Local Shout-Out—Edmonton 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 deserve a shout out.

Sea Change Brewing Co.

“There is something to be said about keeping a dream alive, and for a scrappy group of musicians, creatives and seasoned craft brewers, Sea Change Brewing Co. is that dream.  All it took was decades of hustling, skill-building, and friendship cresting on a big swing in 2017 that launched the brewery.  We started as a single-beer micro-brand and grew into an award-winning staple in the Alberta brewing scene thanks to our team’s engrained D.I.Y.  work ethic and creative approach to branding and community collaboration.  But behind it all, what remains true from the dream to the pint glass, are diverse, unpretentious beers, crafted with care, true-to-style, and most importantly, great tasting.  Cheers Nerds.”

Sea Change Brewing Co. is located on Beer Street, in Edmonton’s brewery district, with taprooms in both Edmonton and Beaumont, Alberta.  They carry six “full-time” beers as well as a variety of seasonals.  My absolute favourite is “Prairie Fairy”—a wheat ale with blackberry and raspberry flavours.  Not only is it seriously delicious (and pours bright pink!), Sea Change partnered with the 2SLGBTQA+ non-profit organization, Froot Loop, to create this beer.  A portion of all “Prairie Fairy” proceeds goes towards supporting the local 2SLGBTQA+ community.

Sugared and Spiced Baked Goods

“Baked from scratch, in small batches, in a back alley in the heart of Old Strathcona.”

Sugared and Spiced offers a variety of cookies, cakes, meringues, cheesecakes, brownies, tarts, and Nanaimo bars.  You can order online or visit one of the two Edmonton locations and grab a cup of Phil and Sebastian’s dark-roast coffee while you’re there.  They also offer a subscription service called “Cake Club” and “Office Cake Club” where customers can prepay for three (or more) signature cakes on predetermined dates—perfect for a family celebrating many birthdays or an office that holds monthly birthday celebrations.

Audrey’s Books

“Audrey’s endeavours to provide the complete bookstore experience.”

Audrey’s Books is Edmonton’s oldest bookstore, located on Jasper Avenue.  It is owned by a husband-and-wife team whose daughter is now store manager.  Audrey’s hosts a variety of in-store readings and literary events as well as hosting author events in other community venues to fulfill their mission of connecting writers to readers.

I recognize that all of these businesses are based in Edmonton, 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.