Celebrating ten years of REAP

Thanks to DIRTT Environmental Solutions for creating this anniversary video

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Be Local is brought to you by REAP.

We're an association for locally owned businesses that care about the community and the planet.

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2017 Be Local Awards: Vote for these featured businesses through Sunday!

Business Services

Eclipse Sustainability Projects

Harness the power of the sun

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Food & Drink /
Education & Advocacy

Sunnyside Natural Market

A grocery that specializes in local and organic produce, meat, dairy products, and baked goods.

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Business Services /

CMNGD Linens

A social enterprise committed to mentoring & hiring people facing poverty at a living wage

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Health & Wellness

LIV Yoga + Wellness

Downtown-based wellness centre striving to be 'the best part of your day'

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Arts & Culture /

Kensington Riverside Inn

An intimate boutique hotel, focused on local taste of place and offerings in a welcoming environment.

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Arts & Culture /
Photography & Multimedia

Pixel Video Production

Bringing stories to life

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Awakened Project

Bracelets that help launch women in business

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Arts & Culture /

Adventure with Purpose

Volunteer tourism group where education comes first

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Food & Drink /

Top of the Mountain Meats

Top of the Mountain Meats raises grass-fed beef on the SP Ranch in the Cypress Hills of southeastern Alberta.

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Arts & Culture /
Photography & Multimedia

Ingrid Kue Photography

Ingrid Kuenzel is a locally-minded commercial photographer, passionate about marketing local and environmental businesses.

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Living Locally

Ingrid Kue Photography – Not Just a Pretty Picture

October 20, 2017

Ingrid Kuenzel is more than a photographer. She is a self-described “passionate perfectionist” who brings 20+ years of business experience to her clients.

As a commercial photographer, Ingrid spends a lot of time getting to know new people, which she says is a key factor in creating an honest and timeless photograph.

“Everyone hates getting their headshot done,” says Ingrid.  “[People] feel nervous, uncomfortable, and awkward. But, it’s my job to make that go away.”

Before the camera is even taken out of the bag, Ingrid makes a point of getting to know her subjects and their businesses by going beyond ‘small talk’. The key, she says, is to make a real connection with her subject in a short period of time.

“If I don’t connect with the subject then I’m not going to get an image that allows viewers to connect with them either.”

When Ingrid has a headshot session with a client, the first few photographs always look good, technically, but they’re very rigid. Once a connection is made with her subject, the personality starts to shine through.

“You have to find a crack where you can make them laugh and get the ball rolling,” she says.

Most of the time, people don’t know what they want in a photograph, so Ingrid helps them figure that out.

By tethering her camera to her computer, Ingrid can immediately show her subject what the photographs look like. “I can get an idea if they like it so far, if they like the lighting, if it is a good angle.”

By the end of the session, Ingrid captures much more than a pretty picture.

“It’s a reality. It’s who they really are.”

In many situations, Ingrid will opt for an environmental portrait – a photograph that ties the business, person, and personality together. Through photography, Ingrid helps individuals and businesses tell their story.

People often recognize a business if they’ve seen it in a photograph. “[Even] if they don’t consciously recognize it, there is a familiarity there,” says Ingrid. “And they will feel a connection, calmness, and openness from that recognition.”

As an entrepreneur and businesswoman herself, Ingrid understands the importance of first impressions, so her main objective in headshot photography is to draw people in.

Ultimately, Ingrid always focuses her photo-shoots around one thing: the relationship. Whether it is the relationship between client and product, client and business, or client and customer.

“The real magic isn’t in the technical work, the real magic is the connection and the people.”


Check out Ingrid Kue Photography galleries online.
Contact Ingrid Kue Photography for a quote.
Follow Ingrid Kue Photography on Facebook.
Vote for Ingrid Kue Photography as your favourite local business in REAP’s 2017 Be Local Awards!

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Living Locally

Discover true grass-fed beef at Top of the Mountain

October 20, 2017

What exactly do people mean by grass-fed beef?

To many suppliers, grass-fed means that their cattle eat grass most of the time, but they also sometimes eat grains, corns and soya mixtures. At Top of the Mountain Meats, 100% grass-fed beef means exactly that – their cattle eat nothing but certified organic grass. As a result, the cattle are healthier and the beef is more lean, flavourful and has more vitamins. And the customers feel better too.

Many of Top of the Mountain’s customers have gluten intolerances or other digestion issues. “If an animal has been fed grains, that amount of gluten is residual enough in the meat fibres, that person’s gut will react to the meat just like they had a loaf of bread,” says Sandra Manning, co-owner of Top of the Mountain Meats.

