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Indigo Announces Coffee Concept as Replacement Tenant for Former Starbucks Locations: Interviews

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Calgary-based Good Earth Coffeehouse is set to open new locations in select Indigo stores across the country in the near future.

The first Good Earth Coffeehouse opened in 1991 in Calgary and the company currently operates over 40 locations in six Canadian provinces.

Nan Eskenazi

Founder Nan Eskenazi said Indigo is a good fit for the brand.

The departure of many Starbucks stores in the Canadian market in the past two years has opened the door for Good Earth expansion.

“It’s fantastic news. It’s been in the works for awhile but we’re just so glad to be able to have an announcement go out,” said Eskenazi. “About a year or so ago we made an announcement about evaluating locations that had been abandoned by one of our competitors.

Good Earth Coffeehouse Sunridge Mall (Image: Good Earth Coffeehouse)
Good Earth Coffeehouse Sunridge Mall (Image: Good Earth Coffeehouse)

“Really what we had done was take a good look at the coffee landscape and our brand and our brand’s strengths. For practical purposes, we really committed to doubling down on providing coffee house environments for communities to create places where community can gather in person and spend time together and the Indigo environments are just so well suited to that. The brand alignment is outstanding in terms of our values and our desire to be part of the community. I think that’s really at the core of it. The Indigo sites are just an excellent marriage for our brands.”

Eskenazi said Indigo has about 40 locations which are operating without a coffee shop, which is about half of Indigo’s sites. 

“We’re, roughly speaking, evaluating about half of those. We’re looking at a number of provinces across the country,” she said.

This partnership marks the start of Indigo’s intention to reimagine and convert its available café spaces, with a market by market, and sometimes store by store approach, offering customers regional relevance and supporting local businesses, it said.

Stores will remain open throughout the renovations to the café spaces. 

Former Starbucks at Yorkdale Shopping Centre (Image: Dustin Fuhs)

“We’re excited to partner with Good Earth Coffeehouse to bring their elevated experience to our customers,” said Peter Ruis, President, Indigo. “With aligned core values of quality, a commitment to sustainable practices, and bringing people together, it could not be a more natural fit. Good Earth prides itself in being a community coffeehouse with good food, and we’re thrilled to be able to offer our customers an opportunity to enjoy the space and connect with one another while they shop with us.”

For Good Earth, the company continues to expand its brand.

“The Indigo relationship is part of a larger plan to continue expanding our brand across Canada,” explained Eskenazi. “It will certainly be an important element to that as it helps us launch and build brand awareness in the Ontario market as an example.

“In addition to that, we’ve been awarded a couple of really wonderful sites within health care in Mississauga. That’s Mississauga Hospital and also the Credit Valley Hospital. We have a new site opening in the Calgary Courts Centre and we are opening on another university campus, the University of Northern BC in Prince George. So we’ve got some really nice locations coming up and obviously the theme on some of those is that we’re opening in what are considered non-traditional locations –  hospitals and universities and court houses as well as the retail opportunities that Indigo presents.”

Article Author

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.

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