Homecoming 2020: Two former FSS entrepreneurs show their Gee-Gee spirit

Posted on Friday, October 2, 2020

At a time when encouraging local businesses is more important than ever, here are five companies created and led by University of Ottawa alumni.  

These five uOttawa alumni decided to pursue their passion and, as a result, have launched successful businesses. To show their school spirit, each helped build the Homecoming 2020 Box, which sold out in record time! Find out what makes their products so irresistible to the uOttawa community.

Portrait of Elena-minnow

Twenty20 Skincare by Elena Minnow (BEd ’20, BScSoc ’16): balancing beauty and equity 

Elena Minnow, a uOttawa alumna in both social sciences and education, is the founder of Twenty20 Skincare, a brand that offers a range of handcrafted natural beauty and body care products.

Although this young graduate launched her company in 2019, she had been making her own all-natural skincare products for years out of concern for her own health and for that of the planet. 

Based in Ottawa, this company sets itself apart from others in the industry because it uses Fair-Trade shea butter as the star ingredient in rich, hydrating body butters that are both sustainable and eco-friendly. Elena sources her shea butter from Ghana through fair and respectful business practices that allow women working in the shea supply chain to work and live in good conditions. 


Portrait of Paul Foster

Poppa Bean Coffee by Paul Foster (former SocSc student): A passion for coffee

For Paul Foster, who studied social sciences at uOttawa, it all started with a love of coffee.

When he joined the job market, the man behind the Poppa Bean Coffee roastery met many other coffee devotees and decided to start a coffee club. At the time, Paul was already wowing the other members with his own roasting technique, which featured a popcorn popper! It was the beginning of his company and the inspiration for its name, a wordplay on “popping” beans.  

Today, his roastery in Vars, Ontario offers a wide range of coffees that can be purchased at local markets and through a host of outlets around the province. Rest assured: these days Paul uses a more conventional machine to roast his beans. 



If you haven't gotten your hands on one of the boxes, keep an eye out for a second edition and add your name to the waiting list.

If you would like to connect with other successful uOttawa alumni, or are just looking to rekindle that Gee-Gee spirit, join us for Homecoming 2020. You can also read the full article from the Gazette. Due to the current situation, this year’s programming, which runs from October 24 to 30, will be entirely virtual.

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