Downtown Red Deer Business Association

Downtown Red Deer ideal for start-up businesses and entrepreneurs

The Red Deer Downtown Business Association (DBA) is pleased to announce that vacancy rates have dropped in the downtown and downtown Red Deer continues to be the ideal location for start-up businesses and entrepreneurs.

According to Salomons Commercial, in the second quarter, retail vacancy rates in the downtown have dropped from 10.83% to 9.27%. Also, the average price per square foot downtown is the lowest in the City at $13.39, this positions downtown as the best place for entrepreneurs and start-up businesses.

For anyone interested in starting a business downtown, the DBA offers a number of subsidies including façade improvement and radio advertising programs to members. For more information about any of the programs the DBA offers, please visit our website (https://downtownreddeer.com/programs/).

The Downtown Business Association has been operating in Red Deer for over 30 years, serving approximately five-hundred business owners in the Downtown area. Through partnerships and leadership in advocacy and promotion, the DBA is the catalyst for a vibrant and prosperous downtown that is the place to live, work, play, and do business.

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For more information, please contact:
Amanda Gould
Executive Director
Red Deer Downtown Business Association
403-340-8696
amanda.gould@downtownreddeer.com

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Business Spotlight: Stella Bean Sweets

This week’s Business Spotlight shines on Stella Bean Sweets! We stopped by the coffee shop located at 100, 4808 50th street and talked with the owner, Estie Van Der Velden, to learn more about this business.

What is your business?

Our business is Stella Bean Sweets. We’re a coffee and pastry shop and do breakfast and lunch. But our specialty is sweet, all things sweet!

When did your business open?

We opened three years ago in 2017. 

What makes your business unique?

Think what makes us unique is we try and do something different than all the other businesses when we can. So we do specialty cakes and cupcakes, lots of different sweets. And then we do ‘High Tea’ events, and we just brought those back. So basically, you can sit down and have a cup of tea and enjoy a three-tier platter of goodies like sandwiches, scones, and other sweet treats. They’re so much fun!

What are some products that you offer?

So we’re famous for our lemon meringue tarts. And like any tarts, really so there’s lemon, salted, key lime tarts, and then we have like a caramel apple toffee tart. And then we have lots of doughnuts, which we switch those up every week. We also offer cannoli’s as well as various other items such as coffee, teas, lattes, specialty drinks, etc.

Why did you choose Downtown Red Deer as the location for your business?

Well because I love downtown Red Deer. I just think it’s such so cute and quaint like if I had to pick anyone anywhere in Red Deer, I wanted it to be downtown to so I could add to the culture of it.

What do you think makes Downtown vibrant?

So much! It’s like all the different activities, like Ross Street Patio, which was bumping last night. And then the Downtown Market which is so awesome! So just like all these different activities and then such a wide range of businesses, I would say, that all carry unique things. You can come downtown, it’s not for the same businesses. Like every business you go to is so uniquely different and they bring something else to downtown. 

I love Downtown Red Deer because… I like what it has to offer for Red Deer. I always encourage my friends to come down because I love not just one thing, I love everything. I love that there are flowers in the park, I love that there are patios, I love that it’s all local. If you come to downtown Red Deer, you’re supporting local. So downtown is to me, the heart of Red Deer. And that’s where all the local businesses are. So if you love downtown then you love supporting local and you love supporting families that live here.

If you’re looking for a sweet treat be sure to stop by Stella Bean Sweets, they have something for everyone! Keep an eye out for their high tea events and their weekly donut lists on their social media pages.

Website: https://www.stella-bean-sweets.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/stellabeansweetsreddeer

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/stellabeansweets/

Check back next week for another business spotlight! If you would like to see your Downtown business spotlighted, please contact us at 403-340-8696 or info@downtownreddeer.com.

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Featured Vendors of the Week: Klein Farms & Shirley’s Greenhouse

This week’s featured vendors are Klein Farms and Shirley’s Greenhouse! We caught up with them at last week’s market to learn a bit more about their business!

