For this week’s Business Spotlight, we popped into Sunworks Living, located at #110, 4913 Gaetz Ave in the heart of Downtown Red Deer. Visitors to this unique shop are treated to a shopping experience like no other in Red Deer. The selection of high-quality products and expert customer service allow Sunworks to stand out, and why people keep coming back. We sat down with Kathryn Harris of Sunworks to learn more about this exceptional downtown business.
What is your business?
We are Sunworks Living, quality gifts and local art gallery, we offer a unique shopping experience.
When did your business open?
The business opened May 10th, 1996.
What makes your business unique?
Our focus is on local products, so we try and bring in unique, local but very curated pieces. Some of our works in the store are from a few neighborhoods away, others are from as far away as Quebec. We try to stay as Canadian as we can. We do have an emphasis on staying environmentally friendly so some of our products do come from away, but they are a little more sustainable.
What are some products/services that you offer?
Local is one of the key things for the business. We showcase local art, we build special order pieces with local materials based on customer-specific requests, we are very particular as to what we bring into the store, it must be of a certain quality, not found anywhere else. In-store, we carry housewares, handmade natural soy candles, greeting cards, books, kitchenware, a little bit of everything.
Why did you choose Downtown Red Deer as the location for your business?
When Paul and Terry started Sunworks, Downtown Red Deer was a desolate wasteland. Paul grew up in Calgary and it was very important to him that the downtown be the beating heart of the city. At the time you could virtually hear the slamming of the wooden outhouse door and tumbleweed rolling across the street, but downtown is where they always wanted to put their business. I’ve heard Paul say to Terry,’ we need to do something about the downtown or we need to move’ so, they felt compelled to get involved and felt a call for change. The community has always been very important.
What do you think makes Downtown vibrant?
The people that work here. I can stand outside in front of the store in the sun on a Tuesday afternoon and can greet people as they walk by. I will see businesses across the street, and we give each other ‘the nod’ in greeting. You must acknowledge the people that are here.
Finish this sentence: I love Downtown Red Deer because…
It’s where I work, where I play and it’s close to home. It’s close to pretty much all homes in Red Deer because it’s the heart of the city. You must go through the downtown to get anywhere anyway so why wouldn’t you stop?
The charm and relaxed atmosphere of this quaint shop make it a pleasure to be in. The perfect gift is easily found with the help of the friendly and highly knowledgeable staff, as the possibilities are endless. Give yourself time to browse, there is a lot to discover!
Make sure to follow Sunworks Living:
Business Spotlight: Ewyn Weight-Loss Studios
1. What is your business?
Ewyn Weight-Loss Studios support clients on their weight-loss journey through programing, healthy eating, stress management and much more; they are a hub for healthy living.
2. When did your business open?
This Ewyn studio opened in 2017, but Natalie has been running it since 2019
3. What makes your business unique?
Stabilization and maintenance are what make Ewyn’s weight-loss different, working with clients to reach their goals than helping them maintain the perfect balance for their individualized goals to make weight loss truly sustainable.
4. What are some products/services that you offer?
A FREE consultation followed by individual programming per client to help them reach their goals of healthy living and weight loss.
5. Why did you choose Downtown Red Deer as the location for your business?
The business was already placed downtown when I took over, but I do find that we get about 15-20% of our business from people stating they saw us as they drove by.
6. What do you think makes Downtown vibrant?
The greenery and opportunity for living an active lifestyle with the tails and outside gyms.
7. Finish this sentence: I love Downtown Red Deer because…
I love the downtown Market, and it has such a sense of community and fresh, inexpensive vegetables. I often recommend it to my clients.
It’s proving to be a lively summer on the Ross Street Patio
By Mark Weber
With the new designation of being an Entertainment District, there’s an exciting new vibe resonating across Red Deer’s Ross Street Patio.
Earlier this year, City council approved Entertainment District status for the Patio, meaning that the Ross Street Patio is now a place where adults can consume alcohol outside of a licensed premises while taking in various forms of live entertainment. Prior to the May 24th council meeting, City administration determined a new bylaw was needed to support the DBA’s request and sought direction from council before proceeding.
According to the City, Entertainment Districts are new to the province, having been created last December through an amendment to the Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Act. “We are getting brilliant feedback – it has been so well-received,”
explained Amanda Gould, the DBA’s executive director. There have been no issues either, she added, pointing out that folks have been responsible and simply enjoying the option to have a drink while listening to artists perform on the Patio each week. “They’re having a drink, they’re getting rid of their garbage, and then they are on their way. It’s been absolutely brilliant – it’s been a dream. “It’s great to be able to offer this to people who come downtown.”
Gould has also noted that the designation would help to further revitalize the downtown core by drawing more folks down to not only check out the entertainment that is running on the Patio all summer, but to also see all that downtown ultimately has to offer.
Business owners have also been saying it’s been a positive move. “Tribe, in particular, on Canada Day saw a 30 per cent increase in sales.”
The regular performances are also proving a major draw this summer. “We get people of so many different walks of life coming down to see them – it’s so interesting to watch the Patio right now. We get in at half past eight, and then you go around the corner to look at the Patio to check and make sure everything is good as we do every morning. People are outside City Roast having coffee, sitting on the picnic benches, having their breakfast, or just sitting down to have a chat – it’s just lovely to see. And then it gets full on the days that we have the entertainment going on.”
Thursday and Friday performances run from 12 – 1:30 p.m. with Wednesday performances going from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. “Wednesdays continue to be our best day as we have the market going on then, too.”
Visitors are invited to come down and purchase all their fresh fruits and veggies between 3:30 and 6:30 p.m. each Wednesday.
The annual car boot sale will soon be happening as well – they will be on Wednesdays also, she added. “Wednesdays are ‘the day’,” she added with a laugh.
According to the DBA’s website, “Load up your car, truck, or van with any items from your house that you wish to sell (or that you would normally put out in a garage sale) and come down to Little Gaetz Avenue for the Downtown Red Deer Car Boot Sale.” Pre-registration & payment required for those wishing to sell.
And to top of the celebratory spirit, a special limited-edition beer created by Sawback Brewing specifically for the Patio has proven to be a hit as well. “People love it,” said Gould, adding the beer – available at several downtown restaurants – will be available through the summer. The musical performances and the market both run through to the early fall.
For more about the Downtown Business Association and all that is planned for the Ross Street Patio, find them on Facebook or visit www.downtownreddeer.com.
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