Ah, Edmonton. Why do we love thee, let us count the ways… your river valley, your warm cafes, your kind people, and the fact that you value fairtrade and all that it embodies! Edmonton has held “Fair Trade Town status” since 2013, which means that through the hard work of many local businesses along with the kind hearts of our people, we have been able to promote widespread availability and consumption of fairtrade goods. For example: Over 85 stores and cafes in Edmonton carry fairtrade products (more on this to come)!
Another trademark of a “Fairtrade” certified town is the existence of a steering committee that meets and promotes Fairtrade products, culture and values. In Edmonton, this organization is appropriately named “Fair Trade Edmonton”. We are currently a small team consisting of 13 members and are very passionate about promoting businesses and products that support communities near and far with good working conditions and fair wages. We are excited to be able to provide education, and of course to share all the reasons why we believe supporting Fairtrade is so important.
It has been difficult for our team and the Edmonton community at large to witness the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the small businesses that we have grown to love and enjoy. To show our support from afar, a few of us wanted to highlight some of our favorite fairtrade spots in the city. Please check out their webpages and social media as many establishments are offering modified services and are working to re-open amidst our “new normal”. Show them some love if you can!
Some of Our Members' Favourite Cafes that Carry Fair Trade
I had heard about Little Brick through friends, and seen pictures of its unique set-up on social media but hadn’t yet been able to schedule a blank slate of time to personally experience the magic for myself. Finally, on a lazy winter Sunday, I took the dive and needless to say my experience lived up to the hype. Little Brick is creatively set up in an old (but charismatic) brick house located in a quaint neighbourhood adjacent to the river valley. Everything from the crackling campfire in the backyard, to the friendly servers, to the curated menu was warm and inviting. One of my favorite parts about Little Brick is the general store which offers a selection of unique, local, and even fairtrade products. My partner and I had a great time exploring the general store while waiting for brunch and both picked up items we wouldn’t have been able to find elsewhere – me: a “YEG” wooden keychain, my partner: an Edmonton Trappers baseball hat. Based on their website, Little Brick is temporarily closed but exploring creative ways to serve the Edmonton community as the city slowly re-opens after weeks in quarantine. I am personally keeping a close eye on updates via Instagram (@littlebrickyeg) and can’t wait to experience more of what Little Brick has to offer.
Little Brick Cafe | 10004 90 St NW
Being surrounded by various unique local shops and restaurants is one of my favorite parts about living in Edmonton. Many of these local places carry fair trade products, showing strong support for fair trade in the city. One of my favourite coffee shops in Edmonton is Transcend Coffee. They carry fair trade products and are committed to sourcing and roasting some of the world’s most exciting coffee flavours while paying “far more than ‘fair trade’ prices” to ensure financial stability for the producers they work with. It is amazing to see how much they care about their producers, partners and the community. Learn more on how they do their sustainable buying here. Both locations of Transcend Coffee are still open during the pandemic, get your takeaway drinks between 10 AM to 5 pm! You can order your drinks through here. They also have an awesome online shop and coffee subscription service.
Transcend Coffee – 2 Locations: 8708 109 St. // 9570 76 Ave
One sunny day last spring, a friend introduced me to Farrow. We were in the middle of planning a trip to Iceland and in need of a little pick-me-up, so we went to the Garneau location to pick up a few sandwiches. I’d passed the store many times before but had never been inside before that day. Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised from the moment I stepped through the door into their cozy, lively store. It smelled delicious, from their classic sandwiches to their rich coffee, which is sourced from multiple amazing roasters. Farrow works with some great roasters, such as Kuma Coffee which is a Seattle-based roaster that purchases most of their coffees straight from the source! You can learn more about Kuma Coffee here. Farrow’s store itself has a lovely, artsy atmosphere and incredibly nice staff. They specialize in a range of sandwiches, as well as a variety of donuts and other baked goods that are made in-store. Their menu changes every few weeks, but there are always a variety of options available that will suit plant-based and meat eaters alike.
Farrow | 3 locations: Garneau, Ritchie and 124 street; all of which are open for pickup!