Klein Farms

How did you start your business?

A growing demand for humanely raised free-ranged poultry for our local community.

What kind of products do you sell?

Humanely raised free-range poultry, locally grown berries from our orchard.

What is your “best selling” product?

Klein Farms makes seven different kinds of delicious chicken sausage.

What makes you a unique vendor?

Klein Farms is family owned and operated.

Where are you located and/or can you find your products at other locations?

Klein Farm is located 40 minutes East of Red Deer on 19th street on Highway 595

How long have you been a part of the Downtown Red Deer Market?

As long as I can remember Klein Farms has been part of the Downtown Market.

What is your favourite thing about the Downtown Red Deer Market?

Klein Farms loves the cheerful atmosphere and vendor camaraderie.

 

Shirley’s Greenhouse

How did you start your business?

Shirley’s Greenhouse started with a greenhouse that produces tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers, and a 20-acre vegetable field has been incorporated over the years.

What kind of products do you sell?

We sell greenhouse tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and field vegetables such as brassicas, root crops, leafy greens, herbs, corn, and much more!

What is your “best selling” product?

The “candy” grape tomatoes have become the most popular product that we produce. They are so sweet and our amazing customers eat them like candy!

What makes you a unique vendor?

We grow everything that we sell, here in Didsbury, Alberta! When you come to our booth, the veggies are local, fresh, and pesticide-free!

Where are you located and/or can you find your products at other locations?

We are located off the Bergthal Road, east of Didsbury. You can find our veggies in Red Deer at the Artisan Market on Ross and the new Gasoline Alley Indoor Market, opening in November. We are also at The Uptowne Market in Olds, The Farm Table in Carstairs, Symons Valley Ranch Market, and Avenida Food Hall in Calgary.

How long have you been a part of the Downtown Red Deer Market?

This is our second year at the Downtown Red Deer Market, and we look forward to many more!

What is your favourite thing about the Downtown Red Deer Market?

Our loyal supporters of the market, who come every week to consume the veggies we grow! We love supporting local and connecting with the community of Red Deer.

 

Be sure to check them out at this week’s market and stay tuned for next week’s featured vendors!

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Business Spotlight: Artisan Food Market

This week’s Business Spotlight is the Artisan Food Market on Ross Street. Located at 4916 50 (Ross) Street and a newer addition to the array of businesses located on Ross Street, this spot brings local vendors from all over the province to one central place. We stopped in to chat with the Owner, Alexander Lobkov, to learn more about his business.

What is your business?

We are Artisan Food Market on Ross. And what we do is get a bunch of products from vendors from farmers’ markets and small-time business owners, and try to get them all into one store so people can browse their favorite selections.   

                                                                                  

When did your business open?

We opened in April, end of April of this year. What a time to be open, to be honest, but we survived through the first and we will see how the fall goes.

 What makes your business unique?  

It’s just the variety of different products that we carry from small little businesses, under one roof. So we carry 30 different vendors so it gives you quite a variety of what you see here and what to shop and try out and all that jazz. 

What are some products/services that you offer?  

So we do customer orders for the  D Dutchman Dairy and our other vendors here and we offer various products from the following vendors:

  • Adila Chocolaterie
  • Ambrosial Cheesecake Shop
  • Bamboo Dumplings
  • Black Forest German Bakery
  • Cain’s Mustard
  • Confetti Sweets
  • D Dutchmen Dairy
  • Dad’s Sausage and Cured Meats
  • Earth Group
  • Edgar Farms
  • Going Nuts
  • Henry’s Honey
  • Herbal Healing Tea
  • Infused Mediterranean Foods
  • Irvings Farm Fresh
  • Latin Food Specialties
  • Little Bear Gelato
  • Longview Beef Jerky
  • Lupits Kitchen
  • Momma G’s Kitchen
  • Moms Happy Kitchen
  • Mountain Rhino Gluten Free
  • Occam’s Razor
  • Orgali
  • Pat’s Greenhouse & Gourmet Jellies
  • Rustic & Modern Home Cooking
  • Shirleys Greenhouse
  • Soupin It Up!
  • Stawnichy’s
  • Sunshine Blends
  • Taco Loft
  • Taste of Ukraine
  • Tasty Kitchen Creations
  • Thai Manna
  • The Go Tu
  • The Happy Kernel Kettle Corn Company
  • Troubled Monk
  • Wildrose Coffee Roasting

Why did you choose Downtown Red Deer as the location for your business?

