Okanagan Rawsome Nominated for Best Small Business BC Award – The Winner Is!

As previously reported, Afke Zonderland and her Grindrod-based business were nominated as one of five top contenders for the Premier’s People’s Choice category in the Small Business BC Awards in January.

The winners were announced at a gala held in conjunction with the Open for Business Awards in Vancouver on Friday February, 23rd. Here is Afke’s first-hand report!


Afke and Anna at the BC Small Business Awards Gala

“If one thinks of the Oscars or Juno awards, then you will pretty much have build the scenario in which Anna and I found ourselves at the BC Small Business Awards Gala. Like any entrepreneur worth its weight in salt we added a business calls on the way to Vancouver. That out of the way we replaced the usual smocks, crocks and hairnets for heels and stylish frocks. The limousines and paparazzi were missing at the entry, but the cameras were rolling inside the beautiful West Wing of the Vancouver Convention Centre at the pre-dinner wine, smoked salmon and sushi party. This provided an opportunity to meet entrepreneurs from all over BC. We were seated with a fellow nominee with his family from Fort St. John who was a finalist in the “apprenticeship training” category and won!”

“The grand stage was framed by two large tv screens on which a photo slideshow gave the more than 500 guests a glimpse in the lives and purpose of all the nominees in each category. It was lovely to note that the cities of Lumby and Salmon Arm were finalists in the communities that provide an enticing   environment for new businesses. (Chetwynd and Campbell River won)

My personal favorite winners:
  • Best Concept: Sea to Sky Removal (focusing on construction waste)
  • Best Community Impact: Recycling Alternative
  • Best Innovation Award: Ava Byte (a table top system that will provide you with fresh salad greens and herbs year round)
For a list of all the winners, see: https://sbbcawards.ca/winners/

“We did manage to hold the very beautiful glass sculpture for 15 seconds, courtesy of our dinner partners, and simply left the building with great admiration for the business people in BC. Innovators, Inventors and truly motivational and inspiring men and women that included us for a prestigious celebration.”

The Back Story by Erin Christie, Vernon Morning Star 1

Okanagan Rawsome Small Business Award Nominee

“When Afke Zonderland set out to fill what she saw as “a serious gap” in the raw foods market with her home-based business, Okanagan Rawsome, she hoped it would catch on. She never thought about whether or not she would win an award for her efforts.”

While the 70-year-old entrepreneur says she’s excited by the prospect of being recognized for her work, Zonderland says Okanagan Rawsome was inspired by her personal passion for “nutritious, honourable food,” and a desire to share it with others.

Afke Zonderland, Okanagan Rawsome

Grindrod-based business owner, Afke Zonderland is nominated for a Small Business BC award. Her home-based business, Okanagan Rawsome has been in operation in the North Okanagan for ten years. (Promise Photography)

“I think there is a huge need for people to get back to the earth,” she said, recalling Okanagan Rawsome’s “humble beginnings.”

“I’m an outdoors person, and pretty active, so feeling well, to me, is huge. At age 60, I decided I wanted to do something really worthwhile, that’s beneficial for the community at large.”

After a successful career in interior design, Zonderland said she was ready to get back to her “farm-girl” roots and began offering workshops on raw food and the benefit of cooking with it.

“My husband I and both grew up on dairy farms in the Netherlands, and my father used to say the health of the herd, depends on the health of the soil, and I think that’s so true. And I wanted to help people take control of their food choices by providing beautiful, nutritious local food using the very best our local farms have to offer.”

Her daughter, Anna Gorman, the company’s co-founder, encouraged her to parlay her knack for healthy food preparation into a business, and Okanagan Rawsome was born.

Okanagan Rawsome Family

Afke and her family. (Photo by Elisha Anne)

Ten years later, the family-run business is still growing and their line of organic crisps are being sold in some of BC’s biggest natural food chains, including Whole Foods and Nature’s Fare.

Zonderland says she loves that enthusiasm for raw foods has increased since they launched, but says their are currently no plans to move the business out of the North Okanagan, preferring to be “a big fish in a small pond,” rather than “a little fish in an ocean.”

“We need to be eating good food that we can share with our friends and family,”she stressed. “We’re happy to be a part of contributing to that.”

Now in its 15th year, the Small Business BC awards is reportedly the largest small business awards competition in British Columbia. The winners will be announced in Vancouver on Feb.23. The winners will receive $1,500 cash, a one-year All-Access Pass to Small Business BC education and experts, and, of course, the distinction of being named one of B.C.’s top businesses.

Zonderland beat out nearly 600 nominees from across the province for her spot, and is competing against Duffy Baker Construction Corp. (Penticton), Rising Knead Bakery (Whistler), The Gibsons Butcher, (Gibsons) and ULAT Dryer Balls (Parksville).

Erin Christie

1 https://www.vernonmorningstar.com/business/okanagan-rawsome-nominated-for-best-small-business-bc-award

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Okanagan Rawsome is proud to source all the  fruits and veggies in their crisps from their own garden in Grindrod, BC and from organic farmers in the Okanagan Valley.  This year they  decided to grow the leafy greens, kale, spinach and parsley for their new Okanagan Rawsome Garden Crisps.

100% Non-GMO • Soaked & Sprouted Seeds • Dehydrated at Low Temperatures • No Refined Sugars • Low-Glycemic

A source of pure plant energy, these living whole food snacks are low-glycemic, promote weight loss, reduce inflammation. Loaded with organic ingredients and local produce, Okanagan Rawsome is real food that nourishes your body – and soul! 

 Supergreens Garden Crisps

It doesn’t get any greener than this combination of spinach, kale and parsley made with local grown apples and zucchini. BC grown all the way!

