Hiring a Social Media Manager for Instagram?

Currently one of the most popular social media platforms, Instagram is quickly becoming the social media platform. These days, no one wants to read a 1000 word blog post, or even 300 words on Facebook. Twitter caught on to our trend towards laziness by limiting blurbs to 140 characters, which seems to really work for people. Even better? Show it, don’t write it.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, than Instagram really nailed it, right?!

As social media managers, we take on our clients’ socials for a variety of reasons: to save them time, to lend our expertise and experience, and for a dozen more reasons. But we don’t do Instagram—arguably, the most popular platform of 2016.

Here’s why:

Core Value

At the very heart of this platform, is the desire to create and share an experience within a single photograph. If you’re an Instagram fan, you can probably tell the difference between a photograph that’s spontaneous and genuine and unique, and one that’s none of those things.

The very name of this platform, Instagram, implies that photos posted are shot and immediately thrown into the feeds of fans—fans that have decided to follow one’s account based on similar interest, hobbies, or other personal reasons.

When Instagram is not used for what it was originally intended—if photographs are copied from another’s account, or when the text that accompanies the images are clearly lacking in specific detail, or when the pictures just don’t make sense—it defeats the purpose of the platform.

And users notice.

Images should come from in-house, in real time, from the people that took the photos in the first place. When this doesn’t happen, the images don’t have the same merit.

Feasibility

When managing another’s social media—especially when managing many others’ social media—it’s impossible to coordinate your efforts and be effective without using a variety of tools meant for this purpose.

For example, one of the ways we manage our clients’ social media is through Hootsuite. We got really excited in 2015, when Hootsuite announced they were adding Instagram to the list of social platforms users could choose to manage.

As it turns out, it just doesn’t work.

Since Instagram was created for mobile (again, to promote spontaneous, in-the-moment, original image uploads), it means that the social media manager has to log in and out of each clients’ Instagram account to allow for post unloads.

You can schedule them, but they won’t auto-post without you actually signing into Instagram. On mobile. On dozens of different Instagram accounts.

Other programs used to schedule Instagram posts include Latergramme, ScheduGram, and Postso.com, but each of these scheduling services have issues. So Instagram automation is just not possible in a clean, plan-ahead, no hiccups kind-of-way, which defeats the purpose of scheduling posts and planning ahead.

Bottom Line

Instagram is an amazing platform that has millions of users—but we don’t like to use it when managing socials. Save the Instagram posts for organic uploads coming straight from the best source—your business. Allow your employees to post, making sure they remain on-brand. Post yourself! Integrate Instagram into your daily routine, and get people excited about it!

This is a DYI job, friends–but it’s better that way.

Check out our Instagram account HERE.


*If you’re interested in having fun, energetic, and informative blogs written for YOU by Fresh + Fit Vancouver writers, click HERE.

*Gorgeous cover photo from Tamira Jarrel and taken from HERE.

5 Marketing Lessons to Learn From Star Wars

By Jennifer Browne

As Stars Wars Episode 7 prepares to launch at the end of this week, I can’t help but think that Disney has done as amazing job promoting this movie. I mean, Disney is Disney—they kind of rock their marketing campaigns. But the kind of hype and buzz that is occurring right now WORLDWIDE because of their efforts, is to be talked about and learned from.

Now, if you’re thinking that you have a very small business and no budget for promo and most definitely no team of publicists on retainer 24/7 (whaaat…you don’t have that?!), we’re here to tell you that it doesn’t matter. In this day and age, marketing, if done well, can be free. You don’t need a professional publicist, and your own marketing campaigns can take off and go viral, just like others’ did.

(And will.)

So starting with a few lessons from Star Wars, here are our suggestions on how to rock a marketing campaign for your business, whatever type of business it may be:

Plan

Begin Early

If you have something to promote, start now. Okay…start a few months before your event date/product launch/coupon promotion, or whatever. Starting early creates a buzz, and lets people know that whatever you’re promoting must be cool enough to talk about in advance.