We wanted to support downtown! This is kind of a personal endeavor for me. So, I’ve always loved downtown since I moved to Red Deer five years ago. So, I just wanted to support it and yeah, that’s why we came down here.

 What do you think makes Downtown vibrant?  

Having the unique little shops around here is definitely what I love about downtown and that’s what draws me here and that’s why I made our business so unique is so we just fit in so perfectly down here.

I love Downtown Red Deer because… I love the live music that goes on, I love the Christmas lights, the parade, not so much this year, but definitely, in the future, I’m sure they’ll be back on again. And yeah, that’s why I love downtown. It’s a small town with a big city feel.

Next time you’re downtown, be sure to check out Artisan Food Market on Ross where they are always bringing in fresh local products to discover!

Follow their social media pages for updates on new vendors and products!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ArtisanFoodMarketonRoss

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/artisanfoodmarket/ 

Check back next week for another business spotlight! If you would like to see your Downtown business spotlighted, please contact us at 403-340-8696 or info@downtownreddeer.com.

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Featured Vendors of the Week: Innisfail Growers & Troubled Monk

This week’s Downtown Red Deer Market featured vendors are Innisfail Growers and Troubled Monk. Check out their interviews below!

Innisfail Growers

How did you start your business?

Innisfail Growers is a co-operative of 5 local farms established in 1993.

What kind of products do you sell?

We sell central Alberta’s freshest, best local produce.

What is your “best selling” product?

So many! Beck Farms Carrots, Edgar Farms Peas, Upper Green Farms Potatoes, Jungle Farm Strawberries and Hillside Greenhouses Tomatoes.

What makes you a unique vendor?

We grow fabulous fresh produce right here in Central Alberta.

Where are you located and/or can you find your products at other locations?

The 5 Innisfail Growers Farms are located in the Innisfail Area. We do attend several other markets in the Central Alberta area: https://www.innisfailgrowers.com/markets

How long have you been a part of the Downtown Red Deer Market?

We’re proud to say we’ve been part of the Downtown Red Deer Market right from the very beginning! We sat on the committee that planned the first market and developed the guidelines for the market.

What is your favourite thing about the Downtown Red Deer Market?

Everything! The outdoor ambiance and atmosphere. We love our loyal customers at this market and the vendor mix is great. The Red Deer Downtown Market is one of our favourites!

Troubled Monk

How did you start your business?

Charlie started brewing beer in his garage. We have come a long way in 5 years.

What kind of products do you sell?

We sell craft beer, spirits, and craft soda.

What is your “best selling” product?

We have a few for sure! Troubled Tea, Epitaph Gin, Daycation, and Juicy Gossip. Saskatoon Soda is also another popular one.

What makes you a unique vendor?

We have such a wide variety of products, something for everyone!

Where are you located and/or can you find your products at other locations?

5551 45th Street, Red Deer. Located really close to the Market.

How long have you been a part of the Downtown Red Deer Market?

We have been part of it for a few years now.

What is your favourite thing about the Downtown Red Deer Market?

We love supporting local and helping to build a wonderful community.

Check them out at this week’s market! And check back next week for our next vendor features!

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Business Spotlight: CanWest Travel Company

For this week’s Business Spotlight, we stopped into CanWest Travel Company. Located at 5018 50 St (Ross Street), CanWest Travel Company has been part of downtown for over 24 years! We sat down with, managing partner, Joanne Walokoff, to learn more.

What is your business?

CanWest Travel, a retail business agency.

When did you open?

1996.

