Come Travel Text

COME ALONG FOR THE RIDE WITH THE TRAVELLING COWBOYS AND MEET THE PEOPLE THAT MAKE SOMETHING.

Search This Site

Friday, December 22, 2017

Two Cowboys: Filling our Beer Growlers with (A Lot of) Fresh Beer at Our Local in Canmore, Alberta

But, Is It Any Good?


We've been on a craft beer crusade over the last two years. It happened for two simple reasons. Firstly, we discovered fresh beer. Secondly, Alberta Province finally stepped into the 21st Century by allowing small commercial craft brewing. Suddenly, we were spoiled for choice, and crucially, we discovered that we too are entitled to an opinion.

While drinking our way through craft brews and visiting breweries in the Canadian West and as far as New Zealand, we've made an undesirable discovery. Not all beer is created equal. Most of what is brewed and labelled as "craft" is merely failing expectations.


GET YOUR DESTINATION OR BUSINESS FEATURED: Click Here


Let's Talk About Fresh Beer. 


It was a revelation to discover (from a very senior and internationally well respected consulting brewer) that beer goes stale a lot quicker than breweries want you to know. Some beer you should drink within a week or fortnight after the brew. Some can still be in good shape with flavour developing up to three weeks, but then you are stretching it. After that, don't bother unless you are really in need of refreshment. Beer is like bread. Best when it is fresh.

There are ways to make beer last longer (staying fresh for longer). Keeping it in a keg, in the dark, sitting quietly at the right temperature or by adding some stabilizing agent, are ways to do it. The problem is that once it is transported or hits bottles or cans, beer is pretty much done for it. It won't live up to expectations if you are a connoisseur.

Beer's freshness is affected by some factors such as temperature, movement, light, oxygen, etc. The official story is that beer that is appropriately handled, bottled or canned has a shelf life of six to nine months. Expiry dates on your favourite brand typically reflect the beer to be good for up to that time. What it means is that you are unlikely to fall violently ill from the beverage. However, it is no guarantee of freshness or taste.

Here is the revelation: A freshly brewed beer, less than four weeks old, at your local tap room, poured from a chilled keg, is in the best condition for enjoyment. Try it for yourself. Buy the can. Pour a pint from the keg. Drink both. Which one tastes better? Voila! (No, it is not the beer-gas that is the difference.)

This is why we are in complete support of local brewing and local beer. Like you baker and your butcher, your local brewer (if he knows what he is doing) is your best source of fresh beer. Even better if they have a taproom because not only is it your oasis for beer, it is also the local happy place that brings people together and cements friendships.

Observations


Canmore Brewing Company is our favourite local brewery and we are proud of having Brian Dunn and his team in our town. The brewery officially opened on 1 December 2016, a full year ago. We were there when it began. We were there when the tap room opened. I think we kicked the door off a day ahead of schedule. We were there when they participated in Canmore Uncorked, there for the Calgary Beer Festival, and we are there almost every week (sometimes several times) when we are in town for a pint and to get our ten growlers filled.

Over the last year, Brian kept tinkering with the recipes and sometimes we were elated with the results as he mustered new flavours and developed his menu. We also shared in the disappointments and loyally helped to drink those away.

The one thing that stands out for us about Canmore Brewing's beer is that it is not a mad-science experiment (Craft Breweries tend to get a little carried away sometimes). Instead, it is our comfort food. The last thing we want is for someone to fiddle with the recipe when we've fallen in love with it. Brian respects us and honours our wishes. There are seasonal brews. Some are quite good.

However, the locals appreciate Canmore Brewing for doing a few brews really, really well and we hope Brian keeps it that way.

Hendrik van Wyk
Beer Cowboy

We earn our livelihood by producing great content and supporting inspiring people, businesses, and communities. We use Patreon to help us gain from our work. Please become a patron at http://www.travelingcowboys.com if you want to see more of this and other stories.

Photos

Vegetables

Family?