Also, develop a marketing plan.

The Star Wars campaign began as soon as it was announced that The Walt Disney Company bought Lucasfilm—and that was in 2012. Disney began their campaign THREE YEARS before the movie was scheduled to release. The campaign actually had its own name, and it’s own website (Star Wars Celebration).

Saturate the Market

If you have something to promote, promote it everywhere. Talk about it several times a day on social media. Get chatty with your customers or clients. Send out weekly emails. Place free online ads in your local papers, and start a countdown.

Don’t just do one of these things—do them all.

The Star Wars franchise exploded last holiday season, when anything and everything that could possibly do with the movies appeared. There were Halloween costumes, toys, games, posters, and school supplies. Fast-food chains offered swag, and ads were seen on public transit. Theme parks got on board, and huge food companies made little Star Wars-shaped fruit bites.

This got so exciting for people that last week, I walked past a man in a restaurant with a massive fresh Harrison Ford tattoo on his equally giant bicep.

True story.

Advertising Campaign

Don’t Stick to One Strategy

I mean, maybe don’t publicly encourage people to tattoo your logo on their bodies, but to be all cliché, don’t place all your eggs in one basket, either. Spread ‘em out. Send a newsletter. Host a giveaway contest. Promote your product or event on social media, and provide an incentive for anyone who re-tweets your posts.

Take a quick survey on how other people in your line of business are promoting themselves, and then do ALL OF THOSE THINGS.

Go all kamikaze on this, and you will reap better rewards.

Remind People of Your Previous Successes

When Disney announced that they would be releasing an Episode 7 (actually, four more movies), they went ahead and re-released the previous six.

I know this, because my husband bought them all.

Also, right after the movie announcement, Lego began producing and selling Star Wars-themed building sets, with all of the most popular scenes and characters. This was particularly brilliant, because children who are my kids’ ages (under 10), probably didn’t know anything about the franchise.

But now they do—and kids are all about the swag.

So when conducting your marketing campaign, try and incorporate your previous successes. For example, if you own a juicing company, promote your first (presumably successful) juice as a lead-up to the release of your newest one.

Make Your Product or Event Buzz-Worthy

Now we’re talking about your event or product; not so much your campaign. If you’re going to go through the trouble to create and manage an amazing marketing campaign, you should make sure your event or product is worthy of the hassle.

Why?

Because if it is, you can use this campaign to piggy-back your next. Think ahead! Disney has one hell of a vested interest in making sure that 1) their promotions all pay off, and 2) the movie itself doesn’t disappoint. And so should you, when conducting an amazing marketing campaign.

Hey, and you know what? When all else fails, use The Force. (No, we’re not drinking.) We mean to imply that if you can envision it, and you want it bad enough, it will happen. It’s on you, and you alone.

So go get ‘em.


*If you’re interested in having fun, energetic, and informative blogs written for YOU by Fresh + Fit Vancouver writers, click HERE.

5 Ways to Improve Your Social Media Game TODAY

If you know and understand that content marketing and social media participation is a must in today’s competitive marketplace, then you’re already light years ahead of those who don’t employ these very necessary methods of modern advertising.

Since Fresh + Fit is in the business of supplying content marketing and social media management to business owners who understandably lack the time it takes to do it themselves, we definitely understand the demand for great content and consistent, relevant social media involvement. But social media can be a bitch—it’s often a one step forward, two steps back kind of monster, and if you don’t understand how it works, your work load will be bigger than necessary.

Now, for those reading this who are thinking that they will just avoid this whole social media thing, wait for it to blow over, then resume traditional advertising, we’re here to tell you that you’ll be waiting a long time. Social media is the new way to spread the word about your business, and guess what?

It’s FREE!

Free advertising—it just takes time. But you know what? It works, because giving away free information that potential clients and customers are interested in will create an interest in what you and your business have to offer.

