Local Love Blog Series – Bow Valley Brass

Local Love Blog Series – Bow Valley Brass

Welcome back to the Local Love Blog Series!

After an unexpected pause, I’m so excited to be back this week to feature small business owner Cassidy Joyes from Bow Valley Brass

Cassidy has been making high-quality pet tags and keychains from solid brass and nickel in a variety of shapes and sizes. Each tag is entirely unique including some favourite Bow Valley local mountain ranges such as the Three Sisters and Mount Rundle. Hand stamped tags create a deep, long-lasting impression that’s more durable than engraved tags, and gives an entirely unique tag you won’t find anywhere else. 

Targeting tree-huggers, mountain-adventurers, and pet-lovers, Cassidy’s art stays with her customers for the long run. 

Although the tags are perfect for your best fur friend, they can also help the clumsiest of souls who constantly lose their keys. Each tag is made to order and provides detail customization to make it perfect for just about anyone. 

After an unexpected Cassidy loves how her business has brought her closer to the Bow Valley Community.

Originally coming from small-town Ontario, Cassidy moved to Banff 8 years ago and now calls Dead Man’s Flats home with her partner and feline friend. She describes the Bow Valley as a kind, generous, and welcoming place.. Not only does Bow Valley Brass allow her to meet new locals that she may not have otherwise met, she often gets to say hi to their pups too! 

Like many others, Cassidy’s tag-making business started during the extended time spent at home at the beginning of the pandemic. 

The uncertainty of the times led her to use her creativity and build something that she had full control over. While she thought of what the Bow Valley was missing and where that crossed over with her interests, stamping metal came up as the perfect combination. 

Cassidy loves taking inspiration from our amazing surroundings to create unique designs. 

She loves the opportunity to be creative and put together endless possibilities for tag designs. She strives to evoke the feeling of being surrounded by the Canadian Rockies and nature in her pieces. Cassidy’s deep love of hiking helps her keep exploring the amazing outdoors and bring that inspiration back home. 

Cassidy has big hopes and dreams for Bow Valley Brass. 

While Cassidy’s tag are an obvious hit for pet owners as identification tags, Cassidy hopes to be able to have her pet tags for sale at pet supply shops and groomers across local mountain towns. She’d also love to partner with local dog-walking or dog-sledding companies, as well as seeing where her tags could go outside of the pet-focused customer. 

The Bow Valley community has become home for Cassidy.

Cassidy’s time in the Bow Valley has led to lots of great connections and she has her own shout outs to make. She loves the work of Valerie Rose with Mountain Hoya who shares her knowledge of Hoya plants with the Bow Valley. Cassidy is also a big believer in acupuncture and self-care, for which she visits Sara Salzgeber Jones to help her feel her best. 

In the past year, Cassidy has learned so much about running her own small business. 

Most importantly, she’s learned to take the approach of lifelong learning when it comes to her work. Being open to feedback and different ways of doing things allows her to welcome change with ease and see things from a different perspective. Included in her learning curve was creating her own website to begin taking online orders! 

Cassidy’s positivity and optimism is a refreshing change of pace these days. 

She’s grateful for everything her small business has brought her so far and has big dreams for it in the future. She is passionate about her community and loves to connect with her surroundings. Hopeful to see more empathy and compassion in the face of adversity and uncertainty, Cassidy sees a world where we lift each other up and embrace differences. 

So, next time you’re looking for the perfect handmade, local gift for the pet-lover or keychain enthusiast in your life, check out Bow Valley Brass. You can see design options and order online through the Bow Valley Brass website, and definitely be sure to follow her on Instagram to stay caught up on her latest designs! 

Interested in being featured in the Local Love Blog Series? Check out more information here and make sure to follow us on Instagram!

Lou Doyon Freelance also offers copywriting, editing, content marketing and social media services. Reach out for more info!

Local Love Blog Series – Mountain Fabrics

Local Love Blog Series – Mountain Fabrics

Welcome back to the Local Love Blog Series! I’m so excited to feature Paige Gumersell from Mountain Fabrics this week! 

Paige describes herself as a traveler who wants to create beautiful pieces. 

Through Mountain Fabrics, Paige uses sustainable, donated, and recycled fabrics to make scrunchies, headscarves, and dog bandanas. Inspired by finding new fabrics, Paige creates for those who love beautiful fabrics and unique pieces. 

Paige’s love of thrift shopping developed into her very own small business. 

Using sustainable fabrics found locally in the Bow Valley, all of Paige’s products are truly local. Her love for thrift shopping and finding amazing fabrics started as a hobby turning those fabrics into scrunchies for friends and family. Soon enough, she was hooked and kept searching for more fabrics to create new products. 

Paige currently sells her products in stores locally around the Bow Valley. 

Handing over her unique products and seeing the reactions of store owners and customers is so rewarding. Met with lots of support and love for the product, Paige hopes to be able to sell her products online soon. She would also like to get into alterations for thrifted clothing and embroidery. 

Paige’s sewing skills have come a long time since she first started. 

Having completed a Fashion Design and Textile certificate when she was only 18, Paige used her mother’s old sewing machine to complete her sewing course. 

Starting originally at local markets, Paige now sells her products on Instagram as well. 

She started with selling her macrame at the Canmore Mountain Market, and eventually added scrunchies to her lineup. When people started seeing her scrunchies being sold at the market, they gained popularity with locals and hairdressers in town. Eventually this led to Paige starting up Mountain Fabrics on Instagram and selling her products at both markets and around town. 

Originally from Perth, Australia but now based locally in Canmore, Paige has had the chance to partner and support lots of other local businesses. 

She wanted to be sure to shout out amazing local artisans like Joelle from Joelle Design Co., Sherry from Sheramic, and Krista from Triptych Designs Ltd. Paige also loves the work being done by Nikki with nak.creative, Jade with Project A Shop and Dukes from Cougar Brows

Similar to others, Paige started Mountain Fabrics during the downtime felt by many throughout COVID. 

During this time, she’s learned that you can’t please everyone and not to compare herself to others. Paige has had amazing support from the local community and would love to see those in the Bow Valley continue to support and shop locally as much as possible. 

If you’re looking for some unique pieces to add to your accessories, be sure to check out Mountain Fabrics on Instagram, and when the market season comes back around this summer, be sure to find her there! If you’re in town, make sure to find some Mountain Fabrics at these locations: Wildheart Shop & Studio, Hillary and Co. Hair Salon (Kendra Hair Studio), Lighthouse Hair, and Rockies Rentals.

Interested in being featured in the Local Love Blog Series? Check out more information here and make sure to follow us on Instagram!

Lou Doyon Freelance also offers copywriting, editing, content marketing and social media services. Reach out for more info!

Local Love Blog Series – Sam Marvell Makeup

Local Love Blog Series – Sam Marvell Makeup

Welcome back to the Local Love Blog Series!

I’m so excited to be featuring Sam from Sam Marvell Makeup – a Banff-based makeup artist primarily focused on making brides and their bridal parties look stunning on their big day! 

Sam takes a different approach to makeup by trying to focus on and highlight her client’s natural beauty. 

Staying away from caked-on makeup or unnatural looks, Sam likes to focus on the little details that make a difference. She takes inspiration from other makeup artists who can find the perfect balance between adding their own style and flair to a look while still creating a natural and beautiful look. 

Focusing on Bridal and Special Event Makeup, Sam keeps herself busy in the Bow Valley. 

Her passion and love for makeup keep her going through busy times! It’s a blend of the people she meets, the creative process of putting together a look, and the reactions her work elicits at the reveal that she loves. The reward for Sam is getting her clients to see themselves in a different light, to see their beauty from someone else’s eye, and recognize amazing features that they may have overlooked on their own. 

Every new client is a blank slate for Sam and she gets to give them a fresh take on their look! 

Sam recognizes that we all look at ourselves every day and fall into a habit of how we present ourselves (be it doing our own makeup or not). As a makeup artist, Sam can look at each clients’ features with fresh eyes and bring them to life. She loves the creativity that makeup artistry allows, all while blowing away her clients with the finished product. 

Makeup was always a hobby and interest for Sam. 

However, she didn’t think of it as a career until halfway through university while she was pursuing a non-makeup-related degree. Sam went right into a Special Effects makeup course as soon as she was finished with her university degree. In this course, she discovered her interest in beauty makeup and it’s all been history since then. She graduated from her course and dove into editorial work. 

Originally from Australia, Sam eventually made her way to Banff during a North American trip. 

When she first arrived, Sam’s work as a makeup artist paused while she explored the area and settled in. A few years later, friends who owned salons in town asked for Sam’s help with some wedding and the makeup spark was reignited.

Getting started again made Sam realize how strong her passion for makeup was and how much she’d missed it. 

Sam has made some amazing connections in the Bow Valley and with that comes lots of Local Love shout-outs to make! 

First up are some artisans in town that she loves, including Bec from Bec Design, Nikki from Nak Creative, Graphic Designer Dee from Phaneric, and Ciara from Ciara Jayne Ceramics. She also loves the work done at Banff Gift Baskets, The Tune Shop, The Crystal Sparrow, Natt Millar Reflexology and Reiki, and Remedy Skincare & Spa. She regularly partners with several businesses around town and had to make sure none were missed being mentioned here: Rocky Mountain Weddings & Events, Bec Design, En Vogue Salon, Natalia Nevpornaya, Beatnik Salon, B-Towne Salon, The Hair Company, Banff Mountaintop Flowers, Rock & Rose by Mel Manning, Elope in Banff, and Kim Payant Photography.

Sam works hard to find the balance between work and play! 

Originally thinking that she wouldn’t be able to make it work as a full-time makeup artist, Sam was blown away by how many weddings actually happen in the Bow Valley and how many brides would be needing her services! With amazing support from partners, friends, and family Sam has been able to combine her passion and work together to make a sustainable career. 

Of course, summer is the busiest time of year for anyone in the wedding industry.

And missing out on family time throughout the summer is a tough blow, but at the end of the day always worthwhile. With COVID restrictions changing often and impacting weddings almost constantly, Sam looks forward to a time when a bride will no longer have to put a mask on over top of all her hard work and just let their perfect look shine for everyone to see. 

So if you’re walking down the aisle this year (or next) or have a special event coming up for which you want to add a little pep to your step, be sure to check out Sam’s work! You can find her services and rates online, or keep following her on Instagram and Facebook for amazing photos of her beautiful work. 

Interested in being featured in the Local Love Blog Series? Check out more information here and make sure to follow us on Instagram!

Lou Doyon Freelance also offers copywriting, editing, content marketing and social media services. Reach out for more info!

Local Love Blog Series – Wild Alpine Image Co.

Local Love Blog Series – Wild Alpine Image Co.

Welcome back to the Local Love Blog Series!

We’re kicking off the New Year with a long-awaited feature highlighting the beautiful work of the wife and husband team, Kahli and Leo from Wild Alpine Image Co. 

Through Wild Alpine Image Co. Kahli and Leo offer local wedding photography, specializing in mountain-inspired celebrations including mountain engagements, heli-elopements, and traditional full-day weddings. The common thread between Kahli, Leo, and the couples they photograph is a sense of adventure. Even those celebrating with a more traditional wedding look to Leo and Kahli to capture their sense of adventure throughout their special day. 

High-quality, fine-art photography with true-to-life editing gives the most special moments a timeless look. 

With extensive (to say the least) knowledge of the Canadian Rockies, Kahli and Leo know where to be and when to be there to get the best shot for their clients. Fully prepared to walk as far as required to get the perfect shot, they are committed to always moving and searching to capture the next amazing moment. 

After more than a decade of travel for work and play in mountain towns around the world, Leo and Kahli have found themselves calling Canmore home. 

They are also no strangers to elopements, having eloped themselves by helicopter in New Zealand. Having arranged their elopement on their own and well before they decided to photograph weddings allows them now to connect with their couples on a different, far more personal level. 

Inspiration comes to Kahli and Leo from so many different avenues. 

Within the world of wedding photography, they have always looked up to Canmore-based Two Mann Studios. Largely considered amongst the best wedding photographers in the world, Kahli and Leo love how Erika and Lanny bring their appreciation for photography as art into each wedding they photograph. Personally, Leo and Kahli find most of their positive influences and inspiration from close friends, family (near and far), and each other.

Kahli and Leo are really the perfect pair in life and work.

While the way they see the world and their approach to problem-solving is different, they’ve found it is very complementary and managed to learn an incredible amount from each other. Their curiosity for seeing, experiencing, and capturing something new keeps them going. At the end of the day, they love working creatively together – something that other couples aren’t able to do but somehow Kahli and Leo do ever so seamlessly. 

Leo and Kahli take a wholesome approach to their work and life. 

Being mindful of keeping a healthy work-life balance, they limit the number of bookings each year to ensure they can always provide their top-level service to each couple. With travel opening up slowly again, they’ll focus some of their time on destination weddings, as well as continuing their wedding photography in the Canadian Rockies. 

Photography was always in the cards for Kahli, but not so much for Leo at first. 

Originally from Australia, Kahli studies film photography and graphic design in school before coming to Canada. Leo, originally from the UK, had no interest in photography – until he met Kahli. It wasn’t until Kahli was finally convinced to take on a friend’s wedding that Leo picked up the spare camera and snapped a few shots of his own. After this, capturing weddings together as a couple became the clear path to follow. 

It wasn’t until the pandemic that Kahli and Leo finally saw how they could make it work to do this together. 

Being forced to stay in one place allowed them the time to bring this vision to life. By August 2020, they had registered Wild Alpine Image Co. and were ready to go! Coming into 2022, they are already nearly fully booked for the coming summer and eager to see their couples! Fueled by  endless London Fogs, Chai Lattes, and a muffin or magic bar from Summit Cafe, Leo and Kahli are excited to keep working!

Having been part of the Bow Valley community now for such a long while, Kahli and Leo have their fair share of local love shout-outs to make! 

They love the work from local artisans like Salina from Banff Graze Co., Brad and Tanya from Canmore Pie & Sell, and Darci from Kake by Darci. As mentioned, they love and find inspiration from Erika and Lanny at Two Mann Studios. They also love the work being done at the Bow Valley SPCA, Mountain Beauties, and Valbella Gourmet Foods.

Wild Alpine Image Co. is the by-product of the journey Kahli and Leo have been on working all around the world. 

They have brought their incredible work ethic, the life lessons learned along the way, and their passion for creating amazing art in their photography to create what Wild Alpine Image Co. is today. They would love to see more people take the time for a walk outside, which is the only thing Leo and Kahli need for themselves every day! They are also eager to see continued and increased protection and care for outdoor spaces in the Bow Valley (and everywhere)! 

So if 2022 is the year where life will lead you down the aisle or onto one knee, be sure to check out Wild Alpine Image Co. Committed to capturing the adventure and love in your relationship, Kahli and Leo are ready for anything when it comes to capturing those moments!  Don’t forget to follow them on Instagram and Facebook for updates and jaw-dropping photography! 

Interested in being featured in the Local Love Blog Series? Check out more information here and make sure to follow us on Instagram!

Lou Doyon Freelance also offers copywriting, editing, content marketing and social media services. Reach out for more info!

Local Love Blog Series – Matcha Nude

Local Love Blog Series – Matcha Nude

Welcome back to the Local Love Blog Series

I’m so looking forward to featuring Amelia Lehmann from Matcha Nude this week, who is responsible for bringing delicious Matcha tea and amazing Matcha products to the Bow Valley.

Amelia is a lover of the wilderness and passionate about creating an impact for women in the world. 

She hopes her products make their way into the hands of women who live with intentionality and those who love to take care of themselves on every level. Professionally, she looks up to Jaclyn and Robyn from For the Wild Femme and Stephanie Kamille from Medium in the Middle

Matcha Nude is Amelia’s reflection as a woman and the woman she aspires to continue being. 

She loves inspiring women around her all while building a beautiful life for herself. Matcha Nude offers Matcha Green Tea Powder and Matcha Facemasks with more to come in the New Year. Amelia has built an amazing community of inspiring women that are instrumental in the support and success of her business. 

Amelia started Matcha Nude at the end of 2020 and has loved the opportunity to work for herself. 

Born out of a need to stop drinking coffee and finding a great alternative in Matcha, Amelia was hard pressed to find it easily in the Bow Valley. This struck a chord and soon Matcha Nude was born. Like so many, COVID had created lots of job instability for her and there seemed to be no better time than now to start. A whole year later, Amelia keeps at it because it makes her soul happy to know Matcha Nude is all hers and built from nothing. 

Originally from Australia and now based in Banff, Amelia has big goals for Matcha Nude. 

She dreams of offering Matcha Nude products worldwide someday. Throughout the journey of opening Matcha Nude, she’s also learnt a few important lessons such as: Start before you’re ready and Done is better than perfect. Self-doubt has been a tough obstacle to overcome, but Amelia counters it with lots of meditation and journaling. 

Amelia also had her fair share of local businesses she wanted to shout out and support! 

She loves the stunning crystal-infused resin-poured charcuterie boards from Tom Riley Art, the beautiful woodwork of Corey Touchette, and the amazing oil painting of Marcos Molina. Amelia also loves the work being done by reiki healer Nat Millar, and the soothing practices at The Practice Yoga Studio

Amelia loves the freedom that opening Matcha Nude has allowed her. 

She lives her life very intuitively, letting herself flow through her days and seeing where the world takes her. Despite the unavoidable ups and downs, this past year has been overall amazing for Amelia and the first year of Matcha Nude. 

So next time you’re looking for an interesting gift or a little treat for yourself, take a peek at the great products being offered at Matcha Nude. Follow along on Instagram and Facebook to be the first to know about availability and new products! 

Interested in being featured in the Local Love Blog Series? Check out more information here and make sure to follow us on Instagram!

Lou Doyon Freelance also offers copywriting, editing, content marketing and social media services. Reach out for more info!

Local Love Blog Series – WildHeart Shop & Studio

Local Love Blog Series – WildHeart Shop & Studio

Welcome back to the Local Love Blog Series

This feature has been in the books for a long time and I’m so excited to finally share it with you! I have the pleasure of highlighting the amazing work being done by Emily Sudermann who wears three different hats at WildHeart Shop & Studio as co-owner, operator, and teacher. 

WildHeart is for anyone who doesn’t take themselves too seriously. 

Emily and the whole WildHeart team have created a safe space for anyone who walks through the door. They welcome anyone no matter their size, age, gender, or beliefs with open arms. Ensuring every single person feels welcome in their space is something that Emily puts a huge emphasis on. 

WildHeart offers a wide range of classes so finding the perfect one is bound to happen. 

They specialize in a variety of Barre and Yoga classes, offering everything from disco-themed workout party classes to relaxing candlelit Yin Yoga classes. That doesn’t even cover their private classes and party offerings, including team building and bachelorette-specific classes!

Emily has worked hard to make WildHeart feel like family. 

From feeling the support of her own family to building a team of teachers that feel like family, Emily hopes everyone who walks through the door gets the same feeling. The whole team has worked together to create an amazing WildHeart community where everyone is known by first name and amazing relationships are fostered. Long-lasting friendships are being built and their space is becoming a great place to connect with their buzzing community. 

There’s also one more family connection at WildHeart. 

Emily is lucky to have her sister-in-law, Aly Sudermann, as co-owner at WildHeart. The idea for WildHeart came when Emily and Aly attended a jam-packed yoga class where they felt anonymous amongst other students, crowded in the studio, and rushed to leave before the next class started. This experience left them knowing there had to be a better solution – the result is now a space where all types of people can enjoy a class together and feel important. Their inherently inclusive community and space allows for the “non-yogi” type student to feel fulfilled and welcome at any of their classes. 

March 2022 will mark WildHeart’s 5th birthday! 

Emily finished her teacher training in 2012 and had been thinking of opening her own studio ever since. Emily and Aly officially opened the studio doors in March 2017, however had been running pop-up classes since late-2016. Since COVID changed the way they could operate come early 2020, they have also created an amazing online studio which has been incredibly successful. Emily hopes to see it really take off, especially internationally. 

Emily had lots of love to dish out for other local businesses! 

When it comes to local artisans, Emily couldn’t miss mentioning contemporary painter Kerry Langlois, handmade jewellery from Beads & Babes, and Sam from The Wick’d Candles. She also loves these small, local businesses: Mountain Littles, Kova Homes, and Wild Life Distillery. The team at WildHeart is also lucky to have a great partnership with Lululemon Banff that they wanted to highlight! Lastly, as an animal lover, Emily wanted to shout out their support for the Bow Valley SPCA

Emily and the whole team at WildHeart have somehow navigated the challenges of COVID and it’s ever-changing restrictions with poise and grace. 

To top it all off, Emily welcomed a baby during the whole thing so to say the past couple of years have been a wild ride is an understatement! She’s so proud of their perseverance throughout the tough closures and changing restrictions. The people she’s met and the relationships built with all those amazing people make it all worthwhile! 

So as we start thinking of New Year’s Resolutions and what’s to come in 2022, check out WildHeart Shop & Studio. Their welcoming and non-intimidating environment might just be the slice of community and love that you’ve been searching for in these weird and constantly changing times. 

Interested in being featured in the Local Love Blog Series? Check out more information here and make sure to follow us on Instagram!

Lou Doyon Freelance also offers copywriting, editing, content marketing and social media services. Reach out for more info!

Local Love Blog Series – Banff Sushi House

Local Love Blog Series – Banff Sushi House

Welcome back to the Local Love Blog Series

I’m very excited to be featuring Lou and Atomu Tanaka, a father-son duo who own and manage the Sushi House Banff – or otherwise known as the Sushi Train! 

Owner Lou Tanaka opened Sushi House Banff in 1996 and it’s been a Banff staple ever-since. Originally from the rural part of Osaka, Japan, Lou has a deep understanding and appreciation for sushi. Coincidentally, he was born in the same neighbourhood as Mawaru Genroku Sushi which is the first ever Kaiten sushi restaurant. 

Lou’s journey to opening Sushi House Banff has been a long but rewarding one. 

Lou started as a dishwasher at 18 years old, with a dream of eventually working at the Banff Springs Hotel. When he was 21, Lou found his way to Banff and managed to beg his way into a kitchen job at the Banff Springs. This led to a 16 year career working for the Banff Springs Hotel, most notably as the sushi chef for the Samurai restaurant in the hotel. 

While he was Samurai’s sushi chef, Lou had a feeling that there was a better way to serve sushi in the Bow Valley. 

Lou was committed to bringing sushi to the more general market, ensuring it was inviting and affordable. One fateful day some 25+ years ago when Lou and his wife were stuck at the train tracks in Canmore, Lou had his brilliant idea. As he watched the train pass him by, he came up with the idea of using a toy train with flatbeds to serve sushi. This made the dining experience interactive for diners, relatively inexpensive, and tied in with the history of the Bow Valley. 

Sushi House Banff is truly a family-run business located on Caribou St. in Banff. 

Lou has the pleasure of working with his two sons, Atomu and Adamu Tanaka. Atomu, Lou’s eldest son, is now the Manager of Sushi House Banff. Atomu went to school for culinary arts, specializing in French Cuisine. Amongst various cooking jobs in the Bow Valley, Atomu eventually earned a job cooking at a 3 Michelin Star restaurant in Hokkaido called Zaborin, alongside Chef Yoshihiro Seno. About 7 years ago, Atomu came back to Banff to help Lou with the family business and has been managing the restaurant ever since. 

