Meet Ali Sullivan- Lapp, our store manager for Analog on 17thave Sw. Ali moved to Calgary from Quebec and brings her infectious and vibrant personality to our coffee shop. If you come into the store, make sure to say hi and introduce yourself. We chatted with Ali about living in Calgary, the emerging coffee culture and more.
What brought you here from Quebec?
Every summer during University I came out West to work for the Learning Disabilities association of Alberta. We would spend our whole summer in Nordegg, but came into Calgary for our days off. I really loved everything about my summers here, so after graduating I didn’t put much thought into it, bought a plane ticket and headed West. My sister was living in Calgary at the time (and still is) and she—and her incredibly generous roommates—let me move onto their couch while I got my footing in the city.
How does the east differ from the west? What observations have you made?
It’s important to begin this question by saying how much I love the East! Montreal is a beautiful city full of culture and life, but I cannot get over how incredibly kind the people here are. Everyone in Calgary is so friendly and I suppose the biggest difference I’ve noticed is how much more welcoming they are here compared to the East. I do miss a lot of the culture from Montreal though, it is clearly growing in Calgary but the city has a much more ‘subtle’ personality compared to places at home.
What have you seen change within the last few years in Calgary?
Because I always came to the city for only a few months at a time year after year it has been incredible to see what a drastic transformation it has taken in only a few years. It seems like the city is starting to develop a new personality and people are trying to bring a greater focus to the art and music scene which is so wonderful!
Explain the coffee culture here in Calgary?
I am still so new to the coffee culture in Calgary but it has been incredible to see how people’s interest in coffee is growing in the city. The coffee culture here is based on community, which makes our job so much more fun. It is wonderful to see other coffee roasters and shops grow and succeed as it is truly an industry in which we can all benefit from one another’s success. It is a reflection of the cities growing interest in speciality coffee.
Talk about the atmosphere of Analog. What do you love most about it?
It is impossible to choose what I love most about Analog, whether it be the incredible community of customers on the other side of the bar, or the amazing, hardworking and particularly hilarious team behind the bar. Analog is a community that has created a small town feel out of Calgary—for me at least. I love seeing customers become friends within our doors and come in to meet each other day after day.The team working behind the bar truly makes Analog all that it is. They care about one another and always look to lend a hand whenever and wherever possible. It never ceases to amaze me that when the line is out the door and down the sidewalk they’re still smiling and laughing. It makes me love what I do!
For those new in the city, what are some things they need to know to fall in love with the city?
I think that the most important part is to always talk to somebody new. The most wonderful parts of Calgary are not always that well known – but if you are looking for it you will find a community of people for every passion. The people here are so kind that if you take the time to have a conversation with someone you’ve just met you’ll discover something new and exciting to do in the city.