Success stories

Success Stories

Community Futures is pleased to showcase some of the many good news stories in rural Alberta. Everyday we help people like you start and grow successful small businesses.

The Koffee Kabin

Darlene and Gary Poier
Carstairs, AB


The Koffee Kabin is a quaint little coffee shop serving all sorts of coffees, teas, smoothies, and light lunches to residents and visitors in the Carstairs area. The Koffee Kabin is in the oldest commercial building in Carstairs and started out life as a lumber yard and coal dispensary. It has been everything from a real estate office to a gift shop to a bakery and deli. In 2010 it became Cafe Radio and was once featured on "You Gotta Eat Here". In 2015 it was converted to a coffee shop and was a thriving business when Darlene and Gary Poier took over in January 2018.
Prior to purchasing the Koffee Kabin, Darlene spent months doing market research and creating a viable business plan before approaching a bank for funding. Unfortunately, she was unable to secure the funding she required through a traditional bank but had heard about Community Futures through a friend. She approached Community Futures and they were able to work with her to provide the financing needed to purchase this business.
Fast forward 9 months and the Poiers’ have many new and exciting things on the horizon for their beloved little coffee shop. They rent out their space to people wanting to host workshops, and since they took over in January, they have held various paint nights, Spanish lessons, and yoga classes. Coming up they are going to be hosting a bookbinding workshop (put on by Darlene Poier herself), a short story writing course, more paint nights, and they are working on bringing in musical events as well.
Recently, the Koffee Kabin received Bronze in the Mountain View Gazette Reader's Choice Awards for best cup of coffee in Mountain View County, which is definitely something to be proud of! They are now also providing a healthy menu to the brand-new gym in town, and on Tuesdays they go around to businesses on the main street taking lunch orders, which they then deliver. Most of the businesses are owner-operated and it can be difficult to get away during the day, so Darlene and Gary decided to provide this service for them.
This coffee shop has become a meeting place for people of all ages. It's been a place for business, fellowship, spiritual guidance, and study, and has become an important piece of this community. Darlene often says that this building is magical - it's a happy and comfortable place for people to gather.
The Koffee Kabin is located at 1112 Osler Street in Carstairs, so if you are in the area, stop by to grab a coffee or lunch and say hi!

The Grow Zone

Sharon and Dennies Vierboom
Red Deer, AB


 

The Grow Zone isn’t your typical retail business. With a focus on various types of hydroponics, this innovative company exists to help consumers transition into a more sustainable and self-sufficient lifestyle by enabling them to grow their own vegetables and herbs indoors. Put simply, hydroponics is the practice of growing plants without soil. More specifically, with hydroponics, plants are grown with their roots suspended in water containing all of the necessary nutrients.

The Grow Zone was started in August of 2013 by Sharon Vierboom, with assistance from her husband Dennies. With a wide variety of experience in multiple industries, Sharon and Dennies are the ideal team to run this type of business. From Sharon’s background in bookkeeping and healthcare, to Dennies being a triple-ticketed journeyman with a focus on plumbing and refrigeration, the couple has their bases covered and is able to handle the technical and financial matters of the business on their own.

When it comes to operating the business in terms of sales and customer service, one of The Grow Zone’s best assets is their employee Shawn.  “Customers gravitate towards Shawn and he really believes in all the products and he educates our clients on all their requests” says Sharon.  She adds that “Shawn frees up time for us to plan the next phase of the business.

While Sharon and Dennies were able to start the business on their own, when it came time to expand the business in the fall of 2015, they decided to reach out to Community Futures Central Alberta in search of the funding that they needed to increase their marketing efforts and website capabilities, as well as relocate to a larger location across the street. They had their hearts set on this larger location as it would provide space for more displays and a classroom to help educate consumers on how plants grow. The thought was that the displays and education classes would help to smooth out the sales process and show customers how their products work to grow plants. Sharon and Dennies also wanted The Grow Zone to become more of an online presence and open themselves up to the world of e-commerce, where they would be able to reach a broader group of people through selling on their website.

“Without Community Futures, The Grow Zone would not be where it’s at today”, says Sharon. “The funding we received through their organization was instrumental in expanding our business and preparing for future growth.”  If you are looking for help with starting up a business, or are looking to expand or purchase an existing business, contact Community Futures at 403-342-2055 to see what they can do for you.

For all of your growing needs, visit The Grow Zone in person at #7 6850-52 Avenue in Red Deer, online at http://thegrowzone.ca/ or give them a call at (403)356-9663 or toll free at 866-401-9663.

 

