Our story. Rancho Vignola has been offering the “Best of the New Crop” since 1980. Company founders Richard and Sue Vignola started out running a natural food store in Vernon, BC, and eventually found their niche in natural food wholesales which led them to create a seasonal business that would allow customers to buy large quantities of the freshest, new crop nuts and dried fruit on the market. To this day, Rancho Vignola sells most of our products through annual wholesale orders, but also offers non-wholesale purchases at community Harvest Sales in November and online sales from December to July.
Richard and Sue not only built a successful and sustainable business model – they have created a community of people who are as passionate about quality food as they are.
Company founders Richard and Sue Vignola’s involvement in the food industry springs from the days when we operated a natural food store in the Okanagan town of Vernon, BC, in the late ’70s to early ’80s. Since our retail outlet was too small to carry a large inventory of bulk foods, we offered a bulk-buying service through a printed order sheet. This enabled our customers to purchase in large quantities at substantial savings. This service soon expanded to include the new crop harvest of quality and from California. After we sold our retail store, we became affiliated with a natural foods wholesaler in Vancouver as representatives for the BC Interior and Alberta. At the same time, our annual new crop sales continued to grow to the level where, in the fall of 1999, we gave up other work commitments to focus all our energies on our “nutty” business.
We started our family business selling to a small local group of friends and loyal customers from our health food store, but word spread quickly! Over the years, our customer base has diversified considerably, both in our customers’ lifestyles and locations. Our extensive list of products has something for everyone, especially those “foodies” who are concerned not only about how their food is grown, but also about the people who grow it. Rancho Vignola is committed to sourcing from farmers, growers and processors with whom we have established long-term relationships. Many of our customers place orders as individuals or families, while others order through larger community groups who, with their work colleagues, fundraise by selling Rancho products or operate retail stores. Our greatest concentration of customers is still in BC and Alberta, but we ship nationwide to customers as far away as Halifax and Inuvik.
Each year we see a lot of familiar names as well as some new ones. Some customers have been ordering with us for long enough that we hear from multiple generations of their family members, and we’re proud to have become part of their family traditions. We also love taking the opportunity to meet some of our customers at our annual Harvest Sales and at the festivals, sports extravaganzas and community events we sponsor.
We have travelled far and wide to learn from and connect with the people who grow and produce our food. While many suppliers won’t sell new crop at harvest (they prefer to sell the remainder of the previous year’s crop), we have been fortunate to establish strong relationships with suppliers who appreciate our unique business model – they are the reason we can offer such a vast variety of premium quality, new crop products.
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Rancho Vignola sells during specific times of year because our business coincides with fall harvest during which a majority of crops are harvested and our products are at their peak of quality and freshness. We never warehouse products from year to year; instead we order specific amounts that allow us to sell through most our inventory so product isn’t sitting on the shelves from one year to the next. Any remaining inventory at the end of the season is donated to food banks and charitable organizations across Canada.
Wholesale pre-ordering begins in early September and continues until the end of September. We also offer ordering opportunities that have no minimum and feature smaller package sizes. No minimum ordering is offered at our annual Harvest Sales (in select communities) and our online sales beginning December 1st.
Every summer we produce a colourful and informative newsletter to keep our customers up to date on what’s happening at Rancho Vignola. Here you can find a link
to our current newsletter as well as many of the newsletters from years past.
Here are a few of our favourite articles
Rancho Vignola is a big advocate of programs that keep people active and healthy – we love sponsoring events and individuals that focus on health, nutrition, athletic performance and the environment. We are especially passionate about supporting athletics and love sharing our nutrient-dense products with athletes from various disciplines so they can fuel their bodies during training and competition. Sponsoring others is a great opportunity for us to connect with our community and help sustain programs that might otherwise not exist without public support.
If you are interested in learning more or getting involved with the Rancho Vignola sponsorship program, please fill out the contact form here
Giving back is very important to all of us at Rancho Vignola. We understand the power of paying it forward in hopes of elevating others. Every year we donate the remaining products from our season to local food banks in all the communities where our Harvest Sales are held. Donations are also provided to schools, athletic groups, clubs, charities and events across Canada. Food not suitable for human consumption is donated to wildlife rehabilitation centres.
Our bulk and bagged products, as well as our Gourmet Gifts, are donated to charities across Canada throughout the year – and every December we hold an annual Donation Day where our staff, customers, friends and family volunteer their time to package products that will be included in holiday hampers for those that are less fortunate.
If you are interested in learning more or getting involved with the Rancho Vignola donation program, please fill out the contact form here