While Winnipeg is known to be a generous city and socially conscious hub with countless non-profit organizations doing amazing work, the role of businesses in the development of human rights in our city is often overlooked. We’ve put together a list of ten local businesses looking beyond profit to promote a better future.

1. Parlour Coffee’s Partnership with Main Street Project

Source: Leif Norman

For most of 2018, Parlour partnered with Main Street Project. After the central coffee shop was shook by a break-in, the owner of the shop decided to take steps toward positive change. Rather than letting the incident discourage them, the owners reached out to Main Street Project and arranged to donate a percentage of their sales and promote the organization on social media.

For more information, check out Main Street Project’s post about the partnership.


2. Farmery Estate Brewery and KUB Bread Donating Rye Proceeds to Winnipeg Harvest

These two beloved local companies partnered to craft a limited-edition rye bread to support Winnipeg Harvest this holiday season. $1 from every loaf of “Heritage Rye” bread supported the food security organization.

To read more about this campaign, check out this article


3. Crampton’s Market’s Food Box Program

Crampton’s Market is a fantastic example of a socially conscious, charitable business. Last year, Crampton’s donated a 12 passenger van to support the Bear Clan Patrol and their kindness doesn’t stop there! Crampton’s Food Box program sells weekly boxes or bags of ethically raised meat or fresh, local, pesticide-free, delicious, and seasonal veggies – often harvested the day of or day before pick up! For every 12 Food Box subscriptions sold, the company donates 1 Box subscription to a family in need. Also, all food boxes not picked up by end of day Wednesday are donated to the Bear Clan Patrol. On top of this, Crampton’s Donate-a-Box program gives you the opportunity to buy a Food Box for a family/person in need, then matches your donation.

Check out their website for more information.


4. WRENCH’s Cycle of Giving Project

They’re technically a non-profit, but we’re including them anyways because this is phenomenal. Last month, they held a 24-hour kids’ bike-building marathon at the Valour Community Centre. Over the 24-hour period, volunteers worked in teams to rebuild hundreds of working bicycles with parts mostly salvaged from 4R Winnipeg Depots. This year’s event yielded 491 bikes, but over 2,400 children’s bikes have been rebuilt and distributed to the community since WRENCH began hosting the event eight years ago!

To learn how to get involved in the next event, click here.


5. Sweet Impressions Bakery’s Bake the World a Better Place Cookies

This lovely bakery’s Bake the World a Better Place program features a local social justice organization every 3 months to raise money and awareness for their causes. While the organization is featured, 100% of the proceeds from the sales of a specialized cookie (sold for $2 each) go to the organization! In 2018, they supported the Never Alone Foundation, You Can’t Spoil a Baby, Winnipeg Pet Rescue, and most recently, Inclusion Winnipeg, a charity dedicated to making life better for people with intellectual disabilities. Nominations are open for who they should support this year – find more information here and swing by 669 Stafford Street to enjoy a delicious cookie while making a difference!


6. Humphrey Window Products’ Winnipeg Harvest Employee Recruitment Program

The general manager of the Winnipeg-based window and door manufacturer, Greg Bodnarchuk, works with Winnipeg Harvest to offer employment opportunities to clients and volunteers. Through this partnership, Humphrey has hired four people! Since Humphrey piloted this partnership with Winnipeg Harvest, companies like Purolator and Subway have followed suit and hired Harvest recruits.

Here’s a heartwarming article about the partnership


7. Red River Co-op Limited

Red River Co-op serves as a heartwarming example of a business that actively works to grow its community in any way it can. Last year, Red River Co-op started charging for single-use plastic bags and donating all proceeds to Green Action Centre’s Composting and Food Waste Reduction Programming. The business is doing good in Selkirk too. On September 18, 2018, Co-op pledged to donate 5 cents of every litre sold that day to Siloam Mission and Inclusion Selkirk. The day raised $60,000 in profit, which will be used to feed those in need and support the full inclusion of people of all ages living with an intellectual disability. The business has also partnered with the Manitoba Moose for their winter clothing drive, the Society for Manitobans with Disabilities, Winnipeg Booth Centre, and more!


8. Wilderness Supply Opting to Support Charity over Profit on Black Friday

On the most hectic consumerism holiday of the year, Wilderness Supply employees were helping with clothing projects at Main Street Project instead of scrambling to make sales. In a conscious departure from commercialized business norms, owner Rick Shone and the store’s employees chose kindness over profit. In addition to this, Wilderness Supply also has an in-store program where they will donate a pair of wool socks to Main Street Project for every three pairs purchased.

Listen to a short interview with Wilderness Supply Owner Rick Shone here.


9. Costco’s Dollar a Paycheque Request

Costco warehouse manager Spencer Cottee asks new employees to donate $1 per paycheque to United Way. Each year, employees are encouraged to donate a dollar more, and the company adds 50 cents to every dollar donated.  Over the years, the business and its employees have raised at least $260,000 towards the development of a better future!

For more information, here’s a touching article written about the campaign.


10. Wawanesa Insurance’s Continued Support of Habitat for Humanity

Source: Habitat for Humanity

The final business that we’d like to highlight is Wawanesa Insurance. Founded in Wawanesa, Manitoba, the company has expanded across national borders but still operates its executive offices out of Winnipeg. Wawanesa has a strong and long-standing partnership with Habitat for Humanity, a Canadian non-profit focused on providing safe and decent housing for all. Wawanesa is the major sponsor of Habitat for Humanity’s annual Manitoba Property Insurance Build, which raises thousands for families in need of housing. The business also sponsors most of Habitat’s special events like the Prairie Fashion Show, a major annual fundraising project organized by Women Build. Wawanesa also sponsors Habitat’s Women of Influence Speaker Series, which highlights successful and inspiring women in our community and raises funds to construct a new Women Build sponsored home. In addition to their financial support, each year Wawanesa employees come out to help build Habitat homes!

Thank you, Wawanesa for your outstanding generosity!


Do you know other local companies that are contributing to worthwhile causes by partnering with non-profits or social causes? Let us know and make sure to give them a visit and thank them for helping to make our city a better place! 🙂