If you’re blogging weekly and keeping up with your socials on a daily basis, it eats at least a couple of hours from your day, which is why we provide this service—you should be building your business; not stressing about social media posts. However, if you feel that taking on content marketing and social media is something you want to do yourself, all the power to you, and we want to help.

Here are 5 ways to improve your social media game, so that every minute spent in front of your laptop and smart phone counts:

Be relevant, and be consistent.

Both of the above points are so key. Being relevant means that you are blogging and posting and commenting on information that is related to your business. You want to attract those who may be looking for you, not people who have no interest in what you have to offer.

That’s a major waste of time.

Once you have the relevant thing down, remember to also be consistent. Post often—don’t post once or twice a week, then disappear. If you want your name front and center to those who want to find you, you need to be available to your target audience on a consistent basis.

Period.

Like me

Interact, don’t just post.

This is important. Simply spamming people’s feeds with random info will get you less likes and comments, not more. People respond to conversations and feedback and interesting commentary. If they like what you have to say, they’ll follow you. Once they follow you, thank them for doing so, and if they post information relevant to your business, follow them back.

Use media.

Post images, videos, graphs, charts, sound bits, and whatever else you can think of to make your posts stand out. The average consumer lingers on a post for less than 8 seconds. You have a fraction of a minute to make yourself stand out and convince readers to keep reading. Remember that, and your social posts and blogs will automatically be more interesting. People generally like fire words and (non-offensive) colourful language.

It gets their attention.

Do your research.

Read as much as you write, if not more. There are countless articles featuring endless tips, tricks, dos, and don’ts. Take advantage of the free information! It will make your posts better.

Also, don’t retweet or repost anything without scanning it first. Everything you put on the internet represents your brand, and you need to make sure you don’t post anything that could hurt you or your business.

Take advantage of intelligent apps and programs.

We’re talking about HootSuite, Klout, and any other tech-savvy service that can help you post consistently and efficiently. Also, use your smart phone! Make sure your social media accounts are linked to your mobile, and that you check them and post periodically throughout the day. You can add multiple Twitter accounts to your Twitter app, and you can manage Facebook for Business effectively on your iPhone, too.

Lastly, remember that this article might (hopefully!) help you, but other articles will, too. Read, change, evolve, and keep up with what’s going on out there, because if you don’t, you will NOT be on par to those who do. We live in a competitive world, and there are many people willing to go the extra mile and work an extra 2 hours every single day to ensure their bases are covered when it comes to content marketing and social media.

If you absolutely cannot find time, then consider hiring Fresh + Fit. We know what we’re doing, and we offer extremely competitive rates. We help you make it possible to focus on your business, while we focus on your online presence.

Cheers!


 

*If you’re interested in having fun, energetic, and informative blogs written for YOU by Fresh + Fit Vancouver writers, click HERE.

 

5 Rules for Social Media Automation

Our lives are insane. Glorious, but insane. We are living in a generation of bigger, better, faster, stronger. (Thank you, Daft Punk.) So we cut corners when we can and try and we stretch our hours to make it seem as though our days are 30 hours, not 24.

(Even though they actually feel like 6.)

Automating your social media posts sounds genius, and it is, until it isn’t. What do we mean? Well, there are rules to follow regarding social automation, and that’s what this post is about. Check ‘em out:

DO Use Hootsuite to Schedule Your Week in Advance

I know, we’re plugging HootSuite, but honestly? It deserves to be talked about. HootSuite Scheduler is an amazing tool that allows you to fill your socials calendar and post on a consistent basis. Use it!

DON’T Forget to Measure How Well Those Posts Did

Because otherwise, there’s no point. If you’re posting irrelevant information that your audience doesn’t connect with or care about, there’s no point to posting. Period. The whole idea is to be providing interesting content that your readers will enjoy, which makes them want to connect with you, which makes them want to do business with you.

So no blind posts—watch the reactions, and measure their success. If you’re noticing a buzz, great! Keep doing it. If not, it’s time to change your content. You won’t know this unless you measure.

Content

DO Make Your Posts Relevant to Your Audience

There’s that ‘r’ word, again. Relevance is to social media what ketchup is to a hot dog—you gotta have it.

