Sylvan Lake’s downtown is expanding with the addition of a few new businesses, such as Good Earth Coffeehouse which celebrates its grand opening this weekend.
Since the soft opening at its Lakeshore and 50 Street location, Good Earth has seen a lot of traffic, said Dan Hutchinson, operating partner of the coffee shop.
“I haven’t done any real marketing yet,” Hutchinson said. “But I’ve already got regular customers.”
A new coffee shop is just what Sylvan Lake needed, Hutchinson said. The locals seem to agree as many have made a point since the March 17 soft opening to personally thank Hutchinson and shake his hand.
April 7 will be the official opening of the coffeehouse. The event, which runs from 2-5 p.m. will have local musicians, an Olympic medalist as well as the Mayor and Council present to cut the ribbon to open the location.
Local is very important to Hutchinson, as well as to the Good Earth company.
“A sense of community is very important to the company. I wouldn’t have been allowed to open up shop [under the Good Earth name] if I wasn’t community minded,” said Hutchinson.
It is one of Hutchinson’s goals to have the Sylvan Lake location to be a gathering place for the community.
To accommodate this idea, Hutchinson has allocated a long table along one wall as the “community table.” This table is open for free bookings to accommodate group meetings, or events, such as paint night.
The licensed coffee shop has also partnered with Snake Lake Brewing and Undercurrent Brewing to sell some of their product in store.
“Bryan [McHale] will be here [for the grand opening] to do tastings of his product,” Hutchinson explained.
Originally Undercurrent and Good Earth were going to do a grand opening on the same day, but unexpected delays have caused Undercurrent to hold their opening the following week.
“We are planning a soft opening the week after assuming we get our approvals but our grand opening won’t be until we have settled into operations,” McHale said in an email.
Getting ready to open has been a long process, Hutchinson said.
Hutchinson has been working for the last year to open Good Earth Coffeehouse in Sylvan Lake, though the process was not easy.
Initially his application to open a Good Earth store was denied by the company, as Sylvan Lake was not on their radar.
“After meeting with everyone and showing them what I wanted to do, and why I felt Good Earth was good for Sylvan Lake, they agreed,” said Hutchinson. “It’s been a whirlwind year.”
Initially Hutchinson wanted to open either a Starbucks or a Second Cup, but found Good Earth to be a better fit for him personally.
He said their philosophy and business model was “just perfect.”
Going with Good Earth has a lot to do with the impact the company has on the earth and communities where the coffee bean is purchased from.
“We have certain standards to meet, to be environmentally friendly,” said Hutchinson, adding most of his waste is recycled, the energy he uses in the shop is green, and the to-go mugs are composted.
Keeping with the green feel, the coffee grounds used are never thrown away. Instead they are put into bags and given away to gardeners.
The beans they use are ethically sourced and fall under the guidelines of the Rain Forest Alliance.
The beans purchased for the “feature” is done in an ethical way, where the money goes directly to the farmer and the community, according to Hutchinson.
“When they say Good Earth, they really mean it,” he said.
Good Earth Coffeehouse will be holding its grand opening at 5003 Lakeshore Drive, April 7 from 2-5 p.m.