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Business Spotlight: Gravity ~ An Uplifting Experience

As you enter Gravity Espresso & Wine Bar, your senses are immediately ignited. An aromatic burst of fruit and caramel flavors from a fresh brew of Phil & Sebastian coffee flood your nostrils; the savoury tang of cheese and the soft warmth of fresh baking dance merrily in a fragrant bouquet. The calming, blue walls of the café are covered with original artwork. The bar and seating is adorned with hardwood; creating a cozy, elegant aura. You approach the register and are greeted by a friendly barista. At once you are cuddled by the warm, inviting ambiance of Gravity – you are home.

 

Andy Fennell founded Gravity in 2010 with his wife and started operating in 2012. Having worked for WestJet and Royal Caribbean for 20 years, Fennell grew tired of the daily grind and monotony of his workplace. He combined his passions for food, drink and company into a small family business – Gravity was conceived.

 

“I worked for WestJet and Royal Caribbean for 20 years before opening Gravity and was bored of the mundane repetitiveness of my office job,” said owner and founder of Gravity, Andy Fennell. “I was excited to open something that allowed me to interact with people and even better, be my own boss! The name Gravity is a reference to our passion for rock climbing.”

 

An English expat himself, Fennell’s mission is to make gravity the first choice for a European style café in Calgary. Gravity combines all the amenities of a public house with the serenity of a classic café. It is your home away from home – a shop in Inglewood where patrons can get lost in the day with a cup of coffee, comfort food and a glass of wine (or two). They also support local artists and offer entertainment as a live music venue.

 

“We value our employees and guests equally. We want to be seen as a business that is as interested in people as we are. That’s our bottom line,” said Fennell.

 

Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Gravity has not been able to offer live music for several months. While Fennell misses the strums of guitars and soothing voices, he is confident that music will return in the future.

 

“I would love to add some music to help us through these times, but not at the expense of our guests and staff,” said Fennell. “I welcome the day when live music may safely return to our venue.”

 

Fennell cherishes the closeness of the business community in Inglewood. He loves chatting with fellow business owners about their stores. Some of his favourite shops in the community are Espy, Limitless, Bite – Grocer & Eatery and Ol’ Beautiful Brewing. Fennell is keen on supporting his neighbours and keeps the coolers at Gravity stocked with fresh beer and cider from Ol’ Beautiful. He admires the product they create and describes the owners (Chris, Devon, Zoei) as “genuinely nice people and very personable.”

 

In the evenings, Fennell likes to pair a nice red wine with a charcuterie board. His favourite is a Grenache/Syrah blend called Longue Dog. When he is not busy running his business, Fennell loves spending time with his family. Fennell states his favourite way to enjoy a cup of coffee is “In my backyard, on my deck, on a warm summer morning listening to The David Gray album “Gold in a Brass Age” with my wife and kids.

 

Although COVID-19 has presented a challenge for many small businesses, Fennell remains optimistic. He finds the social interaction of a café to be incredibly rewarding. The hustle it takes to keep your head above water these days is both challenging and gratifying for him.

Fennell and the team at Gravity have made an effort to support local charities over the years. His most recent charitable endeavour is a fundraiser for the YMCA. To raise awareness, he has not cut his hair or beard since April and has raised close to $5,000.

 

To donate, visit:  https://www.facebook.com/donate/791017961723119/3861079837244150/

Business Spotlight: espy: Garments and Gratitude

On the surface, espy is simply an affordable designer boutique. But peek behind the proverbial dressing room curtain and you will find that it is much more. espy is a personal experience for the shopper – a place where clients may learn something new about themselves and leave feeling absolutely elated. When CEO and proprietor Megan Szanik founded espy in 2009 during the last recession, her initial vision was to run a designer discount shop. espy quickly turned into something substantially more, surpassing her expectations. At espy, the focus is all about the client; the garments are merely a vessel for their confidence. Szanik noticed that many clients were coming in with a poor body image and she wanted to make a difference.

 

“We want to help our clients discover something new about themselves,” said Szanik. “You know that feeling when you find that perfect outfit? It’s important that people experience that confidence and feel great inside and out. I want to know what that client is going through and why they feel that way.”

 

Szanik and her team of style professionals want to empower their clients by putting customer service first. She plays the role of proprietor, stylist and counselor. The customer experience is therapeutic and rewarding; going above and beyond the role of a personal shopper. One of the pillars of Szanik’s business is creating an inclusive and dynamic shopping environment. She achieves this by offering a diverse array of sizes from 00 to 16+ and special sizes that cater to long arms and legs. Szanik sees no gender in clothing and loves to help clients achieve their identity. No garment is off limits at espy.

 

“Inclusivity is very important to us as espy,” Said Szanik. “Everyone deserves to feel comfortable in what they’re wearing, we want to help our clients achieve that euphoria.”

espy is proud to offer a wide selection of premium brands and designers in their product line. Their buying team is constantly in search of new styles and designs to elevate their diverse demographic of clients. Szanik stocks boutique brands from designers in Canada, Italy, Spain, Denmark and more, ensuring that there is a unique style tailored for each client. Specifically, including a local element in the espy roster is a crucial value for Szanik.

 

“What we buy is over 50 per cent Canadian designed,” Said Szanik. “Our base supplier is Iris Setlakwe, a Canadian designer who produces everything in Canada. She really understands clothing.”