Ice Beer

Snow Beer

Beer Sale

Fresh Beer

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Two Cowboys: Giving Our Boots their Annual Service at Alberta Boot Company in Calgary, Alberta

Western Values


Once a year, when the snow starts to fall, it is time to put snow tires on our vehicles in Alberta. It is also our time to visit Ben Gerwing at Alberta Boot Company to get our boots serviced and repaired from the year's wear and tear.

As Alberta’s only western boot-maker, Alberta Boot Company enjoys a solid reputation for the built and quality of its products. Boots are still hand-made, which means it is durable and wearable. It also means that when something goes wrong or when it is worn-out it is fixable. Ben and his team go as far as completely refurbishing your loved boots. It saves money. Most of all, it saves one the pain and discomfort of breaking in new boots.


GET YOUR DESTINATION OR BUSINESS FEATURED: Click Here


We've said before that when you buy a pair of these boots, you better like them a lot. You will own and wear them for a long time because they are built with old-school values of craftsmanship and quality materials.  Alberta Boot owners are part of the family. Over the last forty years, Ben's family business became integral to the western tradition and character of our great Province, Alberta. Ben's grandfather started the business. He is now the custodian. He is also the next generation that is taking the boot business into the twenty-first century.

Observations


Alberta Boots is well-known for its western style boots. Not many people know that Ben also makes more contemporary styled half-boots that are ideal for the office, city, or casual wear. It is ideal for warmer climates.

These newer boots are hand-made with the same solid construction, high-quality materials and are growing in popularity. The best part is that you can wear these boots year-round because, as with the cowboy style boots, you have a range of sole choices that will keep you from slipping, even in winter.

We checked in with Ben to learn more about the way boots are refurbished and he showed us some of his newer styles. We were on our way to New Zealand and was planning to buy a pair of Blundstones, or Blunnies as they are known Downunder (they are cheaper in New Zealand). When we saw what Ben was making, we decided that yet again, the Alberta Boot is a better choice.

It is better because it is a great boot that you can wear until they die. Then, Ben will resuscitate and refurbish them for you and you can do it all over again. I have a pair that's been refurbished twice already and if I look after them, they will probably go another two rounds.

Once you buy a pair of boots from Ben and his team, you join a family of boot owners. You are walking in Alberta's hand-crafted history. We have our new style half boots booked and will pick them up for Christmas.

Hendrik van Wyk
Alberta Cowboy

We earn our livelihood by producing great content and supporting inspiring people, businesses, and communities. We use Patreon to help us gain from our work. Please become a patron at http://www.travelingcowboys.com if you want to see more of this and other stories.


Photos


Boot Architect 
Alberta Proud



Boot Lane

Exposed

Shopping

New Styles

Nice Boots!

Friday, November 24, 2017

Traveling Cowboys: We've Found Rudolph and Friends at the 2017 Annual Millarville Christmas Market in Alberta.

Shoppers Stampede


There was a stampede in Millarville recently. You've had to see it to believe it.

Never have we seen the entrance to a famous market so jam-packed as it was at this year's fair. Some say the line of cars stretched all the way to edge of the Calgary city limit.

Luckily, with an exclusive invite from Lisa and her team, we made it to the front of the line on Friday 10 November. The plan was to meet some of this year's unique and new Christmas craft vendors as we kicked off our Christmas event coverage for 2017. We were pleasantly surprised with what we found.


GET YOUR DESTINATION OR BUSINESS FEATURED: Click Here


The Millarville Christmas Market was established in 1988 and is one of the premier craft and artisan shows in Alberta. It takes place on an early weekend of every November. The good thing about the market is the abundance of parking surrounding the grounds with free transportation into the event. This means that you don't have to carry all your shopping to your car, which is essential. You can expect to do a lot of shopping. Help is always welcome.

The Christmas market is not just a reincarnation of the very popular Millarville Farmers' Market. It is it something quite unique, stocked with more than the usual vendor mix we've become accustomed to. Lisa and her team added ample activities to distract from the sensory overload typical of these festivities. There is something for the entire family to eat, see and do. Be prepared to spend the whole day with the good people of the market going through the familiar rhythm of a Christmas event like meeting Santa, feeding the Cariboo (Reindeer) finding your children and losing your paycheck.

