9 Calgary Stores That Could Go National
Forget the onslaught of retailers eyeing Calgary for their next flagship location, here’s our list of local businesses we think could be Calgary’s next big export
A couple weeks ago, we published a story about stores we’d like in Calgary. Many readers suggested more stores they’d like to roll into town, while others reminded us of local boutiques that serve the city so well. It got us to thinking about which local stores we think would serve the nation well. Because, heck, Calgary is generous like that.
The Silk Road Spice Merchant
Quite possibly the best spice store in Calgary, we venture to say The Silk Road Spice Merchant is probably the best in Canada. With its amazing array of beautifully packaged spices, from the basic to the exotic, this boutique in the neighbourhood of Inglewood is the go-to place for bakers, chefs and home cooks alike. But perhaps what’s best about The Silk Road Spice Merchant is the staff’s friendly yet knowledgeable approach gives you confidence your food will be spiced to its full potential. This is a taste of Calgary we think could catch on everywhere.
The Silk Road Spice Merchant, 1403 9 Ave. S.E., 403-261-1955, silkroadspices.ca
Under the watchful eye of owner Wendy Brownie, Inspirati has become Calgary’s go-to source for the most luxurious linens. Lines offered range from the classic Le Jacquard Franais and Busatti to hard-to-find brands like Les Toiles du Soleil and Iosis. But it doesn’t stop at high-end bedding and table linens. This beautiful shop carries a selection of fashion and home-decor accessories. If the Rosedale crowd ever caught wind of this selection, they’d be aghast there isn’t a Toronto location in which they could peruse.
Inspirati, 2207 4 St. S.W., 403-244-4443, inspirati.ca
Sidewalk Citizen Bakery
In 2008, Aviv Fried turned his hobby – baking bread – into a business, and the rest is history. Well, the rest is Calgarians’ pleasure, as we bite into his top-notch cookies, croissants, cinnamon buns and, of course, bread. Visit Sidewalk Citizen Bakery at its Manchester location near Chinook Mall, or at one of the outposts that stocks its goods. As momentum grows for this local success story, we think people from other cities would love to sink their teeth into this deliciousness.
Sidewalk Citizen Bakery, 5524 1A St. S.W., 403-457-2245, sidewalkcitizenbakery.com
Village Ice Cream
Take one lick of Village Ice Cream‘s delectable ice cream, which comes in flavours like salted caramel, Girl Guide cookie and cardamom, and you’ll marvel at the fact this is just a Calgary thing. It’s that good. The branding is great, the product is amazing and there’s always a need for more ice cream – everywhere. We think it’s only a matter of time before this Village goes to town.
Village Ice Cream, 431 10 Ave. S.W., 403-261-7950, and Britannia Plaza, 403-457-9808, villageicecream.com
It’s written in their name: National. Hopefully going national is part of their business plan, because this winning formula (good food + good decor + good drinks = successful business) would be a surefire hit in cities across the country. And with the recent conversion of a big-box Blockbuster in Westhills into a sparkling new location, it’s a concept that could easily go anywhere the dinosaurs once roamed.
Various Calgary locations, ntnl.ca
With the West-Coast style craze is in full swing, Plant is right there to reap the benefits. The Inglewood shop is stocked with artfully arranged terrariums – glass containers filled with low-maintenance succulents and sand or rocks – and everything you need to make one yourself (they hold workshops to guide you through it all). But this beautifully merchandised shop offers lots more, with products that range from home decor and vintage garden tools to gift ideas and stationery. Owner Kyle Chow’s vision for a beautiful life is one that would align well with tastemakers everywhere.
Plant, 1335 9 Ave. S.E., 403-462-6230, plantterrariums.ca
Kit Interior Objects
Sure other stores all across Canada offer mid-century modern furniture and accessories from the likes of Herman Miller, Modernica, and Jonathan Adler, but few do it with such panache and an eye for detail as Kit. But what makes this shop so special, and what would make it work anywhere in Canada, is their masterful blend of soft and hard goods, and their support of Canadian designers and artists. Here you’ll find pieces from Loyal Loot and Cathy Terepocki.
Kit Interior Objects, 725 11 Ave. S.W., 403-508-2355, kitinteriorobjects.com
North American Quality Purveyors
It’s not often a menswear shop so focused in its mission and so well curated comes to Calgary, let alone any city in Canada. NAQP carries clothing and accessories manufactured in North America, and the shelves are filled with high-quality classics that are built to last. Men all over Canada would flock to this store, especially in city centres like Toronto and Vancouver, where urban men strive to look, well, like they’re from Calgary.
North American Quality Purveyors, 1207 10 Ave. S.E., 403-910-9913, shopnorthamerican.com
This Calgary-based business has been outfitting women in perfectly fitted bras since 2005, and as a result has gained a loyal following. The secret to their success is twofold: customer service and an amazing product. It’s a highly personalized approach that other cities in Canada would welcome with open arms.
Southcentre Mall, 403-474-6723, and two other Calgary locations, sheapparel.com
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