By creating and posting and re-posting content that your readers will enjoy and connect with, you are doing them a service. You’re helping them. You’re making a difference, and they won’t forget it—they’ll come back for more.

If your content is not relevant to the audience who sees it, you need to either change your audience, or change your content.

DON’T Forget to Read the Articles You’re Promoting

This one seems like a no-brainer, but we have ALL been there when a message pops up that reads “What about this article is appealing to you? Have you read it?”

And the answer? Uhh…nope.

Don’t put yourself in the position where you’re sharing content that you don’t even like or agree with, because you didn’t take the time to make sure it reflected you or your online persona. Open up those links, and read, baby, read.

DO Change the Way Your Posts Look Depending on the Platform

This is also important, because while Twitter requires 140 characters or less minus an image file (which is totally clutch because we’re a lazy society who loves to look at pictures instead of read) and/or link, Facebook is much more chatty, and Instagram’s pics need to be high-quality—not the same kind of pics you can get away with on Twitter.

We’re not saying you have to completely post different things, but what you post on Twitter and Facebook may not be right for Instagram. And what you post on Instagram is using much too short and concise for Facebook.

Bottom line? Make sure your posts make sense.

There are many more rules to learn, but we feel these are the basics. Once you’ve got these down, you’re good to roll up your sleeves and learn more. Because that’s what social media is all about: learning. It’s about sharing content, connecting with people, and measuring your impact.

And you ROCK, so we want to hear from you. Connect with us @freshfitvan.


 

*If you’re interested in having fun, energetic, and informative blogs written for YOU by Fresh + Fit Vancouver writers, click HERE.

 

Effective Content Marketing in 5 Simple Steps

Fresh and Fit Vancouver is a collective of writers that supply the local wellness community with content writing and social media management—and there’s a lot that goes into making sure our writing and posts are making connections.

The old way of sending a message to consumers is dead. We, in the last ten years or so, have reduced our ability or want or need to focus longer than about 8 seconds on any given piece of information. What does that mean? It means that when you want to communicate something to a potential customer or client, you’d better do it in a way that makes them want to deliberately focus for longer than that. Your message needs to be interesting, relevant, new, and contain visual stimulation.

This is where the term ‘content marketing’ comes in:

“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”

Here are 5 things your message needs to contain in order to be successfully absorbed by consumers, and these are things our writers strive to include when compiling our tailored blog posts:

Originality

When consumers are looking to make a purchase, commit to a subscription, or invest their time and hard-earned money in a specific company, they need something to stand out about what you have to offer. If you’re offering the same thing as everyone else, why would they choose you?

Offering original content is vital to the success of catching and maintaining a reader’s focus. When people learn something new, they remember you, and that is what it’s all about. Content drives traffic, and good content pulls you up to the top of relevant Google searches. Which brings us to…

(But first, click HERE to read over 30 interesting stats and facts about content marketing.)

Content Marketing

Relevance

In order words, know your demographic, and market to your target audience. If you’re blogging consistently about light fixtures to a readership who’s interested in food photography, you might be putting a lot of content out there, but it’s doing nothing to help you or your home hardware business.

You need to know who you’re targeting, and understand their needs. Then, give them information that they can use and keep coming back for. If you read this post because the term ‘content marketing’ is in the title, and then we gave you a piece on the best time to post a blog, that wouldn’t be helpful to you. You wanted to learn about content marketing.

Not surprisingly, this happens all the time.

Make sure your writing is relevant to what the reader is looking for when conducting a Google search, or thinks he’s going to get by reading the title of your blog post.

Interest

I’m often reeled into reading a blog post, if it begins with a hook and a sensational title. You could be writing about the same thing, but a title that says “Fresh Water Fishing” won’t be as interesting to most people as a title that reads “5 Ways NOT to be a Loser on the Lake.”