Observations


We love markets because there is always a surprise. The surprise comes when you talk to the vendors and learn more, not only about their products but about their motivation and passion for their work. There is always a story that needs to be discovered and shared.

This time, we discovered black garlic, a creative take on toilet plungers, met a legendary Blacksmith from Nanton, bought Italian marinated street food, tasted Alberta mustard and cheese, found oil for our beards and shared more laughs than we can remember.

The best part of our market experience is not discovering the unique and well-crafted goods of our artisans. It is the opportunity to spend the time to share the good cheer with our people, that comes with the celebration of the Christmas season's arrival.

That is why we love our markets and our people

Hendrik van Wyk
Christmas Cowboy

We earn our livelihood by producing great content and supporting inspiring people, businesses, and communities. We use Patreon to help us gain from our work. Please become a patron at http://www.travelingcowboys.com if you want to see more of this and other stories.


Photos

Rudolph 2.0

Rudolph Clones

Cheer!

Cowboy Welcome

Making Something


Monday, November 13, 2017

Traveling Cowboys: Two Birds Doing the Two Cowboys Production Van Fit-Out With Reclaimed Barn Wood from Alberta, Canada

Cabin In A Van


How many people can say that they've built a cabin in a van and that they did it with wood that is a hundred years old?

Clinton Pigeon and his team at Two Birds Furniture in Okotoks rose to the occasion to help the Traveling Cowboys with the final step in the build of the Two Cowboys production van. The brief was to create a comfortable work and living space within our Ford Transit that can accommodate our travels in all-weather circumstances. We want to take our studio on the road as we crisscross North America to feature destinations, communities, makers, and entrepreneurs all over the continent. The van is an essential item in our fleet that includes a Sprinter van from Leisure Vans, and an A-Class RV from Holiday Rambler that we purchased from Guarantee RV.

The objective of the construction of our production van was that it should allow for enough storage for all the production gear. It should be comfortable for long trips away from home. Ultimately, the project should showcase some of the best of Alberta's craftsmanship and the rich history of our area. We think the Two Birds succeeded in doing it!




GET YOUR DESTINATION OR BUSINESS FEATURED: Click Here


The Two Cowboys production van is a project that's been in the works for most of 2017. It started with the support of Cam Clark Ford helping us to procure a Ford Transit 350HD van in the early parts of summer.

The next big task was to install the required solar and battery power for the studio's equipment. Bucars RV stepped in to install solar, controllers, inverter, batteries and ventilation for charging our high-end camera gear and for operating our sensitive computer equipment, while on the road.

A business' vehicle is an ideal billboard for advertising. Spy Designs in Okotoks helped with an eye-catching branding design and applied the vinyl graphics so that everyone can identify the van on the road.

Canada throws all kinds of weather at you and the van needed to be insulated and heated for weather that can go between extremes of -35C and +40C. The insulation task fell on the shoulders of resident Cowboy, Braam Compton, who spent weeks researching the ideal solutions and several weekends installing it over the hot summer months. A vital part of the insulation journey was getting the required window coverings to trap heat inside or keep the hot sun out. We sourced custom window screens from Solar Screen in Australia.  The Espar Airtronic gasoline heater installation was done by Polar Mobility Research in Calgary.

Once all the "invisible" installations were out of the way, the Two Birds had a chance to work with us on the layout. Wood framing provided the structure for the arrangement. The framing was then clad with reclaimed timber sourced from an old Alberta barn. The design accommodated a work desk, fridge, shelving, closet, drop-in storage and a single bed for when a day gets too long.

Observations


A van is an invaluable business tool for our line of business. A well-designed and properly-constructed vehicle makes our day easy and allows us to reach the many destinations we cover and to work on the road while away from home base. We learned a lot with the build of this first one and did not doubt that there will be subsequent projects with improvements in our design and construction approach.

