‘Good Earth’ Coffee Concept Rapidly Expanding Across Canada with Standalone Stores and Indigo Locations [Interview]

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Calgary-based Good Earth Coffeehouse is rapidly expanding its brand nationwide in part due to a growing partnership with Indigo Books.

“We are so pleased to be growing and reconnecting communities with exceptional coffee and fresh food served in a social hub,” said Nan Eskenazi, founder of Good Earth Coffeehouse. “We believe the human connection and interaction that takes place in our coffeehouses is valuable – as valuable as the coffee and food we serve.

Nan Eskenazi

“We have secured sites with Indigo basically from Victoria to Halifax and two of them are slated to open in November and there’s another three that will open in Q1 of 2023. Then another 10 to 12 will open across the course of 2023.

“We are just getting our feet under us and keeping our momentum going. A combination of the Indigo stores and quite a few institutional locations and then a few street fronts as well.”

The first Good Earth Coffeehouse opened in Calgary in 1991 by founders Eskenazi and Michael Going and today about 52 locations are open or under development. 

Image: Good Earth Coffeehouse

Good Earth has confirmed openings of new coffeehouses in various markets including opening in 2022 and Q1 2023:

  • Chapters – Chinook in Calgary, opening in November;
  • Indigo – Signal Hill in Calgary, opening in November;
  • Calgary Courts Centre in Calgary, opening in November;
  • Indigo – Fairway in Kitchener;
  • Indigo – Shawnessy, in Calgary;
  • Chapters – Westside in Edmonton;
  • The Bridge in Calgary;
  • University of Toronto in Toronto;
  • Yonge & Wellesley in Toronto;
  • Credit Valley Hospital in Mississauga;
  • Mississauga Hospital in Mississauga;
  • Bay Centre in Victoria;
  • Victoria General Hospital in Victoria.

Additional openings in 2023 include Indigo and Chapters stores in Winnipeg; Thunder Bay, Sudbury, Oshawa, Barrie, and Cambridge; Edmonton, St. Albert, and Sherwood Park; Halifax, and Vancouver and SickKids Hospital in Toronto.

“By the end of 2023 we will have completed a dozen or more sites with Chapters Indigo locations and then another handful of sites that are a combination of street fronts and institutional partnerships,” said Eskenazi.

“I think we have just the right combination of brand attributes and brand values that are really relevant today. We’ve been actively pursuing sustainability for over 30 years and there’s always room to grow and change in that facet of our brand because things change and it keeps us really engaged on that matter, not just merely coming up with green washing slogans.

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

“Something we’ve always known, and it’s always been part of our DNA, that has been really a spotlight that has been shone on it over the last couple of years is the value of being a social environment, the value of creating a space where people do spend time and engage with each other. I think that’s the real goal at the heart of the Indigo relationship for us. Their customers want to linger, want to spend time and that’s a customer base we love to engage with – people that want to spend time with each other and create community. 

“Certainly, there are other business formulas heading off in a more transactional direction, partly as a result of the changes we’ve been through in the last three years in reducing the social relationship in favour of a more transactional relationship. But we just see the value in being a social hub, a place where people gather. I think that contributes to our longevity to be honest.”

Earlier this year Good Earth unveiled their contemporary café design inspired by earthy tones and natural textures creating an inviting coffeehouse for guests to gather. Since the launch of their new design, Good Earth has opened locations throughout western Canada including former Starbucks locations at Sunridge Mall in Calgary and Lawson Heights in Saskatoon. To date, the brand also opened in The Maclaren in Edmonton, and at the University of Northern British Columbia in Prince George.

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. Mario was named as a RETHINK Retail Top Retail Expert in 2024.

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