Express Employment Professionals

Curtis and Jen Debogorski
Red Deer, Alberta


Express Employment Professionals is a franchised business model offering a full range of employment solutions for Red Deer area businesses and job seekers, including professional searches, temporary and contract staffing, and onsite services. On August 11th, 2014 Curtis and Jen Debogorski opened their first Express Employment Professionals office in Red Deer, Alberta. Curtis worked with Community Futures Central Alberta throughout the start-up phase of the business and secured a loan to help with marketing and start-up expenses.
The Debogorski’s and their dynamic team help good people find jobs and local businesses find the talent and human resource services they need.  Curtis states, "We believe small business is the vital spark to growing the Canadian economy and thus are committed to helping small and mid-size businesses in Central Alberta increase employee retention and reduce turnover to enable leaders to remain focused on core business objectives. Being locally owned but part of a network of 800 offices and growing, we’re large enough to serve you completely, yet small enough to move quickly and act independently.  Our client base continues to grow and includes many industries, such as: public service, accounting/finance, oil and gas, information technology, sales and marketing, manufacturing, construction and medical." In 2017 their Red Deer office ranked #26 out of 800 offices and #3 in Canada in Professional Search/Direct Hire revenue, a very significant accomplishment for a newer office to achieve and a niche they intend on continuing to grow in Central Alberta. 
As a local business the Debogorski’s are actively engaged with giving back to the community, the World Champion Express Employment Professionals Clydesdales have been a headliner at the 2015 and 2016 Westerner Days Parade in Red Deer to raise money for Kid Sport Red Deer. Our office was the presenting sponsor of the parade for both 2015 and 2016.  The Clydesdales will be returning to the Westerner Parade again in 2018!  In May of 2016 the Red Deer office raised over 2000 pounds of non-perishable food and $1000 for the Red Deer Food Bank as part of our Brand it Blue Day.  In 2016 and 2017 we were also proud sponsors of the 2016 Red Deer Hospital Foundation Festival of Trees and sponsor the U-14 A Red Deer Rush Ringette team.    
Express Employment Professionals offers the following four service lines:
Temporary Staffing: Provide short-term / temporary employees for client companies
Evaluation Hire: Employees are provided on a probationary basis to ensure that only the best employees are moved to their core workforce
Direct Hire / Professional Search: Express Employment recruits, screens, and selects hard-to-find talent and places them directly on a client company’s payroll
Human Resource Solutions: Express Employment can provide solutions to human resource challenges, including an HR hotline, employee handbook development, HR compliance audits, organizational effectiveness surveys, onsite client training programs, and affirmative action plans.
To inquire about any of the services that Express Employment Professionals offers, visit them online at https://www.expresspros.com/ or phone the office at 403-356-9695.

T.J.'s Lawncare

Todd and Marina Jordan
Penhold


Todd and Marina Jordan have been operating T.J.’s Lawncare since 2010. Since then, the company has constantly been expanding the services that they offer, as well as increasing the number of clients that they serve.

In early 2015, T.J.’s Lawncare was approached by the owners of another landscaping business in Innisfail to purchase their assets and assume their commercial contracts, as the owners of this business were ready to retire. It was at this point that Todd and Marina approached Community Futures Central Alberta looking for a business loan to help with the cost of purchasing the businesses assets. Community Futures was able to provide T.J.’s Lawncare with the financing they required, enabling the company to acquire these new assets and commercial contracts.

T.J.’s Lawncare offers the following services to acreages as well as residential and commercial properties:

 

Spring/Summer/Fall:

  • Lawn mowing
  • Spring start-ups
  • Weed control programs
  • Hedge and shrub trimming

Winter:

  • Snow removal 

As T.J.’s Lawncare is based out of Penhold, it allows them to conveniently service both Innisfail and Red Deer, and anywhere in between.

Contact T.J.’s Lawncare at 403.886.5880 for all of your lawn care and snow removal needs!

Thorium Crane Ltd.

Phillip Thomson
Penhold


Thorium Crane Ltd. provides on-call crane and hoisting services to residential, commercial, industrial, and petroleum based companies. Owner Phillip Thomson launched the company in October 2007 and has been operating in Central Alberta ever since.

Prior to 2015, Thorium Crane was heavily invested in supplying services to the energy sector. With the downturn in the local economy starting in 2015, the company was met with some challenges and had to diversify their client base in order to continue to thrive in the midst of changing economic conditions. In order to diversify and obtain new clients in different industries, and with the help of Community Futures Central Alberta, they were able to upgrade their equipment, strengthen relations with some of their key clients, open opportunities in new markets, and cut their monthly expenses.

Although the economic conditions in 2016 were still slow, Thorium Crane was able to make the most out of an unfavorable economic climate. Specifically, in 2016, Thorium Crane was able to:

·         Reduce their monthly expenses by 40%

·         Enter and serve the green energy and recycling markets such as solar energy, farm reclamation, barn-board and antique salvage

·         Strengthen and add key clients within the energy sector to position themselves for success when the economy picks up

Overall, Thorium Crane has a positive outlook and with a lot of hard work, upgrading their skill set, and venturing into other aspects of business, they have a lot to look forward to in the years to come and are excited to see what the future brings for their business. Community Futures is proud of the hard work that Thorium Crane has displayed and wishes them continued success with their business. Business inquiries can be directed to Phil at 403-357-4533.

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Community Futures Central Alberta
5013 - 49 Avenue
Red Deer, AB T4N 3X1

403-342-2055
888-343-2055

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Communities Served

Alhambra, 
Aspen Beach, 
Bearberry, 
Bearberry, 
Benalto, 
Bergen, 
Betula, 
Bowden, 
Burnstick Lake, 
Campaign, 
Caroline, 
Carstairs, 
Cline River, 
Condor, 
Cremona, 
Crump, 
Dickson, 
Didsbury, 
Doan, 
Eckville, 
Elkton, 
Harmatton, 
Innisfail, 
James River Bridge, 
Leslieville, 
Markerville, 
Nordegg, 
Olds, 
Penhold, 
Pine Lake, 
Red Deer, 
Rocky Mountain House, 
Shawtz, 
Spruce View, 
Stauffer, 
Sundre, 
Sylvan Lake, 
Water Valley, 
Wessex, 
Westward Ho, 

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