The Tri-Region has a vast array of local makers, bakers, apiarists, chefs, potters, carpenters and other creators. From world-recognized pet food and honey producers that you might not have known are based in the Tri-Region, to up-and-coming local finds – we’ve assembled a list of amazing local businesses and products for you to try.
Kick Ass Caramels
Starting off is Kick Ass Caramels, located at 5009 50th St. right in Stony Plain! Local resident and owner, Heidi Lou, began her career as an emergency nurse, but she had a passion for making caramels… and she was really good at it. In fact, she was so good that in 2016, she started making them to sell at farmer’s markets, and only 8 months later leased a commercial kitchen. In 2018, she quit her job as an emergency nurse to cook full time!
Caramel is an incredibly difficult thing to make. As Heidi puts it, “Just one miniscule piece of sugar can turn your whole pot fudgey.” Despite that, she’s been expertly crafting these mouthfuls of joy for a decade.
Kick Ass Caramels makes a ton of custom flavours! Basically anything you can think of. We mean that – if you let them know of any flavours you’d like to see, they’ll make it! Don’t go to a big box store for your holiday treats – they even make advent calendars. Best caramels in Stony Plain? That’s an understatement.
Let’s face it, skateboards are awesome, but no matter how great something is, mass production never does it any favours. And why would you want a mass-produced skateboard? Wouldn’t you rather carve it from a tree yourself? Well, okay, that’s a little impractical. You’d have no idea where to start! Luckily, Olive Skateboards does. This local skateboard and snowboard company won’t import, rebrand, or mass produce anything. Everything is handcrafted right here in Parkland County, Alberta.
Their skateboards, snowboards and snowskates are made locally using Canadian sourced materials. Olive’s lineup of decks feature unique designs, plus they also make apparel and accessories. They’ve been making high quality local Alberta products for over 25 years.
Rags to Riches
Speaking of local artisans, Rags to Riches features antique and reloved furniture, workshops, balms and lotions, decor, crystal and glass door knobs, and linens! They have two locations, one in Spruce Grove, and another in Stony Plain.
Have you always wanted to make things? Rags to Riches workshops are the perfect place to learn. Their workshops include a succulent garden class, birdhouse making and a vintage sign “paint night”.
Bee Maid Honey
Based in Spruce Grove, Bee Maid Honey has been shipping their products to store shelves across Canada and worldwide since 1954. They offer creamed, liquid, and specialty honeys in various sizes, from their tiny, single serving Li’l Honeys to a 2kg tub of creamed honey.
Their unique Premium Clover Honey is made exclusively from the nectar of white clover, a long-time leading producer for honey farms, resulting in a wonderfully light and mild honey.
Honey can be used for a lot more than your morning coffee or tea. Check out their website for some awesome recipes, from pudding and popsicles to bacon and chicken.
Visit their retail shop where you can purchase beeswax and other bee related products.
Whimsical Vintage Creations
Home decor, paints, and classes. This local Stony Plain company has everything from felt toys to rustic signs and chairs. Not only is this small business a great local maker for furniture, but they’ll buy, restore, refinish, and redesign yours! Whimsical Vintage Creations also has an array of other local artisans and crafters’ work for purchase in their store. But wait, here’s the kicker: coffee. Yep. A local and independent coffee seller.
Good Morning Honey
We weren’t finished with the honey! Parkland County’s own local vegan honey maker Good Morning Honey, sells Alberta-bee-made honey, but that’s not all! Ever wanted to try bee pollen? Yep, you can eat it, and it’s 100% organic, healthy, and tasty! We love putting it on salads or cookies. It tastes sweet, yet somehow bitter at the same time.
They also sell beeswax! There are a million amazing uses for beeswax, but two of the easiest and best ones are candles and beeswax wrap. Candles are super easy to make, and everyone loves them! And with all the horrible plastic in the ocean, there’s no time like the present to start making your own reusable food wraps!
For pet owners, there’s no better producer than Champion Petfoods. Their new production plant, Northstar Kitchens, is opening in 2020 in Parkland County for its business-friendly focus and strong agricultural community, and will create 200 full-time jobs for local workers.
Champion Petfoods produces two amazing and internationally-renowned pet food brands, Orijen and Acana, and each is loaded with exactly what your pet needs.
Spruce Grove’s only authentic Italian restaurant comes to you from the hands of a Red Seal chef, trained in international cuisine and specializing in Italian, seafood, and meats. Porta Romana employs the whole family of five, makes everything from scratch, and sources their fresh ingredients only from Canadian companies, including the Seven Seas Fish Company, Sandyview Farms, the Italian Centre Shop, and Freson Bros.
Our recommendation: start your meal off with one of their most popular appetizers, the Verdure Grigliate – roasted vegetables with a caramelised goat cheese. Alternatively, a Caprese Salad or fresh P.E.I. mussels on Friday or Saturday. Then, either the Spaghetti Ai Frutti di Mare, spaghetti loaded with fresh seafood, or a bacon-wrapped chicken breast, stuffed with fresh spinach, mozzarella, and ricotta, served with roasted potatoes and vegetables, all alongside an assortment of red & white wines. Finally, finish it off with their Small Endings platter, with a sample of all three of their desserts. Make a reservation on a weekend, show up at the door, or arrange for a private event with a special pre-planned menu!
TwiLite Frames Gifts & Gallery
Mirrors are cool, but framing them is even better. Ever wanted to look like royalty? You don’t need to change your clothes, just your mirror frame! TwiLite Frames Gifts & Gallery offers custom framing for mirrors, paintings, photos, cross stitching, sports jerseys, and posters!
Oh, but here’s the really awesome part. Sometimes you need to frame 3D things too! Do you have something that means a lot to you? Something old that you want to put on display? They can also craft shadow box frames and frame war memorabilia and heritage items! Got a coat-of-arms or family crest, anyone?
They also sell pottery, giftware, hand knitting, stained glass, and more items made by local artists! Send them a message over on their Facebook page! They’re located in Stony Plain, right across from Kick Ass Caramels.
Shopping local really is the way to go, and you know that everything you’re getting is high quality and well crafted. On your next shopping trip, shop local in the Tri-Region!
Feature Image: Good Morning Honey