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Sweet Treats And Latte Festival Is Bringing Life To Old Strathcona

Whyte Ave Sweet Treats and Latte Festival

By Jade Munsie

Old Strathcona is warming up with its first-ever Sweet Treats and Latte Festival. The Old Strathcona Business Association (OSBA) and PARK, a community-based platform, are teaming up in an effort to attract people to Whyte Avenue.

From February 13 to March 14, the public can indulge in one-of-a-kind beverages and delicious goodies from thirteen of District Whyte’s favourite eateries. People are encouraged to grab a latte or treat and enjoy a walk down Whyte Ave. in support of local businesses.

Cherie Klassen is the executive director of the OSBA. This year she wanted to create an event that focused on the small businesses that make Whyte Ave.

“I’ve wanted to do something to boost activity between traditionally busier holiday and summer seasons…Grabbing a coffee or treat to go is a quick and affordable way to lift your energy, and it can mean a lot to businesses who’ve seen fewer customers stopping by since last spring,” said Klassen.

Owner and operator of Overflow Cafe, Bob Yiannakoulias hopes this festival will increase foot traffic, and looks to benefit from the exposure.

“We need people to know we’re here… so, right now with limited capacities and limited volumes [in stores], it’s really important for people to know about the festival. So [they] may take part in something like this, and actually do take part in it and are aware of it,” said Yiannakoulias.

Overflow is featuring the Fireball latte, inspired by cinnamon heart candies.

This festival also acts as a way for the public to explore a variety of shops and be introduced to something new. With their feature, sea salt caramels, Darcy Scott, owner of Whimsical Cake Studio is hoping to show people the shop does a variety of confectionaries.

“Most people don’t know that we do more than cakes…we want people to walk in the storefront and see all the stuff we do,” said Scott.

Other features include Hexagon Cafe’s Turtles Turtles Turtles hot chocolate, Yelo’d’s hot ice cream, and La Boule Bakery’s raspberry eclair. Festival features cost around $5.

While a hot drink-to-go is incomplete without a coffee sleeve, Curio, an Edmonton graphic design studio, has designed three, limited-edition, illustrated coffee sleeves, and stickers, for the festival. The sleeves are available with feature items, and the public can collect them for a chance to win prizes.

Other prizes can be won by posting featured treats or lattes on social media and tagging #SweetTreatsYeg. Voting is also open for the Best Sweet Treat and Best Latte of the festival.

“It’s been great to see so many people sharing photos of their coffees and walking around Whyte Avenue. Supporting our cafes and bakeries right now can be helpful to the wider neighborhood, ensuring more of what everyone loves about Old Strathcona is still here when we can all return on a regular basis,” said Klassen.

The public can check out the Sweet Treats and Latte Festival running February 13 through March 14 in Old Strathcona. For a complete list of participating businesses, contest details and to vote, visit oldstrathcona.ca/sweettreats.

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