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Calgary Co-op goes hyper local with new private brands

Calgary Co-op is taking buy local to a whole new level.  In fact, it’s going hyper local.

The member-owned company, which is one of the largest retail co-operatives in North America, have reemphasized the need to support the community and local business owners by launching two new private brands: Cal & Gary’s and Founders & Farmers.

“We’ve been serving the Calgary community for over 60 years,” said Ken Keelor, the CEO of Calgary Co-op.

“We know the value of supporting local producers while providing the best quality products to Calgarians.”

After talking to their members about what they want to see within a new product line, Keelor said members sought variety and quality. They also wanted to see Calgary’s culture, needs and interests reflected in those products.

Cal & Gary’s is all those things.

Reflective of Calgarians’ needs, wants

A display table showcasing products from Calgary Co-op’s new Cal & Gary’s brand. LIVEWIRE CALGARY

“What you see with Cal & Gary’s is a brand that represents inclusivity, and really reflects Calgarians’ tastes and preferences,” said Keelor.

The product line showcases the best of what Calgarians love to eat. Locally grown vegetables, trail mixes, free run eggs, and bakery items.

Every product has something Co-op calls a “Calgaryism” on its packaging.

The trail mix celebrates Calgary’s major routes, with names such as Macleod Trail Mix and Crowchild Trail Mix. According to the company, their kettle-cooked barbeque flavoured chips are “best served with Flames”, and their dark chocolate covered fruit centres are “sweet, like a Game 7 victory.”

Cal & Gary’s potato chips. LIVEWIRE

Similar to a Game 7 victory, Co-op’s other new product line, Founders & Farmers, will remind Calgarians of the good old days. It will take shoppers back to the foundation that the company was built on: a few folks who wanted a better way to serve their community.

Local, private brands with quality local foods

The Founders & Farmers brand stands for value, quality and variety, and it gives shoppers confidence that the product they’re taking home is the best there is to offer.

Calgary Co-op also supports the local economy by employing close to 3,800 residents. They carry roughly 2,000 local products on their shelves. They only sell beef, chicken, and pork from Alberta farmers.

The resolve of Calgary businesses is being tested with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  

With a vast local selection, by shopping at Co-op Calgarians have an opportunity to support their own, said Louis Bontorin, the owner of Calgary Italian Bakery.

His family-owned company has been working with Calgary Co-Op, providing them with goods since the 1990s.

“Supporting the local economy is more important now than ever,” he said.

“We are grateful that we’re part of Calgary Co-op’s DNA.”

Both of Co-op’s new product lines are made for Calgarians, by Calgarians, with Calgarians in mind. They highlight the company’s 65-year commitment to their city and its people.