After spending almost eight years as a private mailman in paradise, an Alberta man is making a splash with a new Shop Local campaign for Sherwood Park. Recently returned from Belize, Rob Hanke says he's looking forward to seeing ShopSherwoodPark.com grow and serve the community.
Sherwood Park, Alberta is what Rob calls a "true bedroom community" with no defined downtown, but a deep-rooted community support for local business. Sherwood Park, considered a large hamlet just East of Edmonton, wasn't even established until the mid-1950s. Since then, population has grown rapidly to over 68,000 - with many residents working in the Edmonton core and living in Sherwood Park. Despite the close proximity to the city, Sherwood Park is far enough away from Edmonton to have its own sense of community and a range of shopping options.
Rob's former business in Belize - Mailboxes Etc... which he commuted to by golf cart.
After years of traveling with his wife Sheila, Rob finally decided in 2009 to put down some roots in the Caribbean. No stranger to the world of small business, he purchased a Mailboxes Etc. franchise in beautiful Belize.
Now, seven and a half years later Rob and Sheila are back in Canada to spend more time with their young grandchildren and aging parents.
Even with a background in the oil and gas business, Rob found it hard to secure the right job as Alberta's economy muddles through the downturn. Overqualified for many of the opportunities he was responding to, Rob decided to make his own way in Alberta by returning to the world of small business ownership. He says he knows ShopSherwoodPark.com is exactly what the city needs to help combat the effects of poor economic times in Alberta.
"My goal with ShopSherwoodPark.com is to make sure that "shop local" aren't just words you say," said new City Manager, Rob Hanke. "Now there's actually something tangible that consumers and business owners in Sherwood Park can gravitate to and really truly shop locally with an online marketplace."
"We are so thrilled to see the Shop Local Movement extending even further in Alberta with the launch of ShopSherwoodPark.com," said Colin Pape, CEO of ShopCity.com. "Rob has a rich background in management and entrepreneurship, so he understands the struggles that come with running a small business and how to make businesses work. We know with Rob at the helm, ShopSherwoodPark.com will offer so much to his community."
ShopSherwoodPark.com City Manager Rob Hanke with ShopCity.com CEO Colin Pape.
Rob was recently the subject of a feature article in the Sherwood Park News. Click here to read more about the launch of ShopSherwoodPark.com.
When he's not gardening, playing with his grandchildren or out on walks with his wife and dog, Rob says his favourite local pastime is trying out new locally-owned restaurants. He says he is inspired by the opportunity to grow with ShopSherwoodPark.com and says he's a believer in the saying that if you're not moving, you're not breathing. Only a month in, Rob has hit the ground running, making new connections in his community to ensure the growth and success of ShopSherwoodPark.com.