There are many other ways to create interest, but in our opinion, one of the best ways, is to be yourself and try not to copy other writers. Your writing and blog structure will be more interesting if it’s from a different prospective than everyone else’s, and it will be if you’re true to yourself and supply unique writing, in your own voice.

Visuals

This might make us sound a bit like monkeys, but we’ve become lazy, and prefer to look at pictures instead of read words. (Maybe not all of us, but most of us.) As juvenile as that may sound, visual stimulation helps your readers to remember your post. A funny meme or a helpful video is what people remember and respond to, in this age of lack-of-focus.

For example, would you rather read the steps to complete a certain exercise, or be taught how to do it on video? Most of us respond much better to PopSugar Fitness videos than we do when reading about the same exercise in a health magazine.

Besides memes and videos, simple images and brand logos do the trick. Remember: assume you only have 8 seconds to convince someone to read your post. You want to make it as stimulating as possible.

A Call-to-Action

Every single time you end a piece of writing intended to be read by your target audience, you need to include a call-to-action. What’s a call-to-action? It’s basically asking for your readers’ business or continued attention.

For example, you might write “To view more posts on this subject, click HERE”, and then link HERE to another one of your bog posts. Another example might be “If you enjoyed this writing, why not let us know? Feel free to comment below!” Or, it might be “Like this blog? Hire us to write your blogs for you.”

A call-to-action is simply a way to encourage your readers to continue their relationship with you, and there are many ways to accomplish this.

To recap: your to-do list for successful content marketing includes:

  1. Originality
  2. Relevance
  3. Interest
  4. Visuals
  5. Call-to-Action

When your message incorporates the five things listed above, it has a MUCH better chance at being successful at attracting new clients and retaining current ones. Content is the present and future of marketing, and learning how to do it effectively will garner impressive results.


*If you’re interested in having fun, energetic, and informative blogs written for YOU by Fresh + Fit Vancouver writers, click HERE.

(Hint: This is a call-to-action.)

Back-to-School Breakfast Ideas by NutraCleanse™

We can’t believe we’re writing this already, but back-to-school is just around the corner! It’s the last day of August, and the Vancouver weather is looking a little grim. We want to make your day brighter, so we decided to provide you with some easy and healthy meal ideas: 3 recipes for quick and easy back-to-school breakfasts by NutraCleanse™.

Here are several great options that work well for busy mornings:

Smoothies

A smoothie is always a go-to because it can be blended up and taken on the road as you head to school or work.

Smoothie

Overnight Oats

Overnight oats are awesome because they can be prepared the night before, and are ready to go in to morning. If you make them in a mason jar, they’re also easily portable.

Fibre

Nutrient-Dense Muffins

Finally, baking up a batch of muffins on the weekend makes an easy breakfast that can be grabbed as you’re running out the door.

Wholegrain Muffins

No matter what you go for, it’s ideal to get a mix of both protein and fibre to keep you going until lunch time. That’s why adding a supplement like NutraCleanse™ is great, because it makes it easy to get a dose of many different nutrients at once. Primarily composed of ground flaxseed, NutraCleanse™ is a fabulous source of fibre, which lends you energy and a happy, healthy gut.

To see exactly what we’re talking about and reap some recipe rewards, read more HERE.

To get the recipe for the cover photo (Beet Pancakes by Tanya R. Loewen), check out Baby Nosh: Plant-Based, Gluten-Free Goodness for Baby’s Food Sensitivities.

To watch Jennifer Browne on BT Vancouver talk about back-to-school breakfasts using chia seeds and NutraCleanse™, see below:

 


 

*If you’re interested in having fun, energetic, and informative blogs written for YOU by Fresh + Fit Vancouver writers, click HERE.

Baby Food Revolution: 5 rules that are changing

Until recently, there were a ton of rules when it came to feeding your baby her first foods, and it seems that we all just accepted these rules and followed them without question. In the past few years, however, experts have been questioning these old-school rules and making a great case for throwing out that old rule book to make room for common sense and deliciously nutritious fare.

