By Ian Vandaelle
Posted 3 hours ago
The development of Wetaskiwin’s newest business complex is well on its way, as the Extreme Pita held its grand opening this past Friday.
The new location bolsters a quickly growing lineup that includes: Beans Espresso Bar, Alberta Inns & Suites and A2Z Liquor Store.
More than 100 hungry locals attended the two-day grand opening, which featured a ribbon-cutting ceremony and half-price pitas.
Owners Shaneda and Joe Palmer said that they are excited by the response they have seen so far.
Great response: Owners
“The community has been so good to us and has responded so positively, it’s absolutely incredible,” Shaneda said.
The Palmers were inundated with customers, according to Shaneda, and they couldn’t be more pleased to be busy. “We’ve been extremely busy since we first opened, but today is by far the busiest,” she said. “It’s far better than the alternative.”
But the Palmers weren’t the only ones excited about the grand opening.
Ald. Glenn Ruecker attended the grand opening and said that the attendance indicated that business is growing in Wetaskiwin.
“The eyes of franchise owners are looking at Wetaskiwin and are saying that it’s a viable market,” he said.
“The more we get people looking at this, the more they’ll want to invest in Wetaskiwin and develop their business here.”
But that’s no surprise to the Palmers.
The couple grew up in Wetaskiwin, and they said that starting their business in Wetaskiwin was always a given.
“Being from the area and seeing what’s happening with the rest of this development, we were ready and willing to jump in,” said Joe.
Another draw in opening an Extreme Pita was the healthier aspect of the food offered, according to Shaneda.
“When you compare our product with fast-food offerings, we have significantly less sodium and less fat, and I think that people are looking for healthier options,” she said. They also post the nutritional content of each pita on the wall, allowing customers to see exactly what is in their food.
She added that this was also important to the Palmers, as it shows that they have nothing to hide. “What the board gives us is absolute transparency and integrity. The customer knows exactly what goes into the pita and they have the nutritional elements right there on the wall,” she said.
Ruecker said that while every venture has risks, he has confidence in the Palmers and their new restaurant.
“I give credit to the franchise owners. It’s a risk, it’s a gamble for someone to step and say ‘I’m going to do this.’ But I think and hope that this business will succeed and thrive in Wetaskiwin,” he said.
Leap of faith: Alderman
Ruecker also praised the Palmers for their boldness in moving forward on the restaurant.
“It’s easy to say that someone should bring in a new business, but it’s a whole different story to say that you’re going to. They’ve taken a great leap of faith, and that shows that there are others willing to take a leap of faith and bring their business to Wetaskiwin,” he said.
Shaneda and Joe said that they know starting your own business is a risk, but it’s one that they think is minimal.
“When you get this kind of support and this many customers in a short span, you can’t help but to have faith in what you’re doing,” Shaneda said. “I think things will go really well here and we’re excited about what we’re doing.”
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