To celebrate Small Business Week, we thought it would be fun to share and showcase some of our OnDeck team members’ favorite small businesses. Check back as we will be adding to this list all week!

*The businesses profiled here are not clients of OnDeck Canada, simply small businesses our team members love and support.

Julie’s Favorite

Name: Julie Chalifour

Role: HR Business Partner, Human Resources

Partnered with the human resources team and other internal stakeholders, my job is to lead OnDeck’s people agenda. I provide HR advice and coaching to managers and employees in the areas of talent management, compensation and rewards, employee relations and much more.

What’s your favorite small business and why?

I love supporting small local businesses so it’s hard to name just one, but the first that comes to mind is Livres Babar Books. Babar is an adorable children’s bookstore in the Pointe Claire village. It’s a quaint store and everything about it makes it special: the people, the location, the character, the events. I remember shopping there myself as a child and it’s become one my children’s favorite stores. The staff is amazing and always there to provide us with wonderful suggestions; whether it’s for books, games, puzzles, crafts or toys. There is a French specialist in-store every weekday to help guide us in choosing books that suit our children’s needs. They also have special weekend story times for children and celebrate special events (for example, cupcakes for Peter Rabbit’s birthday, a visit from Santa, the list goes on) that my family loves to attend. My kids love playing with the incredible train set and table as we browse the store. It’s definitely worth a visit when in Pointe-Claire.

Livres Babar Books

Products: Books, games, crafts or toys.

Location: 6-46 av Sainte-Anne, Pointe-Claire, QC

Can you order online? Yes

Website: www.livresbabarbooks.com

Mark’s Favorite

Name: Mark Selvadurai

Role: National Account Manager

As an account manager, I build relationships with my customers and am their point of contact. My responsibilities revolve around ensuring that our existing customers’ needs are met. I do regular follow-ups and stay on top of my clients’ accounts to ensure that they are satisfied and that I can assist them whenever they need it.

What’s your favorite small business and why?

This is a no-brainer for me, Clarke Café in Montreal’s Point Saint-Charles neighbourhood. I really love this café! They offer a variety of classic Italian cold cuts, meats, traditional Italian desserts and drinks. I would even argue that they serve the best coffee in town. However, Clarke Café wins my number one spot because of their amazing sandwiches. You can tell they are made with love and high-quality ingredients. I would consider them one of life’s simple pleasures. I highly recommend paying a visit to this charming family business or placing an order for pick-up. The café itself feels casual and welcoming, like an old-school Italian café.

Clarke Café

Products: Sandwiches, pastries and coffee.

Location: 2483 Centre, Montreal, QC

Can you order online? Yes (via third-party food delivery apps)

Facebook page: www.facebook.com/Sandwich-Shop/Clarke-Café

Melanie’s Favorite

Name: Melanie Bufo

Role: Vice President, Marketing & Communications

As head of marketing and communications, I’m responsible for representing OnDeck Canada as a brand. It’s my job to help communicate what we stand for, why we do what we do, and most importantly, how our services can bring value to small businesses all across Canada.

What’s your favorite small business and why?

Truthfully, I have so many that it’s difficult to say, but if I had to choose just one it would be Les Chocolats de Chloé. I have a major sweet-tooth, and I never met a dessert I didn’t like, but these hand-crafted chocolate truffles are really something special. This charming little shop on Duluth street in Montreal is my go-to for gifts. The chocolate atelier is in full view, so you can actually see where all the magic happens. The flavors are so interesting that it makes every bite an experience. My favorite truffles would have to be Fig & Basil, Passion Fruit, and Five Spice. Chloé only uses the highest quality fruits, spices, and ethically sourced chocolate. Everything is made, decorated and packaged on site so the shop always smells amazing! You can really feel the love that goes into everything she makes.

Les Chocolats de Chloé

Products: Hand-crafted chocolate truffles, chocolate bars, and confections.

Location: 546 Duluth East, Montreal, QC

Can you order online? Yes

Website: www.leschocolatsdechloe.com/en

Natalie’s Favorite

Name: Natalie Bowmer

Role: Senior Director, Human Resources

As head of human resources, I act as a trusted business partner to our internal teams. It’s my job to deliver programs that help foster an inclusive company culture and empower employees, while driving business outcomes. I am responsible for a full range of human resource functions, on top of being an employee coach and confidant.

What’s your favorite small business and why?

My favorite is without a doubt Euro-Deli Châteauguay, since it is my go-to when it comes to delicious and convenient meals. They serve the best tomato pizza I’ve ever tried, fresh pastas, tasty sandwiches and pastries. The cannoli’s are to die for and are my personal favorite. Not to mention, their prices are very reasonable. I have been a Euro-Deli customer for over 15 years and have never been disappointed, everything is always fresh and high quality. On top of this, the staff is extremely friendly and helpful. Walking into the deli feels like I’m walking into my Nona’s kitchen and I am always greeted with familiar faces. I’ve used Euro-Deli’s catering services many times and can say that their food has become a favorite among my family and friends.

