CANADIANS WHO STANDOUT – CATHY JACOBS (25/150)
“People call me Angel,” Cathy said with a laugh. “They think it’s my name and I don’t have the heart to correct them.”
Cathy Jacobs, owner and operator of Angel’s Cappuccino and Ice Cream Café, could well be called an angel. She spends her days serving food and drinks, snacks and ice cream, as well as her own brand of wisdom to a parade of sun-seekers, outdoor enthusiasts, and regulars who drop by simply to visit—or as one faithful mentioned, “to get her Cathy fix.”
Cathy’s journey, in many ways, began in 1994 when she left an abusive relationship and took refuge at a women’s shelter with her three small children. Her time there made her dig deep. She found solace not only in the safety of the physical environment, but also within herself. She saw that the years of contrast were what she needed to glean insight, recognize her calling, and learn about true compassion, which, to Cathy, is more then offering a helping hand or a listening ear. It’s looking beyond what is, seeing for others what they, in their pain or struggle, can’t see for themselves, and then simply believing in that version of them.
In 1997 she began serving ice cream from the back of a panel truck.
In late 2005, Cathy and her husband built a 12’ x 30’ mobile building and moved it onto the current site at Edworthy Park in Calgary. Over the years, Cathy’s dreams grew, as did her desire to help people. She saw Angel’s as a space to care for the needs of others, a place to nourish bodies and souls. Whether it’s a hearty meal or a refreshing drink, a Band-Aid or simply a hug, Cathy can be counted on to brighten her customer’s day.
Today Cathy’s vision continues to broaden. Angel’s is in the process of expansion again. 2017 will see a new, larger facility, a business that embraces, supports and gives back to the environment and the community. The new building will be dedicated to the memory of her son-in-law Trevor Nickel, whose passion in life was environmental improvement and waste reduction. Many ‘green’, leading edge concepts will be incorporated into the building. For quite some time, customers have been asking how they can contribute to the vision Cathy eagerly shares with all who frequent her cafe. In response, she and her husband came up with the idea to create feathers that people can purchase. Each feather will have the donor’s name engraved on it and will combine to create angel wings, becoming a work of art on a feature wall in the new cafe.
Angel’s Cappuccino and Ice Cream has become a landmark on one the city\’s bustling pathways and Cathy Jacobs a beloved figure in Calgary and surrounding area, but her influence has spread even further across this great nation. Many visitors to the city seek her out because of a recommendation from friends, or simply return to Angel’s to pay her a visit as they take in the beauty from the cafe\’s picturesque location on the Bow River.
Cathy’s talents go beyond running a successful business. She has published a book and won awards, personally, as well as five-star ratings for her delicious menu at Angels. She’s a dynamic public speaker, a councillor, a mentor, and a shining example to those who might be tempted to forsake their dreams when faced with opposition or adversity.
Though her engagements sometimes take her across the country, she is happiest when she is home—at Angel’s, chatting with a customer, or spending time with her family: Dale, her devoted husband of fourteen years, and their blended family made up of five children and soon-to-be nine grandchildren fill her life with joy and abundance and provide balance for this busy Pathway Angel.
We have 125 SHOUT OUTS left, if you would like to share your story! This is to celebrate Canada’s 150th Birthday, so we want to do 150 shout outs on ordinary Canadians that have accomplished extraordinary things or have an extraordinary story. Your photo and shout out will be published with the other 149 Canadians in the July issue! Email us! email@example.com or click HERE for our submission page.