The Old Red Barn Started In 2017
A Little Bit About Us…
Married August 30, 2014, Matthew & Melissa are a loving husband & wife team that operates The Old Red Barn.
Having graduated from Grant McEwan with a Bachelor of Commerce Degree in Management, Matt has been in business for several years. Most recently he has been working in infrastructure, however, Matt has over 20 years of experience within the restaurant & bar management industry. Matt loves local food, planning events & entertaining people.
Melissa has been a Licensed Practical Nurse for the last 11 years. Melissa enjoys riding horses, woodworking, and educating people about agriculture. She is also a proud Ambassador for Alberta Milk. Melissa & Matt are parents to their one son, Theodore.
How The Old Red Barn Began..
Melissa & Matt started The Old Red Barn in 2017 with the goal for all consumers to trust and prefer Canadian made food products. They noticed that there was a large disconnect between consumers and producers and wanted to help bridge that gap. Melissa’s parents, Rudy and Karen Gengler, own Glen Park Holsteins, the family dairy farm where the Old Red Barn is located. Melissa is very passionate about agriculture, while Matt is passionate about quality of local food and hospitality. With their unique gifts in mind, and an old 1950’s barn on the property that was not being used, it got the two inspired…
The two got connected with Brad Smoliak owner of “Kitchen by Brad” who helped bring Melissa & Matt’s vision to life by hosting the very first Farm to Table Dinner in 2017. Brad helped connect them to the incredibly supportive Edmonton Tourism team. Soon after, Melissa then approached Chartier in 2018 to help co-host Alberta Open Farm Days. This event was a big success, leading to more Farm Dinners!
Melissa & Matt have a mission: To be an industry leader in rural tourism by connecting consumers to local farmers through experiences that increase public trust in food.
Awards & Recognition
Young Business Leader of The Year Award 2018 – Leduc, Nisku & Wetaskiwin Regional Chamber of Commerce
Growing Rural Tourism Entrepreneur Challenge Winner 2019- Camrose Regional Exhibition
Canadian Experiences Fund Winner 2019- Western Economic Diversification Canada
Tourism of Alberta- Cooperative Investment Fund Recipient Spring 2021
- Tourism of Alberta- Cooperative Investment Fund Recipient Fall 2021
- Start Up Business of The Year 2021-Leduc, Nisku & Wetaskiwin Regional Chamber of Commerce
- Top 40 Under 40 Edmonton Entrepreneurs, Edify Magazine 2022
- Nominee: Air Canada Business of the Year Award for TIAC Canadian Tourism Awards 2022