Skip to content

Bragg Creek woman wins free shopping spree in local grocery store

Observing a division of labour that goes back millennia, while her husband and son were out in the wilderness hunting, Jenny Hoops was busy gathering.

It was a division of labour that goes back millennia – when her husband and son were out in the wilderness hunting, Jenny Hoops was busy gathering.

Hoops’s heartrate was elevated as she gripped the handle of her grocery cart at Bragg Creek Family Foods Nov. 24, and as a staffer shouted “Go!” she took off on a 50-second shopping spree she had won in an online contest with the store’s wholesaler, TGP Foods.

After a brief pause at the coffee section, which she later explained was her way of recognizing the importance of shopping locally, she went straight for the meat.

The in-house butcher, who had just finished filling the display with various cuts of beef, chicken, pork, and lamb, could only watch, bemused.

Hoops was laser-focused during her 50-second grab-and-dash; she had obviously scouted out the store ahead of time.

“I stopped at the coffee shelf because I think it’s important to shop local,” she said, before complimenting Bragg Creek Foods, her grocer of choice.

“I shop here once a week or so. I really like to shop local, it’s a really good store – they have awesome meat,” she said, laughing.

With grocery prices skyrocketing in recent months, Hoops’s free spree couldn’t have come at a more opportune time.

“I can really use the food – I have two teenage boys, who are athletes, so, yeah, I can use the food,” she said.

Her 16-year-old and 19-year-old compete in biathlons. They will be hungry around Christmas.

Immediately following the staffer’s command to “Stop!” Hoops was asked if she had any advice for people struggling to make ends meet this time of year, especially with escalating grocery prices. Still buzzing from the adrenaline rush, she said, “When they say enter online, enter online! It works!

“I’m so excited – it’s just like winning the lottery,” she said.

Shopping in Bragg Creek, Hoops said, also supports a local family. In this case, that would be Uwe and Lori Gildemeister, who’ve owned and operated Bragg Creek Foods since 2002.

When she’s not shopping til she’s dropping, Hoops is an audio book narrator. In fact, she’s even recording one next week. It’s a Canadian non-fiction book about – oddly enough – the economics of food production.

Hoops, wrapped up in the spirit of the season, made a $250 donation to the Bragg Creek Community Association, which they will pass along to a family in need this Christmas. The hamlet’s community association has reached out to Banded Peak School to help identify a family who could use the support.

Members of the community association were on hand to accept her cheque and cheer Hoops on as she made her frantic dash around the store.

She wanted to stress there are no restrictions on what the local family plans to do with the money; utility bills, food bills, presents, cost of putting kids into hockey – whatever the case may be.

“I’m in a fortunate position, and I’d like to share my windfall here, and I know there’s some people in the community who could really use some help,” she explained, as she loaded her wares into the SUV, and headed home to fill the freezer with meat.

There was no word on whether her husband and son were bringing back a deer from their hunting excursion, but after Hoops was done gathering, there might not have been any room.

Howard May

About the Author: Howard May

Howard was a journalist with the Calgary Herald and with the Abbotsford Times in BC, where he won a BC/Yukon Community Newspaper Association award for best outdoor writing.
Read more


push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks