Gavin Fedorak, ’06 BCom, and Scott Gordon, ’07 BCom, have been teammates since the day they met in 2006, when both men played for the Golden Bears basketball team. And although they started careers in corporate accounting following graduation, they dreamed of one day owning a business together, perhaps a sandwich shop.
The inspiration for the shop struck back in 2006, during a Golden Bears trip to Phoenix, AZ, where they stumbled upon a local hotspot, Dilly’s Deli. Dilly’s operated on a simple concept: build the best sandwiches using the finest ingredients and sell them for a fair price and business will prosper. After noshing a few dozen sandwiches that day, they wondered if this concept would work in Edmonton. Despite the daunting track record of the restaurant industry, they decided that if it could work in Phoenix, it could work in Edmonton, and they would be the team to make it happen.
Fast-forward five years, and their dream has become a reality. Gavin and Scott have partnered with Gavin’s brother, Grant, to launch Press’d, in downtown Edmonton. Based in the lower level of Edmonton City Centre West, Press’d offers healthy soups and sandwiches. One of their signature sandwiches even pays homage to their former team: the “Golden Bear,” which comes with smoked chicken, baked brie, roasted apples, spinach and fig jam.
Since its grand opening in September 2010, Press’d has capitalized on one of the coldest winter seasons in recent memory. Downtown workers are sticking to the pedway system for lunch, and the trendy offerings and chic decor at Press’d have won a huge — and loyal — clientele. The shop is already turning a profit, with demand for its sandwiches, soups and catering growing daily. And even though it’s been a bit of an adjustment for Grant and Scott to switch from a regular nine-to-five office job to beginning work at 5:00 a.m., baking bread for the day’s sandwiches, they plan to introduce the Press’d brand into new markets in the near future. Teamwork — and the hunger for a quick, cheap and healthy sandwich — has changed the lives of these two grads forever.