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Dessert destination Glenburn Soda Fountain renews community in Burnaby Heights


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Glenburn Soda Fountain and Confectionery is serving quality dessert treats in Burnaby Heights and reminding folks of the sweet history of the neighbourhood and the Glenburn Dairy, once located at Boundary & Hastings. It is a vintage experience, but with modern-day updates such as gluten-free or vegan options and take-out. Glenburn also buys many of their sauce and topping ingredients from local farms, which in turn, helps build the local economy. When founders Ron and Roberta LaQuaglia needed start-up financing, they came to Vancity because of a shared vision to impact the local community.

“Glenburn Soda Fountain’s business plan was unique. They wanted to enhance the character and charm of a family-oriented neighbourhood,” says Heather Gordon, Vancity microfinance program manager.

The confectionery captured the vintage style of the old neighbourhood in their store with classic equipment, uniforms and music that harkens back to the ‘40s, and in doing so has created a place for gathering in the community. “We want to serve a dessert that is always in season and that crosses generations,” says Ron.

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“Financing was crucial to us, especially since we had already leased the perfect location for our business,” says Ron. “Vancity helped us in a timely way to build our vision when some other financial institutions wouldn’t.”

Ron and Roberta are both dessert advocates who want to serve their customers premium-quality treats the old-fashioned way. Their classic menu includes ice cream, soda, shakes, sundaes and floats.

“We want people to slow down and enjoy an experience from a simpler time,” says Ron. “Our customers often come in and start to reminisce; they talk about their memories and forget the rushed schedule everyone seems to have these days. We’re pleased that young people are a large part of our clientele.”

The LaQuaglias are a young family and want their store to be a destination for other families to gather and enjoy a social experience. Their childhood memories are filled with family outings to ice cream and soda shops, and they believe in the value of a dessert-only destination where authentic quality treats are served.

“Vancity is an advocate of small business and supporting the communities where we live and work,” says Heather. “We’re invested in helping small businesses strengthen our local economy.