nothing screams wine like visiting a vineyard and really getting a taste for the efforts that go into making great wine. Going behind the scenes, trying a variety of wines from a single vineyard, and getting to talk to the staff on site is a great way to learn about the passion behind the label. Luckily for us we have de Vine Wine and Spirits in our backyard ready to give us a taste of the history behind wine and the region we live in.

de Vine Wines and Spirits is a fantastic local winery - visit now to sample their wines.

With all of the passionate wine enthusiasts and businesses in the area it is hard not to get excited about the upcoming festival. Why wait for the wine? Have your own wine themed festival weekend now and get in the mood for the Victoria International Wine Festival coming soon.

September 13, 2018 / by / in
Big Wheel Burger is a Big Deal for the Environment, Economy and Community

Have you wondered where the name ‘Big Wheel Burger’ came from? Us too! We’re here to tell you it has nothing to do with burgers and everything to do with soccer. Surprising, right? We chatted with owner, Calen McNeil, and found out that ‘Big Wheel McNeil’ is his nickname. It was bestowed on him in his pick-up soccer league when he went running down the field so fast, that he lost his footing and started barrel rolling – looking a bit like a spinning wheel. So, when Calen set about planning to open a burger place, the name Big Wheel Burger seemed obvious. Although, if you have visited one of the three Big Wheel Burger locations, you will have noticed that Big Wheel has become his own character.

Big Wheel is an extension of things that Calen likes such as burgers, crunchy salads and breakfast sandwiches. He is quick to point out that he does not cook but knows what he likes to eat. The concept is based on quick service food from the USA such as In and Out Burger and Shake Shack. The classic burger joint but with a twist – they use local, organic ingredients, and are Canada’s first carbon neutral fast food restaurant.


Calen notes that “Fast food has a stigma as it produces a lot of waste. Which is why we became carbon neutral right away. It was a very good decision.” Every consumer item at the restaurant is compostable, diverted from landfills, and provides compost for their Food Eco District (FED) garden at the Cook Street location. All three Big Wheel locations participate in FED as Calen was one of the original founders of the non-profit organization. He brought the idea to Synergy Enterprises in 2012 and it is now a society with full time staff who work with local restaurants that are committed to reducing their impact on their environment.


Big Wheel is involved in our community with the Victoria Hospice – they raised $4,350 during June 2018 and had so much fun during their fundraising that they will continue in the future. CFAX Santas Anonymous, Mustard Seed Street Church & Food Bank and Orange Shirt Day are also benefactors of Big Wheel Burger’s generosity. In fact, you can buy your shirt for 2018 Orange Shirt Day (30 September) at a Big Wheel Burger soon and show your support for “Every Child Matters”.

Big Wheel Burger is invested in our community by supporting local charities such as Victoria Hospice.

We asked Calen what the biggest challenge was when he opened the first Big Wheel Burger. His toughest hurdle was “People’s understanding of what we were doing. They thought we were going to be a gourmet burger shop. It took a while to get momentum as the compostable and environmental angles made it confusing.”


And the biggest success? Calen said he is most proud of what his staff and customers can do for the community along side Big Wheel Burger. They provide opportunities for staff and pay them a fair wage which means quite a few of their original team still work there. Customers also have a lot of input, so they feel invested in the restaurant and the food that is provided. Calen notes that “all those things need to align for the Big Wheel Burger economy to be successful. This is a triple bottom-line business.”



September 10, 2018 / by / in