Jarred, mushy peas used to be totally cool for baby, but today’s babies know that bland, old applesauce is just unacceptable. Can you imagine eating hospital food for a whole year? Because that’s what we imagine old-school baby food must taste like to babies: old, cold, and super boring.

So, what exactly are we talking about here?

The following 5 rules are changing quickly, and your baby may be lucky enough to benefit from them. Check ‘em out:

ONE.

Old Rule: Spices are a no-no, because a baby can’t handle them.

New Rule: Spices are totally necessary! How is your baby supposed to ever love different flavours if she’s never introduced to them? Do you want to be that family who goes for Indian and whose kids are eating plain, white rice? Or do you want you kids competing for the curried vegetables?

We want to encourage you to take your family on a culinary walk on the wild side, and introduce your baby to exotic flavours—the earlier the better. 6 months is not too early for a little ginger or cardamom.

TWO.

Old Rule: It’s perfectly acceptable to buy pre-packaged baby nosh—in fact, that’s just how it’s done.

New Rule: Homemade baby food is where it’s at. There are waaayy more nutrients in fresh and mindfully created food produced by you for your own baby. It’s also cheaper, and more environmentally friendly. (Say goodbye to all those glass jars.)

THREE.

Old Rule: No nuts for baby under the age of two.

New Rule: You can introduce nut products (like almond milk) as young as 9 months. Experts agree that by slowly introducing former allergens like nuts early, and a little at a time, you can prevent an allergy situation that could occur by tossing your toddler a peanut butter sandwich on his second birthday.

In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released a report in 2008 showing that there is no research to back up the old allergy rule.

Pediatrician Frank Greer, former chairman of the AAP’s Committee on Nutrition, says “There is no evidence that delaying the introduction of these foods beyond 4 to 6 months prevents food allergies.”

If your baby is showing signs of being sensitive to external factors (like displaying eczema), then this is the exception to the new rule. Eczema and asthma often signal a possibility of allergies to other things, so in this case, nuts should still be put in hold for a bit longer. If you know you have a sensitive baby and aren’t sure what to feed her, check out Baby Nosh: Plant-Based, Gluten-Free Goodness for Baby’s Food Sensitivities.

FOUR.

Old Rule: Feeding your baby only a few different vegetables is sufficient.

New Rule: Feed your baby different vegetables constantly. Eat the rainbow. Your baby should be introduced to several varieties of roots, squashes, beans, whole grains, fruit, and everything in between. Peas and carrots aren’t enough—get crazy.

FIVE.

Old Rule: Babies need a daily breastmilk replacement (or 4 or 6!) until they’re two.

New Rule: Babies need breastmilk or formula until they naturally wean (around a year or so), and then can totally stay hydrated on water, fresh-pressed juices, and milk alternatives, such as almond, coconut, rice, and hemp milk. There is no need for cow’s milk ever, and unless your baby is very underweight, she does not need commercially-prepared formula past that first 12 months.

So what are you waiting for? Your baby is hungry and tired of living according to old rules. Let’s shake them up a little, get brave and maybe a little wild, and create space for growing a healthy palate on your little one.

Wanna know why conventional baby food looks gross? ‘Cuz it’s gross. Let’s make it better.

 


*If you’re interested in having fun, energetic, and informative blogs written for YOU by Fresh + Fit Vancouver writers, click HERE.

5 HOT Hair Products for Sexy, Summer Locks

There’s no mistaking it—this summer’s turning out to be a hot son of a bitch. (Which we can’t really complain about, because we live in Canada, land of igloos and polar bears. Or a least that’s what some of our southern neighbours seem to think. Ha.)

In researching hair care products that hold their own when it comes to heat, sun, chlorine, and salt, I came across some amazing finds. For the days (or weeks) that you just can’t make it to the salon, you need to be armed with a selection of easy fixes for your hair.

Check them out!

Aveda Sun CareKeratase

Aveda Sun Care Protective Hair Care

A half-dozen spritzes of this ecofriendly, lightweight, water-resistant find while at (or after!) the pool or beach will keep your hair colour looking fresh all summer long. Purchase for $26.00 at aveda.com.

