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SMALL BUSINESS WEEK: LA Liquor prides itself of wine selection, local craft beer

Owner says they will continue to support community which has supported them
Co-owner Tank Montana and Manager Torie Goings stood proudly in front of LA Liquor’s wide selection of wines. The business has been nominated for the Lacombe and District Chamber of Commerce Small Business Award. (Todd Colin Vaughan/LACOMBE EXPRESS)

The owners of L.A. Liquor are humbled to be recognized as a nominee for the Lacombe and District Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year.

Owner Tank Montana said recognition is not something he and his staff think about when doing businesses or working with local charities and that it was a honour to be recognized alongside Soapy’s Car Wash and LA Design Centre.

“To get support, you have to support and that is just what we do with the business here,” Montana said.

LA Liquor started over four years ago when Montana and his business partner recognized a need for a liquor store on the south side of town. Montana said their opening was strengthened after the owner of Chateau Wine and Spirits saw they were opening.

“We became friendly competition and we would product share to help each other out. That was the best thing we could do: Not hide it from him and be his friend. We used to shop at his store all the time and we kind of emulated him, especially our wine selection,” M0ntana said.

Since then, LA Liquor has continually collaborated and worked with other businesses in Lacombe like Blindman Brewing and Cilantro and Chive. It is a commitment to local that Montana said he and his staff take great pride in.

“We take great pride in hiring local staff and supporting local,” he said.

Montana credited part of the growth of LA Liquor to a 24/7 customer service commitment from himself, his business owner and Manager Torie Goings, who took an early interest in the craft beer scene before it became the phenomenon it is today.

“It has evolved from a few selections to over 220 different kinds of craft beer with six on tap,” Montana said.

Being a part of the craft beer scene has also allowed them to develop connections and relationships within a growth industry.

“We have one of the best craft beer selections in central Alberta and we really pride ourselves on supporting breweries and these people who are creating products from local farms. We love to support the community in that way,” Goings said.

On top of craft beer, Montana also takes pride in their wine selection — particularly South African wines, which he is personally fond of.

“I am a big fan of South African wine, so we have one of the best selections of South African and we take pride in the fact we know every single product. If someone asks what this is like: We can tell them what its like,” he said.

Montana said going forward, they will continue to support the local business community, the craft beer scene and local charities

“We are the official liquor store for the Lacombe Generals, the Curling Club and we do a lot of these things out of the love for the businesses or charities,” he said.

Montana feels they have also been able to beat the odds as a business and told the story of an individual walking by the store while it was being constructed who told him they wouldn’t last three months.

“Four and half years later, he is still walking by and we are still here,” he said.

Montana added, “Thanks to the people that thought of us and considered us.”

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