Success stories

Call toll free in Alberta 1-877-482-3672

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.

Liquor Lodge Inc.

Marc LeBlanc
Jasper, AB


Our doors opened at around 1:30pm on Thursday, Dec. 27, 2007. Marc LeBlanc, the founder of Liquor Lodge Inc. began developing the plan for the store in 2006 while still working in the sales department for Coca Cola.

With a vision for clean visual merchandising, the store was developed from scratch in a brand new building. Using modern shelving combined with rustic log woodwork, the store took on a unique look and quickly became a favourite with the locals and tourists alike.

Now after a few years Liquor Lodge has evolved into a full service store with free delivery, great hours and some of thebest staff you’ll find in the business. We work on the premise that to build loyalty you must continuously work on your selection and your service. We intend to be serving our great customers for many years to come

Spark! Business Incubator


Grande Prairie


A partnership between Community Futures Grande Prairie & Region and the City of Grande Prairie, Spark! Business Incubator opened its doors to the public on the 3rd Floor of 214 Place North on February 1, 2017. As a physical business incubator, Spark! will provide month-to-month, weekly, and hourly office rental to new and transitioning businesses looking for permanent operational space, meeting space, training space and the like.

 

Also included in the incubator model is the provision of administration, internet, printing and photocopying services, business counselling, coaching, training and consulting services along with access to several other professional services such as accounting & legal advice, engineering services, business advisory boards and masterminds and all other areas of the business development spectrum. Other partnerships are anticipated in the near future that will allow Spark! to provide additional access to assistance to local entrepreneurs looking to start and grow their businesses.

 

An onsite Concierge works with all prospective incubator clients to assess their needs and create a business development plan tailored to those specific needs and goals

 

https://www.gpsparkincubator.ca/spark-about-us.html.

 

 

Coffee, Art and Music

Eugene and Betty Jean Cleland
Medicine Hat, AB


Imagine how interesting you could make a camping trip if you could make an espresso for your friends. That’s just the kind of guy Eugene Cleland is – he was the one who brought along his espresso machine to camp. For Eugene, making coffee is an art, from the choosing of the roast, to the making of the shot, the careful steaming of the milk, and finally, the art he creates with the foam. It is common for friends and family to gather at his home for a great coffee – many have told him he should open his own coffee shop. After much dreaming and consideration, that’s exactly what he did.

Eugene and his wife, Betty Jean, began the journey to entrepreneurship in 2016 when they enrolled for the Community Futures Entre-Corp Self Employment program. During that training, they had time to learn about business ownership, tackle the challenges in understanding business, develop their ideas, and create a viable business plan which would allow them to turn their passion into reality.

A year or so later, they are the proud owners of Medicine Hat’s newest coffeehouse, Café Verve

Eugene and Betty Jean have carefully planned their space for live music and to support local artists on their gallery style walls. There is usually live music every Friday night. Local art continually changes and adorns their walls. Café Verve has already hosted many musicians and artists since they opened their doors May 5, 2017. They employ 4 full-time staff and 6 part-time staff.   

They invite you to visit and enjoy the great service!  http://www.cafeverve.ca/

Eugene and Betty Jean both shared that they are so thankful for their wonderful staff who work with them to make the cafe a reality - they emphasized that they could not have come this far without them.

Story by Elizabeth Blair

 

Flag Five Inc.

Melissa Chinski
Medicine Hat, AB


Melissa Chinski grew up in Weyburn, Saskatchewan, moved to Medicine Hat in 2002 and studied at the Medicine Hat College.  She obtained her degree in Visual Communications in 2005. The Visual Communications program provides students with an in-depth knowledge of design through courses like typography, drawing, marketing, video and applied design. Shortly after graduating, Melissa secured a position with the City of Medicine Hat, working as a graphic designer in the Communications Department.

