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Business Buzz

Mediterranean food, truck rentals, esthetics, and government funding

Mediterranean morsels 

Master Pita, a new Mediterranean-style restaurant, has found the perfect fit. Located at Tudor Glen Square Market, the family-owned and operated eatery specializes in shawarma, kebabs, donairs, and Lebanese salads. 

Co-owners Mazin and Moni Fakhreddine opened their doors on March 18 after conducting a regional market evaluation, venue search, and landlord negotiations. 

“It is difficult to open during COVID. We had been planning for almost two years. We found we had a good agreement with the landlord. That was the starting point. The landlord was very co-operative and willing to work with us,” said Mazin. 

The 1,700-square-foot diner seats 16 under pandemic regulations, and serves various vegan, vegetarian, and celiac options in addition to the main meat menu. 

Master Pita is a family’s life dream. To achieve that dream, the Fakhreddine’s have put their life savings into the restaurant — almost $150,000. 

“We’ve given the landlord a guarantee for two years. We’ve really stuck our neck out on the line, but my wife is passionate about cooking, and we’ve already received 205 five-star Google reviews.” 

Truck rentals at corner store 

Yakky’s Convenience Mart, a corner store in Forest Lawn, recently formed a partnership with U-Haul Company Canada as neighbourhood dealers to serve the St. Albert community. 

The corner store has been a staple of the community for 40 years, operating under various monikers. Raghav Gupta purchased the store and reopened it in March 2020. However, COVID challenges forced him to search for an added-value service. 

“I was only making about $200 to $500 a day and it was hard,” said Gupta. “I looked and there was no one in St. Albert that does U-Haul.” 

As a neighbourhood dealer, Gupta offers U-Haul truck rentals and in-store pickup for boxes in addition regular in-store products. Yakky's is at 131 Forest Drive. 

Esthetics, personal care 

After several COVID-related closures, KatssEyess has reopened with expanded esthetics services and a streamlined operation. 

Owner Katerine Gushue received funding through an Indigenous scholarship grant to advance her studies in esthetics and personal care. As a home-based business in Kingswood, she now offers 38 services including facials, waxing, eyelash, and eyebrow treatments. Once Gushue's advanced studies are completed she will offer derma needling, chemical peels, and tattoo removals.. 

"I want to continue to do this because I love it," Gushue said. 

Gushue can be reached at [email protected]

Provincial supports 

The Alberta government is bringing in financial supports for businesses implementing the Restrictions Exemption Program. The province is offering a one-time payment of $2,000 to small- and medium-sized businesses. In addition, $1 million will be made available to support the safety of workers who apply REP regulations. Applications will be available in about five weeks.  

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. 

Anna Borowiecki

About the Author: Anna Borowiecki

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