Reimagine Stories- Obby Khan, Good Local

December 2, 2020

Embrace change. Discover resources, real life stories, virtual events, and more to help you reimagine the future of your business. 

Imagine it’s pre-pandemic times. Shawarma Khan, a local Middle Eastern eatery, was business as usual. They were getting ready for another football season at Investors Group Field and prepping for a busy summer.

Enter, pandemic.

“We first closed Shawarma Khan Graham…then the CFL cancelled the season, then Shawarma Khan Exchange closed. Pembina was the last one still going. Going from 6 stores down to 1 was devastating,” said owner, Ibrahim (Obby) Khan.

Photography by Mike Sudoma

As a local business owner of Shawarma Khan and Green Carrot Juice Company, Obby was finding it hard to continue to do the work he loves during a pandemic. He knew if he was struggling, other local business owners must be too. 

“Local needs our money, local needs our support, but I didn’t know how to fully support local,” said Obby. “As a Winnipegger, I bought stuff from The Peg Authentic, Coal and Canary, a couple other places, and that was it. There were so many other vendors who were getting no love and no support. When I started talking to those vendors I found out they had thousands of dollars worth of inventory sitting in their garage. They were gearing up for a busy summer season.”

That’s when Obby knew it was time for him to reimagine how Winnipegers could support local. It was time for him to reimagine his work. 

And, Good Local was born.

 

Photography by Mike Sudoma

Good Local is an online directory and one-stop-shop for everything local. The platform supports Manitoba farmers, makers and vendors by helping them get back on their feet and access their customers without having to maintain their own website. They help you buy whatever you need and even have it delivered right to your door. 

“Initially Good Local started off as an online platform for makers. The more I thought about it, the more I thought this could be the online platform for all things local. If you’re a local store, I want that money to stay local,” smiled Obby.



“You don’t want to send that money to Amazon, USA or anywhere else. You want that money to stay here. That money pays the bills, keeps the light on for people, puts food on the table. And it also gives them the chance, when the pandemic is over, to fully recover.”

Reimagining isn’t about restarting or rebooting what we were doing before, it’s about embracing change and finding new ways to reimagine how we do business. And, Obby didn’t just reimagine the way he does business, he found a way to help others do that too.



Before the pandemic hit, many businesses had found their groove, caught their stride, found their niche. But when you’re forced to stop and reimagine how you do things it becomes a challenge. For Obby, that challenge was welcomed with open arms.

Photography by Mike Sudoma

“I’ve always viewed change as positive. I’m not one of those guys like ‘oh, no! change!’ No, I’m like ‘bring it on.’ Change is good, you grow from change. It pushes your creative side, your work ethic, your mental fortitude. Change only makes you stronger,” smiled Obby. 

 

“You have two choices. One: you can say ‘life sucks, I’m gonna go sit in my bed all day and cry’ or you can get out there and say ‘bring it on.’ I’m in that mindset always. Like in football when I got hurt, or had my surgery with Crohn’s, you just say ‘let’s go, what’s next?’ This is just a ‘what’s next?’ change.”

Or some may say, a welcomed form of REIMAGINING how he does business.


#ReimageWPG recognizes Winnipeg business owners who have embraced the change forced upon them by today’s global pandemic to ultimately spark innovative business plans and achieve unexpected success.

About Good Local: Good Local is an online directory that features 100+ local vendors where all revenue goes to the local makers this holiday season. This past week they have seen an influx of new vendors and orders. Some product has even SOLD OUT: their dream for every Good Local business. They recently had to move into a new warehouse to support the massive increase in orders. In their second week alone they had over 700 orders to deliver! Over the past few weeks they have put $100,000 back into the pockets of all of the amazing local vendors on the GoodLocal platform. They’re currently looking for part time staff to help with delivery and more. Delivery is only $5 and can include a number of different vendors. They are Check them out at goodlocal.ca. Due to the overwhelming support from the community, they have paused orders and plan to resume on Dec. 4.