Taste of generosity
When the Wozniak family, proprietors of Taste of Ukraine, hosted Perogies in the Parking Lot, a fundraiser for Ukraine, they had no idea how residents would respond.
They didn’t need to worry. On Sunday, March 19, more than 1,000 individuals lined up outside the restaurant to order perogies and sausage boxes and make cash donations. In one day, the restaurant brought in $40,600 for the Canada-Ukrainian Foundation Humanitarian Appeal, a registered charity that provides food, clothing, and hygiene materials to refugee families.
“One of the most frequent things I heard people say was how cathartic going through the process of standing in line and going through discomfort and feeling a bit of the hardship of what was happening in Ukraine was important to them,” said Orysia Wozniak.
Seeing the initial success, the Wozniaks opted to keep the fundraiser going until March 26. In that one week an additional $9,520 was collected, making the final tally $50,120.
“We were hoping to reach $50,000. But I never thought the fundraiser would escalate to that degree. Once we got the first day done, it was like a shot in the arm, and we said we can do more,” said Orysia.
“It never ceases to amaze me — the humanitarian side of people continues to shine in a time of need. It’s a spontaneous response from the goodness of strangers.”
Bubble tea moves downtown
Myra Salas and Arnulfo Umana opened Tealicious Blend, a home-based bubble tea shop, after Umana lost his job as a chef at Sunset Grill during the pandemic.
Needing an income, the couple began mixing and matching ingredients to launch a bubble tea business.
“When we looked around there were no bubble tea shops in St. Albert. We love to cook, and we love sweets. We mixed flavours and bought bubble tea from other shops and created our own flavours,” said Salas. Tealicious has 15 milk-based teas and smoothies on the menu.
The couple first opened their home-based business in February 2021 with curb-side pickup, but happy customers started asking for more.
“Some of our customers like to dine in, and that’s why it came to our mind we should search for a small location downtown,” Salas added.
Tealicious Blend is now a 950-square-foot dine-in bubble tea shop with five tables. The shop also offers cheese dog waffles, five types of sweets, and three types of cheesecake. It is located at 516 St. Albert Trail, Unit #30.
A barber shop for men is what a salon is to women — a special place free from distraction, judgment, or criticism. And that’s what Sal Halabi, owner of Sal’s Barbershop, offers men searching for the best option.
Services include men’s haircuts, hairstyling, beard and moustache services, hair treatment, and facial waxing.
“We offer the best quality and service we can provide. It’s in the way we cut hair,” said Halabi.
Originally from Lebanon, Halabi has plied his trade for 30-plus years. His former St. Albert location was on Liberton Drive, but he moved the shop to Erin Ridge Plaza six months ago in hopes of increasing traffic.
With a staff of three hair experts, Sal’s Barbershop is now located at 1115 St. Albert Trail, Unit 240.
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.
— By Anna Borowiecki, Staff Writer