“Actually yes, there was an Ikea here when we opened in 1987. My wife worked there when we came from Germany.
We got here in the early Eighties. Things weren’t good in Calgary at the time so we laid low and then we purchased this building.
Kilian is a family business. Our dad was doing the same thing in Germany with a very similar sized store. We grew up in a furniture store and when when our family moved to Canada, our parents, Frank and me, we started this business.
The neighbourhood has been very good to us. We were in here early, we put probably one of the first nice buildings into the area. We’ve always been attracted to the European flair of this neighbourhood. You could walk around and go to the coffee shops. Downtown was closed at four o’clock–it’s not like it is now. We didn’t want to go and open a flat store in an open field, we wanted a vibrant neighbourhood with a mixture of people. It’s nice to have a small town feel in big city.
We’re retiring. Everything in the store has been marked down and we’re planning on selling the building. It’s time.” Gunnar (left) and Frank (Right), Owners of Kilian International Design.