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Where to Shop Calgary

Retail Spotlight: Calgary Jewellery

By SHAUNA MCGINN

A Calgary-owned business spanning three generations, Calgary Jewellery has been a staple in the city’s retail scene since 1955. Started by Les and Dora Florence, today the store is run by their son Bernard Florence and their grandson Jonathan, along with a team of dedicated staff. Jonathan spoke to Where Calgary about how the family business has continued to thrive.

Photo courtesy Jonathan Florence.

Calgary Jewellery is going on 64 years in business. What has kept it relevant all these years?
It’s truly because of the customer service we provide. We pride ourselves on the things that are unique, exclusive, but also, when it comes to anyone’s budget, we focus on providing the exact same experience whether you’re looking to spend $100 or $100,000. Also, the members of our staff have been with us anywhere from 10 years all the way up to 30 years. So when clients come in, they see a familiar face and they can feel comfortable with someone they know.

What was your grandfather’s initial business philosophy, and what does that look like for the store today?
It was integrity, it was customer relationships, and it was providing the same experience for everyone. One of the most important things now is having a unique selection of product. People want something that’s unique to them, and if they have their own taste and style, we’re able to cater to that.

What would you tell someone who is looking for a really special piece — like an engagement ring, for example — but has no idea where to start?
The most important thing is that if they were going to come into the store with zero knowledge, it’s our job to educate our clients. Using an engagement ring as an example, we would sit the client down and make them feel comfortable — for us the sale isn’t the end goal, it’s the relationship we’re building. We would go over a little bit about Diamonds 101, and we would ask questions like: ‘What makes you happy?’ or, ‘What makes you smile?’ At the end of the day, jewellery is an emotional purchase. If a client has no idea about jewellery, the most important thing is that the jeweller asks the right questions and learns about the client first.

How have you seen the retail market in Calgary change over the years?
Social media has become a wonderful tool, and we look at it as an opportunity to connect with clients that we may not have had before. We are one of the first truly independent jewellers that started in Calgary, and we have such a great history… Calgary Jewellery — it’s an easy name to know and to find.

Where to Celebrate Wacky Holidays in Calgary

April is Grilled Cheese Month, the ideal time to head to Naina's Kitchen for an ooey-gooey ABC (apple, bacon, cheddar). (Photo: courtesy Naina's Kitchen)

April is Grilled Cheese Month, the ideal time to head to Naina’s Kitchen for an ooey-gooey ABC (apple, bacon, cheddar). (Photo: courtesy Naina’s Kitchen)

National Noodle Month: March
Noodles: the best food ever, or simply amazing? Kick off the festivities at Paper St. for a ramen burger — who needs buns when you have noodles? If your broth to noodle ratio ends up uneven at Jinya Ramen Bar, order a kaedama (noodle refill) for a second helping. (more…)

Decades of Decadence: One Family’s Epic Eats

By IAN DOIG

Decades of Decadence is a cookbook by local food writer Rebecca Klemke (Photo: Rebecca Klemke)

Decades of Decadence recently won a Gourmand World Cookbook award in the Historical Recipes category. (Photo: Rebecca Klemke)

Author and food blogger Rebecca Klemke is a member of one of the city’s first families of food. Her uncle Pat O’Connor is the founding owner of Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts (CRMR). The company’s boutique resort hotels and game-focused restaurants (including Cilantro and Bar C) are definitively Western Canadian, sourcing much of their ingredients from the region and the group’s own ranch.

Decades of Decadence is Klemke’s first cookbook and not only catalogues her family recipes, but the clan’s cuisine-centric passion for life. It was recently accredited as being among the Best in the World in the Historical Recipes category at the prestigious Gourmand World Cookbook and Wine Book Awards.

Rebecca Klemke, author of Decades of Decadence (Photo: courtesy Rebecca Klemke)

Rebecca Klemke, author of Decades of Decadence. (Photo: courtesy Rebecca Klemke)

What kind of cookbook is Decades of Decadence?
Bursting with over 300 recipes, it allows readers to choose their own adventure with food. From cocktail parties to romantic dates, summer cooking, holiday spirits, extravagant feasts or just dinner with friends and/or family.

