We got the chance to sit down and chat with Anita Ip of the Kensington’s Desjardins Insurance, who have been the neighbourhood hot-spot for insurance since Nov, 2011. Formally known as State Farm, the insurance company still offers the same great service and are now located at 220-1220 Kensington Rd NW. They are loving the fact that they are now a totally Canadian company, and that it is agent-based so they can really be involved in the community.
They certainly don’t identify as a dry insurance agency – they give back to the community, host women’s groups, and like to be a central gathering spot for the community to just come in for a coffee, whether they want to talk about insurance or maybe just the weather! Their goal is to humanize the insurance process with face-to-face interactions and community engagement.
Their favourite part about Kensington is how all of the people and businesses are so friendly – she loves that everywhere she goes she knows someone. The giving spirit of the community always amazes them – whether it’s hosting workshops, having a winter closet outside the store, or supporting local artists, all merchants seem to give back to the community in one way or another. Even at Desjardin’s, Anita and the team will always purchase an extra box of donuts for the homeless, an extra pair of gloves or socks for the donation bin, shop local whenever they can, and Anita herself gets to choose charities that are close to her heart for their yearly community grant.
Anita and the team’s go-to Kensington spots include Vero Bistro (Anita and her husband often book a table here for special occasions), Midtown and Original Joes for happy hour, Orangetheory Fitness for a workout, Flippin’ Burger (her husband favourite burger joint), and Sunnyside Market for their Chia Pudding and Bowls of Glory. They attended a wine-tasting event at Kensington Wine Market for their team-building event and headed over to Trapped afterwards for an escape room.
If you have a moment, head into the office of Desjardins Insurance Agent, Anita Ip, simply for a cup of coffee and an afternoon chat. You’ll feel the welcoming energy as soon as you walk in!