Kérastase Nutritive Bain Oléo-Curl/OléoRelax Masque

Chlorine and salt water can leave your naturally cute curls looking tight, shellacked, dry, and crispy. Tame your frizzy, sunned-out hair with shorea and palm oils, and bring your glossy, gorgeous locks back. Purchase for $39.00 at kerastase.com.

Philip B Maui Wowie

Philip B Maui WowiePaul Mitchell

Beachy waves are HOT right now. To get the look, divide your damp hair into three or four sections (three for finer hair, and four for thicker hair), and braid each section. Unravel your locks when they’re semi-dry, then complete the look with Philip B Maui Wowie Beach Mist. Purchase for $22.00 at philipb.com.

Paul Mitchell Hot off the Press Spray

This 2015 winner of best heat-protecting spray goes on dry hair, so no need to plan ahead. Rice-hull extracts insulate hair strands from damage caused by curling rods and flatirons, and protect against serious heat—something we’ll have plenty of in the next couple of months. Purchase for $18.00 at paulmitchell.com.

Davines Hair Pak

Plan on hitting the pool or beaching it today? Counteract sun, chlorine, and seawater damage with a rich hair mask. Davines After Sun Moisturizing Pak contains 100% natural ingredients, like almond butter and argan oil. Locks are left soft and shiny and looking fab. Purchase for $26.50 at davines.com.

Interested in a stylist making product recommendations specific to YOUR hair? Visit Fusion Hair Design; these ladies and gents will hook you up with professional advice and applications. You can also visit their Facebook page HERE.


*If you’re interested in having fun, energetic, and informative blogs written for YOU by Fresh + Fit Vancouver writers, click HERE.

Singletree Winery: escape, gaze, taste, + breathe

Rolling into the launch for this new Fraser Valley winery, I was greeted by three children in matching t-shirts, who happily directed me to where I was to park. There was an assigned attendant for this job, but he was quickly overruled by the kids.

Cute.

The display was totally in sync with the family feel of the event: founded by father and son, Singletree Winery is all about family, history, and taking giant leaps of faith.

The first four varieties of grapes were planted five years ago after Andrew Etsell caught what his wife terms “the wine bug,” while doing an apprenticeship at Mission Hill Family Estate Winery. With the encouragement of their son, husband and wife team Garnet and Debbie Etsell began their grape experiment with two acres, and after the first four grape varieties flourished, more varieties were planted on the lower level of the property in 2012 and 2013.

In five short years, the 67 acre property has seen 12 of those acres planted to vineyard.

singletreewinery

Land that had previously been used for dairy farming, fruit and vegetable planting, and turkey raising, is now officially full of grapes. It is the same area that was home to Lehman’s Landing, a gold rush stop used to offload supplies. The name Singletree refers to this rich heritage—a singletree is a part of a working horse harness, and both the name and logo of the winery speak to the very Canadian history this area of the Fraser Valley can attest to.

The formal launch was attended by a few dozen family members, friends, various media personnel, and city officials. Both Abbotsford MLA Mike de Jong and Deputy Mayor Patricia Ross gave short (but entertaining) speeches, and the presentation of the singletree that inspired the idea for the winery’s name was followed by a ribbon cutting and a catered lunch of salmon and greens.

The best part of this event? The wine, of course. Being a red wine drinker, I was hesitant to accept the glass of Pinot Gris that was offered to me. Being around 25 degrees in the hot morning sun, white wine made sense over red. And guess what?

It was lovely.

singletree4

Located on the corner of Harris and Mt. Lehman, Singletree Winery should be on your radar as a place to escape, take in the gorgeous view, taste a little wine, and take a deep breath. If you’re interested in trying one (or more!) of Singletree’s vintages, shop HERE.


 

*If you’re interested in having fun, energetic, and informative blogs written for YOU by Fresh + Fit Vancouver writers, click HERE.