Two-time alumnus Aviv Fried, BSc’04, MSc’08, is famous for the gorgeous baked goods, salads and flatbread sold at Sidewalk Citizen, the bakery he established with his life-and-business partner, Michal Lavi, BSc’04. The couple went on to follow this success with their latest restaurant venture, Park. Fried is a passionate, cheerful inspiration with more energy than it seems fair for one human to have. In characteristically pursuing his passions to their full extent, he’s returned to UCalgary, embarking on a Master of Public Policy with the intention of taking an active role in local not-for-profit organizations. Eventually, Fried would like to combine his data-analytical skill with policy knowledge to help promote policy recommendations. In the meantime, we hope and trust he won’t stop baking.
If you could do anything for a living, what would it be?
It depends on the time of my life. It varied from wanting to be a sheepherder to being a mountain/snowboard/mountain-bike instructor to climate-change policymaker.
When and where were you happiest in your life?
Albeit, not an optimist, I hope it is still to come. But I have been pretty happy, especially in the last few years since our daughter was born.
Who or what has had the greatest impact on the person you’ve become?
My father. He was a hardworking man who was silent and distant. But he was also a true individualist who never followed what was expected of him and was immune to group pressure. He passed away 15 years ago.
What do you like most about yourself?
I think I am funny.
If you could travel anywhere you wanted today, where would you go?
It would be nice to do the Great Divide on my bike.
Describe the most beautiful place you’ve ever been.
So many places: the Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia; Patagonia; Anapurna in Nepal. However, some of my favourite places that never cease to amaze me and that I am attached to are the Kootenays and the Negev desert in Israel.
When you’re restless or unhappy, what do you do to improve your mood?
Current guilty pleasure?
Rice Krispies milk chocolate. Bread with butter and honey.
Who or what in life brings you the most joy?
My daughter, Odem, who, at four, is starting to develop a sense of humour and an uncanny understanding that she’s running the show. Also, my partner — who believes she’s funnier than everyone. A good baking day, and anytime I get to go to the mountains.
If a song played when you entered a room, what would it be?
“Wayfaring Stranger” by the Broken Circle Breakdown (that’s what Odem and I are listening to this morning).