The most significant lessons we've learned from our project is how valuable the people are that committed to helping us with it. All of the businesses that contributed are patrons and supporters of the Two Cowboys mission. We gladly promote them at every opportunity we get. We appreciate their help to keep us on the road for telling the stories of our people and inspirational businesses in our local communities.

We are extending a sincere word of thank you in particular to the Two Birds for putting in days, nights and weekends to finish the project before winter finally arrived. We can now look forward to many miles and many more inspirational stories on the road.

If you want to know how exactly it was all done, then please consider becoming a friend of ours on Patreon. We will give you all the details of what to do, and what to avoid if you contemplate a similar endeavour. We may even help you with your project if you ask nicely.

Hendrik van Wyk
Van Cowboy

We earn our livelihood by producing great content and supporting inspiring people, businesses, and communities. We use Patreon to help us gain from our work. Please become a patron at http://www.travelingcowboys.com if you want to see more of this and other stories.

Photos


It starts with a plan...

Insulation Done

Framing Done

Stress Test!

Cladding

More Cladding

Bliss!

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Two Cowboys: Connecting with Our Food at the Olds College National Meat Training Centre in Olds, Alberta

Where's the Beef?


What we eat and drink determines who we are. It is a big part of us and integral to what we do each day. Throughout our evolutionary journey, as it is for every other animal on earth, our food ultimately determined and enabled our species, homo sapiens, to claim its place and standing on this planet.

For humans, our involvement with food goes a little further. It also plays a large part in determining our identity. It defines our relationships with our environment and our fellow man. One can deduce a level of cultural and moral sophistication from civilization's connection with its food. It plays a pivotal role in defining a society.



GET YOUR DESTINATION OR BUSINESS FEATURED: Click Here


For a person, food is nourishment. Without food, famine is inevitable. If we don't eat well, we face disease. For a group, it is also a source of expression that influences and displays cultural convention, ritual, and perception. Families come together for celebration meals, heads of state dine together, and a nation's geopolitical and economic welfare is determined by its food production abilities. Food is security. Competition for resources to produce food is the principal source of revolution and of war. For eons, individual, tribal and national identities have been recognized through uniquely crafted dishes, ingredients, and meal preparations. It is fair to say that as humans, we have a fascinating love affair with what we eat.

Humanity now produces more food than ever before in history. Unfortunately, we are also more disconnected from our food now, than we've ever been.  Food manufacturing and industrialized levels of production have slowly been eroding our link with, understanding, and the role of our food, beyond the simple provisioning of sustenance. As a result, we may also be losing our sense of who we are, and in large part, of our societal identity.

We are also losing our ability to recognize and work with our food.  The art and production of food through baking, butchering, brewing and cheese making are falling by the wayside as our butchers, bakers, and cheesemakers depart, to be replaced by corporations with large processing facilities and factories focussed on a uniform, compliant output contributing to the bottom-line.

Even our chefs are spoiled by these companies, with pre-prepared manufactured products that merely requires heating and plating. The elementary art of cooking is under threat in the average meal preparation facility in North America. Fast Food is not food in the true sense of what it could and ultimately should be.

To illustrate my point further, we should only take a look at the degree of effort we put into making food unrecognizable. Celebrity chefs are beating a path to creating mouses, gels, pearls, pills, and pellets that is entirely void of resembling source ingredients. Meals come ready-made. Molecular Gastronomy, which should have remained a fascinating experiment, now trailblazes a departure from the familiar in favor of concepts such as multi-sensory cooking, modernist cuisine, culinary physics, and experimental cuisine.

The result is that we can now eat a perfectly looking, uniform, sterile, mostly synthetic, manufactured sandwiches containing the resemblance of meat, bread, and condiments, that is morally and culturally acceptable and available to the masses, across the planet. This is now our idea of "food"!

Should we be loving it?

