Success Stories

Effect Therapy


Bryan Pachal
Lethbridge, Alberta

Finding a Home For Ambition

Proving you can come full-circle with the banks

When Bryan Pachal started Effect Therapy, he wanted to create a space where he could push the limits of massage therapy. His vision included 3D anatomy software to help
educate clients about their own musculoskeletal system in addition to their treatment and a cryo spa that would allow them to do full body cryo treatments “I wanted to help elevate massage therapy, or the perception of massage therapy beyond that as simply a spa or some way to pamper yourself,” Bryan said. “There’s lots of practical
and functional applications for our therapy” With the help of a loan from Community Futures, he was able to build a facility to match his lofty ambitions and provide massage therapy treatments that aren’t available anywhere else in Lethbridge.
Bryan’s dedication to his business dream has found success – so much so that Effect Therapy has even expanded to a second location in the city.

Tranquility Float

Float Owner

Zach Palmarin
Lethbridge, Alberta

Floating Through Impossibilities

A progressive approach to an off-the-wall business idea

Age is just a number, they say. However, when you’re under thirty and looking to start a business, that number becomes very important, especially to banks. For Zach Palmarin, his youth was just one of the many barriers on his journey from student to entrepreneur. But he had a good idea – and he wouldn’t let anything stand in his way. “There were a lot of roadblocks, but I believed in [my idea] and really wanted to make it happen.”

Butte’s Fashion Connection

Butte Fashion Owner

Leanne de Kok
Picture Butte, Alberta

Expanding through New Opportunities

Following the path to organic growth with the support of Community Futures

Growing a business comes with all sorts of hurdles. From finding a new space to dealing with the increasing costs of operating, the path is rarely smooth or easy. With the help of Community Futures, Leanne de Kok, the owner/operator of Butte’s Fashion Connection in Picture Butte, was able to purchase and then expand her business from a home-based shop to a downtown storefront. “[Community Futures] always had ideas and proposals and found ways to open doors,” Leanne said.

Lethbridge Tactical Supply

Lethbridge Tactical Supply

Sarah and Shaun Jorgensen
Lethbridge, AB

They were a young couple, with a young family who had a good idea for a business. However, their education and work histories were not in business management and they wanted some assurance to move forward.  “A good idea is great but without a plan, it is just a good idea,” states Sarah Jorgensen owner of Lethbridge Tactical Supply.      So she and her husband Shaun took their idea and went to Community Futures Lethbridge, where they attended the training workshops, worked with the professionals, completed the research and developed their business plan.  At the end of the process, they entered the Chinook Entrepreneur Challenge for Southern Alberta and placed in the top three finalists, confirming their idea was indeed a good one. 

“I would recommend the process for anyone who wants to start a business,” states Sarah, “I learned the inner workings of a business, from target marketing, to researching the statistics.  It was a confidence builder and confirmed we were doing things right.”

Edo Japan

Edo Japan

Mike and Chrysline
Lethbridge, AB

Mike Esquivel knows the importance of hard work to get ahead.  He started working for his grandfather at the age of twelve and as soon as he was of legal age to get into the fast food industry, he took the first position he could get as a dishwasher.  He worked hard, taking extra shifts, volunteering to do more and he soon graduated up the ladder until he was working as a waiter in the upper end restaurants in Edmonton while supporting himself through college.

He took no holidays or extra time off and was no stranger to receiving the employee of the month award.  “My focus was to learn and train so I could move up the ladder within the corporation,” says Mike.  He wanted to understand this industry and all aspects of the micro business systems.  His hard work paid off and he was recruited by Planet Hollywood to train to be one of the site managers.  “I watched my managers and learned what not to do and my efforts paid off.  I trained in San Diego then finally got my own restaurant to manage in Vancouver.”

Building a Restaurant Empire

Building a Restaurant Empire

Ram and Olga Khanal Southern Alberta.

Pictured above: Picture Butte Hotel and Tavern.

Enduring support for an entrepreneur’s budding idea – to three thriving businesses. Sit down with Ram and Olga Khanal at one of their three restaurants and you’re immediately comfortable.

With Ram’s energetic passion and Olga’s calm kindness, it’s easy to get lost in great conversation. Engaged in the community both personally and in business, the pair are proud of their adopted country and Southern Alberta where they call home. Their love shows up in how they’ve built their businesses; creating meaningful relationships with local suppliers and giving back to the community through various local charities. While the Khanal’s ambitions don’t stop with their current three restaurants, it did begin with one: The Picture Butte Hotel and Tavern. This restaurant, which provided the foundation for their company, would not have been possible without the support of Community Futures.

LA Chefs Catering & Events

LA Chefs Catering & Events

Marcie Stickel
Lethbridge, AB

LA Chefs is the largest catering service in Southern Alberta, centering on larger events, between 150 and 5000 guests at a time.  "But that is not where we started," explains Marci Stickel.  "We began as a mom and pop operation serving beef on a bun out of our garage what seems like a long time ago." laughs Marci.

"I remember a day in May 2006; we had three weddings on the go and one minivan, which we had dubbed "White Lightning", to do the deliveries. It was a long day but we did it," she explains.  It was at that point and after too many 20 - hour days, that sparked the realization the business needed to expand. So Marci and then business partner Loren, started looking for a larger venue. As the business continued to flourish, even further expansion was necessary.  In November 2006, 'LA Chefs Catering & Events' was branded and implemented a strategic business move to partner with the Coast Lethbridge Hotel & Conference Centre in an exclusive catering arrangement.

Want to see your success story here?

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Contact Us

2626 South Parkside Drive
Lethbridge, AB  T1K 0C4
P: (403) 320-6044
E: cflethbridge@albertacf.com


Communities Served

Barons, Blood Band Reserve, Broxburn, Coaldale, Coalhurst, Del Bonita, Diamond City, Iron Springs, Kipp, Lethbridge, Magrath, Monarch, Nobleford, Picture Butte, Raymond, Shaughnessy, Spring Coulee, Stand Off, Stirling, Tempest, Turin, Welling and other surrounding towns near Lethbridge