Member Profile: Justine and Kendall Poppy Barley

The lovely team at Poppy Barley are dear members of the Startup Edmonton family. Justine and Kendall were among our first members and Preflight participants! With Poppy Barley moving to a gorgeous new showroom on Whyte Ave this month, it’s time for us to say goodbye. 

As they prepare to leave Startup Edmonton, physically - we know they will always be incredible champions of the startup community, their journey will remain an inspiration to current and future members.

Though it is sad to see them go, supporting entrepreneurs to grow tech-enabled companies is our focus and we’re proud to have played a role in helping Poppy Barley succeed. 

We wish you the best in the new space! 

- Ken, Cam, Tiffany, Lauren & Warren

Q: What did you build while at Startup Edmonton?

We’re making it possible to buy footwear that fits by creating a new standard in the footwear industry. Poppy Barley fuses technology, collaborative e-commerce and the art of shoemaking to deliver custom-fit, ethically-made footwear.  

Q: What drew you to Startup Edmonton and how has the community changed during your time here?

Originally, we only had an idea. We knocked on a lot of organization doors for support. We were referred to Startup Edmonton as a place to explore our idea and test its validity through a program called Preflight. Justine participated in the first co-hort of Preflight. When we first arrived at Startup Edmonton, the community was still being built - we had an IKEA assembly party to build all the desks, we drank beer on the roof, and practiced pitching every week. Originally, the community had a small-family feel, now it’s electrified with ideas, energy and people. It’s awesome that we’ve been part of everything from the start. 

Q: How has the community inspired you?

The community makes us feel less-crazy, less-lonely and way more technologically smart. We’re inspired to think differently and constantly challenge the status quo. Plus, we’re inspired to play - work hard, play, stay late, hangout at Meetups, go the pub, high-fives all around when you land a big customer, play Jenga or board games, or eat sushi with fellow members. 

Q: Who is one of your mentors & what is the greatest lesson they taught you?:

Two come to mind:

Chris LaBossiere - ABC (Always be closing.)

Patrick Lor - Nothing matters unless you are selling. 

Warehouse District (and beyond) Favourites:


Drink: Wine or Espresso at Cavern

Bite: Lamb Goat Cheese Salad at Sabor Divino

Activity: Stress relieving workouts at the YMCA 


Drink: Remedy Chai Latte

Bite: Blue Plate Veggie Burger

Activity: 104th Street Farmer’s Market


Drink: Old Fashioned at Woodwork

Bite: Egg Yolk Raviolio from Bar Bricco

Activity: A Japanese Village adventure


Drink – Red wine at MRKT

Bite – Fried Short Rib and Ricotta Agnolotti at Corso 32

Activity – Shopping, working, eating, running errands, all within a radius of a few blocks, and just a 30-minute walk from home.


Drink: Red Star

Bite: Tres Carnales

Activity: Startup Drinks!


Drink: Syrah or Sancerre at Cavern

Bite: Rosti-Pollo and Rosti-Puerco at Rostizado

Activity: 104th Street Market during the summer months


Drink: Weihenstephaner Hefe Weissbier at deVine Wines and Spirits

Bite: Caprese Benny at Blue Plate Diner

Activity: Grabbing a drink and killing it at skeeball at Mercer Tavern