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“The best thing about Fort McMurray is the attitude of the people who love it here!”

Mitchell’s is the best secret in YMM. Every day the staff turn out impeccable coffee, delicious salads, delectable cookies and sandwiches that are famous throughout Alberta. And then there’s the bread. It’s yellow, baked fresh every day, and Owen won’t give up the recipe.

Owen runs and owns Mitchell’s. He’s the third owner and worked all the way up from prep into the front office, even as the café became a generator of cooks and chefs for the community. It sometimes seems that half the staff of other restaurants in town have spent time in Mitchell’s kitchen, and that can’t be a bad thing for the community. But that’s not why Owen is on this list. Right from the beginning, he has used his skills and business to be a force for good, supporting local football team the Trappers, as well as Waypoints and Some Other Solutions.

“The staff is very socially aware,” said Owen, “and they come to me with ideas.” In the last year, they have supported The Semicolon Project with cookies in the punctuated shape. This focuses on suicide awareness, depression and anxiety and tries to make conversations about these topics more accessible. In a similar manner, they also raised money for the I Mustache You For Consent campaign which hopes to increase awareness about consent and sexual trauma in the community, while making the topic easier to talk about.

Owen is as he says, locally born, bred and proud. “I love that I have the opportunity to interact with so many people from so many different walks of life within the community. I’m living the dream of owning my own restaurant and I have a team of people just as committed to the community and the restaurant as I am.