Sushi House Banff has created an amazing atmosphere of locals and fostered a deep sense of community. 

Their customers tend to be local regulars who want a quick, inexpensive bite to eat. However, they of course see tourists who are looking to have a “fun meal” while enjoying their vacation in Banff. Lou and Atomu make a point of keeping their restaurant small and tightly knit so that customers can feel the intimate connection with the chefs. 

Opening a sushi restaurant in 1996 was something completely different for Banff. 

Despite Samurai serving sushi at the Banff Springs Hotel, for most diners in Banff sushi was still a thing of mystery. When the restaurant first opened, Lou would put beef stew on the train for fun, since he knew customers would often be intimidated or scared of the other more traditional menu items. They even sold Cucumber Rolls for $1.00 just to introduce customers to the wonderful world of sushi! 

With a chef in the middle of the restaurant surrounded by customers and the train, dining at Sushi House Banff is a completely unique experience. 

Unlike other restaurants that have servers, the chefs at Sushi House Banff get to directly interact with their customers. They love seeing customers smile at the sushi and knowing that it’s a result of their hard work and dedication. The entire team at Sushi House Banff have spent over 25 years building relationships with locals and getting to connect over sushi is a constant source of inspiration and pride. 

Atomu is committed to keeping his father’s legacy alive with Sushi House Banff. 

He recognizes the barriers Lou had to overcome in opening his restaurant, and wants to keep his legacy going. With all of the changes going on in Banff and the Bow Valley, Atomu hopes that Sushi House Banff can remain a constant presence and sense of home for those who come.  So next time you are in Banff and feeling peckish, be sure to pull up a stool at Sushi House Banff and pick your favourite dish off of the train. Lou, Atomu, and Adamu will be waiting with warm tea and fresh sushi! 

Interested in being featured in the Local Love Blog Series? Check out more information here and make sure to follow us on Instagram!

Lou Doyon Freelance also offers copywriting, editing, content marketing and social media services. Reach out for more info!

Local Love Blog Series – The Rose & Crown Canmore

Local Love Blog Series – The Rose & Crown Canmore

Welcome back to the Local Love Blog Series!

This week I’m excited to feature Lisa Schaetzle, Managing Partner at The Rose & Crown Canmore – a true local institution! 

The Rose & Crown is a locally run pub, fueled by a love for the hospitality industry. Depending largely on local customers, especially during the slow season, the Rose is heavily based on local needs and demands. 

Lisa is a true Canmore local herself, having grown up in the Bow Valley. 

Photo: Brendan Farrell

The Rose ensures that they base their feature menu items and choice of events on what locals prefer. Their large space, especially during the summer months when their patio is open, sets them aside from many other establishments in town. 

The hospitality industry can be a really tough one, but Lisa gets lots of support from her friends. 

When the industry seems overly demanding and even unforgiving, Lisa turns to her friends who have supported her throughout it all. Equally as important is the support she receives and the inspiration she takes from her parents. Lisa’s father, Rolf Wollmann, is a crucial element to the success of the Rose & Crown, and Lisa aspired to follow his lead in his hard work and dedication. Her mother, Andrea Schaetzle, is Lisa’s guiding light through everything in life and inspires her to be strong and independent.  

In 2017, Lisa and a group of locals and bartenders couldn’t pass up the opportunity to take over The Rose & Crown Canmore. 

The Rose Canmore now has two other operating owners/General Managers, Rob Filby, and Eric Limoges. Although the Rose was established well before they took over, Lisa, Rob, and Eric were ready for a change and willing to put in the hard work of owning and operating a local pub, with the help of a number of investors, friends, and their community. For Lisa, her personal inspiration is drawn from watching other business owners work tirelessly to make their vision a reality. Now her favourite part of The Rose is the familiarity. Everyone knows each other’s names, and the atmosphere immediately makes you feel at home. 

As someone so engrained in the Bow Valley community, it’s no surprise that Lisa had plenty of local shout-outs! 

Lisa first wanted to give some love to photographer Brandon T. Brown, musician Logan Thackray, and the amazing bakers creating delicious treats from Le Fournil. She also wanted to shout out some amazing independently run businesses that have some hard-working and dedicated owners including Rocket Pie, 4296, and Crockadoodle Canmore. Lastly, Lisa definitely wanted to shout out all of the other restaurants in the Bow Valley who help each other out in so many ways, from lending products when someone has run out or helping with installations and fixes here and there. There’s a great network of local businesses that work together and create an amazing community. 

Unsurprisingly, operating through COVID has been the toughest part of it all so far. 

