Local Shout-Out—Ottawa, Part I

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.

Stella Luna Gelato Café

“Our mission at Stella Luna Gelato Café is to create a space where everyone belongs; where children can enjoy a freshly handcrafted gelato with their grandparents, alongside friends who are mingling over a glass of wine. Where couples can stare dreamily into each other’s eyes in the company of folks who’ve been married for decades. Stella Luna is the “village square”, where folks gather to enjoy the simple pleasures of life! Ours is love story infused with passion – for both our family, our roots and our business.”

Stella Luna Gelato Café has two Ottawa locations on Bank Street and Wellington Street West, as well as one Merrickville location on Main Street. Stella Luna is known for their award-winning gelato, which is handcrafted from scratch every day, using local ingredients. The café also offers premium European coffee, handcrafted deserts, a breakfast and lunch menu, grab-and-go meals, and an Italian grocery line.

Re-Read Used Books

“We have a large selection of used books, DVD’s & Blu-Ray’s, board games & puzzles. Our seating area is clean and comfy so you can enjoy a nice hot or cold beverage while perusing a few books. Your children have their own special area as well so they can enjoy reading too!”

Re-Read Used Books is an adorable family-owned used bookstore, located in Stittsville on Stittsville Main. Re-Read offers an option for online shopping, with in-store or curbside pick up, or free delivery for those located in the Stittsville, Kanata, or Barrhaven area. If you visit in person, you can hang out with Garfield—the resident cat and long-standing employee of the month. Beginning in November, Re-Read also offers unique advent calendars consisting of twenty-four books, DVDs, CDs, or comics, assembled according to age and interest.

Good Neighbour Soap and Supply Co.  

“The name Good Neighbour Soap means more than just looking after our physical neighbourhood, but it’s a social responsibility to make smart decisions about the health of the environment. It means I don’t package products in plastic bottles that end up in land fill, or bubble mailers to ship your products. It means I use fair trade ingredients that help the communities they are harvested in, use recyclable paper for our labels, and glass bottles or aluminum tins for our products. The bike on our soaps is a symbol of our responsibility to make decisions that don’t negatively affect our environment.”

Good Neighbour Soap and Supply Co. is sold at 3 Trees Boutique on Main Street; Makerhouse Co. on Wellington Street West; and NU Grocery on Main Street. They sell a variety of soaps, skin care, bath and body products, hair care products, and gift sets. Good Neighbour offers free local delivery on local orders or porch pick-up.

I recognize that these are all based in Ottawa, 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.

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