Thursday small businesses gathered at Winkler's Quality Inn for a luncheon to connect and be inspired by those working alongside them in the community to provide the many services the city has to offer. 

Winkler Chamber Board Chair Hank Froese took time to celebrate the coming together of so many people working and running small businesses. 

"The small business sector in this community has started so many larger companies. They've all started out as small businesses, locally. It's been organic growth, and this community has a history of fostering a great environment and culture for small business development. They help each other out. People can go and get practically anything in this business community, all the different services and materials and advice is available in this business community." 

Hank Froese table

Froese explained why Glenberg Design Builders and Stag and Finch were chosen to speak at the luncheon. 

"They're two unique businesses. They're very, very different, and we like to showcase the diversity in the business community. One is a young, new, up and coming business, freshly started in a field that's new in Winkler, and the other one has been a long-term business that's grown and developed, and been in the area for a long time." 

Sam Berg' Glenberg Design Builders shared a story of resilience that grew from a desire to follow his heart.  

"I went into it because of a dream, realizing there's something I do in this business I really, really enjoy. It really gets me up in the morning. It gives me joy to go to work, and if I have to drag myself out of bed to go to work in the morning, I'm probably going to the wrong place. I thought, the only way I'm going to solve that is by doing something on my own, and so that's what we did, and my wife and I started the business." 

Sam Berg table

During the presentation, Berg choked up when he said it was his wife's words, "I believe in you," that pushed him to take the chance.  

"It's not for the faint of heart. There's definitely challenges along the way. Definitely there were many times along the way we considered, 'Are we going to have to close our doors? Are we going to have to start doing something else? Or is my wife going to have to get a different job? Or am I going to have to take a second job to keep it going?' Just as we stuck at it, and kept working at it, eventually there was always another job that came along, or another project that came along that sustained us through that time." 

He also gave credit to the local business community he relies on to serve the community. 

"Our company is a general contracting company, we rely on a lot of local trades. We rely on skilled people in the community, people that respond well, people that answer their phones, and people that actually show up for work. We've always had really great results in our community with that. We really, really appreciate the local trades people and the companies we get to partner with."  

Bryan and Melanie Wiebe shared their story of their business being born out of a hobby. They offer locally made gemstones and jewelry. 

Melanie said they have received a lot of support for their business after they came back from Montreal, which helped to spread the word about the new venture. 

Bryan agreed. "Yeah, we were primarily an online business selling to the U.S. and around the world, and we didn't expect to have such welcoming arms here in Winkler, which is wonderful to see." 

Attendees made the most of the hour-long lunch to reconnect with colleagues and friends and to meet new ones and to learn about each other. 

The Winkler Chamber Gala is coming up November 16, 2023, with guest speaker, Founder and CEO of Peace by Chocolate, Tareq Haded.  

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