Just a few short years ago Candace and Chris Lorenz were happily advancing their careers in Calgary. Chris, a SAIT Culinary graduate, opened a new restaurant in Inglewood and, “had five spectacular weeks” of operating before the pandemic took hold. While Chris opened and closed (and opened and closed) the restaurant in accordance with AHS restrictions, Candace, a graphic designer, stopped going in to work and started #WFH. With the restaurant industry radically disrupted, Chris decided to get creative. He started making fresh sausages with quality, local ingredients. Soon, “Sausages for the Apocalypse” were flying off the shelves.
Around the same time, the couple was searching for their dream house. They watched as Calgary’s inner-city neighbourhoods became less and less accessible. Eventually they broadened their search to include surrounding communities and fell in love with Drumheller. They found the house they wanted and soon thereafter relocated. Chris accepted a position as an Executive Chef while Candace continued to work from home. They were surprised by how quickly they felt a part of their new community. Creative, collaborative business ideas started to percolate.
One day while out walking their dogs they came across vacant commercial building that looked too good to pass by. They called the landlord, signed the lease, and soon construction began. They already had a business plan and a good idea of what they would need to get things up and running. They approached Community Futures Big Country to secure the last bit of required funding. “Alison and Michael were great, they walked us through what we would need to qualify for a loan and made sure we had everything ready to go before applying”, Candace says.
Five months later, ‘Heller Good Sandwiches’ is just a permit away from opening. Chris will run the kitchen while Candace manages front of house and oversees marketing. In addition to apocalyptic sausages, sandwiches, and sides, they’ll offer a curated selection of craft beer and perhaps host live music. “We really want thus place to be part of the community, a local hang out”, Candace says. It has been a busy couple of years – they’ve bought a home, relocated, married, and they are now in business together. They’re excited about where they’ve landed and can’t help but ponder what their next culinary adventure might look like, once ‘Heller Good’ is up and running.