“It’s time to make the shoe box bigger” says Lyle Barkman, one of the original owners of Tall Grass Prairie Bread Company, a tiny bakeshop in Wolseley.
For staff and customers who stop at the cozy but cramped Westminster Avenue bakery as a morning ritual, the change is welcomed. All the more welcomed because Tall Grass managers have decided not to move to accommodate their popularity, but to grow in the same spot where they started their commitment to sustainable food almost 20 years ago.
Owners Lyle and Kathy Barkman and Paul and Tabitha Langel wanted imaginative additions for the 1930s brick building, including 17-foot glass walls and open beam ceiling, that would increase their space by 75 percent.
They worked with Helder Calheiros, Assiniboine’s Community Account Manager to achieve their dream.“We did something very creative together. We partnered with the Jubilee Fund and the Canada Small Business Financing Program. With those pieces in place, Tall Grass had a loan guarantee to meet their renovation needs,” Helder says.
“Essentially what makes ACU different is our commitment to creative financial solutions to help build sustainable businesses. And what makes Tall Grass different is that they are not a conventional business — they are pioneers,” says Helder.
Designed by Syverson | Monteyne ARCHITECTURE, (also an Assiniboine member), the renovations should be completed by the end of the year with an official opening and street party in the spring.
Excerpt from asterisk fall 2009 print edition