Because food has always been closely linked with who we are, losing its origins and our linkages to what we eat have the inevitable result that we just succumb to also losing our sense of identity.  We mistakenly claim a false pretense of cultural "progress" and moral high ground when misguidedly people succumb to disorders, become vegan, or allow vegetarianism to take hold.

Human evolution did not result in equipping people to only eat plants, and unfortunately, no amount of moral or spiritual convention will change our biology in the short term. Maybe it is time again that our children know that milk comes from cow's teets? Chickens lay eggs. Renin and bacteria make cheese and meat come from dead and butchered animals. Substances like blood make for great sausage!

When we rediscover food, we may find our true primal selves again void of pretense, and stripped from our delusions of civility. When we have the pleasure of eating what we always ate, the way we did, with the people we treasure, we may then also have the joy of re-discovering who we truly are.

That is why we seek out great food, places to find it, and why we celebrate the stories of the people and producers connecting us with ourselves - with our true primal being - homo puretus!

The Last Butcher School


The Olds College Meat Processing Program is one of only two remaining in North America that offers an educational certificate in the whole process stream of meat, from slaughter, processing, preserving to retail. Where big plants once dominated the industry, we are glad to say that the revival of the art is back in Alberta!

Olds College teaches hands-on practical techniques and age-old science of meat processing for the highest premium quality cuts. Successful graduates gain the experience needed to start their own entrepreneurial business ventures or take their skills to Canada’s third largest industry.

Olds College is the National Meat Training Centre for Canada. Three times a year its program takes in a wide range of students from all over North America and as far away as Africa. They teach techniques for professional meat cutting, trimming, boning, breaking, wrapping, sausage-making and curing with professional sanitation and food safety applications, including HACCP. It is Alberta’s training site for humane handling and stunning, and the only program in North America that teaches slaughter skills and techniques such as skinning, eviscerating and carcass preparation.

The College boasts an extensive multi-purpose facility that is fully equipped to teach the value-added skill sets and knowledge for the meat industry. Its services are expanded to cater to large and small industry, from sausage making and dried, cured hams to the installation of an industrial canner. It also boasts a favorite retail counter where students learn applied retail merchandising and customer service skills in explaining the attributes and benefits of various products and cuts.

Observations


We are saddened by the fact that Olds College is one of only two remaining programs of its kind in North America. On the other hand, we are encouraged that it still exists, is more popular than ever, and a mere hour's drive from our home base in the Rocky Mountains. The retail shop is a favorite stop for our monthly meat purchases.

Alberta is famous for the quality of its agricultural produce and its rich heritage in producing quality feed for animal husbandry. We are convinced that Alberta boasts the best tasting beef, pork and, dare we say it, lamb (sorry, New Zealand)!

What we need now, is a supportive regulatory food production climate and consumers that invite our producers back to rearing fantastic animals and our butchers again into our towns. The Old-World fostered an appreciation for its producers, and the food that resulted for our ancestors were just incredible. In the New-World, we have the opportunity not only to re-rediscover this rich food heritage but cherish it more than ever. It is where we come from, what we can do, and who we ultimately are.

We are meat-loving Cowboys.

Hendrik van Wyk
Cowboy

We earn our livelihood by producing great content and supporting inspiring people, businesses, and communities. We use Patreon to help us gain from our work. Please become a patron at http://www.travelingcowboys.com if you want to see more of this and other stories.

Photos


Focus

Evolution

Bones

How It's Made

Hours

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Two Cowboys: Discovering Alberta's Own Cheese at Sylvan Star Cheese in Red Deer, Alberta

It's the Cows


There is an old saying that money doesn't grow on trees. It also doesn't sprout when you put it in the ground. In today's age of mass food production, processed and manufactured produce, we sometimes forget where food is supposed to come from.

At places like Sylvan Star Cheese, we are reminded of the principles of quality food production. It is as simple as this. Good seeds are planted in fertile soil to sprout beautiful fields. Fields feed happy dairy cows. Dairy cows produce delicious milk and milk make fantastic cheese. Happy cows eating well is the key to world-champion winning cheese. It all depends on the cows according to John Schalkwyk, who's been making cheese for over fifty years.




