Good Earth Coffee Embarks on National Expansion


Share post:

Calgary-based Good Earth Coffeehouse is setting its sights on further markets in Eastern Canada after opening its first Toronto location earlier this year.

Michael Going, company founder and CEO, told Retail-Insider that it has secured a spot in Montreal and will soon enter the Quebec market as well.

“Earlier this year we opened our first cafe in downtown Toronto and we have our second coming on stream in the early New Year as well,” says Going. The first location is on the corner of Dundas Street East and Jarvis. The second location will be just off Yonge Street and Eglington Avenue.

The first entry into Quebec will be at the CHUM hospital.

“We’re just getting it going quickly. So it will be a scramble to see if we can get it open by the end of this year. If not, it will be very early in 2018,” adds Going.

Good Earth is a network of coffeehouses with 48 locations throughout Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Ontario. The first Good Earth Coffeehouse opened in Calgary in 1991. Going and Nan Eskenazi are the founders.

Several locations across the country will be opening in the near future with more stores set to open in Kelowna, Regina and its first location in Winnipeg.

“Once we enter a market we definitely want to expand in it. We never have numbers in mind. It’s really opportunities of real estate but more importantly opportunities with franchise partners,” says Going.

“We’re looking now for both individual operators who will open one cafe but we’re really interested in looking at groups that would be interested in taking multi-unit locations. Four or five at a time in both the GTA and then outside GTA in southwestern Ontario as well.” 

The Good Earth location at the Ottawa airport just over two years ago was the company’s first entry into the Ontario market. The company’s expansion efforts have been aided by Compass Group Canada.

Good Earth has been an extremely successful coffee shop business despite stiff competition from huge brands such as Starbucks and Tim Hortons as well as numerous other smaller coffee establishments springing up everywhere these days.

“We’re very good at what we do and I think consumers are coming around more to who we are and what we have been doing for 26 years,” says Going. “Consumers are becoming more sophisticated and can appreciate very good coffee matched with a better food menu program than most of the international and national chains have.”

Michael Kehoe, a retail real estate specialist with Fairfield Commercial Real Estate based in Calgary and Good Earth’s real estate representative for the Prairie Provinces in Western Canada, says the coffee industry is a very competitive and crowded category but Good Earth has been able to “differentiate its brand from the competition with an earthy, good-time-feel format that seems to appeal to a wide array of consumers in the Canadian market.”

“Customers seem to identify with the Good Earth homegrown concept and the brand’s perception of  goodness and value,” explains Kehoe. “Good Earth has recognized that Canadian urban markets have a firmly established coffee culture as competition in the premium beverage range has reached a fever pitch. The coffee business is a Darwinian struggle driven by the rising costs of labour, rents and ingredients and Good Earth has a winning formula that is fueling their expansion across the country.”

Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary, has more than 40 years experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He is the Senior News Editor with Retail Insider in addition to working as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training. Mario was named as a RETHINK Retail Top Retail Expert in 2024.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

More From The Author



Subscribe to the Newsletter


* indicates required

Related articles

Iconic Flo’s Diner in Toronto’s Yorkville Forced to Close After 33 Years Amid Landlord Dispute 

Retail Insider interviewed Flo’s co-owner who discusses the “heart wrenching” situation where he is being forced to close his business that began on Bellair Street in 1991.

Anatomy of a Leader: Teresa Spinelli, Owner of Alberta-Based Italian Centre Shop Ltd.

Spinelli discusses her leadership of the popular retailer which has expanded over the years, describing how she struggled to run the company at first and grew to love it.

Upscale Canadian Fashion Brand SMYTHE Expands with New Standalone Calgary Store [Interview/Photos]

It's the second store location for the Toronto-based brand, which is seeing success with its exclusive womenswear collections.

Toronto’s CF Sherway Gardens Hits Sales Milestone with Exciting Retail Growth and Future Plans [Interview]

The shopping centre is adding new retailers as sales per square foot hit an all-time high, with plans to re-tenant Nordstorm as foot traffic grows following Eataly's opening in the mall a few months ago.

ECS Coffee Opens Canada’s Largest Coffee and Espresso Equipment Gear Showroom and Retail Space in Toronto [Interview]

The new Etobicoke location is unique to Canada if not North America, according to its founder, with coffee roasting, equipment showroom, over 500 varieties of coffee, Youtube studio and various in-store experiences. He has plans to expand the concept nationally.

New Loblaws City Market Opens in Vancouver’s ‘The Post’ Building, Adding Grocery Competition to the Downtown Core [Podcast]

Craig and Lee discuss the opening of a new Loblaws City Market in downtown Vancouver's renovated Post building, and they explore its potential impact on local grocery shopping.

Loblaw Announces $2 Billion Investment in Canada for 2024 with Dozens of New Stores and 7,500 New Jobs [Expert Comment]

The retail behemoth will be growing substantially this year, following backlash over profits as inflation continues to impact Canadians.

Dubai-Based Asian Street Food Concept ‘Wok Boyz’ Expands into Canada with Plans for Multiple Locations [Interview]

The company's founder says the popular concept, with personalized meals, has an opportunity to grow substantially with its high-quality ingredients and theatrical flare, complete with fiery customer-facing woks.

Calgary Surge Basketball Team Launches Innovative Pop-Up at CF Chinook Centre to Boost Community Engagement [Interview]

The retail activation, which opened this month, is resulting in heavier foot traffic in a quieter part of the mall.

Upscale Pusateri’s Fine Foods to Close Yorkville Grocery Store in Toronto After 20 Years

The 5,500 square foot store opened to much fanfare in 2003, with valet parking, private chefs and pricey goods. 

Loblaw and Walmart Could be Forced to Adhere to Grocery Code of Conduct with Legislation [Op-Ed]

Sylvain Charlebois says that it's rare for all of Canada's political parties to agree, signalling a shift that could force grocers to comply amid record inflation.

Factory Direct to Shut All 14 Stores Amid Bankruptcy, Liquidation to Begin Saturday

The company, founded in 1995, is one of Canada’s largest privately owned discount retailers which struggled with declining sales and increasing costs following the pandemic.