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RJ Flowers

Chances are if you’ve ever been to a funeral or a wedding in Drumheller or just needed some “just because” flowers, you’ve seen the extraordinary bouquets from R&J Flowers, downtown Drumheller.

“It has been a family owned business since 1951. My Dad’s aunt started it, my Dad took it over in 1971, and I took it over in 1996 after my Mom passed away” explains current owner and flower extraordinaire Jolene Powell.

When one walks into the store you’re greeted by the fresh smell of flowers, stunning bouquets, and fantastic gift ideas. It’s a cheerful environment where the staff has a passion for what they do.

“I love the feeling you get from people. My Dad always said flowers whisper what words can’t say. There is something about the look on someone’s face when they get flowers. It’s just a happy fun place to be” beams Powell.

As one could imagine there is quite a creative process behind developing proper flower arrangements. According to Powell it takes at least two years of working in the flower industry to become a beginner designer of flowers arrangements.

“You can go to school for it but it really has a lot to do with hands on work and lots of practice. We’re constantly learning and there are different design techniques to understand” says Powell.

The busiest times of the year for R&J Flowers are Christmas, Valentines, and Mother’s Day.

Are roses really the best to purchase on Valentine’s Day? Well, according to Powell, they are so popular that the demand on the flower growers/suppliers to provide roses is huge.

This means flower growers/suppliers have to stock pile enough roses to meet the demand for that one day. Therefore the quality and price of the roses may not be as good compared to purchasing them at other times throughout the year.

Powell recommends buying a different variety of flower for Valentine’s Day....and you’re welcome for the hint, guys!

Although she does some orders outside of Drumheller, the majority of Powell’s business comes from the Drumheller community.

“I love the people. It’s like the Cheers theme song “Where Everybody Knows Your Name,” I like seeing the same names, the same smiles, and the trust you have with people is the best part about being in a small town.”

Jolene Powell and her staff at R&J Flowers is this month’s success story!

You can find them at 40-3rd Ave E in Drumheller or call (403) 823-2792.

If you know of a Drumheller business story that should be told, please email the Economic Development Officer call (403) 823-1320.

“It’s a family run business” explains Darcy Hems of Hems Heating and Air Conditioning in Drumheller.

He and his Dad have been working together and serving Drumheller and area for 12 years now.

“My Dad is a wealth of knowledge. He’s been in this trade for over 50 years and to have him along side me is great” exclaims Hems.

They are not restricted to just residential work, they do quite a bit of commercial work as well.

Hems Heating and Air Conditioning does a lot of work for hotels in regards to HVAC technical work and to date have worked on 22 different Ramada franchises across Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba.

As for residential, they specialize in repairing central air units as well as furnaces.

The majority of business happens in Drumheller for Hems, however they will go out of town to service customers in neighboring communities as well.

“Three Hills, Trochu, Acme, and we’ve gone as far as Calgary for residential applications” says Hems.

Being a heating and air conditioning company they certainly get their share of questions from customers, the most common being about the proper length of time between servicing.

The majority of calls in the winter are about furnace repairs while air conditioning malfunctions dominate the summer calls.

“I enjoy meeting new people and working for people who are good customers” explains Hems when asked about why he enjoys doing business in Drumheller.

“I’ve lived in Drumheller for over 40 years and the people around here are friendly, courteous, and if you treat them with respect they’ll treat you with respect which is great” gushes Hems.

Darcy and his father Peter Hems of Hems Heating and Air Conditioning is another Drumheller success story and they are very proud of their community and customers.

If you know of a Drumheller business story that should be told, please email the Economic Development Officer call (403) 823-1320.

Len Techrex-w900-h750

Len Denbrok is the owner/operator of Tech-Rex Canada, a store dedicated to providing refurbished technology to folks who don’t necessarily need to buy a new computer or cell phone.

Just over a year ago Denbrok felt the time was right to become his own boss and start up his business in Drumheller.

“I wanted to do something different compared to other places in town and that’s why I do factory refurbished” stated Denbrok.

After 10 years working at a large department store in Drumheller he felt he wanted to do something new.

It was January of 2014 when he decided to become a small business owner in Drumheller.

He admits his wife was a bit hesitant towards the idea.