Even with a full-time job, she was driven to entertain graphic design work after hours and on weekends with a plan to save enough to eventually open her own business.  Melissa obtained a business license in 2005. As she began to explore the possibility of running her own business full-time, she did an online search and found out about Community Futures Entre-Corp and how their services might be able to assist her with the questions she had about starting a business. After meeting with a Community Futures Entre-Corp business advisor, she was able to collect valuable information and resources to help in the process of putting together a proper business plan, which she admits would ultimately be the groundwork to help guide her through everyday operations.  Melissa shared how that visit with Community Futures Entre-Corp helped her understand how there was so much more to consider in running a business than just everyday client work.

12 years later, Melissa is enjoying a successful business with a store front and one full-time employee.  Her business is called Flag Five Inc. located in downtown Medicine Hat on 4th Ave.  Flag 5 has serviced a growing list of clientele, some of them, as far away as Boise, Idaho.  Melissa’s target market is medium-sized businesses who have an understanding of design and who want to market their business with a consistent and professional look.  Melissa explained how her number one principle at Flag Five is customer service. They strive to get to know clients businesses on a personal level, ensure each client feels like they are part of the team and that their goals are achieved.

Story by Elizabeth Blair

 

B & B Bins


Lethbridge, AB


“Retirement is not for everyone” explains Leslie Weisser about her husband Blain, “he just wasn’t as content sitting at home as he was going to work”.  Kim Workman noticed her dad seemed bored most days as he transitioned from the work force.  “I just thought he wasn’t satisfied without something to do all day and Mom and I were trying to keep him busy.”

Meanwhile, her husband Brandon Workman was running his own roofing company (Workman Roofing) and identified a lack of service in the industry when it came to getting waste bins for disposal material.  One night while doing a Kijji search, he found a truck and 17 “roll off waste bins” for sale in Northern Alberta. It was the perfect solution for his roofing business and he thought it just might be the answer to all the fuss and worry about his Father in law’s boredom.

So a family conspiracy to keep Blain busy took roots and the Weissers joined the generation of  “maturepreneurs”, people who launch their first business after reaching 60.

They went to Community Futures to learn about perspectives, business plans and financial assistance for this new adventure.  They found the answers to their questions and the assistance they needed. With complete support from their daughter and son-in-law, B & B Bins became a reality in 2009.

B & B Bins is a disposal system that delivers waste bins to job sites for refuse material and once the bins are full, the service extends to disposing of the waste material at the landfill.

 “Service is our Motto” is boldly printed on their business card and service is the primary focus of the business.  A delay in delivering or picking up waste bins has a domino effect for the entire renovation/ construction industry.  “No bins for waste disposal can stop an entire crew from being able to get a roofing job completed”, explains Kim.  

Word of mouth about B & B and the quality of service they provided soon resulted in an increase in the demand. People started calling for the roll off bins for extensive yard cleanups, renovations, estate cleanups, storm damage, flood damage cleanup, etc.

Leslie states “We are busy all day long”. The need was greater than anticipated and soon there was also a need for another truck and more bins.  Calls for bins started to come from all over Canada and the United States for jobs in the area and soon B & B Bins Inc. was serving throughout Southern Alberta. By 2014 the business has expanded to three trucks, 32 bins, and employs two full time drivers and one part time driver just to keep up.

The small business has turned into a full time family operated business mainly operated by Blain, with Leslie managing the office duties.  Kim and Brandon offer support when needed.  The business doubled within the first year and has kept on growing.  “Blain is loving the business.  He loves being outdoors and has a different adventure every day.” Leslie says with a smile.  “Our challenge now is not keeping Blain busy, it is getting him to slow down.”

Mother and daughter laugh and their voices fill with pride when they speak of the men in their lives who work hard at their businesses and about Blain who is never, ever bored any more.

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

Pages

? Top

Success stories

Community Futures Network of Alberta

Share

Facebook icon
Twitter icon
Google icon
Pinterest icon
LinkedIn icon
e-mail icon