A new agreement between Indigo Books and Good Earth Cafes means the former Starbucks location inside Chapters on St. Albert Trail will be replaced by a Good Earth Coffeehouse sometime next year.
On Oct. 5, Good Earth Cafes announced their agreement with Indigo Books to take over 25 former Starbucks locations in Indigo and Chapters stores across Canada.
As part of the agreement, other Chapters and Indigo locations in the Edmonton area that will see Good Earth Coffeehouses open in the near future include Sherwood Park, South Edmonton Common, and the Chapters located near West Edmonton Mall.
Good Earth Cafes co-founder Nan Eskenazi told The Gazette that the agreement between the two companies has been in the works for over a year.
“For us what’s really exciting about this is that the Indigo and Chapters stores are a really lovely fit for a coffee house," Eskenazi said. "We both have similar goals in terms of creating a place where people can linger and spend time together."
The Starbucks in St. Albert's Chapters location closed around March of 2020, and has sat empty ever since.
“That’s the kind of place that people miss the most," said Eskenazi.
"It’s the place where people see their friends, they spend time, they meet with a book club or a parent group … just something that’s really a reflection of the community, and that’s the type of franchisee we’re looking for for these locations.”
Indeed, Eskenazi said although the plan is to open the St. Albert location sometime next year, an approximate date is currently unknown as the company is looking for a suitable franchisee to come on board.
"We would accelerate the St. Albert store in addition to Sherwood Park and the two in Edmonton as we find franchisees for them,” she said. “The development schedule hasn’t been conceded for the rest of 2023. We have a group of coffee houses we’re working on now to open between now and the end of this year, and then another group that’s opening in the first quarter of 2023."
"What we found with the Indigo and Chapters locations across Canada, that we’re searching for the right partners for, is that people are stepping forward in many of the communities because they used to patronize the bookstore and coffee shop combination in the past, and they can see that their communities really need those coffee shops, those places to gather.”
All of the new Good Earth locations will also feature a new store design, which was a project the company started and completed over the course of the pandemic, Eskenazi said.
"We took that time to look around and spend some time thinking about how to make our stores comfortable and inviting, but refresh the design to make it a little bit more contemporary.”
"It’s always good to refresh the design periodically," Eskenazi said, adding, "we thought it was a good time to do it."
Currently, the Good Earth location in The MacLaren apartment building on 124th Street in Edmonton features the company's new store design.
As Good Earth Cafes is taking over 25 of the former Starbucks locations, Eskenazi said the company will have "roughly" 75 locations across the country.
“We would welcome the opportunity to do more," she said.
"One of the Chapters locations is in Halifax, so that’s really exciting in that it will really take us coast to coast.”
The first Good Earth location opened in Calgary, in 1991.