Credo Coffee serves Intelligentsia direct-trade coffee and fresh baking prepared in-house to the 104th Street and 124th Street communities
We asked Geoff Linden some questions about his Edmonton Made business. Here's what he had to say:
When did you start your business and why?
We opened on 104th street in June of 2009 and on 124th street in Oct of 2014. Our goal was to provide a space for people to gather, connect and communicate while we served coffee and baking in way that didn’t exist downtown at that time.
Why did you start your business in Edmonton?
Edmonton is our home and we wanted to attempt to provide something special for our community. Coffee shops and cafes can reveal the true local spirit of city. We found inspiration in places we travelled to and wanted a place in our city where connections thrive.
What was your biggest challenge in the early days of your business?
The steep learning curve of running a business while never accepting a compromise in quality or service.
What is your biggest challenge today?
Exactly the same. We need to stay focused, stay sharp, and never take our customers for granted. We respect them far too much to ever ask them to accept anything less than our best.
Did you/do you have a ‘support network’? What does that look like?
Family. From the beginning, Joanne, Andrew and Christopher were 100% behind the idea and all of us are still involved in making this work. Surprisingly to us, from the day we opened, our staff have given us unconditional support and from there our customers have become an integral part of our business - not just in buying coffee, but far more significantly, caring about credo’s well-being and future. Credo has become their place even more than it is ours.
Are there any particular resources (local programs, blogs, webinars, video series, forums, books, etc.) you used to help scale/develop your business that you’d recommend to small businesses?
Most importantly, conversations with our small-business friends who seem to go through the same challenges and successes that we do. It is comforting and inspiring that when you think you are the ONLY one EVER to face troubles or concerns, to have people to talk to who have found their way through similar issues.
Is there a piece of advice you would like to pass on to other Edmonton Made businesses?
Stay true to the core reason, core purpose, core value of why you tried this in the first place. Never compromise your “why”.
Is there an Edmonton Made business you’re cheering on?
Far too many to name. Edmonton is place that supports it’s own. Rather than cheer on any specific business over another, we cheer on the spirit that makes it possible.
At your size, do you still feel your business is “Edmonton Made”? In what way?
No question! We are still a very small business, and happily focused on being part of our neighbourhoods. Connecting with so many inspiring people in our city gives us motivation to consistently be better.
Anything else you would like to share about your Edmonton Made story?
Just thrilled to be part of a vibrant, dynamic city. We used to say Edmonton is “a city on the verge of greatness.” I think we can now say with confidence, respect to those who paved the path and a huge sense of responsibility to the future, that Edmonton IS great and there is more, always more, to come.