After the success of their Chinatown pop-up, Lukes General Store has found a permanent location at 49 West Hastings, and is preparing to relaunch as Canada’s first ever Four Barrel Coffee retailer.
Calgary-based retailer Lukes is launching their first ever permanent retail and cafe space in Vancouver. Thrilled by the reaction to their pop-up earlier this year, the group cannot wait to settle in to an everlasting location. The much larger space will allow them to expand their product lines, offer a better retail and cafe experience as well as allow them to introduce brand new product lines such as San Francisco’s Four Barrel Coffee and Vancouver’s Cartems Donuterie amongst many more.
“Vancouver has been really great to us”, says owner Gareth Lukes.” We love being here. There is so much great energy in this city right now and great communities with a lot of interest in the products and experiences we offer.”
Lukes General Store is a branch of the family owned and operated Lukes Drug Mart, which has been based in the community of Bridgeland in Calgary, Alberta since 1951. Aside from providing impeccable service, its involvement in the community shines above that of most small businesses. With several locations throughout Alberta, Lukes is famous for carrying collections of unique products that are unexpected in a traditional drug store environment such as vinyl records, high-end apothecary, and gourmet coffee.
For its new Vancouver location, dry goods manager Veronika Rezucha (formerly of Lark on Main) will be bringing in lines such as: Mast Brothers Chocolate, Malin + Goetz Apothecary, Baxter of California Shaving, Juniper Ridge, Pendleton Woolen Mills, McClure’s Pickles and a vinyl section managed by Shaun Cowan (formerly of Scratch records). Lukes will also be offering two artisanal products exclusive to its Vancouver location: Cartems donuts, and for the first time ever in Canada, San Francisco’s popular Four Barrel Coffee.
“We’re really excited to be the first cafe in Canada exclusively serving Four Barrel Coffee”, says Rezucha, “Their coffee is the best we’ve ever had, and the values they uphold are perfectly inline with ours. Four Barrel are exclusively direct trade, meaning that they work closely with all of the farmers that grow all their beans. This, and the quality of their coffee are just two of the reasons that we are partnering with them.”
Started in 2009, Four Barrel has quickly become one of the top roasters in the very competitive Bay Area coffee scene and is the coffee of choice at the world famous Tartine Bakery and Dandelion Chocolate.
“Everybody knows about Lukes, and how they bring beautiful and rare things into the same roof as old-fashioned small-town hospitality,” says Four Barrel’s Matthew Hein.“It’s a recipe for love, and we’re honoured that Four Barrel Coffee is one more ingredient in that recipe.”
Lukes decision to carry Cartems also has a special significance, as they will be bringing the now famous Vancouver donuts back to the block where they began. “Cartems has been making beautiful, and delicious donuts since they first opened a shop on West Hastings.” says Lukes “They source sustainable ingredients grown as close to home as possible, while also using organic ingredients whenever available. We couldn’t be happier to be bringing Cartems Donuts back to the neighbourhood.”
As they prepare to open their new location, the team at Lukes are determined to build a strong community presence in Vancouver. “We have a reputation in Calgary as a key part of the music and culture scene. Not only is it a cool spot to hang out and buy music, but we’ve thrown great events and free concerts there with artists such as Shad, Rural Alberta Advantage, and Ladyhawk,” says Aaron Schubert, who, in addition to setting up Lukes’ Vancouver location, has deep roots in the local music scene as manager of the the Pack AD as well as booking venues such as the Biltmore Cabaret and the Rickshaw Theatre.
“We’re definitely looking forward to doing some similar music and art events at the new Hasting Street location. We’re really excited to become a permanent fixture of Vancouver’s exciting and diverse cultural scene.”