Homegrown Business: Gerrit of Lokal

In an illuminating conversation, Gerrit, the visionary founder of Lokal, provides insights into the organization’s mission to empower local startups, particularly within the dynamic food industry. At the helm of Lokal, Gerrit orchestrates a multifaceted platform that aims to enhance visibility and support for emerging entrepreneurs through an array of strategic initiatives, including curated events, bustling markets, and personalized business consultations. Driven by a deep-rooted passion for fostering community engagement and drawing from his extensive experience as a business owner, Gerrit embarked on the Lokal journey to tackle the pervasive challenges hindering startup growth and success.

Homegrown Business: Gerrit of Lokal

What is your business called and what does it do?

The business is called Lokal. It provides a platform for local businesses and food industry startups to gain visibility and support through events, markets, and business consultations.

What made you want to do this work?

I was motivated to start Lokal due to this passion for fostering community engagement and leveraging my experience as a business owner to help startups flourish.

What problem did you want to solve with the business?

Lokal was created to help startups and local businesses overcome challenges in gaining visibility and to support their growth by connecting them with a network of experienced entrepreneurs and retailers.

Who are your clientele/demographics?

Lokal’s clientele includes food industry startups, local small and medium-sized businesses, and any entrepreneur seeking to expand their market reach and connect with retailers.

How does your business make money?

How does it work? Lokal earns revenue by charging vendors to participate in its various events and providing expert business consultations to startups and businesses looking to grow.

Where in the city can we find your profession?

Lokal organizes pop-up markets in Calgary at the Marda Loop Community Hall and the CPG Expo is expected to be at the BMO Centre in 2025.

What is the best question a prospective customer could ask a member of your profession when comparing services? Give the answer as well.

“How have your events and consultations directly contributed to the success of participating startups?” We have had multiple vendors that participated in our market for their first time and were shocked that they sold out half way through the market, once you find a niche customer that likes your product like a Vegan or a Gluten Free customer you will have them for life. On the CPG Expo side we have been able to connect and hear success from local businesses by getting into Sobeys, Amaranth and places in Canmore within days of attending our event.

Homegrown Business: Gerrit of Lokal
Photo credit: Ksenia Robson @veganinyyc

What is the best part about what you do? What is the worst part?

The best part is witnessing the tangible growth and success of startups and local businesses that Lokal has supported. The most challenging part is handling the complex logistics involved in organizing large-scale events like the CPG Expo.

What is your favourite joke about your own profession?

“Networking is so much a part of my job that I tried to hand my business card to my mirror this morning!”

Where can we follow you?

You can follow Lokal on our website and on our Instagram to stay up to date with our latest events and initiatives that support local businesses.

PAY IT FORWARD: What is another local business that you love?

A local business that comes highly recommended is Raw-licious, owned by Daniela Borsanyiova. Her commitment to quality with vegan and gluten-free products makes it a fantastic choice for people with dietary restrictions, ensuring that everyone can enjoy delicious treats at any gathering.


About Emilea Semancik 109 Articles
Emilea Semancik was born in North Vancouver. Emilea has always always wanted to work as a freelance writer and currently writes for the Vancouver Guardian. Taking influence from journalism culture surrounding the great and late Anthony Bourdain, she is a recipe author working towards publishing her own series of books. You can find her food blog on Instagram: