The slate menu has all sorts of savory and sweet pancake options and the aroma of the cooking is mouth watering. As with any restaurant, the staff takes the orders and prepares the food, but what makes this restaurant different is that all of the women who work there are recovering.
The creperie opened in 2018 and is operated by Narrow Road Home, designed to be a safe haven for healing and a landing place for hope and recovery. It caters to women struggling with all of life’s issues, not just addiction, and was founded by Kimberly Courtney in 2014, who is now its executive director.
“All the women in the program have to work (at the creperie),” she said. “Do one or two shifts a week and the proceeds will go entirely to the expense of the Women’s Recovery Program, straight home.”
Narrow Road Home has 15 women residing in its main recovery center from across Canada and five living in its transactional facility. This is Hazel Laboucan’s third year in recovery and her second year in the halfway house.
“I’m here because I’m fighting for life, I want a better life and I want to be part of the change and break the generational cycles that are kind of stuck in trauma,” Laboucan said. “I believe I’m doing it right now, which is amazing and I feel like I’m (closing) the gap from a cycle that just has to end.”
Working at the creperie taught her skills and boosted her confidence that she never had. Laboucan became addicted to substances when she was just 11 years old and after participating in the program she is now ready to move into her own home and work.
“I hope my story will help other people one day and I hope to share it and be part of something beautiful,” she said. “I hope to be a role model for the people who are lost right now and the people I grew up with, the people I love especially with my brother and my dad, I just pray and hope I can be that. light for them in our lives because it is possible.”
Courtney says stories like Laboucan’s are encouraging for all women who enroll in the program.
“Some of the women have never had a job,” Courtney said. “So it’s about empowering and building skills and showing them that the stigma of addictions and being broken on certain levels can be erased and you can be a productive member of society and I think that shows in all areas with the various businesses we have here in High River.
Besides the creperie, Narrow Road Home launched two other businesses during the pandemic in High River, Noble Tea House and Vintage Bluejay, both of which are staffed by volunteers and women from the program.
Kayla Kuhmayer is in her eighth month of recovery.
“I definitely hit rock bottom,” Kuhamyer said. “It was either I choose to get better or die and I don’t think I got to the point where I wanted to die so I needed to change my life for the better and I’m glad I did. ‘have done.”
She is now the manager of the creperie and finds a purpose in life.
“I just hope to make it somehow,” she said. “I haven’t really had any achievements and I’m 29 and all I want to do is have achievements so now I’m helping run a creperie I work at the Noble Tea House I’m helping just wherever I can.”
Learn more about Narrow Road Home here: www.narrowroadhome.com