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Red Deer

Downtown Business Spotlight: Stella Bean Sweets


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This week’s Business Spotlight shines on Stella Bean Sweets! We stopped by the coffee shop located at 100, 4808 50th street, and talked with the owner, Estie Van Der Velden, to learn more about this business.

What is your business?

Our business is Stella Bean Sweets. We’re a coffee and pastry shop and do breakfast and lunch. But our specialty is sweet, all things sweet!

When did your business open?

We opened three years ago in 2017. 

What makes your business unique?

Think what makes us unique is we try and do something different than all the other businesses when we can. So we do specialty cakes and cupcakes, lots of different sweets. And then we do ‘High Tea’ events, and we just brought those back. So basically, you can sit down and have a cup of tea and enjoy a three-tier platter of goodies like sandwiches, scones, and other sweet treats. They’re so much fun!

What are some products that you offer?

So we’re famous for our lemon meringue tarts. And like any tarts, really so there’s lemon, salted, key lime tarts, and then we have like a caramel apple toffee tart. And then we have lots of doughnuts, which we switch those up every week. We also offer cannoli’s as well as various other items such as coffee, teas, lattes, specialty drinks, etc.

Why did you choose Downtown Red Deer as the location for your business?

Well because I love downtown Red Deer. I just think it’s such so cute and quaint like if I had to pick anyone anywhere in Red Deer, I wanted it to be downtown to so I could add to the culture of it.

What do you think makes Downtown vibrant?

So much! It’s like all the different activities, like Ross Street Patio, which was bumping last night. And then the Downtown Market which is so awesome! So just like all these different activities and then such a wide range of businesses, I would say, that all carry unique things. You can come downtown, it’s not for the same businesses. Like every business you go to is so uniquely different and they bring something else to downtown. 

I love Downtown Red Deer because… I like what it has to offer for Red Deer. I always encourage my friends to come down because I love not just one thing, I love everything. I love that there are flowers in the park, I love that there are patios, I love that it’s all local. If you come to downtown Red Deer, you’re supporting local. So downtown is to me, the heart of Red Deer. And that’s where all the local businesses are. So if you love downtown then you love supporting local and you love supporting families that live here.

If you’re looking for a sweet treat be sure to stop by Stella Bean Sweets, they have something for everyone! Keep an eye out for their high tea events and their weekly donut lists on their social media pages.




We serve approximately 500 businesses and property owners in Downtown Red Deer, Alberta. Our Mission is to build an engaged Downtown community, develop a Downtown brand and enhance the Downtown experience.

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Stories of Red Deer’s earliest Halloween celebrations

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By Miichael Dawe

Another Halloween will soon be upon us. It is one of the most popular of the annual celebrations. While door-to-door trick or treating by young children has become somewhat less common over the last few years, more and more people seem to be decorating their homes and their yards for the evening. Dressing up in costume remains as popular as ever, as are social get-togethers with all kinds of food and drink to share.

Halloween is a very old celebration, with some of the traditions dating back to the ancient Celtic rituals and festivities, marking what was then considered the start of the Celtic New Year. Later, there were strong Christian influences, as the night became connected with commemorations of All Hallows Eve (the origin of the name “Halloween) and All Saints Day on November 1st. All Saints Day is still a public holiday in parts of Europe.

Celebration of Halloween was not common in North American until the arrival of large numbers of Celtic immigrants from Ireland and Scotland during the 19th century. However, the tradition of children going door-to-door for trick or treating did not begin until the early part of the last century. It did not become a practice in Red Deer until the latter part of the 1920s.

History of Halloween in Canada.

Alexandria Hotel

Some of the earliest celebrations of Halloween in Red Deer took place in the early 1900s. Usually, a local group would organize a party at a local hall with all sorts of fun and games. Apples were a staple of these early socials. The wearing of costumes was strongly encouraged.

One group that organized annual Halloween events was the Alexandra Club. This was a group of young women dedicated to raising funds for the Red Deer Memorial Hospital. Hence, the annual Halloween gathering was as much a fundraiser as a social occasion. Other popular fundraisers staged by the Alexandra Club were women’s hockey games at the rink on Morrison (52) Street.

St. Luke’s Parish Hall

In 1913, the main Halloween event was a dance at the new Parish Hall on Gaetz Avenue, just north of St. Luke’s Anglican Church. This large new public hall had been officially opened on the eve of Red Deer being incorporated as a city on March 25, 1913. The Halloween music was provided by the Orpheus Orchestra. The evening was such a success that plans were made to have Halloween dances at the Parish Hall as annual events.


Red Deer Armouries

Tragically, the First World War broke out in August 1914. The community focused on the war effort and little was done to mark such “frivolous” occasions as Halloween. However, after the War, a new tradition started. The local 78th Battery of the Royal Canadian Artillery organized Halloween Balls at the Armouries on First Street South (now the location of the Children’s Library).

The annual militia balls were quite lavish events and extremely popular. People were not even bothered when, at the first ball in 1921, the outside of the main exit was blocked with a pile of piano boxes. A threat by the attending officers of a week’s short rations ensured that the young artillery men quickly cleared away the obstacles so that the guests could depart for home.

Halloween pranks have been one of the most enduring of the evening’s traditions. In 1921, in addition to the piling of the piano boxes at the 78th Battery’s ball, the local newspapers reported that Police Chief Anderson probably had as much fun the day after Halloween as anyone else. He rounded up all the likely suspects from the previous evening’s pranks. He made sure that these “young enthusiasts” spent the day putting things back in place and removing the soap that they had applied to various store-front windows.

Red Deer Public School, nicknamed “The Castle”

Unfortunately, a small group had gotten carried away with their pranks at the High School building on the Central School grounds. In order to drive home the point that there were limits to the number and type of activities that would be tolerated on Halloween Night, Principal C.D. Locke imposed a “two-day enforced holiday” on the perpetuators as a warning to rein in their “youthful exuberance” during next year’s Halloween activities.

Michael Dawe – October 31, 2018

A fifth generation Central Albertan with roots in Red Deer and Pine Lake, Michael Dawe serves on Red Deer City Council. In 1979, he became the city’s first full-time archivist with the Red Deer and District Archives. In May 2009, he was seconded to become the curator of history in preparation for the City of Red Deer Centennial in 2013.

Michael has won a number of awards including the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and Alberta Centennial medals. He was named Alberta Citizen of the Year by the Council on School Administration of the Alberta Teachers Association for his work with local schools. He received the Minister of Veterans’ Affairs Commendation for his work with veterans. He was twice voted Red Deer’s Most Beloved Citizen by the readers of the Red Deer Express newspaper.


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Connected to the Resources I Need

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Connected to the Resources I Need

Candice struggled for a few years with looking after her family, pain and deteriorating mobility. Her husband is away for long stretches working out of town. She had put out some feelers to get help with some things but nothing ever connected…that is until she met the support nurse in her physician’s clinic.

Candice said,” Wow! What an amazing nurse. I usually don’t open up and tell anyone about my struggles but the support nurse sensed I needed help and had a way of making me feel so comfortable that I did open up. She was so friendly and caring. Once she knew my challenges and needs, she did everything she could to set me up with resources. She connected me with Home Care, a mental health counsellor and other community resources. I got everything that I need in a very short timeframe. I will never be free of the pain but my everyday life is more comfortable now.  I would give this service and the Support Nurse the highest recommendation, I have never met anyone like her.”

Learn more about the Red Deer Primary Care Network.

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october, 2020

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