Norfolk Housing Association is fortunate to own several commercial spaces in the heart of Kensington. The rents collected from these spaces are one of the important ways that we can maintain our ongoing operations. But more than that, these businesses are another key component of our community, adding to the vibrancy of the neighbourhood, the diversity of our model, and the relationship between neighbours and small businesses.
And as such, we think they’re worth celebrating! So this month, let’s get to know The New Forest a little bit better. It’s been a tough year and a half, and we’re so glad to have these folks as part of our community. We appreciate you supporting ALL small businesses in whatever way you can comfortably do so.
Ok, now let’s get to know The New Forest!
How long have you been renting commercial space from NHA and how did you first hear about us?
We have been renting from NHA for nearly 2 years. To be honest we didn’t know much about NHA, but the location and space were perfect for our needs. We spoke with the owners of InGear, located in the same building, and after giving you such a glowing review as landlords the decision was simple.
What were the key factors in choosing to rent one of our commercial spaces instead of others?
We didn’t really search out an NHA space specifically, but the location and exposure with such large windows was key for us. Having been in business before, we realized the importance of choosing the right location for traffic. Once we learned more about what you do it made us feel great knowing that our rent money was going to such a great organization, not just a random corporation.
Tell us a little about what sets you apart as a business.
What sets us apart is that we really set out to offer pet products that are well made, while being aesthetically pleasing. All of the brands that we stock are developed by people who go that extra bit to think about the design aspect of what they are making.
We also feel that our backgrounds – over 40 years combined experience in retail (the clothing and pet industries) gave us the ability to combine a traditional pet shop with a boutique feel.
We work in the store ourselves everyday, getting to really know our clientele, and what their needs are. It truly is a family business!
What does community mean to you/your business?
Community is very important to us. We live a couple of blocks away from the shop so we understand the importance of supporting the small businesses in the area. Without them it would not be the same experience living in the area. Lots of our customers even live on our street! Getting to know the people that directly support you is key.
We also offer a 15% discount to residents of NHA, as well as employees of the businesses around us. This pandemic has been so challenging for us all, it has never been more important to help out in ways that you can.
“Choosing to purchase something from a small business rather than Amazon truly makes a direct difference to all Calgarians.”
We also give back directly by supporting animal rescue – we donate $5 to the Humane Society from every bag of bulk dog biscuits that we sell.
What’s one thing that community members can do today to support your small business?
One way that the community members can support us is obviously choosing to shop at the store. But there are so many other ways, such as letting people know about the shop when they are at the dog park or doggie day care, posting pictures of purchases on social media and tagging us. Every bit helps in increasing awareness for our little shop!
You can find The New Forest online at www.thenewforest.ca or pop in at 1120 Kensington Road NW to check out their incredible range of fur baby approved goodies.