Photo: Aydin Odyakmaz

The Rose, like so many others, has struggled with staffing, regulation changes, closure obligations, supply shortages, and so much more. However, the constant support of locals and staff has made all the difference. Through this journey of restaurant ownership, Lisa has learned the hard lesson of not taking things too personally, despite it being hard not to take every criticism to heart it’s also such an important part of the gig. She also can’t thank enough the amazing staff at the Rose, both front and back of house, that keep the place going and are such a huge part of their success.

Lisa hopes that a post-COVID world might feel a little less divided. 

Photo: Aydin Odyakmaz

She also wishes for people to be more understanding as a result of everything that has happened in the past couple of years, especially in our small hospitality-based town. Restaurants all over have struggled with staffing issues, menu limitations as a result of food shortages, and constant regulation changes so a little compassion and understanding goes a long way you choose to dine out these days – and dine out you should! It’s the perfect way to get back to a feeling of semi-normal and a great way to support your local pub! 

Next time you’re looking for a spot to relax and grab some grub, make sure to head over to The Rose & Crown Canmore and say hi to Lisa! In the meantime, make sure to follow them on Instagram and Facebook for all the latest feature menu items and event updates! 

Interested in being featured in the Local Love Blog Series? Check out more information here and make sure to follow us on Instagram!

Lou Doyon Freelance also offers copywriting, editing, content marketing and social media services. Reach out for more info!

Local Love Blog Series – Bow Valley Food Alliance

Local Love Blog Series – Bow Valley Food Alliance

Welcome back to the Local Love Blog Series! This week is particularly exciting because we are featuring our first non-profit organization on the Local Love Blog Series! 

Sophie Welsh is the Community Kinships and Communications Coordinator at the Bow Valley Food Alliance (BVFA). 

The BVFA is a non-profit dedicated to making local food systems healthy, socially just, diverse, and accessible to all. From Morley to Lake Louise, the team at BVFA help address food issues and insecurity, targeting local Bow Valley residents with a passion for food. 

Sophie, and her colleague Michelle, joined BVFA in the summer of 2021. 

They are committed to connecting people, coordinating efforts, advocating for change, educating, and inspiring action in the local community. They are actively challenging the status quo that food will always be expensive and limited in the Bow Valley. 

The BVFA is a resource hub for local residents to find relevant and up-to-date information!

Sophie and the BVFA team understand that finding information on food resources in the Bow Valley has not always been easy or accessible, so they can connect people to food support systems if they need help. The BVFA has also worked with the University of Calgary and the University of Manitoba to conduct research focused on learning more about the Bow Valley’s food system’s strengths and weaknesses. The BVFA also provides grants and helps local organizations with their own grant writing and applications to host events and services for the Bow Valley community. 

Sophie’s favourite part of working with the BVFA is getting to work with the community. 

She knows how difficult it can be to live in the Bow Valley with the high cost of living and is passionate about the work she does with the BVFA to work with locals in developing a food system that is more affordable and socially just. No one should have to struggle with choosing between paying their rent or buying their groceries. 

She also loves the passionate locals in the Bow Valley! 

She saw this first-hand throughout the pandemic when volunteers and local businesses all stepped up to provide food support to food-insecure community members. 

The BVFA was established in 2016 and registered officially as a non-profit in 2020.

After a Banff Canmore Community Foundation meeting that explored the reasons behind grant applications for food programs increasing but no significant impact was being made on improving food insecurity, the idea for the BVFA was born. By 2018, through the hard work of the Town of Banff Community Development staff, the BVFA had an informal membership of 50 people who worked together to build the BVFA framework to work on strategies focused on increasing access to affordable, nutritious, and culturally appropriate food for the community. Since registering as a non-profit in Nov 2020, the BVFA now has a working board of 7 individuals. 

The BVFA has big goals to accomplish! 

The BVFA wants to move beyond thinking about food issues in the Bow Valley through the lens of emergency food support alone. While the support and existence of food banks are integral to working towards their goals, the BVFA wants to move towards a concept of food sovereignty. This recognizes food as a right rather than a commodity and understands hunger as a problem of food governance, unequal distribution, and injustice rather than simply lacking access or production.

Developed in 2018, the BVFA created the Bow Valley Food Charter to highlight the food movement in the community.  

The Bow Valley Food Charter acts as a framework outlining what local residents want to see their food system look like from growing, harvesting, eating, and disposing of food. The Charter has been signed by concerned individuals, the Town of Banff and Improvement District 9 to continue working on a positive Bow Valley food movement. 

Sophie is excited to start connecting with the community again in person!

The BVFA is grateful to have great support from funders like the Banff Canmore Community Foundation, the Canmore Rotary Club, Community Food Centres Canada, United Way, the Wim and Nancy Pauw Foundation, and the Calgary Community Foundation. They also have amazing partnerships with the Bow Valley Immigration Partnership, Improvement District 9, MD of Bighorn, Stoney Health Services, Town of Banff, Town of Canmore, and the Whyte Museum. Sophie is looking forward to hosting in-person events and connecting with BVFA funders, partners, and community members around food hopefully a reality in the not-too-far future. 

