Empress Theatre Emporium wins new business award

Empress Theatre Emporium is this year's winner of the Chamber's new business award sponsored by Rimbey Janitorial

Patti and James Penner

 

When customers walk into Empress Theatre Emporium, they can expect to be surprised by an ever-changing decorum including new pictures on the wall or the addition of a unique antique worthy of being a conversation piece.

Some things, however, never change.

The smiling, friendly faces of the staff and the delicious selection of mouth-watering homemade soups and pies, salads, paninis, ice cream, smoothies and specialty drinks remain constant.

James and Patti Penner, who own the Empress Theatre Emporium, are pleased their little coffee shop won the Rimbey chamber of commerce’s new business of the year award.

“We have awesome staff,” said Patti Penner. “Really, we expected them to win, not us,” added her husband, James.

The Penners opened their business in May 2014 and say “it just keeps getting busier and busier.”

They opened the coffee shop because they felt there was a niche for such a business in Rimbey.

It turns out they were right.

The couple, which operated a daycare in Calgary before moving to Rimbey, was excited to open the coffee shop as they share an entrepreneurial spirit. Running a new business is not without its challenges, but the Penners learned as they went along, adapting and changing the menu and the décor as they saw a need.

“We always try to incorporate new ideas and try new things,” said James.

“We visit other coffee places to check them out,” added his wife.

The secret garden created by James behind the coffee shop is not much of a secret anymore. The quiet, serene setting, complete with a little pond with a fountain in one corner is filled with flowers and small tables and provides a quaint and tranquil hideaway for anyone seeking solitude or an intimate lunch or coffee break with friends.

Opening a small business in a small town may not be an easy venture, but, as with any dream and vision, if one has an entrepreneurial business, is willing to think outside the box and can see where there is a niche it can happen.

“It’s been good,” said the Penners. “We have great regulars now and even if our staff doesn’t know your name, they know what you like.”

James and Patti Penner have four children and eight grandchildren.

Also nominated for new business of the year was Jemco Feeds, Jeweller Next Door/Ammonite World, Magic Suds Truck Wash Inc. and Mini Me Clothing & Accessories.

 

 

 

Just Posted

Trial for man accused of 2006 Eckville murder “unreasonably delayed”

Lacombe’s Shayne Gulka is awaiting trial for the 2006 murder of Bradley Webber

RCMP seek assistance

Break-in in Rimbey

UPDATE: Puppies rescued at structure fire in Lacombe

The Bentley Fire Department assisted Lacombe in a structure fire where crews saved some puppies

Girls softball going strong in Rimbey

Rimbey and Lacombe play in Rimbey

VIDEO: Canadians rise for early-morning Royal wedding celebrations

Canadians gathered for early-morning broadcast of marriage between Meghan Markle, Prince Harry

3 survivors after airliner with 110 aboard crashes in Cuba

It was Cuba’s worst aviation disaster in three decades and its third major air accident since 2010

Maskwacis and feds sign historic education agreement

The Maskwacis Education School Commission signed an agreement setting the stage for their education

Individuals face 84 criminal charges related to stolen, counterfeit credit cards

Investigation and search warrant executed collaboratively by Red Deer and Sylvan Lake RCMP

Plane with 104 on board crashes on takeoff in Cuba

Boeing 737 operated by state airline Cubana crashed on takeoff from Jose Marti International Airport

UPDATED: Gunman opens fire in Texas high school, killing up to 10

Santa Fe High School which went on lockdown around 8 a.m. Friday

Coroner speaks about mix-up of Humboldt Broncos crash victims, release of name

A coroner involved says it wasn’t until an injured player woke up in hospital and said he was a different person that officials realized the mistake

‘Nowhere near close:’ U.S. rebuffs Trudeau hope for quick NAFTA deal

The United States declared the NAFTA countries were nowhere close to a deal in a statement Thursday

Prices at the pump spike as long weekend brings out Canadian drivers

Motorists in many parts of Canada are expected to see rising gasoline prices as they fire up their vehicles for road adventures on the Victoria Day long weekend.

Most Read