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Business Buzz

A roundup of survival equipment, cannabis, coffee, and motor oil

Crafting survival equipment 

Some people read in their spare time. Capt. Joe Jasper, an officer of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, fashions knives and bushcraft equipment for outdoor living. 

Under the moniker Pioneer Field Craft, the Sturgeon County resident fabricates knives, custom leather sheaths, lanyards, notebook covers, and pouches. The most popular seller is a jump knife issued to front-line troops, including combat engineers and paratroopers in every mission from the Second World War to the War in Afghanistan. 

“The jump knife is a bit of Canadian military nostalgia everyone loves,” said Jasper. 

He first took a course in 2009 learning to forge a Damascus blade. A showcase blade, they are reputed to be tough, resistant to shattering, and capable of being honed to a sharp, resilient edge. 

“It was a good course, but my interest was more the practical stuff for military and bush hunters. I wanted to make a robust piece. I like to recreate the classics of bushcraft that were popular in the late 1800s and 1900s.” 

Custom orders can be placed at [email protected]

Keeping cannabis moist  

For retired warrant officer Ken Pedde, necessity is the mother of innovation. Under the name of his home-based Morinville business, Uncle Bonger, he sells lids and wide-mouth Mason jars to maintain proper hydration and storage of cannabis. 

When the 21-year veteran left the military, he began taking medical cannabis, gradually eliminating other prescribed medications. He discovered the product became dry and harsh and needed to be “rehumidified.” 

In his research of the plant, he discovered cannabis prefers a humidity level of 58 to 62 per cent. Pedde purchase Fusion 360 software and designed his first inverted lid to fit a wide-mouth Mason jar. 

“But I found more people wanted to buy both the lid and the jar,” Pedde said. “The lids are plastic. They are very durable, very flexible, and have a seal ring where the lid meets the jar.” 

He suggested the lids and jars are best used to prevent one-half ounce or more of cannabis from drying out. 

“Once it absorbs the moisture, you get all the flavours. There is a huge difference between dry cannabis and humidified cannabis.” 

Product information is available at 

Brewing a cuppa java 

Perks Coffee House, one of St. Albert’s newest cafes, first opened its doors on July 19. Baristas prepare specialty coffees, iced drinks, and Frappuccinos. They also serve light sandwiches, soups, salads, and breakfast snacks. 

Owner barista Shantelle Lewis opened the first cafe in Spruce Grove and it remains the chain’s headquarters. Perks Coffee House St. Albert, styled in white and grey minimalist lines, is the fourth regional location. 

Perks Coffee House is located on the main floor of the Sturgeon Medical Clinic at 104, 625 St. Albert Trail.   

Tune up your engine 

Valvoline, a leading provider of automotive services and motor oil supplier, will open its first corporate store in Canada since the company officially acquired Great Canadian Oil Change three years ago. 

The three-bay business, located on Gervais Road, is on track to open in mid-December said Paul Verscheure, real estate development manager Canada in a statement to The Gazette

Keller Construction, the contracted builder for this project, also engineered several commercial buildings in St. Albert, including Perron Courtyard and North Pointe Community Church. 


A recent Angus Reid poll found that 42 per cent of Canadians are saving less or not at all during the pandemic due to increased prices of gas, food, and housing. Derek Holt, head of Capital Markets Economics at Scotiabank, told media he expects eight rate hikes before the end of 2023. Anyone with a fixed mortgage can enjoy peace of mind. However, individuals carrying variable rate mortgages or variable rate loans may want to consider locking in. 

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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