Behind the Name: Calgary's Alumni Sandwiches

How one of Canada's best sandwich shops got its name

At first glance, one might think that the naming of Alumni was associated with being a former high school or postsecondary student. However, the story behind the name of this 17th Avenue sandwich institution goes far beyond its proximity to Western Canada High School. 

Since opening in 2018, owner Jeremy Milligan and his team have fulfilled the eatery’s day-one commitment to conjure up creative, delicious, and “Damn Good Sandwiches” on a near-daily basis. To Milligan, the name of his restaurant is hospitality driven; it’s a way for guests to feel right at home.

“We want our guests to feel like they’re returning home in a sense”, says Milligan. “Our guests are ‘alumni’, we’re sharing this restaurant space together.”

And while Milligan did consider other names such as “Davis Jrs” and “Rye” upon deciding to lease the former Subway space on 17th Avenue, the team had already created a logo and felt a strong connection with the original name.

“We had the name before leasing our exact location. When we landed so close to Western Canada High School for sure there was a gut check on our name given its close association with academics,” Milligan explains. “We were asking people to look at 'Alumni' as the group of people sharing a connection and ignore the scholastic references, right next to a famous Calgary school.” 

Alumni plans to reopen for dine-in services later this month, but is currently open for takeout Monday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.