What would you say makes your business unique?

We’re the only one downtown, I believe. We serve all of Central Alberta. We used to have a location in the south as well. We specialize in African travel, and we custom design any trip that people want—whereas other traditional travel agencies will sell packages that are already put together. But we love to customize plans for people, make it their own.

What are some products/services that you offer?

We are full retail, so we sell airline tickets, do hotel bookings, all-inclusive packages, cruises, coach tours, expeditions tours, expedition cruises, lots of niche products like polar bear adventures—that sort of thing. That is what full service is, I guess.

Why did you choose Downtown Red Deer as the location for your business?

Well my brother and I are partners here, and we are from Red Deer, so we just wanted to be in the center, in the heart. This is our third location in Red Deer, but we’ve always had a location downtown and we just love the people that are down here and want to see it thrive.

What do you think makes Downtown vibrant?

I think it’s the mix of people, and the mix of businesses—people coming for lots of different reasons; for hair, for groceries, for travel, for banking… lots of different services, shopping, dining. It just has a lot to offer and City Hall Park is a beautiful place to hang out, have some lunch. Ross Street Patio is always fun, the market is great. People are coming down if its once a week or once a month, there is still something to draw them to the heart of Red Deer.

I love Downtown Red Deer because… it is home for us. We don’t live downtown but we work downtown, and the majority of our time is here, and it’s been successful for us. And we do enjoy the diversity of people. We see a lot of the people from C.A.R.E. go by and have served a lot of them. We collect clothes and housewares for new immigrants and refugees in our basement, and we have volunteers at TGSL. We get a lot of those people that come in that we meet and welcome them, so they have a comfortable place in town. I just love a lot of things about it, even some of the street people are so awesome, it just makes it more unique. Lots of people are scared to come downtown and I am so shocked by that, really, people are harmless. So, I love downtown because it’s our home, and we’ve made it our home. It’s not big and concrete either, like downtown Edmonton. It’s big and busy—I like that it’s small and more cozy, intimate. And lots of small businesses, which is nice. If you look across the street you can see four other businesses.

 

Be sure to check out CanWest Travel Company for your next vacation! You can find them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

Website: https://canwest.travel/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CanWestTravel/ 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/canwesttravelcompany/ 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/canwesttravel

 

Check back next week for another business spotlight! If you would like to see your Downtown business spotlighted, please contact us at 403-340-8696 or info@downtownreddeer.com.

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Featured Vendors of the Week: Cafe Millennium and Taste of Ukraine

This week’s Downtown Red Deer Market featured vendors are Cafe Millennium and Taste of Ukraine. Check out their interviews below!

Cafe Millennium

How did you start your business?

We bought an established business from someone else.

What kind of products do you sell?

We sell soup and sandwiches, lunch specials, bakery items, and chocolates for different seasons.

What is your “best selling” product?

Our best selling product is our Pumpkin Cookies!

What makes you a unique vendor?

We make fresh baked, homestyle items on the daily!

Where are you located and/or can you find your products at other locations?

111 – 4909 49 street in the Millenium Centre Building.

How long have you been a part of the Downtown Red Deer Market?

Ever since the downtown market started, over 10 years.

What is your favourite thing about the Downtown Red Deer Market?

It is small with all of the essentials.

Taste of Ukraine

How did you start your business?

I was cooking cupcakes and meals for my friends when I was on days off from the oilfield. Once the oilfield completely slowed down, I just kept on cooking and eventually, we built an industrial kitchen in my home to meet the demand and Taste of Ukraine took a life of its own.

What kind of products do you sell?

We sell a large variety of products, when it comes to the farmers market. We primarily focus on our perogies and cabbage rolls as those are the products that helped launch our company.

What is your “best selling” product?

It’s a toss-up between our perogies and cabbage rolls. Both of them are very popular!

What makes you a unique vendor?

Everything we sell from perogies, frozen meals, cabbage rolls etc. are handmade. Each perogy is hand pinched by our staff or family members. We also source as much of our ingredients as possible locally and use our traditional Ukrainian recipes. This helps maintain high-quality products that stand out on their own.

