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Business Buzz

Yarn Divas Tea & Fibre Emporium, strEATS Kitchen, Fit + Fierce
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FILE PHOTO/St. Albert Gazette

Tea and yarn 

During the pandemic, interest in crafting surged as an essential way to reduce stress and turn restlessness into something soothing and productive. 

Although people have returned to work and priorities have shifted, the interest in crafts using yarns and threads remains undiminished. 

Yarn Divas Tea & Fibre Emporium, newly opened on April 16 at 10 Tache Mews West on Sir Winston Churchill Avenue, is witnessing a budding interest in hands-on crafting and in-person learning. 

Partners Chrissy Moncrieff's and Sherri Radke’s dream is to build a tea shop that sells more than yarn and handmade crafts. The Spruce Grove residents’ goal is to build a gathering place for crafters through the twice-weekly Stitch & Gather project. 

“It’s a come-and-have-tea for any kind of fibre crafter. We are trying to build community. Some people come in groups of five or six. Some are only one person. Stitch & Gather gives them the opportunity to sit and talk. And if someone has difficulty with a project, they can ask for help. Mostly, the emporium is about building community, a place that people feel at home,” said Moncrieff. 

Currently, crafters and artisans gather on Thursdays from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m.  

Both business partners are nurses and discovered knitting's tactile pleasure produced a calming effect from their high-stress careers. 

“It was an escape from nursing. It was our happy place,” Moncrieff said. They regularly attended the St. Albert Farmers’ Market, and enjoyed the vibe of the city’s downtown core. St. Albert was a natural location to operate their dream shop.

The 2,800-square-foot shop is filled with textile yarns from local indie dyers to international brands from Denmark, Norway, and the United Kingdom. 

“We pull from Europe because every knitter wants something different, and we try to accommodate everyone. We’ve brought yarn you can’t find in Edmonton, and I don’t think anyone in Canada carries Onion.” Onion is a Danish company that designs and develops products for knitting and sewing.

The duo also organizes fibre dyeing classes and pop-up shows. Find information on Yarn Diva’s Instagram, Facebook, and website pages. 

Two restaurants; one kitchen 

Joey’s Seafood Restaurant at Tudor Glen Market changed its name and underwent an extensive renovation in the spring. The space was physically split into two diverse eateries sharing the same kitchen. 

Joey’s Seafood Restaurant is now Joey’s Fish Shack. Despite the name change it still caters to foodies who can’t get enough of their favourite battered fish and chips. Next to it is strEATS Kitchen, a trendier fast-food eatery of globally inspired street food from crab bowls to perogy poutine. 

“Both restaurants are completely different in food, clientele, age, music, and décor,” said franchise owner Punett Kumar, adding both restaurant franchises operate under the Joey’s Seafood Umbrella, founded in 1985 by seafood lover Joe Klassen. 

“strEATS is more for millennials. Instead, Joey’s Fish Shack brings in mature customers and seniors. Now that we have a liquor licence, we hope to attract more people.” 

Kumar acquired the space after Joey’s Seafood Restaurant's previous franchisee's contract expired. After a three-month renovation partitioning the space and creating a different ambience, the restaurants opened May 30. 

They are located at 3506 Tudor Glen strip mall on Gervais Road. 

Warrior women net award 

Danielle Reed and Kelsey Vickers may not see themselves as modern-day warriors, however, the Alberta Chamber of Commerce views the duo’s work empowering young girls to reach their full potential as worthy of recognition. 

The St. Albert business, Fit + Fierce, was recognized at the Business Awards of Distinction 2022 evening in the Mentorship Award of Distinction category. Fit + Fierce is a mentoring program that provides support programs to meet the challenges young girls face. 

“It’s incredible. We were shocked to be nominated. We hope it’s making an impact and we’re grateful for being in the girls' lives,” said Vickers, a fitness instructor. Reed is a school teacher and life coach. 

The award gives them the an opportunity to be guests on Amplomedia’s podcasts. Amplomedia is an Edmonton-based digital marketing agency that uses innovative ideas to market and connect business brands. 

Fit + Fierce started in 2011 with 27 girls. This past year it attracted close to 180 girls from Grade 4 to Grade 12. 

The programs rest on three major pillars: health and wellness, fitness and nutrition, and contributions and mentorships. 

“Some of the older girls that have left the program come back and mentor the younger ones. And for contribution, the girls bring in a weekly donation for the food bank. It’s a huge part of wellness and having a healthy mind. It’s teamwork, and when you give of yourself, you’re bonding together. You give your community support and it’s a key to health and wellness.” 

The program operated this year in Riel Park. Starting in September, Fit + Fierce moves to Sturgeon Valley Athletic Club at 205A Carnegie Dr. 

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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