 

Szanik also resides in Inglewood and holds a great respect and admiration for the community. Living just a five minute walk away from the shop, her commute to espy is one of the favourite parts of her day. When she is not at work, you can find her frequenting other local shops in the community. Some of her favourite Inglewood shops are Notorious Hair, Knifewear, Kent of Inglewood, Plant, Silk Road, Bite, Limitless and more.

 

“Inglewood is an extremely supportive community,” said Szanik. “I love the diverse set of buildings, the mix of old and new, the river that runs through and the great outdoor spaces.”

 

espy is also committed to giving back to the Calgary community through fundraising initiatives that combine fashion elements. Charity campaigns such as #nakedespy and #bikiniespy have garnered tens of thousands of dollars for organizations like the Prostate Cancer Centre and Special Olympics Calgary.

 

For more info on espy and fundraising opportunities, please visit their website: https://espyexperience.com/ and follow them on social media @espyexperience.

Music Mile Friday Night Live

This Friday, July 3 starting at 5 pm, the inaugural Live from Music Mile: It’s Friday Night! will stream 45-minute sets live from several of Inglewood’s member businesses:

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Gravity Espresso and Wine Bar at 5:00 p.m.
King Eddy at 6:00 p.m.
Without Papers at 7:00 p.m.
Ironwood Stage & Grill at 8:00 p.m.
Hose & Hound at 9:00 p.m.
Blues Can at 10:00 p.m.

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Join us online and learn more at MusicMile.ca

Movie Under the Stars

Movie Under the Stars

Saturday July 4th, 9:00 PM at Gopher Park

Featuring: “Down by Law”
Down by Law is a 1986 American black-and-white independent film written and directed by Jim Jarmusch and starring Tom Waits, John Lurie, and Roberto Benigni. The film centers on the arrest, incarceration, and escape from jail of three men. Watch the UK film trailer here.

Free admission and pop available for purchase.

Sunday Mornings at Gopher Park

Join Us Every Sunday in July

As we head into the summer months, the Inglewood Business Improvement Area has curated free Summer entertainment in Gopher Park located on the corner of 11th Street and 11th Avenue S.E.

Every Sunday morning in July the urban park will be filled with the sound of beating bongo drums with a weekly performance from a local favourite The Motherhuggers.

On Saturday July 4 at 9:00 pm, there will be an outdoor film screening of Down By Law, a Jim Jarmusch film, starring Tom Waits, John Lurie and Roberto Benigni which will begin at 9 p.m There is space for 50 people and social distancing is required. Popcorn and drinks will be available for purchase.

Lastly on Saturday July 11 and July 18th from 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. cellist, Shirley Wright, will deliver a performance focused on early Italian composers.

Night Markets 2019

The Inglewood Night Market is a modern day market that occurs every second Friday in the summer months in Calgary Alberta.

In 2019 our dates are June 7th, July 12th, August 9th, September 13th and September 14th (In September we do two nights both Friday and Saturday) we run from 5pm to 11pm each date.

Each event hosts over 50 local vendors selling diverse goods from handmade craftsmen items to vintage clothing, antiques & collectibles, artisan eats & more! You’ll also find food trucks, singer songwriters, bands, dancers, outdoor seating, a family friendly licenced area and other fun things to check out!

Our home is the beloved Inglewood Neighbourhood just off 9th Avenue and 10th street!

The Inglewood Night Market is put together by the newly formed Inglewood Event Society. Our Society’s mandate is to provide FREE cultural events focusing on local artists in Calgary.

Visit: inglewoodnightmarket.ca

Welcome To Music Mile

Historic, trendy and soulful, with great restaurants and one-of-a-kind retail, Music Mile is Calgary’s original main street. It’s a great place for a walk, popular for its fine dining, galleries and proximity to attractions like Fort Calgary, the Calgary Zoo, St. Patrick’s Island and RiverWalk. 

Above all, MUSIC MILE is buzzing with musical energy generated by the talented musicians who perform here year round, in all genres, at an extraordinary variety of venues.

Where is MUSIC MILE exactly?  
It’s 9th Avenue SE from the Blues Can in Inglewood to Studio Bell (the home of theNational Music Centre) in East Village, with great live music houses like Ironwood Stage & Grill, 500 Cucina, the Alexandra Centre (home of the U of C Ballroom Dance Club and rehearsal hall for the Calgary Civic Symphony) and Fort Calgary (home to outdoor festivals and the newest live music stage on MUSIC MILE, Burnswest Theatre) in between.  

Blocks near 9th in Inglewood and East Village are bursting with more music venues than you could imagine – Folk Fest’s Festival Hall, The Nash, Cafe Gravity, the Lantern Church, Charbar, Bite Groceteria, Calgary Opera’s Opera in the Village and more.  

​The Inglewood Night Market, Calgary Fringe, SunFest, JazzYYC and East Village bring professional live music onto the street throughout the warm months.  

The concept of MUSIC MILE was nurtured into being through the work of a small cadre of volunteers now dubbed the MUSIC MILE CREW:  Meg Van Rosendaal, Bob Chartier, Sarah Stephenson, Greg Curtis, Kerry Clarke, Chad Saunders, Jim Button, John Rutherford and Colleen Krueger – many of these names synonymous with live music in Calgary.  Read more about how MUSIC MILE got started in STORIES.

And now it’s run by the MUSIC MILE stakeholders through the Music Mile Society of Calgary, a Non-Profit dedicated to promoting and enhancing MUSIC MILE as a popular pedestrian destination for Calgarians and tourists alike.  This is just the start – watch it grow!

http://www.musicmile.ca/events.html