About Urban Harvest
Urban Harvest was started in January of 2000 by Lisa McIntosh and David Nelson, with the goal of connecting local growers and local eaters! We work hard to make the choice to eat organic both convenient and affordable for our customers in the Central Okanagan area, and through our weekly newsletters and community involvement, we aim to contribute to a local food culture that celebrates healthy, joyful eating.
We are also deeply committed to being part of a more sustainable food system, and as such, we work closely with Okanagan farmers to ensure that we are able to buy as much of our produce as possible locally, reducing the distance from field to table. We support a number of local organizations with weekly food donations, and leftover produce that cannot be sold is donated to the Kelowna Food Bank each week. We also pass on scraps to local bunnies and chickens! Anything that cannot be donated is taken to the green waste section of the Kelowna Landfill.
Meet The Urban Harvest Team!
Lisa manages Urban Harvest from her home office, taking care of the business administration, marketing and community outreach (website, newsletter, community events, community donations, etc), customer support (together with Kelly and Carol), planning and purchasing of food orders (including season planning with local farmers), bookkeeping (again, with Kelly and Carol), and payroll. She also works with the warehouse team, filling in as needed on deliveries, packing, picking up or receiving orders from farmers, etc. She occasionally covers for staff at the Urban Harvest Saturday Sale as well, and loves the opportunity to meet customers face-to-face! Lisa’s interest in organic food goes back to university days when she studied and volunteered with various food-related community economic development projects such as farmers’ markets, community kitchens, community gardens, and organic farms. She loves hiking, singing, language(s), dance, learning, family, nature, and all things community!
Michael started with Urban Harvest in September of 2005 – now THAT’S dedication! Since that time, he has worked his way through the UBCO education program while continuing to work at Urban Harvest, and has more recently completed his Master’s degree as well. A teacher on call during the week, he makes his weekly appearance at the Urban Harvest Saturday Sale, and keeps us all up-to-date on culture and music! Having a little extra time off during the summer, Mike does a fantastic job of covering summer vacation time for other employees – a perfect fit! With a family history in both farming and the grocery industry, Urban Harvest’s mandate of sustainability and high quality organic produce appeals to his strong ethical and gastronomic convictions. Lucky for us!
Cheryl has been making things beautiful at Urban Harvest since February of 2008…another knowledge-keeper at Urban Harvest! She brings a deep passion for the planet, a truly kind heart, and an uncanny knack of adding beauty to everything she touches…not to mention an impressive work stamina! Cheryl is a key part of our warehouse team, packing and checking your Harvest Boxes, to ensure that they meet high quality and accuracy standards. She also assists with warehouse management, bin washing, and Saturday Sale prep. She is kind enough to fill in for other staff from time to time on Saturdays as well, so if you are a Saturday Sale shopper, you may have seen Cheryl’s smiling face there! And if you’ve been a Kelowna resident for more than a few years, you may also remember Cheryl from her former downtown juice bar/café, Urban Oasis, which she owned and operated from 1996-2001. Apart from being a wonderful cook (food artist, really!), gardener, and kundalini yogi, Cheryl is also a very dedicated mom to her daughter Emily and her (much) older son Tyler!
Jess joined the Urban Harvest team in the spring of 2011, after having been an Urban Harvest customer for some time. Artistic and creative, she often finds inspiration while helping to process the colorful produce and pack the bins for the delivery customers during the week. She is the creator of the beautiful Spring-Summer-Fall moving mural in our store and we are thrilled to see her taking her amazing artistic skills to new places, having reduced her UH work week to make room for developing her art business! Jessica has a fantastic sense of humor and a lot of passion for the things she enjoys, be it sewing, painting, gaming or throwing elaborate themed events that are designed to bring together her friends!
Sam started as an Urban Harvest customer as well, in November of 2011. Having always been passionate about food, learning more about where all the delicious, local, fresh fruits and vegetables available to her through Urban Harvest was an opportunity not to pass up! She started as a bin washer with Urban Harvest, and is now one of our key packers and part of the Saturday Sale team. Sam trained at the Okanagan College in the Culinary Arts and hosts frequent dinner parties where she is always eager to use the skills she learned there to transform the bountiful harvest into meals to be shared with others. If you don't know what something is or don't know how to use it, you can always feel free to ask her for some advice at the Saturday Sale! In her spare time, Sam dabbles in various creative endeavors like art and writing, spends plenty of time gaming, enthuses about animals (especially her own fluffy cat,) and is always thinking of the next new thing on the menu.