Where are you located and/or can you find your products at other locations?

We love Red Deer and the downtown so much that we even opened our own store called Artisan Food Market on Ross. You can find all of our products there along with other like-minded food vendors! We have over 32 vendors under one roof!

How long have you been a part of the Downtown Red Deer Market?

We have been part of the Downtown Red Deer Market for 3 years now. We absolutely love it here!

What is your favourite thing about the Downtown Red Deer Market?

Our family thinks it’s very cool how the DBA in association with the City of Red Deer are able to close the Gaetz street down to host a Farmers Market every week. It gives you a small sense of a European market style.

Check them out at this weeks market! And check back next week for our next vendor features!

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Business Spotlight: H&R Block

This week’s Business Spotlight shines on H&R Block’s downtown location at # 107, 4711 51 Avenue. We sat down with District Manager Janice Will, to learn more!

What is your business?

H& R Block is a tax preparation business and we help clients file their personal, business corporate and US taxes and we also do bookkeeping for our clients. When you file your taxes at H&R Block you can do it a number of ways such as virtually, you can upload your files on our website and a tax expert will file it for you and prepare it for you. And then you can also bring in to our easy drop off where you just put your tax documents into an envelope, and you bring it into our office. And then a tax expert will go over that with you and file that on your behalf. We also have our Do It Yourself software.

Now the other thing that we have is our Tax Academy, we offer that every year starting in September, and this is how we recruit our tax associates for the coming year.

When did your business open?

Our business opened in 1994 at this location and H&R block has been in Canada for over 55 years.

What makes your business unique?

Actually we have a couple of things that make us unique and one is our H&R Block Advantage and what that is, is it’s basically a maximum refund guarantee and audit assistance. This is offered to everyone who files with H&R Block at no cost, and also that we’re open year-round. The other thing is our Tax Academy, we have online classes, and this is the first time that we’ve just had strictly online due to COVID and they’re available at convenient times. The total course is 72 hours and in a guided online classroom setting. It includes tax theory and hands-on interactive learning with the latest tax preparation software. In this, there are real-world tax exercises as well as you can have one on one with your virtual instructor and know that once you complete the course then you have an opportunity to interview for employment with H&R Block and definitely have positions available. And if you are hired then we offer a flexible schedule as well as you can take more online learning and other courses to build your tax knowledge as well as your client base.

Another thing that makes us unique if our free second look. It will review up to three of your past returns looking for money, and well do that for free. So if others have done your taxes and you wanted them to be looked over we will actually look over those for free and help you file them if need be.

What are some products/services that you offer?

One of the things that we offer is the instant refund. This service is a great benefit for clients because then they can get their refund instantly. If you file your taxes at H&R Block and meet with a tax associate, we can see whether or not you can qualify for that. The other thing that we have is Peace Of Mind and by purchasing the Peace Of Mind Extended Service Plan you’ll have one of our professionals that’ll be with you through your ongoing CRA assessment or audit throughout the entire process. We also have Pay With Refund. And that’s paid later with H&R Block’s Pay With Refund. If you’re getting a refund, then you could qualify and then rather than paying out of pocket fees, we will take them out of your refund. So you can get your taxes often, catch 22 to get your taxes filed without making a payment.

Why did you choose Downtown Red Deer as the location for your business?

Because it’s very central to a lot of other businesses and because we have a great location just in the midst of the downtown as well.

What do you think makes Downtown vibrant?

So I was thinking about this and I love how many activities we have throughout the year. We have the Wednesday Downtown Red Deer Market. We have the seasonal patio programming, CentreFest, the parade, Red Deer Lights the Night, and many more. And all these activities are year-round!

I love Downtown Red Deer because… it’s the Culture Center of our community. And that is what I feel it is. And I really feel that the Downtown Business Association has been a great partner and driving clients to the downtown for our businesses, and also making it part of the culture center for Red Deer.

