Welcoming Newcomer Entrepreneurs with EdmontonEats

Dec 7, 2020

For generations people have immigrated to Edmonton from around the world to become an important part of the cultural mosaic that makes this city so extraordinary. By coming here in search of a better life, newcomers bring diverse perspectives, experiences and businesses - enriching the communities that they now call home.

Nothing brings people together like a good meal. Whether we’re sharing stories around a dinner table, sending recipes to a distant loved one online, or delivering groceries to a neighbour who may not have the means to pick them up themselves—there is something about food that connects us. And connection is something we are all craving right now.

Past events have included Flavours of Somalia and Taste of Libya, and they are currently running a Holiday Cultural Box Event where you can order curated boxes featuring thoughtfully chosen recipes, spice blends and ingredients from Libya, Syria and Bangladesh.

Meet the Entrepreneurs

We're inviting you to meet a few of the newcomer entrepreneurs who have made EdmontonEats a success. Read on to learn about the families who have undergone incredible journeys to build roots right here in Edmonton and discover how their hard work has contributed to the vibrant spirit of our diverse and growing city.

Najm Al-Tameeni: Maram Honey & Vinegar

Najm Al-Tameemi grew up in Al Foa, a port-town in the south of Iraq. In 2007, the devastation wrought by the war led him to seek safety in Syria as a refugee. During the eight years that he spent in Syria he worked in the field of honey and bee products. In Syria, honey is used to treat many diseases including Alzheimer's and obesity; it is also used in many cosmetic products. As a newcomer to Canada in 2015, Najm noticed that honey vinegar (think apple cider vinegar, but much better tasting) was not readily available in local stores and saw an opportunity to introduce this traditional ingredient to his new home.

Miguel Jimenez: BILD Photography

When Miguel Jimenez immigrated to Canada from Colombia with his wife and 2 daughters in 2019, they flew into Toronto, rented a car and embarked on a three-day journey to Edmonton with the hopes of starting a new life. For years they have captured beautiful photos throughout Latin America - but it was not imagery that was the challenge when starting out in a new country, it was the language barrier. The Jimenez family haven't let this obstacle stop them though; they use their talent in photography and videography to overcome any difficulty they face. A picture is worth a thousand words, after all.

The Gupta Family: LocalCart.ca

Santa watch out! There's a new delivery service in town. The pandemic has highlighted an increased need for door-to-door delivery which allows community members to continue to support local businesses safely from home. And you can thank the Gupta family and LocalCart.ca for delivering the EdmontonEats Holiday Culture Boxes straight to your door this season (much more convenient than a chimney!).

LocalCart.ca started up just last summer and is owned by Chandrima Gupta and her 3 siblings, with the full support of their parents. These full-time students hope to grow their enterprise by connecting with more stores in Edmonton while maintaining their local values. They provide same-day shopping and delivery services from many businesses that you already shop at, plus, they have a specialized knowledge of ethnic groceries and can pick up everything you need!

This past summer, Maureen reached out to LocalCart.ca to help with the deliveries for the Taste of Somalia Event, which had to be run virtually because of COVID-19. Local Cart is again partnering with EdmontonEats for the Holiday Cultural Box Event, offering delivery to customers around the city. Chandrima says that partnering with EdmontonEats has given her the opportunity to be a small part of their mission to support local immigrant and refugee families. This is particularly special because she knows first-hand what it's like to be an immigrant family in a new land.

Maria Edilma Pulido - Designs By Yourself

Beautiful flowers are a sure-fire way to brighten someone's day, and that's exactly where Maria Edilma Pulido's expertise lies. With nearly 3 decades of experience in the floral industry, Maria has grown her budding business from the ground up, and now shares her gorgeous arrangements with EdmontonEats to elevate their events.

Support Local This Holiday Season

If you are a newcomer yourself or are connected with newcomers in your neighbourhood who would love to share their home cooking and culture, EdmontonEats would like to hear from you! Edmontonians who like food, community and building connections are also encouraged to get involved by volunteering with this inspiring organization.

Local businesses need your support this year more than ever. Along with the delight you will experience when you open one of EdmontonEats' Holiday Cultural Boxes, you can take satisfaction in knowing that the revenue from the sale of each box will go directly to the new Edmontonians who put them together. Join EdmontonEats in celebrating food, culture and community while providing economic opportunities for Edmonton’s immigrant and refugee communities. Order your Holiday Cultural Box today!