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Alberta Cares holiday packages support local businesses

innovative gift boxes showcase local producers and include donations to charity.

Known for taking small groups of visitors on food tours in Calgary, Edmonton, Canmore and Banff (and during the pandemic for offering food-themed gift packages of fare from local producers) Calgary-based Alberta Food Tours (AFT) has started a new seasonal tradition with its holiday themed trio of Alberta Cares Packages.

The recent winner of the RBC Resilient Business Award from the Calgary Chamber of Commerce, AFT created gift boxes stuffed with Alberta-made products which support fellow small businesses and local charities. 

“It’s win-win,” said Karen Anderson, AFT president. “These local gift ideas allow people to focus on the season and skip the hassle of shopping at malls or the disappointment of ordering non local products that may never arrive.”

Since the Alberta Cares Packages’ Eat Alberta First store opened a year ago, AFT and its community of local loving buyers have supported over 30 Alberta businesses, while also raising thousands of dollars for Alberta charities.

“You care for someone you know, while also caring for someone you don’t because a portion of proceeds from these new Alberta Cares Package benefit two charities near to our hearts: Not 9 to 5 and Soup Sisters,” said Anderson.

Canadian non-profit, Not 9 to 5, is a global leader in mental health advocacy for the foodservice and hospitality sector. Through practical education, they’re reimagining the industry by breaking stigmas and fuelling hope.

“We are using our online educational platform to create work environments that are inclusive and proactive,” said Executive Director Hassel Aviles, “The Alberta Cares Packages are a great initiative and we’re so happy for the support.”

Soup Sisters recently went from supporting 40 shelters Canada-wide with a “hug in a bowl” of soup to now becoming a National Soup Bank. Working with Edmonton partner Versa Cold they’ve expanded to deliver soup to frontline health workers, domestic violence emergency shelters, marginalized seniors, First Nations, youth in crisis, centres for drug addiction and food banks. 

The Holiday Morning package is $75 and includes gourmet pancake mix, saskatoon syrup, raspberry preserves, organic granola, loose leaf tea and a handmade candy cane. 

North Pole ‘Diet’ (one Santa would love) $79, offers ethically-sourced bean to bar chocolate, plus hand-made sea salt caramels, booze infused brittle and a handmade candy cane. 

The $80 Comfy Cozy edition features Alberta foraged wild mushroom soup, beer bread and chocolate chunk cookie mixes, plus an artisan chocolate bar, mint hot chocolate, hot toddy syrup and a handmade candy cane.

All boxes include a hand-written note with a message from the sender--a lovely way to personalize a holiday gift to someone you care about. Shoppers can find more at the AFT Shopify Store