Holiday Gift Guide

Spread some joy, and support local business, with this year’s School of Business Holiday Gift Guide.

It would be safe to say that 2020 has been a doozy. Thankfully, with the holiday season upon us, we are given an opportunity to reflect and show gratitude for our friends, family, and our community. Now more than ever, it’s a good time to support local businesses and make a positive impact on the local economy. As multiple studies have shown, for every $100 spent at a local business, $68 remains in the community. Supporting your community by holiday shopping at local businesses? It doesn’t get any easier than that.

To help you with your holiday shopping this year, we’ve compiled a handy gift guide of twenty-five businesses owned by intrepid alumni from the School of Business and operated in locations all across Alberta. From the best in local brews to genre-defying music and everything in between, we have gifts for everyone on your list —and by shopping local and supporting local entrepreneurs, these holiday gifts are sure to be the gifts that will keep on giving.

Alley Kat Brewing

Established in 1995 and known as Edmonton’s OG brewery, Alley Kat Brewing’s legacy continues to evolve. In 2020, Zane Christensen,'10 BCom, and Cameron French, '11 BCom, purchased the brewery, and have remained committed to Alley Kat’s passion for premium-quality Alberta-made beer. Aside from offering some of the best IPA’s around, Alley Kat is a true community champion, partnering up with a number of local organizations such as the Edmonton Pride Festival, the MS Society and Fort Edmonton Park. So you mean you can support your local community, while enjoying a salted caramel ale (or one of the many other delicious libations Alley Kat offers)? Cheers to that! Alley Kat currently has pints and beer-to-go delivery available through

Black Cloud Bitters

Robert Kaczanowski, '95 BCom, has always been a cocktail aficionado, “I was making bitters just for fun,” said Robert, “spending a bunch of time coming up with recipes and trying new things.” Over time, Robert took his love for cocktails and created Black Cloud Bitters—handcrafted bitters made with care. Currently, the Calgary-based company specializes in eight bitters that reflect the rich botanicals of Alberta, such as Charred Cedar and Prairie Rose. Lucky for us, Black Cloud Bitters also share a great collection of cocktail and mocktail recipes on their website, a handy resource for all of the at-home mixologists out there looking to keep their holiday spirits bright.

Blindman Brewing

Proudly based in Lacombe, Blindman Brewing focuses on creating innovative, high-quality, flavourful craft beer using only the best local ingredients. Since opening up the brewery in 2014, co-owner Dave Vander Plaat,'13 MBA, and his Blindman Brewing partners have remained committed to supporting Lacombe and the surrounding community, whether it be from the locally sourced ingredients or the community of people they hire. For the holidays, the company is now offering home delivery service to Calgary, Edmonton and Central Alberta with free delivery for orders over $50.

BRNT Designs

Rahman Amalan, '20 BCom, and other partners, saw an opportunity to challenge the way cannabis accessories are used and handled through innovative design. Inspired by modern Nordic and Japanese-themed designs, their products make beautiful conversation starters and the perfect holiday gifts for anyone who appreciates good design and functionality.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by BRNT (@brntdesigns)

Cerulean Boutique

Upon graduating Kelsey Bulmer, '11 BCom, opened Cerulean Boutique with her business partner/mom Jill in downtown St. Albert. Both women, blessed with an eye for fashion and a knack for building relationships, wanted their shop to cater to the specific tastes of modern women because, as they believe, “when you look good, you do good.” Cerulean Boutique carries a myriad of designer collections and specially curated accessories. What makes Cerulean Boutique unique, however, is their expert and personalized styling service aimed to enhance any existing wardrobe. Their personalized services include stylist services, wardrobe editing and with the holidays around the corner, you can bet that they will give you the best gifting advice around. Currently open by appointment only.


