Friday, August 07, 2009


What is your favorite small business and why do you like it? Is it the product, is it the convenience to your lifestyle, or other reasons?

For me, when I choose to patronize a small business, customer service is important. Yes, the product has to fit as well, but I do not care to go out of my way or pay extra, if the attention to customer service is there.

GF Patisserie has now made three deliveries to Ben's Meats & Deli. Two times I drove the product to Edmonton and had a good chat wit the owner, David Van Leeuwen. (It ain't much if it ain't Dutch....)

He is the third generation owner of this very cool place on Stony Plain and when I speak to him I get fairly invigorated and to a degree validated about being in business.
His passion is second to none, and his attention to his customers is incredible.

My last delivery was unannounced and when I arrived, he had 6 clients in the store. Besides that it seemed to me that he knew every single one of them, his interaction with them was what floored me.
He still cuts the meat to request, asking about thickness and recommends this or that to go with it. Sort of I got reminded of my father who ran the country store in my home town. Personalized service is where it's at. Really. Excellent pricing on good quality food of course helps as well.

It's getting harder to find these days, but I know it's still out there. Not at Starbucks, not at Costco ( both places I like and frequent), but at the small business around the corner. They do deserve our support. Get to know the owners, it pays. I saw it.

Anyway. Enough waxing for the day.

Before gluten free people from Red Deer send me scathing emails or post on Facebook, why I did not bring them anything on my trip to Edmonton, listen up:
Get some of you together, Pam B. can lead the way, get a group order together and I will make a special trip to my favorite city between Calgary and Edmonton. Just for you. You deserve it. I know. I always wanted to stop at the Donut Mill in Gasoline Alley....hehe


Bev McArthur said...

I dont know any of the other people that are from Red Deer that may want to order if you know of any of them off hand have them email and maybe we can get together on a order

Thanks Bev

Lauren said...

I would definitely say the customer service is important, as is the relationship you have with the people selling the items. I think that good customer service has to be there first, and then relationships come, tying you to the place, and the people as well as the product.

*your sister said...

I agree! I started going to Ben's for your product, but now purchase many of their other products (including gf licorice!) just because they're so great. I would rather support the little guy ANY day!

H.Peter said...

I am glad you like Ben's.

Yesterday I bought another slab of his beef ribs, so meaty, unreal. Pics to come soon.