Carol began working with Urban Harvest in September of 2013, and has been packing and delivering orders since that time mainly on the Thursday morning route in the small delivery van, and now works in the office on Fridays as well. Carol loves to drive, to work with the good products of the land for Urban Harvest and to be part of this great team bringing good food to good people. Having grown up in Saskatchewan, she learned early to care about the farmers, and what they needed…as it was always a topic of conversation even in the city. Carol moved here in 2002 with her then 3 year old daughter, having lived in Langley before that for 27 years. Awareness and concern for food, farming and health are main drivers for Carol as she is dedicated to community activating work supporting that realm in Kelowna, in such things as the World Community Film Festival held each March here at the College, being a member of the Board of the Central Okanagan Food Policy Council, as well as BC Food Systems Network. Carol enjoys music (singing and dancing) and music festivals each summer, camping and travelling whenever possible, being a mom, attending conferences, cooking and sharing food with family and friends, hiking and water activities, her dog and cat and being a lifelong learner!
Dan joined the Urban Harvest team in January of 2014 and assists with packing orders and delivery, as well as picking up and receiving orders, and warehouse management. Originally from Saskatchewan, he left to experience more of the country from Prince Edward Island to Vancouver Island working in scratch bakeries, sea food fishing/restaurants. He moved to Kelowna in 2006 and, with an interest in health and nutrition, started working for various natural food and supplement retailers, a path which eventually led to an interest in food production. At Summerhill Winery Bistro garden, vineyard and cellar he worked for a few seasons tending to the crops and wine and also helped establish Pine Ridge Farms on the side. In 2011, he worked with Curtis Stone of Green City Acres, learning about small plot intensive farming, helping to grow the business and build relationships with other farmers, CSA/market customers and chefs. Over the years, he's assisted Forbes Family Farm, Morning Dove Gardens, and Sunshine Farms with projects, and maintains a good rapport with the farming community and its supporters. In his spare time, Dan enjoys bicycling, hiking, foraging for wild plants and mushrooms, eating poutine and befriending cats.
Chris has been with the UH team as a part time delivery driver since February 2014. He is also a self-employed Health & Nutrition Coach working one on one with clients to help them identify and realize their life goals. He is originally from the UK, and after taking early retirement from The RAF, he and his wife took an extended career break to indulge in their love of travel. With no intentions of leaving the UK on a permanent basis, they 'stumbled into' BC's stunning Okanagan Valley and all that changed; now as Canadian citizens, home is Lake Country where Chris is a volunteer Firefighter. He loves to hike with his Vizsla and he admits to being somewhat obsessed with fast motorcycles!
CJ is a relative newcomer to Kelowna and the Urban Harvest team, joining in February of 2015. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays you can see CJ roaming the city and outskirts in our smaller vehicle. He also helps out around the warehouse on Fridays, and on Saturdays you can find him up front during the warehouse sale (or being a thorn in Mike's side!). CJ has a long background in social work, but chose to take a break from it to explore new adventures. Since starting this new journey he has worked on construction sites, made cheese like products (resulting in dreams/nightmares of conveyor belts and the number 12), and now he is getting his feet wet in the business of organic produce home delivery! While not being involved in social work at the moment, he greatly appreciates Urban Harvest's mission and being able to contribute something to the community. In his spare time, CJ can be seen in and around downtown with his partner Robin and their dog Bogey. CJ also greatly enjoys soccer, computers (and the games that come along with them), music, reading, and pushing people's buttons.
Kelly joined the UH team in May 2015, and assists Lisa with customer support, bookkeeping, communications, and various other office work. Before moving back to Kelowna, Kelly spent five years in Vancouver working for Environment Canada as a Communications Specialist, predominantly responsible for designing maps and graphs for international scientific reports. She continues to work as a freelance graphic designer with Eamer Science Services (www.eamerscience.com), and is a budding furniturologist as well, helping at Lois Lane (www.loislanewarehouse.ca). Busy lady! Kelly originally moved to Kelowna in 2005 from Calgary, after completing a BA in Communications. The next year she took a diploma course in graphic design and started singing in a band. Now, she spends her spare time biking, swimming, and getting into a good book!
Mark has been with the UH team as a part time delivery driver since the beginning of 2016. Mark takes care of the daytime Tuesday routes for you that live in east and south Kelowna. He is also working on the production side, working with a heritage farm on other days of the week. Mark came to Kelowna in 2003, from Ontario. Following a season at Big White, Mark and his wife Sarah decided to settle down and give Kelowna a try. The beauty and charm of the area captured them and they are now fully rooted here :-)