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good earth v. wild earth

January 30, 2009


In Edmonton, we have a Good Earth Coffeehouse and Bakery and a Wild Earth Bakery (pictured).  Or, as I refer to them as, the one by the hospital and the one in Millcreek

Good Earth started in Calgary, and has expanded exponentially all over Calgary.  There are Good Earth locations at hospitals, the university, and even Calgary Flames games.  Here in Edmonton, we have two locations – the one by the University of Alberta Hospitals on 112 Street, by Booster Juice and Earl’s (in the old Second Cup locale), and another by the Legislature.

Good Earth is more slick and franchised looking and than Wild Earth.  Clearly Good Earth has stumbled upon a formula of espresso drinks, pastries, sandwiches and salads that they are now replicating throughout Alberta and BC.  The seating area on 112 Street is huge, which makes it a great place to gather for coffee meetings (as a freelancer, I appreciate this type of public meeting space).   The coffee is dark roast and their espresso drinks are fine (but not even close to the Leva standard.  Hike the extra block up 86 Avenue if you want serious espresso).  The food offerings are fine, too, but here’s where Wild Earth wins out.

Wild Earth is right on 99 street in Millcreek, by the old IGA.  The grocery store is now called Wild Earth Grocery, and the bakery is expanding into the old video store space next door.  I heard rumours that a deli was going in, but the staff told me last week that it was just an expansion of the current bakery.  Construction has been stalled because they are waiting for permits.

The current Wild Earth space is small, with limited seating.  You luck out if you get a spot – otherwise, it is a purely a take-away place.  The food at Wild Earth is exceptional, especially their muffins and scones (the white chocolate raspberry ones are especially grand).  They have homemade tarts full of seasonal ingredients and huge cinnamon buns that sell out in the mornings.  And sandwiches and sausage rolls for lunch.  Their food is fresh and very tasty. 

Wild Earth is locally owned by Dee Bateman and Greta Sieben.  I like that it has local owners.  I also love their food, and the neighbourhood feel to the bakery.  The only thing it is lacking in is seating space, which they are trying to rectify by expanding into the space next door.  Patience! 

Both Good Earth and Wild Earth cater – Good Earth is very polished and accommodating in the catering business, and Wild Earth is a more hit and miss (for instance, you cannot pick up ordered goods on Saturday morning because it is too busy). 

I reserve judgement on calling a winner on the Good Earth v. Wild Earth bakery bake-off until Wild Earth finishes its expansion.  Then I believe we will have a clear winner.

Good Earth
8623 112 Street
780 434.4892

9942 108 Street
780 761.0440

Wild Earth
8902 99 Street

3 Comments leave one →
  1. January 30, 2009 3:27 pm

    I enjoy both places, but I think the “cozy” feel of Wild Earth makes me favour it slightly. Plus, I’ve had the pleasure of seeing the occasional local musician play at Wild Earth, which is always nice.

  2. January 30, 2009 9:27 pm

    I agree: I would definitely take Wild Earth over Good Earth… not only are they locally owned, but the baking and other treats are far better. That’s so fantastic that they are expanding!

  3. February 3, 2009 9:54 pm

    Having been to many a Good Earth in Calgary – living by one and having spent more than a few days where that is the best hospital food option – I can say that the two times at Wild Earth far surpass Good Earth. You could say that Good Earth is a franchise version of what Wild Earth really is – homey, home-baked, comforting, and delicious. Let’s just hope Wild Earth stays in the neighbourhood and focuses on quality. Quantity has not been good to Good Earth.

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