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Local businesses thank the community for ‘A-List’ status

Garnering the most votes for Best Coffee in town in our annual Lacombe A List Readers’ Choice Awards is the Broomtree Foundation’s social enterprise cafe.
Pictured here are the Broomtree Cafe’s manager Samantha Tol and the organization’s Executive Director Donna Abma. The cafe landed the top spot in the ‘Best Coffee’ category. Mark Weber/Lacombe Express

Garnering the most votes for Best Coffee in town in our annual Lacombe A List Readers’ Choice Awards is the Broomtree Foundation’s social enterprise cafe.

“It warms my heart,” said the Foundation’s executive director Donna Abma on hearing the news.

“I love coffee, so when we started the cafe, a priority was to bring in quality coffee. We also use a local roaster which we love - the Birdy Coffee Co. We love to use local stuff for the cafe, so that is exciting, too. It’s all that we carry - and we love the relationship we have with them.”

Abma noted that the first-place standing also reflects a growing awareness about the cafe, too.

“People are getting to know us - and that is exciting,” she said.

“Being able to supply good quality food and drink to the community is really important.”

The cafe is actually described as a ‘social enterprise cafe’ which is able to give women solid employability skills.

“That is huge for me,” said Abma, pointing out that all of the profit from the cafe goes back into the Foundation which is dedicated to helping women and their families build better, safer, and stronger lives.

“It helps community families in need, and that is massive for the Broomtree Foundation,” she said.

Abma also said there is a token program that is run in partnership with other local agencies.

“If they find someone who is in need, they give them a token, and that person can come in for a free meal and a drink,” she explained.

Another clear Lacombe A List winner was Nowco Home Hardware, which landed the top spot in the Best Customer Service category.

The store remains family-owned and operated in its third generation by Tyler and Deanna Nowochin.

“We were thrilled to hear that we had won first in the Best Customer Service category for the 2023 awards,” said Deanna. “Of all of the categories, this one definitely means the most to us - it’s what we strive to achieve here at Nowco.

“Hearing that our community feels that we provide the best customer service in town also really brings home that we do a great job of implementing our mission statement and business philosophy which is: Nowco Home Hardware strives to create a positive atmosphere for our customers and employees that sets us apart - making us a strong retailer and appreciated employer,” she explained.

Deanna pointed out the business delivers a higher caliber of customer service as reflected in one simple statement.

“We are not in the hardware business, we are in the people business!

“We also have a personal mission statement for our store - ‘we strive to inspire people to be better than they were the day before’.”

Deanna said it always makes her day when she runs into a customer somewhere other than the store and they take the time to let her know about the great service they received while shopping at Nowco.

“Tyler and I are so proud of our team, and they are the reason why we receive wonderful recognition such as this,” she said. “Our staff are the ones deserving of this recognition, and we are proud to call them ours!”

Mark Weber

About the Author: Mark Weber

I've been a part of the Black Press Media family for about a dozen years now, with stints at the Red Deer Express, the Stettler Independent, and now the Lacombe Express.
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