Locals know Alberni Valley as a vibrant city where numerous non-profit organizations and volunteers work to build an even better community.
Pot Luck Ceramics wants to hear about them.
Fully run by volunteers, Pot Luck Ceramics raises funds through the sale of Catalonian terra cotta creations, which it then distributes to deserving local organizations.
The Mediterranean atmosphere of Pot Luck Cottage is the perfect backdrop for the beautifully functional cookware ideal for oven or barbecue, and shoppers love the often colourful Spanish dinnerware that looks equally lovely on the dining table or patio.
Even better is knowing the proceeds from their purchase support vital work in their community, says Helma Swinkels, CEO of Pot Luck Ceramics.
Founded initially as a co-operative, with an eye to supporting the kitchen at the Alberni Valley Hospice Society’s Ty Watson House, today co-op members also consider other non-profit programs working to improve quality of life in the community.
“We never ask for a donation, We ask people to buy something beautiful and something they can use that will help the quality of life here in the Valley,” Swinkels says, noting that in their seven years, Pot luck Ceramics shoppers have helped raise more than $141,000.
“Not only do they love the ceramics, but they have that feel-good feeling knowing they’re giving back, and the product really does sell itself,” Swinkels says.
This summer, store visitors can have their say as to where proceeds go. The Pot Luck Ceramics Spotlight on the Community invites residents to visit the store and share why they think a particular local organization should benefit from the fundraising.
On Aug. 18, four finalists will be announced and profiled in the Valley, and residents will be asked to weigh in on which they think should receive a $10,000 donation from Pot Luck Ceramics. Armed with that information, members will consider the public’s feedback, before announcing this year’s recipient at a celebration in the store, Swinkels says. The goal throughout the process is not only to fund well-deserving local initiatives, but to raise the awareness of those programs and organizations.
“I’m really excited about it because it really is going to engage the community,” Swinkels says.