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Photo by Tracy Kolenchuk

lisha Duret’s life changed

in 2012 when she was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. What did she do? She started La Oliva Gluten-Free Kitchen, Edmonton’s first 100 percent gluten-free catering and cooking-class company. “I opened my business to be able to help others with dietary restrictions be able to enjoy food in a social setting without feeling like they are a burden. Every day, I get to share my passion for healthy and delicious food with others and this brings me a tremendous amount of joy.”

collaboration with the Conseil de développement économique de l’Alberta. “I am francophone and try to be an active member of that community.” The 28-year old holds a Bilingual Bachelor of Commerce (2010) from the University of Alberta, Campus Saint-Jean where she founded the Student Entrepreneur Club. She offers healthy cooking classes to high school students who participate in the French for the Future Forum. Running her business takes up much of Alisha’s time, but she still volunteers whenever she can and is generous with her products and catering services.


Specialty caterer... cooking instructor



Within months of starting La Oliva, Alisha was asked to do a cooking demonstration on Breakfast Television on City TV. She has also hosted training events for dietitians and for other key players in the food industry. A short time ago, she began supplying SPUD, Transcend and Coffee Bureau with a selection of gluten-free products. “I also am continuously busy with catering and, most recently, started selling products at the Salisbury Farmer’s Market.” For her efforts, Alisha received the Most Promising Small Business award from the Fernando Girard Foundation last year, which is an awards ceremony presented in

he expansion of the Rayacom Group

of Companies can be pegged to the management and leadership skills of Amerino Gatti. Since he joined the company, the number of stores has tripled. Amerino, who graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce degree from MacEwan University in 2010, describes being named a Sizzler as “fantastic. For me, this award serves as a reminder that I’m nowhere near the finish line; this is just the beginning.” As regional director for the print and design company, he is responsible for franchise and corporate store development, standardization of services, and preparation of training manuals and programs for all its representatives. “I first started working at Rayacom five years ago, and we had four locations. Today, we have 12 locations across Canada, and are about to launch our 13th… with more expansion plans for 2016.” However, Rayacom is not the only place where the 28-year old practices his entrepreneurial savvy. Amerino has joint ventures in commercial real estate, partnering with franchisees and leasing the space to their businesses. This year, he launched Propello Delivery

AMERINO GATTI Growth expert... proud Edmontonian

Services, a courier service that specializes in same day express deliveries around Edmonton and the surrounding area. “Dealing with couriers on a daily basis, I saw a need for a modern delivery service, and designed Propello to meet those needs. Starting a company is no easy task, but so far it’s been incredibly gratifying and I’ve learned a lot.”


“I often donate baking trays or gift certificates for silent auctions for various organizations. I used to be a member of Big Brothers Big Sisters and still love supporting them when I can. I also recently joined the Consultative Committee of the Campus SaintJean that meets five times a year to discuss projects that the Campus Saint-Jean is undertaking.” Alsiha is also actively planning for the future. “I would like to expand my cooking class side of my business and eventually would like to open a small dessert tapas bar. I am also very passionate about bread making so a bakery would be fun! “There are endless opportunities, I am happy with how things have progressed in the past year-anda-half… and am excited to see how my business continues to flourish.” √ ~ Paula E. Kirman

The same passion Amerino has toward his professional work is also seen in his volunteerism. He has been actively involved with Dreams Take Flight since 2006. The national non-profit organization partners with Air Canada to take children who are mentally and/or physically challenged on a trip of a lifetime to Disneyland. “I’m so lucky to be able to help such deserving children take a break from their troubles for a day, and provide them with special memories to last a lifetime. You’d be amazed by how much of a difference it makes; there’s nothing better than seeing those results first hand—but Disneyland is pretty fun too.” Whatever he decides to do next, Amerino will definitely do it here. “I’m a proud Edmontonian, born and bred! My family and friends live here, and this is where I would like to raise my family, too. The potential in this city is tremendous—we’ve really got something special going on here.” √ ~ Paula E. Kirman


Photo by Tracy Kolenchuk

NATION-WIDE Photo by Tracy Kolenchuk


Profile for Edmontonians Newsmagazine

Edmontonians Fall 15  

Edmontonians Fall 15  


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