Whisk Dessert Co., formerly located at the southwest tip of Sir Winston Churchill Avenue in a small strip mall, has rebranded as Whisk Bakeshop and Coffeehouse, and moved to St. Albert’s downtown core.
More than a year ago, new owners purchased the strip mall at Whisk's former location. They quickly jacked up the shop’s rent by $1,000 per month.
“My lease was running out in January 2021 and it was not conducive for me to renew it. It was an out-of-the-way location. Much of my business was in custom cakes and wedding cakes and it dropped during COVID,” said Jennifer Gray. She opened her new shop Aug. 17.
After 40 years designing custom cakes, the St. Albert resident retired from making specialty cakes. However, she continues to sell ready-made cakes, baked goods, savoury items, tarts, macarons, and various rotating sweets.
The trendy but elevated 2,000-square-foot venue also has a dog-friendly outdoor patio.
“We make high-quality baked goods, but we’re not a snobby bakeshop. We’re laid back and we want a place everyone will feel comfortable in. I don’t think you can find a better location than being in a professional building. It’s great for us.”
Whisk is located at #1 Tache Street, Grandin Park Plaza, Professional Building, Sir Winston Churchill Avenue.
Wedding ideas and gifts
Undeterred by the pandemic’s effect on business, St. Albert businesswoman Sandra Cassios, owner of Sandra Bettina Weddings & Events, opened a second downtown enterprise as Xo & Mane Boutique.
“During the time when things got scary and uncertain, it helped me take my mind off things. Instead of focusing on the horrific reality, it gave me peace of mind and took my mind off things. What was the worst that could happen? I’d have a bruised ego and a bruised bank account. Not following the things I wanted to do was scarier for me,” Cassios said.
Xo, which opened July 17, offers wedding planning but is primarily an all-occasion gift shop for adults and children.
“The opportunity presented itself. I don’t believe I would have got the space if it wasn’t for COVID. It’s a good location. It’s a good size,” said Cassios, a professional wedding planner.
“Here at Xo & Mane you can celebrate the day-to-day small moments as well as the big moments. Here you can get your piece of pretty for the day.”
The boutique is at #103 – 20 Perron Street.
Pharmacy quality over quantity
A new pharmacy opened its doors Aug. 11 in the Shops at Boudreau complex. Unlike large chain pharmacies that offer food, personal care items, jewelry, gifts, books, and assorted items, People’s Pharmacy #8058 focuses primarily on prescription medication, over-the-counter medication, home care needs, and specialty health items.
“A pharmacy is not just about medicine. With my practice, I don’t get the volume, but I want to provide personal service. I have worked in big pharmacies and I know what is lacking. I have fewer products, but I offer a more personalized service,” said owner Panchakshri Mole.
He received a pharmacy degree in India and moved to Canada, developing experience as a manager at Rexall and as a pharmacist at Shoppers Drug Mart. As part of Mole’s focus on health, People’s Pharmacy is one of two locations in St. Albert offering rapid antigen testing for COVID-19.
People’s Pharmacy is located at #120 – 140 Bellerose Dr.
• Fewer, pricier Christmas toys
Get ready for potentially fewer, but pricier toys this Christmas. Troubles sourcing materials, labour shortages, and crippling shipping delays have hamstrung North American toy companies. Demand is always big at Christmas. Toymakers are urging parents to buy early to avoid disappointment and higher prices.
If you know of a St. Albert and area business that has recently arrived, moved, or shut its doors, let us know by email at [email protected] with “Business Buzz” as the subject line.