“My wife wanted me to actually get a job but I felt I was done working for other people, I just want to do my own thing and starting up a business will be hard, but she came around to the idea and even picked out the name.”

After doing some research they realized nobody in Canada had the name Tech-Rex and decided that given Drumheller’s reputation as being the dinosaur capital of the world this would be a great name for the new business.

He has now been in operation for over a year and Denbrok says business has been great so far.

“The people of Drumheller have really embraced what we do here. I’m selling more refurbished laptops than I thought I was going too. I wasn’t expecting to fix phone screens until 2015 and I actually started 3 months after I opened the store.”

Denbrok gets all of his refurbished laptop computers from a refurbishing plant in Ontario.

In most cases, the computers are brand new, however a small scratch or a slight blemish on the outer casing prevents that computer company from selling it as new.

These computers are removed from the assembly line and sent to refurbishing places where businesses like Denbrok’s can get them at a reduced cost.

Len Denbrok knows that customer service is of utmost importance when you’re a small business owner.

“Customers are looking to get that great price and the big thing is service. If I don’t stand behind the products than nobody is going to buy from me, so customer service is my most important philosophy.”

Today, Tech-Rex is busier than ever and it’s not just Drumheller that is supporting him.

Denbrok says he has over 23 customers from Three Hills, 50 from Hanna, and 3 from Calgary who come strictly for the excellent service.

Tech-Rex is located at 1102-A Highway 9 South in Drumheller and will accept donations of old computers, laptops, and keyboards.

They’re open Tuesday to Saturday from 10a-7p. Call (403) 823-TECH or find them on Facebook and Twitter for information.

If you know of a Drumheller business story that should be told, please email the Economic Development Officer or call (403) 823-1320.


Tony Ibrahim is the franchise owner and operator of Pizza Hut in both Drumheller and Canmore. In November of 2014 he opened the Drumheller location with the official grand opening occurring on January 28th, 2015 at noon.

“The doors were crashed” Ibrahim says about that first day. He couldn’t believe the support of Drumheller and area on that inaugural day. He recalls a story of talking to a customer who had been in line for a long time.

“Why aren’t you upset for waiting over an hour for your Pizza?” asked Ibrahim. The customer’s response was quick. “Simple. You’re new and we want to try it.”

The story of Pizza Hut moving to Drumheller goes back to early 2014 and involves skiing of all things. Ibrahim’s business partner wrapped up a skiing trip by visiting both Drumheller and Canmore to see if the towns were viable places for Pizza Hut franchises.

He then told Tony about the locations and proceeded from there. The two quickly learned that tourism was big business in the valley and that the proposed location of Valley Plaza was perfect.

Ibrahim says “we could have gone anywhere else, but because of the very thing we heard about Drumheller and the tourism, everything that takes for us to build a Pizza Hut in any city or town, was already here.”

So the checklist was complete and it was decided in June of 2014 that Pizza Hut should open in Drumheller and negotiations with the landlord began thereafter.

As you can imagine there is a lot to do leading up to that opening date.

“There are a lot of studies that need to be done. Pizza Hut Canada is really good at helping us with studies” gushes Ibrahim.

These studies included analyzing the demographics, traffic counts, and market competition. He admits he was very impressed with the traffic count near Valley Plaza and monitored the location for several hours at various times throughout the day to gain a better understanding of how busy they could be.

The most recent traffic count from Alberta Transportation indicates the intersection of 3rd Ave and 2nd Street (highway 9) sees as many 10 thousands vehicles a day. Knowing this, he felt their location choice was more than suitable.

Once all of this information was collected, it didn’t take very long for Pizza Hut to become reality in Drumheller.

“The average Pizza Hut takes many months to complete and a complex project to undertake, but due to aggressive internal goals, we managed to open within four weeks, something which we feel was miraculous given the magnitude of the undertaking” stated Ibrahim.

Overall Ibrahim feels it has been a very positive experience opening in Drumheller and they are still looking for help.

If you know somebody looking for a job right now, he encourages you to drop off a resume at the store. We wish Pizza Hut all the best in the valley and appreciate all the hard work it takes to get up and operating.

You can find Pizza Hut in Valley Plaza at 249 3rd Ave W in Drumheller or call (403) 856-0100.

If you know of a Drumheller business story that should be told, please email the Economic Development Officer or call (403) 823-1320.