GET YOUR DESTINATION OR BUSINESS FEATURED: Click Here


When the Schalkwyk family from The Netherlands wanted to start a farm with more space and more of a future, they decided to take a look at Canada. Dairy has been in the family for generations. However, it became too hard as small entrepreneurs in The Netherlands to survive in the restrictive regulatory climate that favors large corporations in the European Union.

The Schalkwyks traveled all over Canada and found that Alberta has space and scope for dairy. Quebec and British Columbia may be known for dairy production and Alberta for its barley and oil. However, what Alberta lacked were a few healthy and happy dairy cows. According to John, you can make cheese wherever you can produce dairy, and there are not many places in the world where you cannot milk a cow.

In 1995 they found a nice place between Sylvan Lake and Red Deer where they settled and started their dairy farm with a herd of Holstein's. It sounds idyllic. However, within Canada's restrictive supply managed dairy environment it is probably one of the hardest business in the country to start and grow. Alberta doesn't have many dairy farmers. Not because it is cold. Because someone in Government decided that Canada has enough dairy and new entrants to the industry are discouraged.

While launching their dairy farm, the Schalkwyks had a hard time finding an excellent piece of cheese in Canada, so they decided to go back to an old family tradition, making good Gouda cheese. John has a long history of Gouda making which he inherited from his mother. He's been making cheese in The Netherlands for 30 years prior to coming to Canada. The next natural progression was to add value to the dairy they produced, and in 1999 they ordered equipment from Holland and started Sylvan Star Cheese.

Now 16 years later Sylvan Star Cheese is renowned for its farm-made Gouda. They have won numerous Canadian awards as #1 Gouda, Extra Aged Gouda and smoked Gouda. Their extra aged gouda, also known as "Grizzly" because of its bite and power, is ranked #4 in the world. Clearly, John followed in his mother's footsteps. In 1952 she also won first prize in The Netherlands with her Gouda for which she received a prize from princess Wilhelmina!

Observations


Today the next generation is taking over. Son, Jeroen runs the dairy farm with a herd of about 240 Holstein's, while John and his wife are devoted to making cheese.

Regardless of their success, you will find John at the local Farmers' market where he sells directly to his customers. As a small producer and entrepreneur he continues to survive and grow because, according to him, it's all about happy cows.

According to me, it is because of the hard-working pioneering and persevering spirit of someone that wakes at four in the morning to take care of his first love, his cows, regardless of what some bureaucrat, lawmaker, and tax collector, somewhere in the doldrums government decide about his future.

Makers have no choice. They are compelled to continue to produce. If it becomes too hard in one place, they will move elsewhere. We have no choice but to keep telling their stories. We are proud to support the Schalkwyks, and we enjoy our Sylvan Star cheese.

Hendrik van Wyk
Dairy Cowboy

We earn our livelihood from producing great content and supporting inspiring people, businesses, and communities. We use Patreon to help us earn from our work. Please become a patron at http://www.travelingcowboys.com if you want to see more of this and other stories.

Photos


Making Cheese 
Poutine Ingredients



Winners

Everyone Helps

Resting

Spicy Cheese

It's the Cows

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Two Cowboys: Cracking Claws at the Inaugural Lobsterfest at Big Sky BBQ in Okotoks, AB

Lobsters Beware


There is a time of the year when every Atlantic Lobster should run for cover. It is Fall in Alberta, and Rob Bolton launched the inaugural Big Sky BBQ Lobsterfest.

No one told the lobsters. Before they knew it, almost 1,000 of them made the airplane trip to the Prairie town of Okotoks. It is the beginning of what is to become one of the largest events of its kind. You can mark our words. Rob is not going to hold back this time. He already has plans to double its size next year.


