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Business Buzz

Bloom Stone Floral and Gifts, The Mash: Craft Beer and Craft Pizza, The Ridge Social Eatery
Business Buzz raw
FILE PHOTO/St. Albert Gazette

Flowers to inspire 

Bloom Stones Floral and Gifts, the only flower shop north of Giroux Road and St. Albert Trail, is tucked in Erin Ridge Plaza partially hidden from traffic. 

Owner Tina Soetaert used to make slate bases for floral arrangements. After she outgrew the home-based business, Soetaert expanded by leasing a 1,100-square-foot unit at Erin Ridge and opened Bloom Stones in July 2021. 

“Considering we’re in a pandemic and we’re in an empty complex, we’re doing really well,” Soetaert said. 

The first 550 square feet offers gifts from Alberta-based businesses such as nature jewelry and stained glass (St. Albert,) coffee beans from Riverbend Roasters (Sturgeon County), caramels (Stony Plain), bath and body products (Camrose), and whimsical candles from Morinville. 

“The candles are from Mood Therapy. Maureen makes banana splits, piña coladas, a coffee mug with a doughnut in it, and bowls of fruit loops. She even pours the individual fruit loops. They look and smell like real fruit loops. They’re super cute,” Soetaert laughed. 

The remaining 500 square feet is filled with elegant floral arrangements, both real and silk. In addition to selling products, Soetaert also hosts plant-based workshops on the last Thursday of every month. A list is on the website at

The shop is located at 1115 St. Albert Trail, Unit 250. 

Beer and pizza 

If you’re looking for a different kind of eatery, check out The Mash: Craft Beer & Craft Pizza at Jensen Lakes Crossing. 

The Mash is a flagship restaurant for Half Hitch Brewing Company, a family owned and operated microbrewery in Cochrane since 2011. Using Canadian grains, Half Hitch brews onsite, creating award-winning ales with tongue-in-cheek names such as Papa Bear, Farmer’s Daughter, Shotgun Wedding, and Fire & Fury. 

“The brewing process cooks out all the sugar and you are left with spent grain. We’ve found a way to upcycle and integrate it into the pizza dough,” said Mash manager Jack Gillie. “Upcycling adds extra fibre and protein in the pizza dough.” 

The pizza and beer restaurant carries four core beers on tap and four seasonal rotating beers. In addition, there is a selection of 10 different signature pizzas. 

“Our most popular is the pickles and bacon pizza. When it comes out of the oven it gets a drizzle of honey. People really like the combination of sweet and salt,” Gillie said. 

The every man’s restaurant opened in October 2021 during pandemic restrictions and initially struggled to find a customer base. 

“But we’re full on weekends and it’s been great to feel the support from St. Albert.” 

The Mash is located at 860 St. Albert Trail, Unit 820. 

A modern eatery 

At the far west end of Giroux Road you see The Ridge Social Eatery. The casual, modern eatery and lounge, which opened in April 2021, creates a modern upscale vibe with high top seating, exposed wood and brick, lots of black chrome, and big windows. 

“It’s kind of like New York industrial, but it’s still warm and comfortable,” said manager Kelsey McBain. Her uncle, Bill McBain, a long-time St. Albert bar owner formerly operated The Celtic Knot, and now owns “The Ridge” as it’s called by patrons. 

A hangout for west-end residents, it specializes in comfort food with an upscale twist as well as a curated selection of beers, wines, and hand-crafted cocktails. 

“We have 12 draft taps and additional beer by the bottle. And we also have eight wine taps and wine by the bottle. If someone asks about a wine we don't have, we can try to bring it in," McBain said. 

The Ridge also introduces live music every Saturday with a rotating artist list that has included singers such as pop-country recording artist Julia Nicholson and The Oddibles, a classic rock cover band. 

“We like to call it wedding music. It’s a mixture everyone recognizes and can enjoy.” 

McBain is thankful to all neighbourhoods that supported the restaurant. 

“Our patio was a big draw last summer. You can see Big Lake and the sunsets. It was especially popular during the summer when people wanted to eat outside more often than inside.” 

The Ridge is located at Shoppes at Giroux shopping plaza, 4 Versailles Ave. 

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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