When Braede Harris and Gavin Fedorak were raising their five-month-old son, they were also opening LOVEPIZZA restaurant. “We figured that we were going to be exhausted anyway, so why not just do it all at once?” Harris laughs. But she recognized that the support she had raising a newborn was a privilege that not all new parents had, and decided to make charitable work a key component of their business.
“I wanted to not just be a pizza restaurant, not just be a small business, but really try to get involved in different causes in the neighbourhoods we’re in,” Braede says.
Since opening the first LOVEPIZZA location in 2016, Harris has facilitated donations to and fundraisers for dozens of organizations and causes through the LOVEPIZZA Gives program.
Loyal customers are keen to participate in LOVEPIZZA’s annual initiatives. Many customers express gratitude to LOVEPIZZA for bringing awareness to causes they hadn’t heard of before, or for motivating them to donate to or get involved with a charity. The initiative closest to Harris is one that supports new parents — an annual diaper drive for the Terra Centre.
“I’ve grown close to the people who work there and it makes all of the long, stressful days as a restaurant owner worth it,” she says. “We want to be a business that sets an example of what having a business in Edmonton can look like. We’re proud of the city we live and operate in and giving back to our city has always been a priority.”