Local Shoutout—Supporting Small Businesses

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses (CFIB) estimates potential permanent closures of up to 222,000 small and medium-sized businesses, depending on how the situation evolves.  That’s 21 percent of all Canadian businesses.  The corresponding job losses would range between 962,000 and 2,951,000 Canadian workers.

While most of us are struggling financially right now, it is extremely important to support local small businesses whenever we can.  Not only is it stimulating our economy, helping each other is simply the Canadian thing to do.  Over the last few months, I have been trying to be more conscious of where I am spending my money.  Although it’s not always possible for me to support local because—lets face it—shopping at Walmart or Dollarama is often less expensive and more convenient.

So, to support local business, I have compiled a list of small and medium-sized businesses that I have personally patronized and feel that the price, quality, and customer service deserve a shoutout.

Rocky Mountain Soap Company

“Back in their early twenties Karina and Cam bought Rocky Mountain Soap Company with only one employee, $86k in annual sales and 450 sq.  ft.  With mostly blind optimism fueling the first few years, the two have grown the company to what it is today.  Throughout its growth, Rocky Mountain Soap continues to be, handmade, with 100% natural, simple, ingredients.”

The largest business on my list, Rocky Mountain Soap Company has several locations across Canada, but is based in Canmore, Alberta.  They sell natural bath and body products, including a full skin care and baby care line.  Not only are all the products not tested on animals and packaged sustainably, but Rocky Mountain Soap Company also has a 100% money-back guarantee; if you do not love their products,you don’t even need to show a receipt!

The bath bombs are hands-down my favourite products.  There are so many scents, including the occasional limited edition or seasonal scents, and my skin feels so soft and moisturized after using one.  My other personal favourites include the Vanilla Coconut Lip Balm, Nomad Hand Sanitizer, and The Daily Oat Lotion.

White Mountain Candle Company

“White Mountain Candle Co.  was founded in January 2021 by Laura Metcalfe.  Laura’s geology background led to a passion and curiosity for the Rocky Mountains, combine that with a wish to create a clean burning, sustainable and renewable candle to light and fill our homes with beautiful fragrance, and White Mountain Candle Co.  was born. 

Our candles are locally made in Calgary, Alberta and hand poured in small batches.  They are scented with phthalate free premium fragrance oils and pure essential oils.  This along with the wooden wicks creates a clean burning candle.”

I recently purchased from White Mountain Candle Company and I was blown away.  I’m slightly obsessed with candles—I light one every morning while I have my coffee and write in my journal—and these candles are absolutely beautiful, luxurious, and cost-effective.  Not only are they clean burning, but Laura will also refill the empty glass jar when it’s time for a new candle for added environmental sustainability.  My candles were hand-delivered to my door by Laura in lovely packaging with a hand-written note.

I purchased the scents Sunday Brunch (coffee bean and cacao), Lake Louise (creamy vanilla and coconut sugar), and Cucina (bergamot, jasmine, and lime).  All of them make my house smell delicious and I can’t wait to try more!

Monogram Coffee

“Monogram exists to positively change people’s lives through coffee.  The world of coffee impacts a staggering amount of people.  We take our role and influence in the industry very seriously, and see it as an incredible opportunity and responsibility to improve the lives of the people that link each of us from seed to cup.

Each of our cafes are designed to be community spaces that celebrate the diverse people, character and neighbourhoods that they are in.  Expect our warm Monogram experience, but each cafe does have a couple tricks up its sleeve.”

Anyone who knows me knows that I pretty much always have a coffee in my hand.  Seriously.  Monogram Coffee is my all-time favourite café.  There are three locations in Calgary—Altadore, Fifth Avenue Place, and Britannia—all of which sell a variety of hand-crafted drinks, whole-bean coffee, pastries, and other treats.  Served on adorable wooden serving platters in handle-less mugs alongside a glass of sparkling water, whatever drink you order will be seriously Insta-worthy.  Not to mention that the coffee is less expensive (and tastes so much better!) than my regular Starbucks order.

I recognize that these are all based in Calgary (where I live), so if these aren’t local to you, I hope this article can encourage you to research the small businesses and services available in your hometown.  Let’s work together to stimulate the economy, practice environmental responsibility, and support our communities.