Venue B Opens its Doors to the Community
- By Campbell Stevenson | December 07, 2023
Venue B, is the newest venture of entrepreneur, career coach and human resource specialist Michelle Brooks.
Founding this new business has allowed Brooks to create space for Indigenous arts and business to flourish.
“I had a lot of great moments in my career, and I decided that I wanted to work for myself and improve my livelihood and the livelihood of my family,” said Brooks, from her Regina coffee shop. “it's important for me to support other Indigenous people and businesses to help them succeed as well.”
Venue B is uniquely situated on the main strip of Dewdney bordering the Warehouse District.
The open raw-space is perfect for art shows, networking event and even musical performances.
Plans for special events are already underway.
“The modern warehouse aesthetic, the brick, the blacked-out ceiling − it's just absolutely gorgeous in here,” said Brooks. “We can transform it into almost anything.” Said Brooks, “I see nothing but opportunity here. Really focusing on the coffee during the day, and then the events at night, it's a good balance”
Venue B currently serves Spirit Bear Coffee, an Indigenous coffee roaster from British-Columbia and over half of her staff are Indigenous.
A member of Cowessess First Nation, Brooks prioritizes the development of Indigenous representation to create a path for Indigenous youth to follow.
“I wanted a space where Indigenous people can come and feel absolutely welcome and see another Indigenous person welcoming them,” she said. “It's important for me to show Indigenous people that you can be an entrepreneur, you can be a director, you can be a business owner.”
Her upbringing and strong ties to Indigenous culture contribute to her work.
“My dad went to residential school as well as a lot of my aunts and uncles,” said Brooks. “And when I think back to that time, it makes me really upset.”
She decided to turn those negative feelings into something positive.
“Now that my dad isn't here, I'm doing all that I can as an Indigenous woman to keep his legacy alive,” said Brooks.
Much of the interior remains the same. However, opening still proved to be a challenging process.
“The interest rate that you have to pay was a little bit of a scary situation when you're paying like one and a half percent for your mortgage and ten and a half percent for your business,” said Brooks. “Moving and opening up a coffee shop. I'm still doing the human resource aspect in my other business because I love doing that. But opening up a coffee shop had probably about 427 steps to do.”
While these is a lack of Indigenous business in the Warehouse District, Brooks initially had doubts that it could affect Venue B.
“I was a little bit worried about being an Indigenous business in a non-Indigenous environment [Warehouse District] but so far, I have seen nothing but support in this area,” said Brooks.
While the coffee shop may appear the same, Venue B stands-out because its heart belongs to Indigenous empowerment.
“When I see Indigenous customers coming in, it just warms me up inside,” she said. “I want Indigenous people to come in here for their meetings and their events. I just love when I see Indigenous folks coming in and smiling and having their coffee.”
Venue B is open Monday to Friday from 7:30 AM to 4 PM and on Saturday from 9 AM to 4 PM. Private event booking is available after hours. The space can accommodate up to 45 and to book a spot email email@example.com.