Euro-Deli Châteauguay

Products: Pizza, charcuterie and bread.

Location: 161 Maple, Châteauguay, QC

Can you order online? No

Facebook page: www.facebook.com/eurodelichateauguay

Gabriel’s Favorite

Name: Gabriel Aghon

Role: National Account Manager

Overall, I am responsible for making sure that our customers’ evolving needs are continuously being met. I build strong bonds with my clients and make sure to always keep up with their files so that I can assist them personally. As an account manager, I have many tasks, but my main goal is to be a reliable asset to my customers.

What’s your favorite small business and why?

I love supporting my local SMBs. One of my favorites is my neighbourhood cleaner, Florida Dry Cleaners. My spouse and I have been going to this dry cleaner for years and we’ve never been disappointed. They always do a great job. They consistently get our dry cleaning done on time and they make sure to handle our clothes with a great deal of care. However, what makes them stand out to me is really their service. The employees have always been extremely kind, and they always go above and beyond to offer a fun and personal service. They even offer a guarantee that you will be completely satisfied with their service. They have been open since 1986, and I can tell that they are proud of what they do.

Florida Dry Cleaners

Products: Dry cleaning, laundry and clothes alteration services.

Location: 235-A Sherbrooke O, Montreal, QC

Can you order online? No

Website: www.floridadrycleaners.ca

Eden’s Favorite

Name: Eden Abramowitz

Role: Operations Administrator & Solutions Specialist

I work with the Operations and Customer Service teams to ensure efficient business operations and good customer service. I make sure clients receive information and funds on time and find resolutions to their problems if they arise.

What’s your favorite small business and why?

I would have to say Elena. The dining experience is a real treat. The food is amazing, the menu is unique and creative, and the interior design is both trendy and cozy. However, Elena’s brand extends beyond the walls of their restaurant. They have created a friendly community both in person and online, which has been extraordinary throughout the ups and downs of 2020. They have a fun online presence, offering take-out and DIY packages. In addition, they partner with other restaurants across Montreal to help boost the industry during this hard time. They have also created a Pizza Park in the alleyway of their restaurant, allowing people to come together in a pandemic-friendly way and making the neighbourhood a nice place to be.

Elena

Products: Pizza, wine and coffee.

Location: 5090 Notre Dame O, Montreal, QC

Can you order online? Yes

Website: www.coffeepizzawine.com

Pavina’s Favorite

Name: Pavina Trichanh

Role: Manager, Customer Management

As the manager of the customer management team, I am responsible for making sure that my team is supported and well-equipped to serve our customers. I coach my team to ensure that they have an understanding of small business’ needs and ensure that our customers receive a fast, efficient and personalized service.

What’s your favorite small business and why?

Although I may be bias because the business is owned by one of my relatives, my favorite small business is hands-down Saint Sushi. The food is delicious, but it’s the ambiance that I love most. This sushi restaurant is anything but traditional! Their dishes have creative names like “Salad Elvis”, “Maki Michael Jackson” and “Bob Marley Maki” and they play all types of music in the restaurant, including my favorites, reggae and hip-hop. You can really tell that the owners are passionate about sushi and just having a good time. The staff is always energetic and excited to see familiar faces or introduce their menu to a new customer. They really care about providing their customers with an enjoyable experience and it shows.

Saint Sushi

Products: Sushi.

Locations: 424 av Duluth E, Montreal, QC and 1359 av Green, Westmount, QC

Can you order online? Yes

Website: www.saintsushi.com

Stacey’s Favorite

Name: Stacey Gartner

Role: Senior Director, Project Management, Tech

I work with team members and stakeholders to deliver projects on schedule and within budget. I manage both internal and external projects, such as new product development, support IT infrastructures and new corporate initiatives. As the Senior Director, I not only manage projects, but I also coach my team on project management best practices.

What’s your favorite small business and why?

Kidlink Books & Toys. Located in the heart of Montreal’s Monkland Village, this little store is not only my favorite, but it is definitely a neighborhood favorite. I love to frequent the store both on my own and with my kids. The store is cozy and there is something for everyone. You feel welcomed the moment you walk in. They have amazing toys for every age group (even adults) on display from floor to the ceiling. They also stock novelties and have a great book selection. The owners are friendly and make themselves available to offer wonderful suggestions for timely gifts for every age group. There is always something new to find and prices vary so there are items for every budget. Customer service is at the heart of this establishment and they really go above and beyond to ensure they have the latest and greatest for their customers. They are also right next door to another neighbourhood gem, Melk – a local coffee shop, where I often pick up a warm drink on my way out.

Kidlink Books & Toys

Products: Books and toys.

Locations: 5604, av de Monkland, Montreal, QC

Can you order online? No

Facebook page: www.facebook.com/pages/Kidlink-Books-Toys

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