Adam KoziakChateau Louis Liquor Store, Edmonton
They may be outnumbered by the chains, but some of the most memorable liquor stores in Alberta are the family-run, mom and pop shops.
Part of the reason for this is their selection–when you shop at a family-run store, you’ll often find interesting and unique products that aren’t commonly found elsewhere. Adam Koziak, manager of Chateau Louis Liquor Store in Edmonton, says that’s the driving force behind his family’s store. From day one, when the store opened after the privatization of Alberta’s liquor industry in 1994, Chateau Louis has focused on being Edmonton’s premiere destination for scotch, cognac and all other types of spirits. After Koziak took over managing the store five years ago, he continued to build upon their portfolio of unique products.
“I don’t have to deal with a head office like some of these big chains–I have the ability to direct the store in whichever way I want,” Koziak explains. “I just have to justify to the family and myself if I’m bringing in certain things, why I’m bringing them in, and why I’m not bringing other things in.”
Their staff also sets Chateau Louis apart from other stores, according to Koziak. Having knowledgeable, friendly staff allows them to build engagement with the community, whether through formal tastings or just spending extra time helping each customer track down exactly what they need.
“I try to treat my staff with a lot of respect and I’ve had a lot of staff stay around for quite a long time,” Koziak says. “I want to educate myself and I want our staff to help educate our consumers as to what they’re buying.”