UM Today UM Today University of Manitoba UM Today UM Today UM Today
Neighbourhood Honey. // Photo from Instagram @beeprojectca

Neighbourhood Honey. // Photo from Instagram @beeprojectca

Get on the nice list with these alumni-made gifts

December 14, 2018 — 

‘Tis the season for dashing through the snow to malls and markets looking for that perfect gift. Among many of the crafters, artisans, and entrepreneurs selling their wares are talented U of M alumni. So if you’re making your list or just checking it twice, take a look at the alumni below for some creative gift ideas. 


Chocolatier Constance Popp

Enjoyed by Winnipeggers, celebrities and royalty, Constance Menzies [BA/91, MNRM/98] wows everyone with her chocolate creations. From decadent chocolate drinks to edible ornaments, nutcrackers and beer truffles, there’s something to satisfy every taste bud. Available online or at their store on Provencher.

Cranked Energy

Eat what the pros eat to get energized! These freshly made energy bars designed by CPA-turned-entrepreneur Cheryl Zealand [BesSc/96, BComm(Hons)/99, CA/02] are the bar of choice for Winnipeg Jets, Manitoba Moose, Team Canada Hockey and Player’s Cup athletes. Perfect for the fitness buff, sports fan or busy parent on your list. Available online or in stores across the Prairies, including their flagship shop in St. James.

Dr. Beetroot

It was Anan Palanichamy’s [MSc/06] mother who first introduced him to the health benefits of beets. Now, the food processing engineer has made this latest superfood easy to come by with his line of beet ketchup, chips, soups, breads, spreads and sauces. Available online or in stores across the Prairies.

Neighbourhood Honey

Ever wondered what Wolseley, St. Vital, or River Heights taste like? Neighbourhood Honey is made from urban beehives across Winnipeg, each area providing unique colours and flavours based on what’s blooming in the neighbourhood. It’s the brainchild of alumni Lindsay Nikkel and Chris Kirouac who practicing nursing for 10 years before turning their compassionate nature to saving bees through Beeproject Apiaries. Available at BeeSpace on Osborne.


Botanical PaperWorks

Bringing new meaning to the act of recycling, Botanical PaperWorks makes plantable seed paper and plant products. Formed by mother-daughter duo Mary Reimer [AssocEd/69, BEd/92] and Heidi Reimer-Epp [BComm(Hons)/94], their line of journals, notebooks, cards, confetti and other stationary is sold online in North America and Europe.

Coal and Canary Candle Co.

You’ve probably encountered these cheekily named candles, and celebrities have too: they were in the official swag bags for the Grammys and Oscars. Fresh out of his studies at the prestigious Grasse Institute of Perfumery in France, co-founder Tom Jansen [BN/15] has a range of festive scents for gifting: Ginger Bell Rock, All I Want Fir Xmas, May Your Days Be Minty & Bright and Pa Rum Pum Pum Pum. Available online or in stores across Canada, with select locations in the U.S.

Indigo Arrows

When interior design Destiny Seymour [BA/00, MID/13] struggled to find materials she could use in her projects that respectfully reflected Indigenous peoples, she started her own textile company. Indigo Arrows revives patterns traditionally seen on pottery and bone tools onto quilts, table linens and pillows. Available online.

The Stoneware Gallery

A potters’ collective now in its 40thyear, the Stoneware Gallery carries a variety of practical and beautiful works of art to adorn your home. Mugs, vases, kettles, bowls, serving trays and more are available in store on Corydon or directly through the individual artists. Alumni currently in the collective include BFA grads Barbara Balfour, Anne Fallis Elliott, Merilyn Kraut, Rachel Kroeker, Valerie Metcalfe, Marim Daien Zipursky; and faculty of arts grads Kevin Stafford and Andrew Thomson.


CZE by Tania

Once a home remedy; now, a successful business. Commerce grad Tania Czemerynski’s line of handcrafted hair, beard and skin care products are all made from natural, organic, cruelty free and locally sourced ingredients. Available online and in select Winnipeg stores.

Eph Apparel

When Asper School of Business alumni Alex Ethan, Andrew Parkes, Maciek Hunek set out after graduation to buy their first suits for the working world, they had trouble finding affordable, tailored and modern pieces. Their custom menswear company is now a staple on the market, offering stylish clothes and accessories for the well-dressed man. Available online or at their flagship store on Smith St.


Founded by CBC Future 40 finalist Amy Tung [BHEcol/07], these crystal intention bracelets are the gift that gives back. Every month, a new bracelet is released with all proceeds directed toward local charities. Available online.

Northern Prairie Paws

For the pet lover in your life! Co-founded by engineering alumna Jennifer Medlicott, this for-a-cause clothing line aims to educate folks on animal welfare through statement pieces. Proceeds from their tees, tanks, pullovers, onesies and more are donated to charities that support animals in need. Available online.


Hiding Scars

The debut novel from Richard Zaric [BComm(Hons.)/89] is set in Winnipeg from 1913 to 1919. A historical fiction, it follows the lives of a Ukrainian immigrant and the daughter of a successful Canadian industrialist, exploring themes of inequality, discrimination and class during a tumultuous time in Canada’s history.


This is the first book of poetry from four-time alumna Karen Clavelle [BMus(Hist)/83, CertEd/84, MA/97, PhD/05]. Through a myriad of voices, Clavelle recounts the sinking of the HMS lolaire off the Scottish coast in 1919.

The Water Beetles

Winner of this year’s Amazon Canada First Novel Award, and shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction, this debut novel is also family history for author Michael Kaan [BA(Hons)/90, BSW/97, MBA/09]. It describes the impact of the Japanese invasion of Hong Kong through the eyes of a 12-year-old boy: his father, David Chee Yee Kaan [BSc/56, MD/60, DipAnaes/66].

Women Talking

Finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction, this is the eighth novel by internationally-acclaimed author Miriam Toews [BA/89, DLITT/17]. Based on real events in a Mennonite community, this is a tale about a secret meeting, unspeakable acts and women claiming their own power to protect themselves and their daughters.

© University of Manitoba • Winnipeg, Manitoba • Canada • R3T 2N2

Emergency: 204-474-9341