A few years ago Lindsay Marshall, '18 MBA, set out to find the perfect matching outfits for herself, her husband and their two pups for their holiday photo. At first it was difficult to find matching outfits but once she did the response on social media was tremendous. “The family Christmas photo was my most liked and commented on social media post that year,” said Lindsay, “[this] got me thinking — there must be other people out there like me; people who want to twin with their pups and share it with the world,” and from that idea Famjamjams was born. This is Famjamjams first holiday season and for a limited time they are offering three different designs of matching sweaters for humans and pups alike - so dress up your pup, smile for the camera and remember, you’re always winning when you’re twinning.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by famjamjams (@famjamjams)


One of the original food trucks in Edmonton, Filistix has been feeding the masses since 2008. Inspired by the dynamic street food culture in Asia, Ariel del Rosario, '05 BCom, and his business partners saw an opportunity for delicious and healthy Asian street cuisine made from locally sourced and sustainable ingredients. Over the years, Flilistix grew from food truck, campus food court favourite, farmer’s market staple to its first brick and mortar restaurant in downtown Edmonton. As Filistix continues to evolve and offer one of a kind Fillipino and Southeast Asian cuisines, these original food innovators will continue to be a restaurant to enjoy.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by FILISTIX (@filistix.dt)

Fitset Ninja

In 2019, after five years of building fitness co-operative Fitset, Tim Gourlay, '09 BCom, branched off to start a new business centered around the increasingly popular sport of ninja. Fitset Ninja offers a fun environment that encourages participants to get inspired, active and unleash their inner ninja. Located in a 20,000-square-foot indoor training facility, Fitset Ninja offers a myriad of all-ages programming that follow Covid best practices including the Fitset Ninja Academy, a modified school experience to support parents and students who have opted for online learning. Gift cards and At-Home-Ninja Training Kits are currently available as great gift ideas for the little ninja with energy to spare.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Fitset Ninja (@fitsetninja)

Goat Locker Brewing

Named after the below deck storage units found on Naval ships, Goat Locker Brewing sets out to continue the tradition of creating a space to unwind with friends and enjoy a few pints. Brett Lovas, '14 MBA, opened Goat Locker Brewing in Calgary with the mission to deliver high quality, Alberta-made craft beer and has grown the operation to supply fine liquor retailers and bars and restaurants across the province. Currently, Goat Locker specializes in three brews: Pale Session Ale, German Style Lager, and Light Pilsner.

The High Dough

High Dough opened as a quick pandemic pivot to offer the city comfort food when it was needed the most. Brian Welch, '06 BCom, and his Three Boars business partners decided to pause operations on their popular restaurant and focus on food that lends itself better to delivery and takeout. Named after the Tragically Hip song “Blow at High Dough,” High Dough offers Detroit deep dish ‘za that is traditionally inspired, crafted with love and made fresh daily. The pizzeria offers traditional pizza standards but also offers more adventurous pies that introduce flavours such as truffle honey and gochujang chicken. High Dough currently offers pick-up and delivery.

Honest Dumplings

Since opening in 2014, Honest Dumplings has set out to make the world a more honest place, starting with mealtime. Chris Lerohl, '12 BCom, and his business partner Ray, wanted to revolutionize how mass-produced food products were marketed and sold. Their honest vision began with delicious Chinese dumplings made from the freshest local ingredients, and without any artificial preservatives or marketing hype. Of course, these aren’t your traditional Chinese dumplings, with meat and plant-based offerings available such as maple pork belly and kung pao tofu. A Farmer’s Market favourite, these dumplings tend to sell out fast—luckily you can order these tasty morsels on their website.

Laser City

In case you were wondering, laser tag isn’t just for birthday parties anymore. When Brittany Anderson,'12 BCom, opened up Laser City with her partner Rob Davy they were excited to get into the business of fun. Now operating with facilities in Edmonton and Calgary, Laser City offers laser tag, mini paintball and VR escape rooms with all options cohort ready and compliant with health and safety best practices. Amazingly, Laser City has found unique and new ways to utilize their 17,000-square-foot facility by offering their space as remote learning centres and online after school clubs to support parents and students who are learning online. For those who are bored at home (read: all of us) Laser City also offers VR system rentals which are ideal for those who daydream of distant holiday travel (Pluto is lovely this time of year).