Top of the Mountain strives to build trusting and informative relationships with their customers. They don’t sell wholesale, to ensure that buyers “across the counter can look me in the eye,” says Sandra, “and ask, are you what you say you are?”

Ranching 100% certified organic grass-fed beef and selling directly to the buyer takes passion, patience and perseverance.

“It’s definitely not the easy way to go, but I do believe we’re doing it the right way for the sake of the consumer.”

Beyond informing customers about their ranching methods, Top of the Mountain shares cooking tips and recipes. They want to ensure that their customers get the most out of their product.

Sandra has three top tips for cooking with grass-fed beef:

1. Cook at room temperature. Meat is a muscle, and if a cold muscle hits a hot surface, it will contract. This is how you get tough meat. Grass-fed beef is substantially more lean than regular beef, so it will get very tough if you cook it straight from the fridge. Instead, let it reach room temperature before putting it on the grill.

2. Don’t cook with any salt. Salt is a dehydrator, and will pull all the moisture out. To avoid dry beef, avoid using salt in your prep, but feel free to add it when the beef is being served.

3. Cook with grapeseed, coconut or avocado oils. Using oils with a high flashpoint allows you to successfully sear the beef. Heat up a pan with one of these oils, and sear the beef on both sides. This will lock in the flavours and juices of the meat.

Follow these cooking tips and you’ll have tender, flavourful and delicious beef!


Visit Top of the Mountain at Crossroads market or Tango Gourmet Meats
Check out Sandra’s family favourite recipe, Beef on a Bun 
Learn more about the benefits of grass-fed beef.
Vote for Top of the Mountain Meats in REAP’s 2017 Be Local Awards!

Read More

Did you know?

REAP businesses divert 9.5 million kgs of waste from Calgary landfills each year

Featured Event

Sustainability for Breakfast: Future of Sustainable Business in Alberta

Oct. 27, 2017 - Oct. 27, 2017

Heritage Room
5940 Blackfoot Trail SE

Sustainability for Breakfast presents "Future of Sustainable Business in Alberta"

Join us for an inspiring yet pragmatic conversation about the business opportunities and challenges for sustainable business leaders in Alberta. Given the recent changes in policy at all levels - including the introduction of carbon taxes, municipal bylaws regarding waste diversion, and increases to the minimum wage - we're exploring how leading businesses can continue to stay in front as the rest of the world catches up. What were points of difference for progressive businesses five years ago are quickly becoming table stakes. Where does this lead us? How can our elected officials provide support to ensure continued progress?

We'll begin with brief presentations from these guest speakers, followed by a moderated discussion: 

Kevin Davies is the founder and CEO of Hop Compost. Prior to launching Hop, Kevin saved 700,000 lbs of waste from Calgary landfills and was named one of North America's Top 45 Emerging Innovators. Hop's revolutionary closed loop process has transformed close to 8.4 million lbs of food scraps into Hop Organic Craft Compost to benefit local growers. First farm to table, now table to farm, each generation of food supports the next.

Shannon Phillips is Minister of Environment and Parks for the Government of Alberta and the Minister responsible for the Climate Change Office. She grew up in Edmonton and graduated from the University of Alberta with an Honours BA and Master of Arts in Political Science. She then committed herself to making working and middle-class families’ priorities government priorities by working with the federal NDP and the NDP caucus at the Alberta Legislature. After moving to Lethbridge in 2006, Shannon worked as a journalist and consultant before taking a position with the Alberta Federation of Labour as an economic policy analyst. Her work focuses on how Alberta’s economy can better serve the interests of working and middle class families. Her specialty areas include oil sands and pipelines, labour markets, government finances, and health care.

Come prepared to share what you are up to in your business and get answers, ideas and insights from other members of our community who are also balancing purpose with profit.



• Arrival, breakfast & networking 8:00-8:30 am

• Moderated discussion 8:30-9:30 am

• Wrap up 9:45-10:00 am

Food: Breakfast will include gluten-free and vegan options, coffee, and tea. This is included in your registration.

Access: This venue is accessible for all people with limited mobility. 

Parking: Free parking is located around the building. Visit http://www.calgarytransit.com for transit options.

Registration: Payment is required at the time of your RSVP and is $30 per person. There will be a limited number of spaces at the door for those wishing to pay by Calgary Dollars. Please reserve one of these spaces by posting a comment.

Proudly organized by REAP Business Association. 
Bullfrogpowered with 100% green electricity.


The registration fee is required to cover REAP's ongoing costs to organize this event series: catering, promotional expenses (signage, Meetup organizer fees), insurance, and staff time.
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Did you know?

REAP businesses generate $21 billion in annual revenue