A Bit of Background
Leon (my father) owned his own business in the grocery industry during the 90’s. Quite frankly, he worked relentlessly and burned himself out. He sold the business, and looked for opportunities with more purpose.
In 2004, my family moved to Santa Cruz, Bolivia and worked at an orphanage and daycare. I won’t go into too much detail, but it is important to mention Bolivia, because this is actually where Leon had the inspiration for the name Homes Alive.
Leon is always thinking about new ideas, and in one particular journal entry, he was dreaming about getting back into business. In this journal entry dated May 2005, he describes that he wants to start a business that is built on a few foundations. He saw that we have a lot of privilege in Canada, and we have an economic system that has the ability to create excess. This was a stark contrast to Bolivia where there was consistent need.
He wanted to be a good steward of the privilege that he has as a Canadian businessman to create excess in order to give where there is need. He wrote out the name Homes Alive - A life-giving, wholesome, positive name. He paired the name with many possible industries including Homes Alive Pets.
Settling in Lethbridge
Fast-forward a few years; my family was transitioning back to life in Canada. It was a particularly challenging time for my parents as they were really struggling with figuring out how to settle their family back into Canada, and what to do for a living. Starting a new career at the age of about 45 was pretty daunting. Without knowing the next steps, they (pretty randomly) chose Lethbridge as an attractive community to raise their family.
Starting Homes Alive Pets
In a time where Leon was having a tough time pairing his vision with passion and purpose, he made a connection with his family history. Leon's brother was running Ropp’s Pet Paradise in Brooks, AB, which was started by Leon’s father, Eldon (learn more about the timeline here). This was an opportunity to pair his family's passion for pets with this vision that was positive, wholesome, and provided an extraordinary opportunity to give back to the community (this is one of many reasons why we work closely with local shelters and rescues). All of that to say, it seemed like a good fit.
In 2009, they changed the name of Ropp’s Pet Paradise to Homes Alive Pet Centre, and they opened our Downtown Lethbridge location.
We have always known that Homes Alive Pets will present many challenges. For example, it is hard for people to remember, or people call us “Pets Alive”, etc. However, we believe that the name represents what we stand for as a company. It’s a reminder that we are here to be good stewards and to provide amazing jobs, to impact and help people grow, and to give back to our community, and that won’t change.
If you have any questions for me, please ask in the comments! We would love to here your thoughts and questions…
Posted by Evan Ropp