  • LOCAL Organic Veggies
  • 99% ORGANIC Ingredients

Top these Garden Crisps with your favourite cheese and some sliced cucumber to create a perfect pairing.

  • INGREDIENTS: *apples,*spinach,*kale,*parsley,*zucchini,*flax seeds,*coconut,*dates,*lemon juice,*sprouted pumpkin seeds,*chlorella, ginger powder, garlic powder, pure ocean aquifer sea salt. (*organic)

Okanagan Rawsome Beet Crisps

Onion-Herb Beet Crisps

Onion-Herb Beet Crisps • See how they are made!

Onion-Herb BEET CRISPS are packed with local organic beets, carrots and onions combined with sprouted seeds and a yummy blend of spices.

  • LOCAL Organic Veggies
  • 99% ORGANIC Ingredients

Onion-Herb Beet Crisps are delicious with your favourite cheese, hummus, or pesto. Make an open-faced sandwich using a Beet Crisp as a base!

  • INGREDIENTS: *ground flaxseeds, *carrots, *sprouted buckwheat, *sprouted sunflower seeds, *beets *zucchini, *sprouted lentils, *onions, onion powder, oregano, garlic powder, *sea salt, cumin (*organic)


Spicy Chia-Hemp Carrot Crisps

Spicy Chia-Hemp Carrot Crisps • See how they are made!

Spicy Chia-Hemp CARROT CRISPS are spicy snacks made with locally grown carrots & zucchini, chia, hemp, and sprouted lentils to enhance nutrient bioavailability. The carrots provide a high-source of Vitamin A.

  • LOCAL Organic Veggies
  • 96% ORGANIC Ingredients

Chia-Hemp Carrot Crisps are delicious with your favorite cheese, hummus, and/or a slice of avocado. Make an open faced sandwich using a Carrot Crisp as a base!

  • INGREDIENTS: *carrots, *ground flax seeds, *sprouted buckwheat, *zucchini, *sprouted lentils, hemp hearts, *chia seeds, *sea salt, cumin, cayenne, onion powder, oregano, garlic powder (*organic)

How Carrot Crisps are Made

Orange Sesame Apple Crisps

Orange Sesame Apple Crisps

Orange Sesame APPLE CRISPS  light, flavour-packed zesty treat made with oranges and lemons. We grind whole flax seeds to preserve valuable Omega-3 fats. Dehydration happens at low temperatures, protecting valuable living enzymes!

  • LOCAL Organic Apples
  • 96% ORGANIC Ingredients

Delicious with a seed or nut butter. Visit the recipe section of our website for other suggested pairings and rawsome recipes!

  • INGREDIENTS: *apples, *coconut, *ground flax seeds, *sesame seeds, *dates, hemp hearts, *oranges, *lemon juice, cinnamon, ground ginger, *sea salt (*organic)

How Apple Crisps Are Made

 Cran Raisin Apple CrispsCranberry Raisin Apple Crisps

Cran-Raisin APPLE CRISPS combine sprouted buckwheat with delicious organic cranberries, raisins, and organic Okanagan apples to create a naturally sweet and filling snack. 

  • LOCAL Organic Apples
  • 99% ORGANIC Ingredients

Crumble a few pieces of Cran-Raisin Apple Crisps onto plain yogurt or sprinkle some on top of your morning cereal to add live enzymes and easy to digest protein to kick start your day!

  • INGREDIENTS: *apples, *sprouted buckwheat, *ground flax, *dates, *sprouted sunflower seeds, *sprouted pumpkin seeds, *raisins, *cranberries, cinnamon, ground ginger, *orange zest, *sea salt (*organic)

Available in convenient single-sized portions.

 Okanagan Rawsome Choc-Ginger

Chocolate Ginger Apple Crisps

Chocolate Ginger Apple Crisps

*Available exclusively online in Smaller Pieces or in Bulk

Chocolate Ginger APPLE CRISPS offer dark chocolate-coconut decadence in a delicious mixture of organic Okanagan apples, ginger, sprouted seeds, sprouted buckwheat, and dates. 

  • LOCAL Organic Produce
  • 90% ORGANIC Ingredients

Choc-Ginger Apple Crisps are delicious on their own or with a serving of ice cream made with frozen bananas & vegan chocolate pudding.

  • INGREDIENTS: *apples, *sprouted buckwheat, *ground flax, *dates, *sprouted sunflower seeds, *sprouted pumpkin seeds, ginger slices, dark chocolate (cocao, sugar, non-GMO soya lecithin, vanilla flavour), *coconut, ground ginger, *lemon juice, cinnamon, *sea salt (*organic)
  • Available in convenient single-sized portions.

Meet the Okanagan Rawsome Farmers

Farming runs in the family at Okanagan Rawsome

Meet Afke Zonderland, Founder Okanagan Rawsome

Serving Suggestions!Okanaga Rawsome Collage 9Okanagan Rawsome Nutrition

Okanagan Rawsome CCA ReviewOkanagan Rawsome is a proud Sponsor of the Canadian Celiac Association’s Classes for the Newly Diagnosed. Details here!

Find Okanagan Rawsome at retailers in Victoria and across Vancouver Island!

Purchase Okanagan Rawsome online and save! Free shipping within Canada for orders over $80. Free Shipping in the US for orders over $160.

  • *Information and perspectives posted on  The Celiac Scene are intended to provide general information, without independent verification on the part of The Celiac Scene for  the accuracy of the information provided to it. The information is specifically not intended to be a substitute for medical diagnosis or treatment by your physician or other health care professional. Always consult your own physician or other health care professionals about any medical questions, diagnosis, or treatment, especially before trying any diet. Okanagan Rawsome does not accept any liability for any injury, loss or damage incurred by use of or reliance on any content contained herein.