Kent of Inglewood opened its doors in 2014 and has been instilling a passion for cocktails, classic shaving, quality fragrances and even axes into the neighbourhood ever since. With 10 shops across Canada, President Kevin and his team help customers find the right gear for their everyday routines and show them how to enjoy seemingly simple tasks like shaving. He and store manager Nathan Gareau drew on tradition to create the Rose of 1867, a blend of Calgary rye, Benedictine, Third Place Ginger Rose Tonic, Dolin Sweet Vermouth and Rose Water.
Kevin: This is our third year with this space, but we started as an offshoot. We started at Knifewear across the street, so we were there for about a year, year-and-a-half before we moved into this store.
Kevin: Inglewood’s got that small-town feel. I was always hoping that on 9 Avenue they’d have angle parking because it feels like a little town inside of Calgary, and I like that.
Nathan: The fact that it’s the oldest neighbourhood in the city doesn’t hurt either.
Kevin: We like to say that this is Calgary’s original Main Street.
Kevin: Nine years ago we moved into Knifewear in Inglewood, and there was unsavoury elements in the neighbourhood—“pharmaceutical” sales and others. It’s the coolest place in Calgary now.
Nathan: I think it’s a love for the neighbourhood. There’s people that care of it and want to see it be better, and that’s what’s driven the success and sudden explosion of cool local businesses.
Kevin: It’s a community here.
Nathan: It’s the kind of people that come down here and drive the culture of it. They’re people that like good food, appreciate quality products, want to see live music and want to live in a cool neighbourhood with exposed brick walls.
Kevin: The shops and the restaurants here are all local, and most of them quite niche: Japanese kitchen knives, yarn, shaving and axes, terrariums, spices. You’re not going to find this collection of shops anywhere else in Calgary.
Kevin: I like cocktails at the Nash.
Nathan: I also like Highline Brewing.
Kevin: I go to Silk Road Spices all the time, and I like Rosso a bit too much—and Inglewood Pizza. If there was no Inglewood Pizza, Doug, our assistant manager, would starve.
Kevin: Inglewood’s a really historic neighbourhood, and we like to think our shop was here for 100 years.
Nathan: It feels like we’ve been here forever. We couldn’t choose a better neighbourhood. There is no other neighbourhood in Calgary for Kent of Inglewood, and not just because it’s in the name. It’s because it fits in Inglewood.
Nathan: Present yourself with care and intention, and if you care about presenting yourself for your own sake you’ll be drawn to the things that help you create that. I always say have vision of how you want to see yourself and we’ll help you find the right things that build that—whether you want to be the guy who shaves with a straight razor or you want someone to notice your distinct fragrance when you walk into a room.
Kevin: I think if you want to take the boring job of shaving and make it enjoyable and a nice part of your day, get a brush and a good soap. That’s the entry to all of this.
Nathan: It’s the gateway drug
Kevin: It’s the marijuana that leads to the heroine of a straight razor.
Kevin: I think we have two essential products here, and I think one of them is a good brush and soap. That will change your shave. All the men that we’ve sold a brush and a soap to all come back and say, “Ok, now I need one for my wife because my wife has stolen mine.” Shaving’s shaving, right? And a good shave is a good shave. The other thing that I think is essential—and I think it speaks to Canadian men, even if we live in an apartment in Mission—is an axe. I’m convinced there’s a pressure point on Canadian men’s shoulders that if an axe rests on it, it just cheers them up.
Fragrances can be intimidating. What would you recommend for a new fragrance for men? Nathan: Get out of your comfort zone and wear something fun. My summer fragrance is 1976 from Floris. Floris has been making fragrances for 300 years now—they’re kind of good at it.
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