Be sure to head into H&R Block for all of your tax needs! For more information about H&R Block visit their website!

Website: https://www.hrblock.ca/stores/4711-51-ave-107/

Check back next week for another business spotlight! If you would like to see your Downtown business spotlighted, please contact us at 403-340-8696 or info@downtownreddeer.com.

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Business Spotlight: Studio 11 Beautique

For this week’s business spotlight, we stopped into Studio 11 Beautique! This charming space is located at #310, 5008 50th Street (right above MC College), Red Deer. This studio offers a wide variety of aesthetic services in a very pleasant and modern setting. We sat down with Kristyn Sutherland, owner of Studio 11 to learn more!

What is your business?

Our business is basically a hub for entrepreneurs who are in the aesthetics industry. They are contracted out of Studio 11 and use this space to run their businesses. We can offer them the support they need such as marketing, technique classes, and business consulting. Our focus is to reset the industry, to move away from competition, and to concentrate on collaboration. We are looking at how we can work together to build something big.

When did your business open?

Studio 11 was previously owned and then I took over September 2019. The previous owner was working with 3 or 4 staff members and now we are up to 9.

What makes your business unique?

Our focus is collaboration over competition. We want to make sure we are there to support each other and our clients. Women in business are very popular right now and it’s important for us to show that we are an example of how we can work together.

What are some products/services that you offer?

We offer lash services including extensions, lifts, and tints. We currently have 3 nail techs for nail services, we offer spray tans and all waxing services.

Why did you choose Downtown Red Deer as the location for your business?

I was running a home-based business in Penhold when I was approached by Studio 11.  I came here for a few personal appointments and when I decided to purchase the business, I came on secretly as a staff member. The lease on the business was up in September so I had the option of moving and going somewhere or staying. I choose to stay mainly because most of my clients are in Blackfalds, Penhold and the Lacombe area and the downtown is central to these areas. I’ve had some issues getting my clients to come downtown, but I’ve had to redirect their thoughts a little in terms of what the downtown has to offer.

What do you think makes Downtown vibrant?

I can take a break and walk down to City Roast and see and experience what’s great about downtown. It is beautiful if you focus on what is beautiful about it. All the different little stores, the different people that you meet, it is unique and cultural.

I love Downtown Red Deer because… of the live music in the summertime, the outdoor patio, the great shops, and restaurants is what I love the most!

These inspiring ladies at Studio 11 are great examples of what empowering women in business Is all about! They are on the pulse of a changing industry by their unwavering support for each other and their community! Be sure to stop in and see Kristyn and her team for all your aesthetic needs!

Make sure to follow Studio 11 Beautique on:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/studio11beautiquee/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/studio11beautique/

Check back next week for another business spotlight! If you would like to see your Downtown business spotlighted, please contact us at 403-340-8696 or info@downtownreddeer.com.

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Call for nominations for the Red Deer Downtown Business Association Board of Directors

The Red Deer Downtown Business Association is seeking three new members to join our Board of Directors. Interested candidates should be passionate about Downtown Red Deer, interested in contributing to its future, and must be willing to make a commitment to serve a three-year term.

Supported by staff, the Board is responsible to set policy, review progress, and provide direction for the association. Directors are expected to participate in monthly board meetings, an Annual Meeting, along with organizing events and committee responsibilities as required. The time commitment is approximately two hours per month on the third Thursday.

Candidates must be operators or employees of businesses located within the Business Improvement Area (BIA) in the Downtown region and pay the associated levy.

For more information, visit https://downtownreddeer.com/about-us/#boardmembers.

Download a copy of the Board Nomination form here.

Nominations must be received no later than 5:00 p.m. on Friday, September 18, 2020.

 

For more information, contact:

Amanda Gould

Executive Director
Red Deer Downtown Business Association
403-340-8696
amanda.gould@downtownreddeer.com
www.downtownreddeer.com

 

Dulcie Timmons

Board Chair

Red Deer Downtown Business Association

dulcie.timmons@group2.ca

 

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