Recently named in Edify’s “Top 40 under 40” 2020 class, Braede Harris, '08 BCom, and her husband Gavin Fedorak, '06 BCom, opened LOVEPIZZA fuelled by their innate love of pizza. The team aimed to open up a pizza shop that serves great pizza and champions community, and their commitment to both remains unwavering. Their signature pizzas have become hometown favourites. They also serve the community with the LOVEPIZZA Gives program, an initiative that actively supports many local social services including the Terra Centre and the Bissell Centre. LOVEPIZZA is a testament to the belief that pizza brings people together during good times and bad, and for all those highs and lows, it’s not just pizza, it’s love in a slice.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by LOVEPIZZA (@lovepizza_yeg)


When Peter Keith, '19 BCom; '20 MBA, embarked on opening Meuwly’s with his business partners, they knew they wanted to focus on local: local ingredients and the local community—and they continue to do just that. Meuwly’s is an artisan food market that specializes in charcuterie, sausages, cured and smoked deli meats and the essential accoutrements, all locally-sourced from family-owned farms and producers. As for holiday gift-giving ideas, Meuwly’s Secret Meat Club, a monthly subscription box of sausages, charcuterie, pickles, condiments, and preserves is perfect for the meat lover in your life. Or if you want to give the gift of variety, Meuwly’s Gift Box comes in different sizes and is filled to the brim with locally made gourmet products.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Meuwly's (@meuwlys)


In 2013, Ayaaz Kassam, '02 BCom, opened Noorish as a brick and mortar restaurant and quickly established his restaurant as a place of community for health and wellness, daily rituals and superfoods. Since then Noorish has evolved to a strictly online shop of well-curated superfoods, but even without a physical space they still remain inspired by their community and are currently working on sharing thoughtful recipes and articles on their website. As for the holidays, the handmade mug and adaptogenic hot chocolate set are sure to delight the health and wellness guru in your life.

Ohana Donuterie

What’s a doughnut without a hole? In one word: delicious. Brendan Hance, '11 BCom, and business partner Adam, set out to break the doughnut mould as we know it with their wildly popular no-hole Ohana doughnut. Ohana (which means “family” in Hawaiian) makes doughnuts fresh every fifteen minutes with no preservatives in the mix, and have quickly become one of Edmonton’s food staples. Ohana have a variety of assorted and sampler boxes available, but many of their doughnuts sell out daily, so act fast if you want to catch this wave!

The Plant Project

The Plant Project provides the comforting balm for a challenging year with an array of botanically based products that benefit the consumer and the planet. Founder and CEO Jennifer Minchau, '11 BCom, proudly leans into her values of sustainability, innovation and community and this is reflected in the products and the community of The Plant Project. From skincare products, luxurious candles to thoughtful gift sets, The Plant Project has everything you need to keep calm and carry on.

Prairie Pigeon Pâtisserie

Genia Rodnyansky, '10 BCom, followed her dream of attending a pastry school in France to learn the ins and outs of pâtisserie. After two years in Paris, Genia returned to Edmonton to offer delectable French pastries with her company Prairie Pigeon. Her pastries have become Farmer’s Market mainstays (the chocolate raspberry tarts are little bites of heaven) and if you are lucky enough to catch one of her summer pop-up events then you’re in for a real (French) treat. For the holidays bring the pâtisserie home to you as Genia welcomes custom pastry orders, sure to brighten any occasion.

Rocky Mountain Soap Company

The Rocky Mountain Soap Company believes that shopping for skin and body care should be a joyful experience, and that the best ingredients are found in nature. “I believe that the earth provides more than enough natural ingredients to give us beautiful and healthy skin for life,” says CEO Karina Birch, '99 BCom. With five locations across Alberta (Edmonton, Calgary, Banff, Red Deer and Lethbridge), Rocky Mountain Soap Company is deeply invested in its communities with their Community Bar Program—$1 from every limited-edition Community Bar sold goes towards Canadian charities and not-for-profits that support a vision for a toxin-free world.

Rooster Cafe and Kitchen

Rahim Jaffer, '09 MBA, and business partner Charlie Rothman opened up Rooster Cafe and Kitchen in 2017 with the intention of being a community-focused cafe and breakfast spot. The duo are familiar with community-focused business as they also own Polar Park Brewing nearby. Rooster features local farm ingredients and locally prepared goods (High Horse Coffee, anyone?) For all those burger lovers out there Rooster offers a daily burger special (buy one and get the second one half off!) As a neighbourhood community hub, Rooster continues to be diligent around Covid measures and upholds best health and safety practices.

Rumor Skate & Snow

Opened in 2007 in Leduc by Dean Piquette, '00 BCom; '04 LLB, Rumor Boardshop has been proudly building a skate and snow community for the past thirteen years. Not only does Rumor offer the best skateboard and snowboard products on the market, but its knowledgeable and friendly staff will do whatever they can to meet your needs. The shop also provides a number of services including equipment repair and maintenance. So whether you’re looking for a new holiday hoodie or need some advice on how to perfect your 540 Flip, Rumor has it.

Seven Summits Snacks

Christine Reimer, '19 MBA, brings her athletic sensibilities and business acumen to the table with business partners Kristyn Carriere and Leanna Carriere to form Seven Summits Snacks. Launched in 2019, Seven Summits Snacks creates chocolate fuel for endurance enthusiasts and aspiring adventurers. With each product crafted with purposeful nutrition targets aimed to keep up with an active lifestyle, these snacks make perfect stocking stuffers for the outdoor enthusiast in your life.

Six Shooter Records

The venerable indie label is celebrating twenty years of game-changing, genre-defying Canadian music. Founded by Shauna de Cartier, '98 MBA, Six Shooter Records is home to some of Canada’s most popular, critically acclaimed and internationally known indie artists, including Deep Dark Woods, Tanya Taqaq, The Dead South, William Prince and Edmonton’s favourite marching band, The Wet Secrets. Speaking of homegrown favourites, Shauna and Six Shooter Records also founded Interstellar Rodeo, the summer music festival that gave Edmonton Folk Festival a run for their money—so trust us, Six Shooter Records know their stuff. As they say, “life is too short to listen to listen to sh**ty music.”

Token Bitters

Former bartender turned business owner Keenan Pascal, '08 BCom, and food scientist turned business partner Mario Castillo wanted to take Alberta cocktails to the next level, so in 2016 they formed Token Bitters, Edmonton’s first local bitters company. Token Bitters is proudly crafted with organic ingredients sourced from Alberta farms. To keep things even more local, each bitter is named after a cherished Edmonton neighbourhood such as Whyte Lavender (named after the neighbourhood where Keenan got his first bartending gig) and Ritchie Cherry. With their focus on local ingredients and shining a light on the community they came from, Token Bitters elevates cocktail hour into an inspired homegrown experience. For the holidays, the Token Bitters Sampler Set featuring four of Token’s handcrafted signature bitters is the perfect gift for any inspired mixologist.

Vin Room

After 15 years working in the oil and gas industry, Phoebe Fung, '93 BCom, spotted potential in an old boarded up two-storey building and knew that’s where she wanted to open up her first wine bar. Fast forward nineteen years later and Vin Room now has three locations in Calgary, including the departures terminal at the Calgary International Airport. Known for their expertise and large selection of over 80 wines by the glass, Vin Room knows their vino. Not only does Vin Room offer delivery on their finest vintage but they also deliver a variety of pre-made meal packages such as their popular date night meal package and grocery cook at-home kits, perfect for those nights in or to be given as a thoughtful holiday gift.

Free Bonus GIFt


The mechanics of language are complex. Letters are strung together to make unique sounds that denote meaning. But as beautiful as language is, sometimes a GIF will do. “A GIF really distills a moment from a video down to the essence of what you want to see,” said Dan McEleney, '00 BCom, co-founder of GfyCat, a popular website that hosts thousands of user-generated GIFs and clips. Since launching in 2013, GfyCat has become one of the most popular GIF websites on the internet, with roughly 90 million monthly users. So next time you find yourself at a loss for words or are in need of a short clip of a jolly old man in a red pantsuit, think GfyCat.

This is just a small sampling of the many businesses owned or operated by Alberta School of Business alumni. To see a more complete listing, and to have your company included, check out our Alumni Business Directory.