Success stories

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Success Stories

Community Futures is pleased to showcase some of the many good news stories in rural Alberta. Everyday we help people like you start and grow successful small businesses.

Just Purl Crafts and Gifts

Leahann Rottierr
Westlock, AB

Just Purl Crafts and Gifts serves the Westlock area by providing a wide selection of fine yarns and wools to the local community. In addition they also provide a variety of crafting classes as well as an outlet for local artisans to sell their wares.

Just Purl Crafts & Gifts on Facebook

Zayfti Inc.

Karl Gartly
Head office is in Stony Plain, Alberta

Zayfti Inc. is a mobile first solution for companies dissatisfied with the inefficiency associated with paper or web based methods used to distribute, complete, transport, file, audit and store regulatory paperwork. Unlike other solutions that require technical expertise, Zayfti Inc. is a mobile first tool so simple that it increases employee productivity. Not only does Zayfti Inc. increases the amount and quality of data but they also provides a real time picture of the activities of people, assets, and sub-contractors that is used to cut costs, impress clients, build business intelligence and make money.

Zayfti Inc. is operated and owned by Karl Gartly and the Co-Founders are Ray Yip and Ray Belisle. The head office is located in Stony Plain, Alberta.

CFCR allowed Zayfti expand their service offering in Oil & Gas sector. CFCR lending allowed them to build out and complete a very successful trial in water and waste tracking. In technology, start-ups, there is very little to leverage. No equipment, no land, and as a start-up they didn’t have the revenue to secure traditional debt financing. With the help of CFCR Zayfti Inc. were able to continue the rapid development pace that is required in technology.

Zayfti Inc. are on track to grow at 500%+ per year for the next 3-5 years as companies are made aware of the ability to track people and maintain a seamless record of compliance based paperwork without the typical costs of paper, administration and operational time.

CFCR looks forward to seeing Zayfti Inc continue to grow and succeed as a small business.


Celebrating 20 Years of Entrepreneurs with Disabilities

Homestead Firewood

Gerald Miller & Doris Austin
Innisfail, AB.

Ahhh that sound of a roaring fire keeping your fingers and toes warm on a crisp evening.  But where does that firewood bundle you burn come from?  It comes from local businesses like Homestead Firewood. 

In January 2013, Gerald Miller and Doris Austin, approached Community Futures Central Alberta with a plan to buy this Central Alberta based business.  It seemed like a perfect fit for Miller whose father was an avid outdoorsman and got his kids involved in the wilderness.  Miller states “It’s how I made extra money when I was younger and it’s a dream of mine to own my own firewood business.”

A short while later, with financing from Community Futures in place, Gerald & Doris took over Homestead Firewood and relocated it to their acreage near Innisfail.  Currently they supply gas stations and campgrounds with bundles of wood for campfires.  They also sell wood by the cord to home owners in Central Alberta.  Miller says, “We have four kinds of wood for sale; pine, birch, tamarack and spruce.  Some clients prefer one kind over the other.”

Currently the duo delivers to Sylvan Lake, Rocky Mountain House, Lacombe, Blackfalds, Delburne and Innisfail.  They hope to expand into the Olds, Trochu, Three Hills, Stettler and Ponoka areas.  If you are interested in contacting them, call them at (403) 304-6472.

Grizzly's Cafe & General Store

Jasper, Alberta

With the help of Community Futures West Yellowhead, we decided to purchase the Grizzly's Cafe & General Store in January 2010 as an already well-established business with a consistent customer base and a strong revenue growth every year.

The business is and always has been a comfortable and relaxing escape for the employees of the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge and local visitors from the Jasper town site. Our success stems from offering a full kitchen menu (eat-in or delivery) of homemade and pre-prepared items, a grocery section and most importantly a warm inviting atmosphere.

Our first year in business exceeded the previous year-end figures by about 6% and we accomplished this by having a focused business plan and a vision to work hard. The success came from us tailoring our menu offerings to meet our customer's needs. Increasing the hours of operation from 12 pm to 1 am (FREE delivery to all resort colleagues from 4 pm to 1 am) and being open all year round instead of seasonal. Thank you to the staff at Community Futures for being patient and providing us with valuable and professional advice.




The Health Hub

Dr. Sarah Dash-Arbuckle
Crowsnest Pass

Now in its largest location, The Health Hub offers services of physical and mental health practitioners and a health food store catering to a growing population looking for natural products.

Naturopathic doctor and business owner, Sarah Dash-Arbuckle, says the clinic has the biggest team she has employed to date. This includes 11 accredited practitioners sharing six treatment rooms between physical and movement therapists, natural medicine professionals, mental and emotional therapists, and energetic and spiritual specialists. Four administrative staff round out the team.

Help from Community Futures Crowsnest Pass gave Sarah the opportunity to see what she was capable of and how to achieve her goals.

“Their support made me focus and identify more clearly where I was succeeding,” she says. “I needed to go through the process to see what I was capable of. They gave me the confidence to make the leap [to a larger location].”

Sarah says she began to sub-contract out space to other naturopathic professionals and began to see the revenue potential this would generate. Since moving to the current location, her business has quadrupled.

“Going through the smaller locations and the process of acquiring loans made me so much more aware of my business,” she says. “Community Futures helped clarify my vision, my goals and my financials. It allowed me to develop a clear plan. Otherwise, it would be like hiking without a map.”

Sarah also believes Community Futures organizations are essential to rural communities. Unlike traditional lending institutions, they look at small business in the context of where they are operating.

"The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing." ~ Walt Disney



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Success stories

Community Futures Network of Alberta


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