Business Spotlight: Alberta Boot Company
The only western boot manufacturer in Alberta is celebrating its 40th anniversary, and today, Alberta Boot Company gives us a little peek at what goes into producing some of the finest boots in the country (hint: it involves more than 200 actions to produce each boot – and they turn out up to 4,000 pairs each year).
"We manufacture all our boots in the same building we retail them in. It's very rare to buy a product like this direct from the manufacturer," says Ben Gerwing, president.
He's also a fan of the "if it's not broken don't fix it" ideology, saying, "We were founded 40 years ago in 1978 and for the most part, all our production processes are exactly the same as they were on day one. This ensures the best quality and best fitting boot you can find anywhere. The only real changes are how we get the word out to tell the story of Alberta Boot. Online and digital platforms are taking over from radio and newspaper."
For those in the market for a good western boot, Gerwing notes, "You can find western boots and western wear at a decent number of places, but all of them are retailers – no one actually makes the products they sell except for us. We are one of only three cowboy boot manufacturers in Canada, and the only one that retails their own products."
"The best thing is," he continues, "we are known worldwide for producing the finest boots anywhere. People will travel specifically to Calgary as part of a trip to Canada just to visit our store. It's very cool to be so well known and be a real staple in the city we love so much."
The international acclaim is due in part to the extremely high level of care that goes into production, and the durability and wear of the final product.
"Our production process and materials used make our boots the world's finest," confirms Gerwing. "The boots are made to last for many years and fit comfortably. We offer a huge variety of sizes and widths to fit virtually any foot. We can customize to accommodate foot issues, and to deliver the exact style the customer is after."
He loves being based in Calgary, and finds "the beauty, the land, the people, and the drive to live and work in the best city in Canada" very inspiring. "The entrepreneurial spirit in Calgary is head and shoulders above anywhere else in Canada." Gerwing praises. "Calgarians look for a way to get things done instead of making excuses to not do something. We support many local charities with donations, raffle prizes, and auction items. This is our town and we want the best for it and the people living here."
Just in case you need one more reason to fall in love with this company, know that Alberta Boot was named the official western boot of the Calgary 1988 Winter Olympic Games!
The company will debut a new line of lace-up boots next year. Learn more and stay in the know by visiting Alberta Boots in-store at #50 - 50th Avenue SE, or online at www.albertaboot.com. You'll also find the company on Facebook (@albertaboot), Twitter (@AlbertaBoot) and Instagram (albertabootco).