Love on Retail Main Street

February 21, 2024

University District is a natural hub for community connection—love included! Since February is the month of love, we wanted to introduce you to some community members with heartwarming love stories to share!

U/D’s Retail Main Street is home to restaurants, shops…and some love stories too.

A University District Love Story

You never know where you’ll find love, whether it be in a grocery store, on an airplane or on University District’s Retail Main Street. That’s where Retail Main Street next-door neighbours— and now husband and wife—Chitra and Abhinandan met! Chitra is BarBurrito’s owner, and Abhinandan is the owner of Osmow’s.

Rewinding to August 4, 2021, Abhinandan was preparing to host a Friends & Family event at Osmow’s in advance of the grand opening. He stopped in at BarBurrito, his new next-door neighbour, to invite the owners to his event. Little did Abhinandan know his future wife and father-in-law would be the neighbours accepting his invitation. Exactly one year later, on August 4, 2022, Chitra and Abhinandan tied the knot, marking the beginning of the rest of their lives together. 

“I never expected to find love doing what I love, but I couldn’t be more thankful that University District brought Abhinandan and I together in the most unexpected way,” says Chitra.

Chitra and Abhinandan are pictured above at their wedding ceremony in 2022. 

Each love story is special, but this Retail Main Street love story has a special place in our hearts. Be sure to stop by and show them some love this season! While you’re there, congratulate the happy couple and enjoy a bite to eat from one of their delicious restaurants. Which coincidentally are side by side. 

A Story of Unconditional Love

February is the month of love with Valentine’s Day but Family Day is another opportunity to celebrate those you cherish. In the heart of University District, AdaptAbility is another beautiful U/D love story that embodies two parents’ love for their child. 

AdaptAbility offers an array of support, including developmental toys like fidget spinners, sensory integration tools like stress balls, adaptable clothing, mobility devices and assistive technology. Tara Nelson, the founder and president of AdaptAbility, started AdaptAbility with her husband after experiencing the frustrating process of finding clothing, toys and aids for her son living with special needs. Her motivation bloomed from a mother’s unconditional love for her son and desire to support other families facing similar challenges.

Tara Nelson, founder and president of AdaptAbility. 

Tara, with the support of her husband, founded AdaptAbility to provide support to people and families with diverse and special needs. AdaptAbility is more than a store; it is a community built on love, support and a commitment to inclusivity. Today, the pair operates the business as a team, with Tara focusing mainly on logistics, social media and day-to-day operations while her husband focuses on ordering products and accounting. 

Says Nelson, “Our favorite part about the store is meeting the amazing families and individuals within the community and being able to help make their lives better. We also love connecting with companies who are like minded and have the same goal and mission to help people.”

To keep the business running smoothly while also attending to their family of four, the Nelson’s rely on the support of their friends and family who generously volunteer their time to help out at the store. 

We fell in love with University District as soon as we visited. We loved that it had a tight-knit community feel to it and that everything was within walking distance. We knew it was the perfect place to foster an inclusive environment for AdaptAbility,” says Nelson. “It was also very important for us to be close to the Alberta Children’s and Foothills Hospitals, as well as the Rotary Flames House, Ronald McDonald House and the Child Development Center.”

As for the future of AdaptAbility, Tara hopes to grow the business and help as many families as possible to make life more inclusive for their loved ones. The team was recently part of the U/D Winter Pop-Up along with The Straz Strong Foundation which included a sledge hockey demonstration showcasing accessibility in sport. 

We adore watching love grow in our community. At University District, you never know who you might meet!

To learn more about AdaptAbility, visit their website.

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