GET YOUR DESTINATION OR BUSINESS FEATURED: Click Here


He served the lobsters boiled, with lemon butter and bacon wrapped smoked corn on the cob to 420 hungry local folks. It was the second of two jam-packed entertaining evenings. Many of the guests made sure they got their tickets almost a month in advance. The ones that didn', lost out, or had to bootleg it from a local Okotokian on the Lobsterfest black market.

Observations


If you know the quality of BBQ at Big Sky, you will also know that Rob is a perfectionist. He will not relent until he's done it all perfectly and until every guest is thrilled with their experience. We were just excited to have an invite from Rob and to show you how it gets done at Big Sky BBQ.

By the way, the Lobster was delicious! You should have been there.

Hendrik van Wyk
Atlantic Cowboy

We earn our livelihood from producing great content and supporting inspiring people, businesses, and communities. We use Patreon to help us earn from our work. Please become a patron at http://www.travelingcowboys.com if you want to see more of this and other stories.

Photos


In the Sun

In the Smoke

Lobster Grooming

Introductions

Machines

My Precious!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Two Cowboys: Taking the Cake and Eating It With Coffee at 94 Take the Cake in Okotoks, Alberta

The Perfect Little Coffee Shop


If you had to detail the ideal setting for a little coffee and cake shop, what will it be? How will it look?

For me, it should remind me of my Ouma's kitchen. I had my happiest childhood days taking in the sights and smells of freshly baked bread, cake and her famous pastries. Helping her knee the dough and mixing the icing was a favorite. Sometimes, I was allowed to lick the frosting bowl if there was any left.

My Ouma was the prize-winning baker at the local County Fair with her "soetkoekies" (biscuits), "terte" (Pies) and moist Chocolate Cakes. She set the standard, and aspiring bakers worked year-on-year to try and match it. Few ever succeeded, and even less managed to exceed it.



GET YOUR DESTINATION OR BUSINESS FEATURED: Click Here


If I had to design the ideal coffee and cake shop, then it should be a place where the kitchen is the centerpiece. At 94 Take the Cake in Okotoks, Alberta, Robyn and Sherry built their ideal and perfect coffee and cake shop, and we were there for the "grand opening."

According to the ladies, they "Take the Cake" when it comes to delicious and beautiful home baking. Sherry catered before to special occasions with custom cakes and pastries. The new shop now provides her with more space, more capacity and more scope to meet the demands for her unique and beautiful cake creations. According to her, "There is no love more sincere than the love of baking."

She also shares her passion for baking through classes that are hosted at the new shop. Young and old can now learn to bake and decorate cakes with her. She believes that she can even teach the Two Cowboys to bake and decorate!

Robyn is passionate about the coffee. Her friendliness and smile are contagious as you walk in and smell the fresh roast. Fratello supplied the beans and provided some guidance to help make 94 Take The Cake's coffee a welcome companion to the baking from the kitchen. We challenged Robyn to do a Two Cowboys Flatwhite, and she had it spot-on perfect the first round with an excellent crema and smooth, creamy milk. We have our new favorite coffee spot in Okotoks.

Observations


Ultimately the setting of the little coffee shop reminds you of a fairytale. There are ample garden spots where you can enjoy the sunshine and read a favorite book amongst flowers and birdsong. The shop has several comfortable rooms where you can work, do a business meeting or share some time with a good friend. From every angle, you can see how Sherry bakes in the kitchen and Robyn makes at the front desk.

We love the coffee. The cakes are outstanding. We have no doubt that this is a winner.

What actually stands out for us is the enthusiasm of two entrepreneurs, Roby and Sherry, that are realizing their dream and allowing us to be part of it. That is why we gladly share their story and eagerly track their progress to becoming Okotoks' next favorite little cake and coffee shop.

Hendrik van Wyk
Cake Cowboy

We earn our livelihood from producing great content and supporting inspiring people, businesses, and communities. We use Patreon to help us earn from our work. Please become a patron at http://www.travelingcowboys.com if you want to see more of this and other stories.


Photos


Opening!

Delicious

Care

Entrepreneurs

Focus

Smile

Perfect

Google+ Followers