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Red Deer Downtown Business Association

Downtown Business Spotlight: The Pizza Co.

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This week’s Business Spotlight shines on The Pizza Co.! This unique restaurant is located right on Ross Street (4900 Ross Street) and offers a delicious array of dishes for any celebration or get-together. We spoke with the owner to learn more about this wonderful establishment!

What is your business?
We are a pizza place – we have a variety of food such as Texas-fired chicken, wings, salad, donair, burgers, and appetizers.

When did your business open?
February 12, 2021.

What makes your business unique?
You can find what you want in our place. We are the only one who sells panzerotti around town.

What are some products/services that you offer?
We just decided to add more items in our menu. Burger steak and some desserts.

Why did you choose Downtown Red Deer as the location for your business?
Open for traffic to introduce our business easily.

What do you think makes Downtown vibrant?
Clean and organized.

Finish this sentence: I love Downtown because…
People are friendly and near to any business. The Business Association is so supportive.

Website: The Pizza Co Alberta
Facebook: The Pizza Co. Facebook Page

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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Share your vision for Downtown Red Deer through survey and online workshops

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Citizens invited to share their vision for downtown Red Deer

A public survey is now open for Red Deerians to share what they love about downtown Red Deer and their vision for future of downtown.  

The survey is part of the Downtown Identity Project, which aims to create a refreshed identity for downtown Red Deer – one that resonates with Red Deerians, businesses, visitors and investors, and inspires them to visit, shop, work, live and invest in its commercial core.“Hearing directly from citizens is a critical element in the success of this project,” said Sarah Tittemore, Community Services General Manager. “Our goal is to develop a collective, shared vision for the future of our downtown, so we want to look closely at what people enjoy about downtown, what could be improved, and ways that we can encourage more visitors to our core.”Launched this summer, this project will result in a downtown identity and strategy plan that outlines a shared vision, guiding principles and opportunities for both the community and The City to implement. The goal is to have an identifiable, well-invested downtown where residents and visitors repeatedly participate in unique, engaging, diverse and positive activities and experiences. Key areas that may be considered by the engagement process and the final plan include heritage, transportation, tourism, the economy, environment, social factors and more.In addition to community engagement, a Community Collaborative Committee is also playing an important role in shaping the plan. Made up of citizens representing a broad range of interests, experiences and ideas, the group’s role is to ensure the community’s voice is represented at all phases of the project.

“Our aim is to ensure the final downtown identity and strategy plan truly reflects a ‘made in Red Deer’ approach and considers all the factors that make our community unique,” said Tittemore. “We couldn’t achieve this without the work the Community Collaborative Committee is doing to ensure all residents have a voice in the creation of a final strategy that will help reimagine our downtown.”

Following the engagement phase of the project, community insights will be used to inform initial stages of the plan. A report back to the community will also be shared to highlight what was heard and how that information was used.

In addition to the survey, two online workshops are being held November 10 and 17. More information about the survey, workshops and the project is available at reddeer.ca/surveys. The survey is open until November 21.

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Red Deer Downtown Business Association

Downtown Business Spotlight: Sacks Thrift Ave

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This week’s Business Spotlight shines on Sacks Thrift Ave! This charity thrift store is located at #101 4805 48 Street. We spoke with Vincent to learn more about sustainable fashion and the Vinyl Record renaissance!

What is your business?

We’re a vintage store that specializes in vinyl predominantly, but also clothing. But, it’s probably best to start with the history of how this all started! I’m actually part of the ownership group of the building [Mid City Plaza]. Like a lot of Downtown buildings, we had a lot of vacancy. My past is in real estate, so I actually put together the group to invest in this building—but it hadn’t been going well. When we lost Sagit Aries Costumes when she retired, the place was vacant for a while, and I decided to open a charitable thrift store here—because we do have Charities in the building—to support them and create a tenant for ourselves! We started off as a thrift store, with some mixed results. But, from the old Sound House that used to be located Downtown we got a whole bunch of left-over records, so we had this vinyl wall and we kind of found that was a big chunk of our sales. When we closed down for four months at the start of the pandemic, I went and sourced a whole bunch of records. And immediately, when we reopened, sales jumped up! People started coming in for curated records. That became a big push for the business and now that’s our biggest seller here. We have the best, largest selection of Vinyl in Central Alberta. As we continued to succeed, we now support Central Alberta Brain Injury society as well as Canadian Mental Health, but we’re hoping we can support more charities as we grow.

   

When did your business open?

It will be two years in October.

What makes your business unique?

Well, another thing I should bring up is, hopefully, in the next few weeks we will be opening our rage room! I think we have that all ironed out and should be opening that up shortly. When we were a thrift store, we got all this stuff donated that we never sold. You go ask any thrift store—they’ve got tons of stuff that they’ll never sell. It’s a pity that exists, but we’re finding a purpose for it!

What are some products/services that you offer?

We still have some of the typical thrift up front, but in January we made the switch to a curated thrift and vintage. It’s a big draw, especially to our younger clientele. They just recognize that this is more environmentally friendly. The clothing industry is the #2 polluter in the world and clothes are made so cheaply now that they just fall apart—versus the old stuff that is forty years old that stands the test of time. Young people just love this stuff because they know it’s going to last.

So, there’s band merch, patches, we do bring in some new band merch as well. And the records. There’s so much investment in nostalgic things going on, like Pokémon cards. People want to invest in things they love, and you can’t get that with MP3’s and on-demand music apps. People aren’t actively listening, whereas, with a record you are purposefully listening and experiencing an album. I’ve been doing my research and there is so much that gets lost from the music when it’s on an MP3 or an app. Specifically, when they take a song and make it into an MP3 they are removing some of background music in order to make the file smaller.  Studies have shown that when listening to records there is a bigger dopamine release than when listening to MP3’s. That’s why people keep coming back to records; to hear the music how it was meant to be—it’s such a massive dopamine hit!

 

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

Well, I already owned in Downtown, but the truth is what we need is more people living Downtown, more business Downtown—it has to be a destination. The city, of course, has to encourage it to be a destination and then we all prosper. So basically, someone’s got to do it!

What do you think makes Downtown vibrant?

I’m finally seeing progress! The mural campaign [Meet the Street] was great, we hoped to be a part of that, maybe next year. But seeing the Ross Street Patio, seeing the scooters, it just kind of encourages things. I’m not sure what exactly makes it vibrant right now—but it’s starting. We couldn’t have the festivals this year, there’s so much we couldn’t do and yet this is the first time in a long time I feel like we’re turning a corner. There’s so much more that can be done. It’s just tough under these circumstances to say what makes it vibrant, any one specific thing. There’s some really good things, and there appears to be good things coming.

I love Downtown Red Deer because… 

Well, I love it because it is turning the corner, at long last. Ross Street Patio, Little Gaetz—we’ve got these streets that are becoming that charming little thing that every Downtown needs, and now it’s about expanding on it and making more spaces in the Downtown worth checking out and then having the programs, like live music, in other corners of the Downtown. That will come with time, and we hope to do some of that here once this is all done!

 

Check out Sacks Thrift Ave for band merch and great records! Follow them for updates:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sacks_thriftaverd/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sacksthriftaverd/

 

Check back next week for another business spotlight! If you would like to see your Downtown business spotlighted, please contact us at 403-340-8696 or [email protected].

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