Until then, stay connected with the BVFA online, or through Instagram and Facebook to see what they are up to, including an exciting new project coming up with the Bow Valley Immigration Partnership (BVIP) and The Whyte Museum! Consider signing the Bow Valley Food Charter or sign-up to volunteer with the BVFA. 

Personally, I would like to thank Sophie, Michelle, and the entire Board of Directors for their important and incredible work towards creating a more sustainable, affordable, and accessible food system in the Bow Valley. 

Interested in being featured in the Local Love Blog Series? Check out more information here and make sure to follow us on Instagram!

Lou Doyon Freelance also offers copywriting, editing, content marketing and social media services. Reach out for more info!

Local Love Blog Series – Lovely Ice Cream

Local Love Blog Series – Lovely Ice Cream

Welcome back to the Local Love Blog Series!

As a completely random happenstance, this week’s feature just happens to be the amazing counterpart to last week’s feature! I’m so excited to share with you everything that Conor McKeown has got going on with Lovely Ice Cream.

Lovingly known around the
Bow Valley as the Ice Cream Guy, Conor opened up Lovely Ice Cream in the fall of 2020.

In the past year, Conor has connected with anyone who loves to infuse a little joy in their day – specifically in the form of ice cream treats! Lovely Ice Cream offers pints and cups of ice cream, as well as ice cream treats such as ice cream cookie sandwiches and ice cream cakes. All of these are offered in their extensive line of delicious flavours. Conor will even work with a few of their VIP wholesale customers to come up with completely unique and custom flavours!

Conor’s dedication to taste and flavour is what sets Lovely Ice Cream apart.

All of the ice cream is entirely homemade, and uses the freshest ingredients available. In the spring of 2020, during our first COVID lockdown, Conor started experimenting with making ice cream. Drawn by the ability to create flavours that didn’t yet exist that simply needed to be made, Conor started coming up with amazing creations like Custard & Blueberries.

Conor has a passion for making great food and sharing it with those around him.

Of course, it makes perfect sense that having people enjoy what he’s cooked is one of Conor’s greatest joys. His favourite part of Lovely is getting to bring a little joy into people lives. He finds inspiration for new ice cream flavours from a variety of places. It can be as simple as reading about food from a faraway country, eating a perfectly ripe fruit, or eating a great local meal – there’s no shortage of delicious inspiration.

Conor has such a beautiful and humble approach to Lovely Ice Cream.

He isn’t looking for Lovely to become the next ice cream empire, but rather genuinely wants to make really great ice cream for the Bow Valley. His commitment is to contributing something special to his community and for his family and friends. During a time that has been tough for many, being able to provide a little joy in the form of ice cream has been incredibly rewarding for Conor.

Fueled by tea and honey, Conor felt he might have something interesting in Lovely after a few months of ice cream making.

As his wife, Alexis, started posting amazing pictures of his ice cream on her Instagram page, people started to inquire about how they could get their hands on it. Despite only making ice cream as a hobby at that point, Conor had a feeling that there might be something more to it than what he’d originally thought. With the amazing support from Alexis, Lovely Ice Cream opened for business later that fall.

Originally from Edmonton, Conor has been a Bow Valley local for long enough to have a few great shout out’s to make.

His first shout out is no doubt his amazingly talented wife, Alexis McKeown (check out her feature from last week here)! Conor also wanted to shine some light on Bryony Toon, woodburning artist who also worked with Lovely for the summer, and his studio neighbour Barb Fyvie, revered local painter. Conor also wanted to shout out a few companies doing great work, like Bow Valley SUP & Surf, Epicureans Canmore, and Wild Life Distillery. His local charity of choice has always been Rocky Mountain Adaptive, wholeheartedly supporting all of the amazing work the folks there are doing to create amazing outdoor experiences for people. Lastly, Conor wanted to thank Stonewaters for being wonderfully supportive in working with through Lovely’s first summer in operation.

Despite feeling like there are never enough hours in the day, hearing back from customers makes it all worth it for Conor.

Getting a message from a customer after they’ve tried the ice cream for the first time gives reassurance to all the hard work put in creating the treats. Like any new business, becoming known in the community is always a challenge but Lovely Ice Cream is on it’s way to being a key source of joy in the Bow Valley.

Next time you’re looking for a special treat, a pick-me-up, or something to add to your regular shopping list, make sure you check out Lovely Ice Cream. You can easily order online from their website, or stay up to date with all their happenings on Instagram and Facebook. The ice cream lover inside will thank you – I promise!

Interested in being featured in the Local Love Blog Series? Check out more information here and make sure to follow us on Instagram!

Lou Doyon Freelance also offers copywriting, editing, content marketing and social media services. Reach out for more info!