Local Shout Out—Calgary and Area, Part II

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.

Rebel Comics

“Rebel Comics was built for the fans of this generation that have no unique place to call home, or a place to fulfill their nerdy needs or simply a place to go and have a fun afternoon relaxing and playing games! So come on down, bring your friends and get the real comic store experience with a few extras.  Be a Rebel, draw outside the lines!”

Rebel Comics is a comic company located in Cochrane.  They sell anything a nerd (like me!) could ever ask for—Pokémon, Magic The Gathering, D&D, Funko POPS!, collectables, comics, graphic novels, and much more.  You could literally spend hours going through all the cool stuff packed into a modestly sized shop.  I recently took my daughter here to purchase some Pokémon cards, and the owner was incredibly friendly and knowledgeable.  Rebel Comics also regularly hosts game nights and Magic The Gathering tournaments for that real community feeling.

Phil’s Family Restaurants

“At Phil’s we pride ourselves on making unique food products using only the finest, freshest ingredients sourced locally whenever possible.  We serve only the very best cuts of Alberta Beef.  We treat both our staff and our customers as if they were family.”

Phil’s is a staple in Calgary history—it’s been around since 1956 and now has locations in Forest Lawn, North Hill, Glenmore, and 11th Ave, as well as one restaurant in Red Deer.

My kids and I are huge breakfast food lovers, and I take them here far too often.  Phil’s has the best breakfast food in town if you’re looking for that “homemade” feel (the Stuffed French Toast is my favourite), the service is fast, and kids get free pancakes!

Village Brewery

“Some of the best things happen over beer.  Ideas are born, friendships forged, deals struck.  Village Brewery began that way too, with friends sharing beers and dreams for a community brewery.  A brewery that would support Calgary’s artists and craftspeople.  A brewery that would create the excellent ales and lagers our friends and neighbours deserve.”

Village Brewery not only makes delicious beer, but they strive to foster a sense of community within the city.  10% of sales go back into the community because, “it takes a village”.  I love a company that puts their money where their mouth is.

You can find Village beer at most liquor stores in Calgary, order directly from their website, or go in for the full Villager experience at the taproom in Inglewood.  It’s kid friendly, functions as an art gallery, and is host to various activities and events throughout the week.

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.