Angel’s is not just another Cafe. We are an established community based cafe that creates an environment that encourages affordable connections for families and community members. Our mission is to take care of members of the community we serve in a non judgemental space for healing, health, and fun.
Angel’s Café had been in business since 1997 in Edworthy Park. Every five years we have been required to resubmit land use permits to The City of Calgary. When we went through this resubmission process in 2015, we discovered that The City built the foundation of our cafe too close to the quy wire of the power pole next to our cafe. As a result, Enmax determined that we were in violation of Safety and Fire codes. We paid Enmax $5,000 to explore the possibility of moving the pole and 7 months later, it was determined that the pole couldn’t be moved. As a result, our deck was closed down immediately and later dismantled (that took away all our seating for customers) so the public was not in danger. Further, if we wanted to continue doing what we loved, serving the community. This meant that our building would have to be moved and would no longer be grandfathered for a number of accommodations we had at our existing location. After many months of negotiations, it was determined that we would have to rebuild and relocate our cafe 30 feet from our existing location.
In the winter of 2016 we found a builder that promised to provide us with a modular, non-combustible building built to spec, based on our approved Development permit. We looked at several other companies to help locally with the build but due to the complicated nature of the leased location that we operate from, we could not find anyone within the financing we had available to us. After stretching our resources to the max, we managed to get approvals for financing started to advance the funds to start the new build for our family cafe. All contracts and agreements were in place.
In October 2017 we were to receive the almost complete 4-piece structure to our location in Calgary, but when we prepared The City for the notice to close the roads so we could receive the building, The City notified us that the builder did not have approvals for a building permit. A stop work order was given by The city. It took the builder 3 more months of making changes, not only to our drawings but to the building and still did not meet the codes. We took our drawings to another engineer to get the proper changes to get approvals completed, that happened in February of 2018. We were told by The City that no construction should have started from the beginning without the approvals from building permit with The city but we were unaware of the process.
In January of 2018, the builder had run out of the monies advanced ($350,000) and they walked away from our building. We found out that the builder left our building in a storage facility that they did not pay rent to and we lost our investment to the landlord as leans were put on the building by suppliers and trades people that did not get paid as well. With no recourse, it looked like bankruptcy was looking to be the only way forward. Then we found out that the larger portion of the monies borrowed from the bank for our construction, were 80% backed by the government and we could not just lose everything but we would still have to pay back the governments backed portion. The devastation for our family was beyond description as we borrowed against all family personal savings and secured the loans to the tune of $420,000, against our family home, personal assets and our business.
In March of 2018, we met with The City of Calgary Parks division, who spoke with Enmax and asked if we could continue for one final summer as in our existing location. At this time, ENMAX decided that the guy wire could be relocated and that would allow us to continue without violations!!!!! We were shocked! This request was granted, and we picked ourselves up and made the payments to keep everyone from shutting our family business down. We decided we would find a way to pull this out of the fire and worked very hard to get another summer complete and make new plans to what was possible. With the help of a loving and supportive community, we continue with new possibilities to our dream.
Then we found out the building we paid for was up for auction and put a bid in and won our structure back in August 2018 for $24,000.
On top of the cost incurred to date ($420,000) the auction cost $24,000, the cost to deliver our building to Calgary, was around $50,000 and then we found out the water and sewage were to cost us $80,000+ as well completion of the building to the tune of $150,000. That is where we are now. Our building is in Calgary awaiting delivery to our site (October 4, 2018), as water and sewage is scheduled to start install on Sept. 27/18. Hopefully, Enmax can get the power situation organized. The challenge of refinancing is still being organized and local companies and trades folks are waiting to see what needs to be done to complete the project.
Note: In October 2017 ,we had made all applications for arrangements for power to be in place through The City of Calgary and Enmax with a new site number for the new structure and Electrical permit in place, but due to the complications of the non-delivery of this building a power connection was never made.
In May 2018, Enmax shut off the power to our Cafe due to unpaid bill, and we found out that the Site number that was issued to us for the new cafe in 2017, was for another location across the River in Edworthy Park. We apparentely, were not paying the utilities for our Cafe for the months of Nov-May, but we were paying for a city run building on the south side of the River. Our retailer, Hudson Energy absolved themselves from responsibility of the mix-up as Enmax was the company that issued the wrong number to us to make the changeover. No new meter was ever installed at our location and we had no idea that this was going on in the background. We contacted Ursula with Enmax and she helped get our power back on after having to close our cafe for 6 hours and refund customers money. It took us 4 more months to fix the mix-up with Enmax and we are now working to pay off the Enmax bill for the unpaid utilities.
NOW, Our community based family business has hope once again that we will find a happily ever after ending to this story. We love what we do, and that is to take care of the beautiful folks that we have the pleasure to serve from a magical location in Edworthy Park over the last 22 years.
We have decided, with the encouragement of the community and local media to invite others to be part of our ‘HERO’S FOR ANGEL’S’ dream. We are reaching out for corporate donations to help us complete this project. We would love to include ENMAX to be part of this Story by being a HERO.
Thanks for hearing about our story
Family of Angel’s at Edworthy Park