(more…)

Best of Calgary Shopping Centres: Southcentre

By SARAH SUSSMAN

The 962,000 sq ft shopping centre contains more than 180 stores (Photo: courtesy Southcentre)

The 962,000 sq ft shopping centre contains more than 180 stores (Photo: courtesy Southcentre)

Located in the city’s southeast, Southcentre has been renovated over the past few years to make way for new independent retailers and emerging businesses. While the mall still features department stores and franchises, it also includes many independent and niche stores as well as the flagship locations of several local retailers.

Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory
This gourmet chocolate shop carries a sumptuous selection of handmade fudge (including rocky road and peanut butter), brittle, caramel apples and individual chocolates, as well as Kookaburra red licorice from Australia.
• Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, 403-265-1950, www.rmcf.com

Blu’s Womens Wear & Shoes
Alberta-based Blu’s features high-end designer women’s wear and shoes at reduced prices by brands such as Hugo Boss Woman, Eileen Fisher, Ellen Tracey Company, Teen Flo and Blu’s own namesake private label.
• Blue’s Womens Wear & Shoes, 403-225-8315, www.blus.com

(more…)

Best of Calgary Shopping Centres: The CORE

By ERIN LEGERE

The CORE features 160 stores, including flagships Holt Renfrew and Harry Rosen (Photo: courtesy The CORE)

The CORE features 160 stores, including flagships Holt Renfrew and Harry Rosen (Photo: courtesy The CORE)

Calgary’s largest downtown shopping centre boasts four levels lined with designer shops, unique boutiques and local retailers, and its recently renovated Devonian Gardens is a lush shopping-spree rest stop. For the third installment in our Best of Calgary Shopping Centres series, here are five of The CORE’s top shops.

Holt Renfrew
This upscale department store specializes in men’s and women’s designer apparel and accessories, featuring three floors of international fashion, shoes, designer handbags, cosmetics and fragrances. Boutiques include Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co. and Hermès.
• 403-269-7341, www.holtrenfrew.com

Harry Rosen
A Canadian high-end retailer of men’s designer fashion, Harry Rosen carries formal attire, sportswear, casual apparel and accessories. Exclusive in-stores boutiques include Tom Ford, Canali, Ermenegildo Zegna and Armani Collezioni.
• 403-294-0992, www.harryrosen.com

(more…)

Best of Calgary Shopping Centres: Market Mall

By SARAH SUSSMAN

Market Mall is located in the northwest, near the University of Calgary (Photo: courtesy Market Mall)

Market Mall is located in the northwest, near the University of Calgary (Photo: courtesy Market Mall)

Located in the city’s northwest, Market Mall features over 200 retailers, including numerous big-name fashion labels and lifestyle brands, upscale houseware stores and various independent boutiques. For the second installment in our Best of Calgary Shopping Centres series, here are five top Market Mall shops.

Lush
A specialty boutique carrying ethical, eco-friendly bath and body products in a variety of sumptuous scents. The intimate store is packed to the brim with products—think of it as a candy store for the bath-obsessed.
• 403-288-5870, www.lush.ca

Good Taste of Britain
This family-owned boutique specializes in British novelties, sports attire and newspapers. It also carries specialty foodstuffs, such as Irn-Bru soda pop and Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate bars, that will activate a keen sense of nostalgia for British expats, like.
• 403-247-4739, www.goodtasteofbritain.com

(more…)

Best of Calgary Shopping Centres: CrossIron Mills

By SARAH SUSSMAN

CrossIron Mills is a large shopping centre located just north of Calgary city limits (Photo: courtesy CrossIron Mills)

CrossIron Mills is a large shopping centre located just north of Calgary city limits (Photo: courtesy CrossIron Mills)

Located about 1.5 km (0.9 mi) north of Calgary city limits in the hamlet of Balzac, Alberta’s newest enclosed shopping centre features over 200 shops including many outlet stores. The centre also houses a movie theatre, several casual restaurants and a food court. To kick off our Best of Calgary Shopping Centres series of posts, here are our top five picks for places to shop at CrossIron Mills.

