EDMONTON — The city of Edmonton is a breeding ground for restaurant concepts and entrepreneurial spirit, where Boston Pizza, Earls, Pizza 73, Booster Juice, Wok Box, Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria, Sorrentino’s and Caffé Sorrentino began, reports the Edmonton Journal.
“If you’re in Toronto or Montreal or Vancouver and you mentioned a name like Earls, they would be quite surprised that it started in Edmonton,” said Paul McElhone, executive director of the University of Alberta School of Retailing.
The rise of a multitude of successful foodservice operations can be attributed to the province’s healthy consumer spending habits. According to ATB Financial senior economist Todd Hirsch, a Stats Can study showed eating and drinking establishments receipts in Alberta in December 2012 hit a record high of $667 million — four million more than B.C. consumers spent and $527 million more than Saskatchewan consumers.
Meanwhile, Edmonton is home to other lesser-known concepts, such as Twisted Yogurt, Burrito Libre and Oodle Noodle, which are in various stages of growth. [edmontonjournal.com]