Local Legends: Edelweiss Imports
It all started when Marianne Kundert’s parents bought a deli in Brentwood Mall. It was her mom’s dream to own a café, and hospitality was in her blood. She loved to cook and bake, so they expanded the deli and began serving homemade tortes, baked every day with real ingredients.
In 1994, Marianne and her husband, Stan, bought the business from her parents. It was booming at the time, so they expanded into the neighbouring space and grew their selection to include gifts.
“We changed our name to Edelweiss Imports, after the national flower of Austria, to include more than just the deli,” tells Marianne.
It wasn’t long before Marianne and Stan outgrew the space again. In 2000, the pair built a European-inspired building to house their growing café, gift shop, grocery, and deli. Although they continue to grow and expand, they’re still focused on providing high quality, imported goods to their loyal customers.
“For us, it’s not always about looking at how many dollars we make,” shares Marianne. “We work on relationships, offering good service and good products. We’ve had some customers for 30 years!”
At the end of the day, Edelweiss is a family affair. Marianne and Stan’s son-in-law, Nathan De Bruyn bought in as a partner and the long-term staff has become a family in its own right. After 40 years in business, the business has changed ownership, changed buildings, and changed names, but Marianne’s parents still make a daily appearance.
Why do you bank with Connect First Credit Union?
“My husband Stan has been a member since he was 11 years old! When we got married, we took on his bank account,” says Marianne. “So, personally, we have been connected with First Calgary all the way along!” Banking with a Credit Union is just… different. “We get a different kind of service because we deal with First Calgary,” explains Marianne. “The employees know our staff by name and we get more personalized service. It’s neighbourhood banking.”
Why is supporting local important to you?
“We are Calgarian, and we try to work with people we know because we want Calgary to succeed,” shares Marianne. “Calgary’s had a hard time as of late, but we just need to continue to support the businesses and the people in this community so we can continue to offer good services and good products.”
What does the credit union mean to you?
“It just feels like the credit union is Calgary’s bank,” says Marianne. “We have invested with First Calgary and it just feels like it is a Calgarian option. We wouldn’t think of doing that with another bank.”