Blogs

Earth's General Store - A Celebration of Our 24th Anniversary

We started off small on September 3rd, 1991 and thanks to your support we have grown steadily over the years.

In honour of this passage of time, our valued relationship with you, and an opportunity to celebrate we are having one of our rare 15% OFF store wide sale!

This discount applies to your total bill.

So drop by this Wednesday so we can personally THANK YOU and offer you a gift of some savings. Come and join us!

This discount will be available at BOTH Stores an includes the deli downtown.

Edmonton's best Organic Prices just got better!

Great time to pick up a dehydrator or a fermentation crock pot!

-Posted August 31st, 2014

Third Annual Community League Member Appreciation Day - September 21st, 2014

For the past couple of years the Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues has been coordinating a citywide Community League Day. This year it will be happening on Saturday, September 20th, 2014.

Deli Manager Employment Opportunity for EGS Downtown

Unfortunately we are going to loose our deli manager. London is Calling :)

Mithalee will be moving to London, UK to pursue more culinary arts training with a variety of food establishments. This will leave Earth's General Store without a Deli Manager.

Mithalee has done an excellent job of getting the deli up and running. She has been fundamental in developing the feel and flavours of the Earth's General Store deli and we greatly appreciate her gift to the store. Her presence and skills will be sorely missed.

Mithalee has provided the following description of the skills  that are needed for the person to possess to take on this position.

If you are interested please drop me a line or know someone that might be interested please forward them the link.

Update on the Downtown Location

Tomorrow marks our two weeks in business at our downtown location (10150 – 104th Street).

Tomorrow we will be having a sidewalk presence – samples from the deli and offering some organic vegetables and fruit for sale. We will not be offering products that are available elsewhere in the farmer's market.

When it was first announced about the store opening our second location in the downtown core we were quite worried by the overwhelming response on social media that we would not be able to service the people in this community. Then Sobeys closed their store down the street from our downtown location (see my blog on this). This added to the stress of being able to service the community.

Note of Appreciation for the Staff at Earth's General Store

Earth's General Store is so fortunate to have such great staff. I am humbled.

Today I watched as everyone working at the downtown store gave 125% and more to get the store ready for opening tomorrow.

We could not be doing this without the excellent support and cooperation of the staff at the Whyte Avenue store. They keep things going, reminding me to take care of certain things, do the ordering for their store, put together shipments to the downtown store, take care of customers, and everything else that is needed to keep that store going – as well as doing what they can to support the downtown store. I greatly appreciate knowing that the store is in good hands and is guided by a steady hand. Tammy takes care of the store when I am there and when I am not. It just looks like I am 'in control' :).

Sobeys Closure - Possibly Good for Our Business but BAD for the Community

You may have heard that Sobeys on Jasper and 104th is slated to close at the end of July 2014. Check out the article in the Edmonton Journal. Here are my thoughts on it.

Many people have mentioned that with Sobeys closing that it should be good for business. Perhaps. But it is a great lost for the community.

Healthy and vibrant down towns should have grocery stores. It is where people live. There should be hardware stores, inexpensive eateries (not inexpensive fast food chains), places to sit and gather, lots of space to walk, ride and park a bicycle, schools, and entertainment. But it is grocery stores that provide the daily or weekly needs of those living and working in the downtown core.

Earth's General Store - An Update and Ramblings About our Business Model

The other week when a regular customer heard that we were opening up a second store he expressed a word of caution. He said that many businesses fail when they expand to a second store.

I am quite conservative when it comes to business. I take a slow and steady path and that path is not leading to financial windfalls or a certain return on investment. I am looking to make the business financially sustainable – that is not loosing money and making enough that we can weather slow months (the summer months).

This second store is being financed by a loan of $300,000 from the Social Enterprise Fund. Earth's General Store is the first 'for-profit' business they have provided financial support to but they recognize the social benefits and involvement that the store represents. I was VERY flattering that I did not have to 'sell' them on this aspect since our reputation preceded us and we were recognized as a social enterprise business.

Earth's General Store Second Location

Just a quick note about a new development.

A few years ago a local organic grower (Vincen Halwa) started an organic food store downtown on 104th Street called Pangaea Market. Things didn't go very well for this new business and it closed last year.

I have been thinking about opening a second location and had my heart set on it being up in the north east – probably around 118th avenue. I wanted to put our store in an area where we could offer excellent foods to people living in a 'food desert'.

I knew about the closure of Pangaea and knew that they had equipment (freezers, coolers and shelving). And thought I could pick it up for a good price for our second location. When I contacted the person responsible for the space he suggested I lease the space with all the equipment in place. This appealed to me. I would help to reduce the waste associated with the removal of the equipment, the redecoration, etc. and I would provide an outlet for good organic food in the downtown core.

So the negotiation began.

New Items at Earths General Store

Earth’s General Store continuously expands our selection of Organic, Fair Trade, Vegan/Vegetarian and Raw Food items. This month I am very pleased to let people know we have some excellent products. Some of them are new to not only our store but to Edmonton (such as bulk organic olive oil, bulk organic sesame oil, bulk organic almond meal).

Seed Time is Coming Up

Gardens take a bit of planning – specially if you want to start you transplant seedlings that you grow yourself.

We get certified organic seeds from a variety of seed houses: Harmonic Seeds (Barrhead, AB) Stellar Seeds Kaslo, BC), Urban Harvest (Toronto, ON), and West Coast Seeds (Lower Mainland, BC). We offer certified organic seeds, open pollinated, some hybrids (when open pollinated is not available for a variety), heirlooms varieties, and local seeds.

Starting next week seeds should start to arrive. West Coast Seeds has already arrived but won’t be put out for display until sometime next week.

One of our main seed suppliers, West Coast Seeds, has produced a very handy guide for prairie growers and for our zone. Check it out below.

planting-chart-prairies.pdf-page-001

Oh – and yes we have LOTS of Kale seeds coming in.

- Posted February 6th, 2014