‘Savor the Couve’ recognized as the Best Idea Program

The Greater Vancouver Chamber (GVC) is proud to announce that “Savor the Couve” has been recognized with the Best Idea Program award, sponsored by Destination Marketing Association of the West (DMA West). This annual achievement award showcases innovative projects and creative marketing strategies.

Produced by GVC and Visit Vancouver USA and presented by ilani Resort, “Savor the Couve” was launched in November 2020 as a collaborative weekly take-out dining experience to entice people to support locally owned restaurants and nonprofit organizations during the pandemic. The community came together to give back during a time that small businesses were struggling to keep serving, and when indoor dining was heavily restricted.

Each week, restaurants, bakeries, breweries and wineries collaborated to offer 150 five-course meals, each order curated and served two diners. Each restaurant supplying one course, showcasing a menu item of their choice. The meals, consisting of two crafted cocktails or wine, appetizers, entrées and desserts, were prepared in reusable containers and placed in an insulated bag to maintain temperatures and handed out drive-thu style at a specified location. The meals cost $100 for two people, with $25 of every order purchased donated to a different nonprofit each week.

From November 2020 to March 2021, “Savor the Couve” generated $136,072 for 32 local restaurants. Through the 16-week program, 3,728 meals were purchased, and to underscore how delicious these meals were, 690 customers re-purchased over multiple weeks. In addition, $46,600 was raised for 16 local nonprofit organizations. The program was so successful that it was extended after the initial planned eight weeks and will return Nov. 4 for another 16-week run.

“This collaboration brought out the best in Vancouver and highlighted what two economic development organizations can do when they work together to help business survive during the toughest of times. The Chamber team, working alongside our peers at Visit Vancouver, had laser vision with the intent and execution of this program; to support restaurants who were impacted by the pandemic and provide a way to give to our local nonprofits whose opportunities to bring in income was hamstrung but their services were fundamental to addressing the symptoms felt by the community due to the pandemic,” said Janet Kenefsky, VP of Membership & Operations of the Chamber.

“Savor the Couve” received the Best Idea Program award during the 2021 DMA West Education Summit held from Sept. 29 to Oct. 1, 2021, in Vancouver. Other organizations like Visit Mesa, Oregon’s Mt. Hood Territory and Visit Tri-Cities were also recognized for their outstanding innovative projects.

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Joanna Yorke is the managing editor of the Vancouver Business Journal. She has worked in the journalism field since 2010 after graduating from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University in Pullman. Yorke worked at The Reflector Newspaper in Battle Ground for six years and then worked at and helped start ClarkCountyToday.com.