'They really foster community support': New café with a focus on supporting local

Felice Café in Stadium Yards is focusing on locally-sourced products. Friday May 27, 2022 (CTV News Edmonton)

Felice Café has been open for just one month and local vendors are already seeing a boost in business because of it.

Owner Michelle Brouwer left the medical field top open the café.

“We love good food, live music, supporting local and I just wound them all together in a café,” said Brouwer.

“There has been a lot of lessons to learn but so far it's been really great and positive.”

She wanted to make a space where the focus of everything, from the food to the drinks and other products on the shelves, was supporting local.

“We love the Stadium Yards' philosophy about supporting community and promoting community,” said Brouwer. “They wanted someone in this space that would bring people out of their apartments to be involved and be part of their community and that’s exactly what we wanted to do here.”

Brouwer said she comes from an entrepreneur family and knows first-hand the positive impact shopping local can have on a community.

“One of the good things coming out of COVID is that people have changed their perspectives and they’re looking to support local,” said Brouwer. “To make that easier for them just made sense.

“We’ve had an overwhelming positive response so far.”

In addition to the coffee and food, the café also features a market for local vendors to show off their goods.

“I don’t have a physical retail space that I operate out of so it’s really great to be a part of this space, it’s so beautiful and they really foster community support,” said Titi Fueston, the owner of Tikkhu Jewelry. “Supporting local is really big in Edmonton and it’s getting bigger.”

“There’s not too many avenues for us to showcase our product without opening our own storefront, which is a huge investment that not many of us are able to do,” added Alysia Lok, the owner of Caramunchies.

“The foot traffic and everything, just exposure in general, people coming across our products, and then seeing us at markets or online. The more they’ve seen us, they'll eventually try it and fall in love with our product.”

Fueston and Lok plan to keep selling their products out of Felice Café as long as they’re able to.

“That’s been the funnest part of this journey so far, interactive with the other business owners, because they bring such a different perspective. We chat often about how we can better support each other,” said Brouwer.

With files from CTV News Edmonton’s Nahreman Issa