Dave Grove of Colwood’s Royal Bay Bakery stands in his garden at his home. He grows herbs

Colwood baker is the king of green

Royal Bay Bakery has efficient building, focuses on local ingredients

Dave Grove is a baker with a green twist. Like most people in his trade, he works and lives on a different schedule than most. He’s usually up before daylight. While he’s often crafting his tasty treats near dawn, it doesn’t mean he isn’t taking advantage of the daylight. In fact, you’ll find 16 solar panels upon the roof of Royal Bay Bakery on Metchosin Road, and that’s not all.

Dave and his wife, Gwen Snyder, have taken a top-down approach to making their business as efficient as possible. The solar panels feed electric vehicle charging stations and also add power for an on-demand hot water heating system.

Recent renovations have seen the leaky old single-paned windows and poor insulation replaced with proper insulation and new double-paned windows. These investments will help retain warmth in winter and keep it cool in the summer. Dave also upgraded the lighting in the bakery with some warm and comfortable-feeling LED lights that have actually improved ambience in the space.

Royal Bay Bakery now has state-of-the-art ovens, ensuring less energy is used in production and less heat is omitted into the bakery.

“Since the renovations a year ago, we have actually seen a dramatic upswing in business,” Dave says. “We were a little worried during the renovations, having made considerable investments into the space and equipment, but we have been busier than ever in the past several months. Plus, the energy savings for our business in the long run will be significant.”

A key aspect of the bakery’s supply chain is across the street in the edible landscaping permaculture food garden that Dave is building. What looks like an ordinary front yard from the street, is actually a food producing landscape that provides the bakery with fresh herbs, spices and berries in summer.

The long list of items being grown includes figs, elderberries, mulberry, kale, peas, vetch, goumi, grapes, goji, peach, asparagus, cordon apples, Mediterranean herbs, oca, tulips, daffodils, josta berries, blueberries, currants and more.

Dave and Gwen source and process the best ingredients they can get their hands on. This includes free-range poultry; grass-fed, non-medicated beef and pork; free-range eggs; organic flour and unsalted butter. When in season, they also source fresh local produce and fruit. This includes herbs, vegetables, and berries from their garden and honey from their very own bees.

Recently, Royal Bay Bakery was certified at the highest level, “Green,” by the Vancouver Island Green Business Certification. The bakery is a nearly zero-waste business. While many restaurants have to pay to have their food scraps removed, the staff at Royal Bay simply have to walk across the street to Dave and Gwen’s garden to empty the food scraps into the onsite composting area. The scraps then compost down and are used on the crops grown in the permaculture garden. Talk about closing the food security loop.

Stop in for a sandwich, salad, soup or maybe just a donut. You’ll be glad you did!  Plus, you can feel good knowing that you are supporting one of the greenest operations in town.

For information on Vancouver Island Green Business Certification and a listing of other green businesses, visit vigbc.ca.

Just Posted

Good things come in small, strong, fast packages

Sierra Gillis hopes to represent Canada one day in fastball or rugby

New UVic study to track decline of insects in Metchosin

Traps will be set to catch and weigh flying insects

Jazz songstress Ellen Doty brings her sweet sound to Hermann’s Jazz Club

March 27 concert in Victoria part of national CD release tour

Victoria says #NeverAgain in solidarity with March For Our Lives

Youth Political Commons invites public to rally against gun violence March 24 at legislature

Paralympic dream for rider with cerebral palsy

Kim Scott’s goal is to represent Canada and won’t let anything, including cerebral palsy, get in her way

Women’s Expo seeks to empower women this weekend

Victoria Women’s Expo set for Saturday and Sunday at Pearkes Recreation Centre

Harsher fines, new off-road vehicle rules in effect to combat B.C. wildfires

Anyone who starts a wildfire could be ordered to pay up to $1,000,000

Muddy water found in taps at B.C. hospital prompts investigation

Northern Health to hire consultant to examine three facilities for potential contamination

RCMP officer charged after pedestrian struck at crosswalk

A man suffered a broken leg and head lacerations after being struck by the police vehicle in 2017

It’s complicated: Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps breaks up with Facebook

“I’m quitting Facebook so I stop contributing in any way to this cycle of psychological violence where fear and anger get more air time than joy”

B.C. gives tax breaks to jumpstart LNG in northwest

LNG income tax scrapped, break on sales tax for producers

Rupert the therapy bunny sidelined due to deadly virus outbreak

Chilliwack’s famous therapy rabbit quarantined for his own safety, people not at risk

UPDATE: both lanes open Hwy. 19 south after multi-vehicle accident

A car fire has since been extinguished at the Hillview Rd. crash site Thursday morning

Most Read