Michael Kors Outlet
Known for chic, modern American women’s fashion, this outlet store for the luxury designer label features discounted pricing on the brand’s apparel, accessories and footwear.
• 403-730-5677, www.michaelkors.com

Levi’s Outlet
Levi’s is one of the most popular and recognized denim brands in the world, and this outlet store for the label features discounted prices on a wide variety of styles for men, women and children.
• 403-275-6655, www.levistrauss.com

(more…)

Bound to Please: Calgary’s Best Indie Bookstores

By RACHAEL FREY

Pages on Kensington is located in the building that once housed Calgary's first library branch (Photo: Jason Dziver)

Pages on Kensington is located in the building that once housed Calgary’s first library branch (Photo: Jason Dziver)

The massive online book retailer Amazon.ca recently dubbed Calgary the second most well-read city in Canada, based on print and e-book sales from its website. But, this statistic doesn’t account for the many bibliophiles who loyally frequent the city’s independent bookshops to hold the books in their hands and riffle through non-digital pages.

Calgary is home to a small handful of indie bookstores, each offering its own carefully curated selection. JoAnn McCaig, owner of Shelf Life Books, is not threatened by online book sales or e-books. “The ambience and sense of community found in a bookstore can’t be duplicated by Amazon,” she says.

(more…)

Wild West Wardrobe: Top 4 Western Outfitters For The Calgary Stampede

By ADELE BRUNNHOFER

 

Custom-made cowboy hats made the old fashioned way  at Smithbilt Hats. Photo: Jason Dziver

Custom-made cowboy hats made the old fashioned way at Smithbilt Hats. Photo: Jason Dziver

During Stampede season, Calgary street fashion includes everything from business-casual with a bolo tie to head-to-toe cowboy garb. To complete your look, visit some of Calgary’s best-stocked western outfitters. (more…)

Unique Holiday Shopping: Ten Thousand Villages

With trends towards “responsible consumerism”, and avoiding big-box stores in favour of local or socially-concious retailers, shopping at Ten Thousand Villages (10432-82 Ave) is an easy choice this holiday season. This not-for-profit, fair trade retailer promotes “giving back”, carrying only products that are handmade in developing communities all over the world. If you’ve made a commitment to shop responsibly this Christmas — or perhaps you’re looking for a unique gift for the person on your list who is impossible to buy for — the products at Ten Thousand Villages can help make your whole holiday socially-concious.

Unique gift ideas and holiday decor await at Ten Thousand Villages, where everything is handmade and fair trade.

(more…)

Shopping in Calgary with Teens: 6 Places You Don’t Want to Miss

Shopping in Calgary With Teens

Shopping in Calgary With Teens: American Apparel (Photo: GYLo)

Our city is a hub for retail, with first-class shopping centres and unique independent retailers. When shopping in Calgary, you’ll find the latest trends at affordable prices at the stores listed below—and as a bonus, all of them are conveniently located in areas that will keep you and your teens entertained.

See the list of top teen shopping spots in Calgary »

(more…)

Top 5 Vintage Clothing Shops in Calgary

Best-Vintage-Clothing-Shops-in-Calgary

Where can you stop for the best vintage shopping in Calgary? We’ve compiled a list of our favourite local thrift shops below. (Photo courtesy of Joseph Brent)

Want to leave Calgary with a one-of-a-kind piece of clothing? Something no one at home will have? Head directly for one the city’s best vintage shops. Calgary is blessed with many, selling everything from upmarket brands to high-character pieces to basic Ts. Here are our picks for the top vintage shops in Calgary — perfect destinations for any savvy clothes shopper.

See our list of the best vintage shops in Calgary »

(more…)