The last few years have been trying for many small businesses as the economy has struggled to rebound from a deep recession.
However, with economists having said months ago that the worst is over, one central Alberta business is thriving and proving that theory to be correct.
On Saturday, Sweet Capone’s Italian Bakery and Cannoli Shop opened the doors to their second location after launching in Lacombe in 2016. The new shop is located at 6206-67 Street in Red Deer.
Co-owner Carina Moran says the key to their success, despite less than ideal economic conditions, was defining what success actually means.
“Is success making lots of money? Is success making jobs? When we first started, it was something very small, something we were doing to try and make some money because I couldn’t go back to work doing what I was doing. Then it grew and grew, and for a small business we had to take a look at what our model was and what was important,” Moran says.
“Our kids and family come first, but success for us is creating jobs in an economy when otherwise we wouldn’t have that, and especially the hiring of some people who have no experience. That’s not important to us. All we care about is you have a willingness to learn, passion, and that you’re dedicated and loyal. If you can create that kind of relationship with another human being, you will have a successful business. That’s all the world should really run on.
Moran admits that making the jump from a smaller city to a larger one was made easier by the community support they’ve garnered over the years.
“The support indicates that maybe people do have more disposable income, but people are also more choosey as to what they spend their money on,” she says. “In times of recession, people can’t necessarily afford to go on holidays, but what they can afford is maybe something that’s close to home and reminds them of home. When you come here, it’s like stepping into your grandma’s house. It’s something familiar, something nostalgic.”
Husband and co-owner Joel Moran agrees that the response has been mind-blowing.
“When we started in Lacombe, we didn’t know what the turnout would be,” he says. “We knew we had a product that we liked. The first day (in Lacombe) there was a lineup around the corner and we sold out in 15 minutes. Central Alberta has supported us so well.”
The same was true for their launch in Red Deer.
Sweet Capone’s staff had prepared 4000 cannolis for Saturday’s grand opening with plans to be open from 8-8. By noon they’d sold more than 3000 of the decadent treats.
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