Housed in an eye-catching, bright red barn with white trim, it’s difficult to walk past The Livery Shop in Inglewood without popping inside. There, you might just run into Kofi Oteng. He’s one quarter of the team behind the shop, which is owned by the pair behind the jewellery line CoutuKitsch (Oteng and his wife Dorian Kitsch) and the pair behind Camp Brand Goods apparel (Leslie McNeilly and Connor Gould).
Open since November 2014, the four owners have created a general store of sorts inside the barn, where their jewellery and apparel lines act as the anchor.
“I think the thing that makes Camp and CoutuKitsch work so well is that Camp’s very outdoorsy and then [CoutuKitsch is] pretty street and urban, which is a perfect reflection of what Calgary is,” Oteng says.
Along with CoutuKitsch and Camp Brand Goods products (which are made or designed in the back of the store), The Livery Shop offers a mix of local and international brands such as Matt & Nat bags, Herbivore body products, tea from Rosso Coffee Roasters, Comparts chocolate bars and locally made cards. They’ve also hosted pop-up shops with local companies such as Rhosyn Floral, Rosso Coffee Roasters and Bark YYC in the past.
The Livery Shop’s connection to Calgary’s local scene, whether it be through their own products, their work with other local businesses or their historic barn setting, makes its presence in Inglewood a natural one.
“I think there’s some authenticity to Inglewood in the sense that there’s not too many big commercial stores. Other than Starbucks, the majority of the stores in Inglewood are mom and pop, family owned stores, which kind of promotes that whole small business feel,” Oteng says. “It’s a collection of eclectic, cool stores that specialize in a certain thing.”
Here are five places Oteng likes to shop at in Inglewood
“Believe it or not, I like women’s boutiques, so I love Adorn boutique on 9th Ave. [S.E.]. I just like the way it’s curated. It’s mostly Canadian fashion, however, they did a good job of getting Australian fashion, which is big on the scene.”
“At Plant, [many of their] products are created in their shop, so it kind of reminds me of our space [at The Livery Shop]. We do the jewellery in the back and then Camp does their designs in the back, so it’s like a workshop/retail space. Plant is kind of the same thing. Us, The Nash and Plant, we all kind of opened around the same time, so it’s good to see how far we’ve come from our inception.
“If you go [to Plant], there’s just options upon options. The average consumer is used to seeing floral boutiques, but the fact that they’ve kind of stamped plants is great. And they know everything about it and they have all the accessories that go under that umbrella, whether it’s books, trinkets and seeds. It’s one of those stores where you can’t just stay for five minutes.”
“They have a good selection of most genres. Oftentimes when you go to a record store, especially when it’s private, the owner tends to have a bigger selection of what they like personally. But what makes Recordland so amazing is whether it’s rap or rock, there’s a great selection within each genre. I usually go for the hip-hop, R&B and then the Motown classics.”
1208 9 Ave. S.E., 403-262-3839, facebook.com/RecordlandCanada
“I love Rosso. I like what they’re doing in the city. They have a great location in Inglewood, [but they’ve been] building a bunch of Rosso cafs, which to me, is becoming a staple for Calgary. Believe it or not, I don’t drink coffee, but they have a killer hot chocolate.”
“They just have spices upon spices upon spices from all over the world. You could put them in popcorn, even add them to your everyday cooking. It’s good to experiment. The Safeways and Superstores of the world offer you a great assortment, but [Silk Road] has a bunch more just in case you’re interested. And the fact that they get them from all over is great. I love the ginger sesame seasoning and any seasoning that is curry based.”
1403A 9 Ave. S.E., 403-261-1955, silkroadspices.ca
Bonus restaurant pick
“I love The Nash – great food, great cocktails, great atmosphere, the staff is pleasant. Plus they’re our neighbours and we’ve gotten close. I love everything, but what I really like from there are their cocktails. Their cocktails are amazing.”