Thanksgiving dinner is one of the most iconic eating experiences in North America. The smell of turkey from sunrise to sunset, the undying need to take a nap after a hearty meal and a drizzle of gravy over freshly cut turkey are some of the pillars that hold up Thanksgiving dinner.
But there’s one thing that shines brighter than red cranberry sauce: community. Thanksgiving would not be what it is without people to celebrate with. But that could be said about every great eating experience, and it’s the mantra at LOVEPIZZA, a local pizza company that places community above everything else.
“We are a local husband and wife team dedicated to being active in the communities we serve,” says Braede Harris, founder and owner of LOVEPIZZA. “We partner with various groups and organizations to provide support — and pizza — where we can to strengthen our neighbourhood and city.”
This led to LOVEPIZZA donating more than $9,000 to the community in 2016 during its first year of business. In 2017, LOVEPIZZA has already raised money for Zebra Child Protection Centre and hosted a diaper drive to support the Terra Centre, which brought 115 boxes of diapers — an amount worth more than $4,000.
“The support has been bonkers,” Harris says, and there’s still a lot of room to continue helping before the year’s end. As the holiday season approaches, Harris and her husband and business partner, Gavin Fedorak, are already planning their next steps.
Starting Sept. 22, LOVEPIZZA will be donating $1 from every feature pizza sale to support Stop Abuse in Families (SAIF) in St. Albert. The pizza in question is the brand-new LOVESGIVING pizza, topped with whipped potatoes, stuffing, fresh turkey, gravy, cranberry chutney and brie cheese drizzle.
“We believe every man, woman and child should have a safe place to call home,” Harris says. “But the reality is this isn’t the case for many. Many live in fear and silence, often feeling like a prisoner in their own home or life.
“Our hope is we can make a difference in the life of at least one person or family with this fundraiser.”
And this is a hope that Harris shares in every aspect of her business and home life. Harris’s family has always strived to help those in need and bring attention to causes that don’t always get the coverage they need.
“My uncle, Ron Sluser, was one of the original founding men of the White Ribbon campaign alongside Michael Kaufman and the late Jack Layton in the early 90s,” Harris says. “They started a movement that encourages men and boys to pledge never to commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women and girls.
“He and his partner, my aunt, have spent their lives working for not-for-profit organizations and educational institutions. They inspired me to help those who need someone to listen, who need a voice and who need a fresh start.”
The LOVESGIVING pizza is designed to not only warm the bellies of LOVEPIZZA’s guests, but warm the hearts of the community. SAIF has been offering support groups and educational prevention programs to schools and organizations within St. Albert since 1989.
Head down to LOVEPIZZA from Sept. 22 until Oct. 7 to join the community in supporting SAIF St. Albert, and enjoy a wild take on a traditional meal.
LOVEPIZZA St. Albert
#335, 935 St. Albert Trail
St. Albert, AB