When Shan O’Shana was looking for new business opportunity he set out to make sure he found something that fit with his lifestyle. As a young man, he prides himself on being a very active, health conscious and an environmentally friendly individual. So, the active lifestyle personality of the Pita Pit brand and their devotion to healthy eating options at affordable prices are what really resonated with Shan.
Once he found the perfect business he wanted to be associated with, he needed to find a location that was equally fitting. There was an immediate connection with Alliston Downtown, as the relaxed pace of life instilled a sense of calm in him and offered an overall healthier lifestyle than what he was accustomed to. It was a new beginning that Shan couldn’t wait to begin.
Shan’s life has been a rollercoaster ride of challenges and adventures. His early years were spent growing up in northern Iraq with his parents and his four siblings. He has always been extremely close with his brothers and sisters, mentioning that he would do anything for them and vice versa. As a young boy of only eight years, Shan and his family escaped from Iraq into Turkey – a journey that took strength and courage, showing Shan that anything is possible if you are brave enough to take the risk.
When they came to Canada, the family of seven found a home in Hamilton, Ontario. Shan worked hard to earn himself a post secondary education, attending Mohawk College for engineering. Immediately after receiving his diploma, he was offered a job as a field engineer and within a year he was promoted to a managerial position – a job many University grads hadn’t attained.
A few years later a new opportunity presented itself to Shan and one of his brothers. They purchased and ran a local Booster Juice franchise that promptly became a huge success in their neighbourhood. It was there that they met a man named Rob Anderson who Shan viewed as a mentor and a great friend. Rob often told the brothers that he admired their tremendous work ethic and found them to be both outgoing and energetic; traits that he attributed to successful business owners. Rob owned and operated the Pita Pit located beside the Booster Juice, and he feverishly encouraged Shan to open up his own Pita Pit.
It was in 2012 that Shan decided to take another risk in life and move to Alliston to open up his own Pita Pit. The outpouring of support and encouragement from the locals truly amazed him. Pita Pit opened and was an instant success, so much that Shan had to call on his sister to come and help him out. She too fell in love with the community, and eventually relocated to Alliston to help with the business.
Shan’s fondness for this growing rurban community is endless. He sees the beauty within Alliston Downtown in the faces of the friendly, welcoming people he is proud to call his neighbours. As a new member of the ABIA Board, Shan brings a youthful energy to the team and is looking forward to contributing his time and talents for the betterment of the downtown. He is grateful to the other member retailers in the downtown for sharing their knowledge and experiences, and for listening intently to his opinions and ideas.