"I was in culinary school and I knew I always wanted to do something at the intersection of coffee and food. I always had the dream of opening up my own cafe.
I just love coffee. Whenever I'm in a new city, I always like to check out the cafes and use that as a test point to explore different neighborhoods and walk around and partially immerse myself in what it would be like to live in that city. Just to sit down somewhere, have a coffee and walk for an hour, the go to another coffee shop and do it all over again.
I stumbled upon this space and that was it. We've been lucky in that people have sought us out. We have about 100 regulars who come here at least 5 times a week. Our location isn't downtown; we're right next to a Soup Kitchen. I'm always humbled by the fact that so many people make it out of their way to come here."
Best Advice I've Received
"If everyone thinks something is a good idea, it's probably not a good idea. If a lot of people are skeptical and maybe don't get it at first, you're probably tapping into some insight that maybe a lot of others have missed. A lot of tech startups say that you want to hear a lot of, 'no's' to know if something will make sense. If it's an obvious idea, it's probably not gonna click."
What I Love Most about Vancouver
"I love our neighborhood, called Gastown. Vancouver is a pretty new city, so there's not too much history or heritage. But Gastown's kind of the one old pocket where loggers and the original industry tends to congregate, so the buildings have a history and character. It’s one of the only neighborhoods where you get these kinds of weird and quirky spaces. Gastown is dense and it’s urban, and it feels like a mix of North America, Europe, and Chinatown. It's a real kind of fusion point of people and cultures."
“Our Miso Barley Bowl is a grain bowl that’s Japanese influenced. It’s all local grains and local barley. We create a miso vinegarette and load it with pickles. It’s Asian-ish in a grain format. That dish was a special a year ago and now it’s become our overwhelmingly most popular thing - we’ve got people that eat it like every day.”