Homegrown Business: Mitzi Perez of Almonds for ALS

In a heartfelt interview with the founder of Almonds for ALS, a company dedicated to selling homemade cinnamon sugar almonds and related merchandise, we explore the personal story and charitable mission driving this unique business. Inspired by her father, who battled ALS for nearly a decade before his passing in September 2022, the founder transformed a holiday fundraising project into a year-round venture.

Homegrown Business: Mitzi Perez of Almonds for ALS

What is your business called and what does it do?

Almonds for ALS is a company that sells homemade cinnamon sugar almonds and related merch like tote bags and sweatshirts while donating a part of the profits to the ALS Society of Quebec

What made you want to do this work?

I attribute the existence of this company to my dad. He had ALS for almost 10 years and passed away in September 2022. He and our family received support from the ALS Society of Quebec during his illness – they are a truly remarkable charity that raises funds to support research initiatives for finding a cure as well as supporting ALS patients and their families through respite and other programs.

Selling my homemade cinnamon sugar almonds started as a small passion project back in 2018 as a holiday fundraiser to give back to the ALS Society. I was already making these sweet treats as gifts and thought that others may be interested too. So, I started selling jars of cinnamon sugar almonds to coworkers, friends and family and donating part of the profits.

A few years later, many people were telling me that I needed to sell these year round. So, in January 2021, Almonds for ALS was born. With sleek new packaging, the ability to ship (jars were just too heavy), and a desire to raise both awareness and funds for the ALS Society of Quebec, I was excited to reach more people across Canada and continue to give back.

What problem did you want to solve with the business?

Snacks are truly a love language and that needs to be shared with everyone!

Who are your clientele/demographics?

Anyone who likes a sweet treat or giving the gift of a sweet treat – while giving back to a good cause, of course!

How does your business make money? How does it work?

Where in the city can we find your profession?

Almonds for ALS can be found online at www.almondsforals.com. A pop-up sale or two will also take place this summer – stay tuned!

What is the best part about what you do? What is the worst part?

The best part about what I do would have to be when customers taste the almonds and tell me that they’re addictive. Putting a smile on people’s faces while raising money for a deserving cause feels great!

The worst thing about what I do is the “why” behind it all. I miss my dad every day. He was so proud of me for starting up Almonds for ALS so I continue in his honour.

What is your favourite joke about your own profession?

“I thought about going on an all almond diet… but that would just be nuts!”

Where can we follow you?

On Instagram @almondsforals or on my website

PAY IT FORWARD: What is another local business that you love?

How can I choose just one?

Granolust – my favourite granola, locally made!

Bella Creative Group – the most beautiful art by an incredibly talented Montreal-based artist

MTL Latte Heart – delicious coffee and coffee-infused cookies. They’ve taken over Café Malté at Riverside for the summer – be sure to go check them out!

 

About Emilea Semancik 89 Articles
Emilea Semancik was born in North Vancouver. Emilea has always always wanted to work as a freelance writer and currently writes for the Vancouver Guardian. Taking influence from journalism culture surrounding the great and late Anthony Bourdain, she is a recipe author working towards publishing her own series of books. You can find her food blog on Instagram: