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Table Beer Launch Prompting Important Tables-Side Conversations

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It all began with a Facebook post on February 1st 2018. Shoel Davidson used the #BellLetsTalk platform and campaign in displaying immense amount of vulnerability and courage through a social media post sharing his ongoing challenges surrounding mental health, and sharing the compassion and willingness to help others experiencing the same. It was this post which inspired the beginning of Mind The Bar.

Shoel Davidson, Successful Vancouver-based Restaurateur, and hospitality industry veteran of 20+ years, started as a dishwasher, and worked his way through every aspect of the restaurant scene. “I’ve battled with my mental health throughout my life, including struggling with depression & suicide during my teens, depression & anxiety as an adult, as well as often resorting to alcohol as a coping mechanism to deal with my mental health throughout my hospitality career up until a few years ago.”

In 2017, Davidson recalls a series of events in both his personal and professional life which resulted in heightened depression and anxiety levels – leading him to consider taking an extreme measure – his own life. “It was here that I realized I wasn’t okay and that I needed help.” Davidson continues by saying, “I was (and am) very fortunate to have an amazing circle of loved ones, friends and family around me that supported me in this. However I had a lot of difficulty finding the information, resources, and professional help I needed.”

This moment of realization and self-awareness prompted the start of a journey that led him to be inspired to do something about it, and make a difference towards others sharing similar experiences as himself – especially those working in the industry. Davidson also expresses that at this time he was eager to investigate and find “alternatives towards a more positive lifestyle within the industry that didn’t resort or revolve around the normalized substance abuse that persists within it.” 

“I brought the seed of an idea to my business partner, Christina Cottell, which I’ve opened both Gringo Gastown (6 years ago) and Dixie’s BBQ (3 years ago) with. She was incredibly supportive and urged me on.

This led to my starting a conversation among a select few friends and peers within the hospitality industry, many of whom would later become the founding members of Mind The Bar, about my vision and how change might occur.”

“The enthusiasm and synergy around what we were trying to do was truly special, and we quickly built the initial framework of the Foundation as well as short and long-term goals we hoped to achieve” says Davidson. The goal of Mind The Bar is to operate as an intermediary in connecting people wishing to seek support such as through counselling within the mental health sector.

The intent is to “establish a vetted shortlist of mental health professionals who are interested in working with the Foundation, who offer an affordable sliding scale fee, and [whom] ideally have some background or understanding of the hospitality industry.” Fast forward only a few months after the initial brainstorms and discussions had commenced, and the Mind The Bar Foundation was officially recognized under the BC Societies Act in September 2018. Now registered under the BC Societies Act, the Foundation’s intention is to work with and provide information and assistance to everyone within the hospitality industry throughout British Columbia.

“Mental health is something that affects us all, regardless of where we live, and it is therefore our goal to assist in establishing associated division of the Foundation within each district that will be overseen and governed by local representation. Surrey has a massive and proudly diverse hospitality community that we are already beginning to work with at a grassroots level” Davidson explains.  

Russell Breweries staff, Jimmy Darbyshire and Doug Embury, had known Davidson, and his business partner, Cottell for a few years as they had been an account of the brewery with their Gringo restaurant. The Russell Breweries pair heard about the launch of the Mind The Bar project and saw it as an opportunity to help. “Jimmy & Doug were incredibly supportive of the initiative from the beginning & were very eager to get involved however possible” explained Davidson.

“They (Darbyshire and Embury) approached Christina and I shortly after our launch event about creating a beer specifically for raising funds for Mind The Bar. After speaking with the Board of Directors I told them that if they were going to make an officially collaborative beer it would have to be (a) low-ABV/alcohol, to assist with reducing excessive drinking within the hospitality community, (b) inexpensive, because we wanted it to be affordably available to everyone no matter how limited their budget may be, and (c) very drinkable, because we wanted it to be easily enjoyed by everyone. The boys at Russell took these ‘guidelines’ and their MTB Belgian table beer was the end result.”

When asked why they chose this particular beer for the collaboration, Russell Breweries Darbyshire explains how “the “Table Beer” was very fitting as that is where a lot of conversation happens, at the table.

It drove home the idea that we need to talk about the problems our industry is currently facing.” “I think it speaks for itself that they knocked it out of the park on this one, and the sales tell me I’m not wrong” says Davidson about the low alcohol alternative that is helping bring awareness and raising money.

To learn more about the Mind The Bar initiative, check out their website here. Although the website is currently under construction due to the mass amount of information, resources, and hours required to go-live, you can still find information on certain resources and information on how to get involved. Although an official ‘go-live’ date cannot be confirmed at this time, Davidson confirms that they are working as hard as they can in order to launch a functional ‘Phase I’ stage of the website very soon.

The goal is to have the initial launch assist people in better navigating pertinent resources and information such as requesting assistance in finding mental health professionals, and information on the Foundation itself – how to volunteer or become a member. “The website will be constantly evolving as we gather more information, resources, feedback, and as the Foundation and mental health awareness within the hospitality industry grows” explains Davidson.

What’s most amazing about the evolution of this Foundation in such a short time is that all of the “the recognition and reputation surrounding Mind The Bar has spread solely by word of mouth. Initially, within the immediate Vancouver hospitality community following our launch in June 2018, then gaining international attention after our first place win in the 2018 Tahona Society’s Collective Spirit Competition” recalls Davidson.

In addition, Davidson adds that the amount of popularity and support the Mind The Bar Foundation has received has “a lot to do with the overall and increasing readiness of the hospitality industry, and society in general is to acknowledge the subject of mental health, and the desire to breakdown the stigma surrounding it.”

“When we first began speaking about some of the struggles we expected to encounter introducing Mind The Bar to the Vancouver and BC based hospitality industry, we believed it would take us at least a few years to convince our peers and the greater restaurant community that not only was there an egregious problem with mental health, addiction and workplace harassment within our industry but that it was long overdue to change the mentality and perspective around it.

What we discovered is not only were we wrong about how many were ready to listen and get involved in making a positive change but the amount of praise we received for ‘finally’ doing something about it” says Davidson. Russell Brewery began with two brothers in 1995, back when craft breweries were next to none. As one of the original 10 craft breweries in BC, they put Surrey on the map as being an early leader in the craft brewery scene.

Now, Russell Brewery has not only successfully passed the test of time over two decades, but has continued to grow and prosper amongst the 200+ breweries province-wide! They even underwent a rebrand over the past two years and freshened up and diversified not only their branding, but their beer offerings as well! “We have since traded hands a few times [since launching in 1995], but our mission is still the same – to offer innovative and exciting Craft Beer to this ever-evolving market” says Darbyshire.

“Although presently, Mind The Bar official membership is still limited to its original founding members, we have dozens of individuals who have been volunteering their time and assisting us with numerous facets of the Foundation as we continue to build the initial framework necessary to best utilize the skills and enthusiasm of new membership. Something we will be doing within the immediate next few weeks is the preparation for our upcoming AGM” says Davidson.

Davidson continues, “There’s still a long road ahead but something I’m most excited about it this next chapter when we can finally open the doors to new members.”

As for the Russell Brewery beer collaboration – you may be wondering, will this beer be continuously sold or is it a campaign with a closed-frame of time? Darbyshire says “We would love this to be an ongoing campaign. I think there is lots of opportunity to build on what we have already started.” And with an additional $6,000+ aimed to fundraise through the collaboration prior to year-end, time to buy to support an amazing cause! Partial proceeds from each 4-pack and keg sold will be donated directly to Mind The Bar Canada. For a list of the 300+ locations currently carrying the beer (to consume on tap or to purchase), check out the list here.

To follow Russell Brewing Company, check them out on their affiliated pages:

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Robyn is a status-quo disruptor, an old-soul, and has a serious passion towards continuous learning driven by a curiosity for the unknown. A creative and equally analytical thinker with experience in leadership, project management and marketing strategy. When she’s not working you can find her in the kitchen, searching for new music, or meandering local thrift stores, antique stores, or flea markets for a unique find.

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Award Winning Boosh Food Expands To Larger, Multipurpose HQ in Cloverdale

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Rapidly Growing Plant-Based Food Company Boosh Food responds to increased consumer demand for plant-based food options

Boosh Food Inc. (“Boosh Food”), a delicious plant-based ready-to-eat comfort food company that caters to the entire family, recently leased a multipurpose 8,500 sq ft headquarters located in Cloverdale, BC.

Upon completion of the tenant improvements, the facility will include a commercial grade test kitchen for new product development, a professional studio for filming cooking segments with guest chefs, extensive warehousing for their products and traditional offices and meeting rooms.

Founded by a seasoned entrepreneur Connie Marples in 2017, Boosh Food began distributing their family oriented, plant-based comfort food in early 2018. By the end of 2020, Boosh was being distributed to major retail outlets and independent grocery stores throughout Canada.

Current Boosh Food products feature six different 100% plant-based, heat and eat family-oriented entrees and meals. Boosh Food offers Single-Serve Bowls or sharable Entrées for two, including Coconut Curry Cauli Bowl, Veggie Bolognese Bowl (with Beyond Meat™), Mac & Cheeze & Peas Bowl, Mexican Fiesta Bowl, Rustic Veg Pot Pie Entrée, and Hearty Shepherd’s Pie Entrée.

“We are extremely excited about our rapid expansion and growth,” states Connie. “Over the past quarter we’ve made significant hires in key areas to assure we build a solid, fundamentally strong, corporate platform. The new multipurpose facility will allow us to continue and expand, invent new plant-based dishes, invite guest chefs into our kitchen, and create outstanding podcasts and videos in order to share the Boosh story.”

In Canada, more than 40% of the population is actively trying to incorporate more plant-based foods into their diets. Their compatibility with vegetarian, vegan and “flexitarian” lifestyles is now putting the spotlight on plant-based protein sources. (National Research Council Canada, Sept, 2019).

Globally, the plant-based protein market size was valued at USD 3.3 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19.4% from 2020 to 2027. (Grand View Research, Sept. 2020).

Boosh products are currently in the freezer aisle, with new products coming to the grocery aisle and cooler section of grocery retailers over the coming months. All products are gluten-free and non-GMO.

About Boosh Food Inc.

Founded in 2017 by Connie Marples, Boosh Food is a Surrey, BC-based company that creates nutritionally balanced, heat and serve, family-oriented comfort meals that are 100% plant-based, non-GMO and gluten-free.

Boosh Food emphasizes less sodium and sugar in their entrees and bowls and contain no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives. Currently available for purchase in over 150 British Columbian retailers, Boosh Food continues to expand across the country.

For additional information on where to find Boosh Food products please visit www.booshfood.com.

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Food & Drink

Death By Donuts Brings Laughs, Live Music, Craft Beer And Espresso To Your Home This March

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SURREY, B.C. – Vancouver’s annual Festival of Artisan Coffee and Collaboration Beers is planning a special pandemic fundraising event that is suited for anyone who is keen on laughing, live music, craft beer and coffee can enjoy from home.

The 4th annual event Hopwired’s Death by Donuts will be broadcasted through a twitch and web livestream on Saturday, March 6th, hosted by Canadian Comedian Icon Ed the Sock and ©Certified Cicerone Mathieu Poirier of Matter of Beer.

This year is obviously a little bit different, so the festival has invited a whole roster of breweries and coffee roasters from across Canada and the United States, alongside several award-winning comedians and musicians to stream to your screens at home.

Fans can tune in to watch artists via the event’s website at — it’s streaming at beersupply.ca/hopwired

The broadcast starts at 7 pm, with artists including Daniel Wesley, Tonye Aganaba, Graham Clark and Ed the Sock with appearances from breweries and coffee roasters from across British Columbia and Canada. You can be reminded about this FREE show by subscribing now at beersupply.ca/hopwired.

The event supports the Surrey Food Bank through a live silent auction. “I am hearing and seeing a lot about the cost of food going up and the cost of living going up and everything is especially hard for so many people right now. My community is really struggling in Whalley.” says Mike Willis, of West Craft, who lives in Whalley.

“This year we are going to try real hard to bring some extra joy to people’s lives at no cost with the hopes of raising money and volunteer support for our Surrey Food Bank. It will be an entirely different event then we are used to run but we just want to find a way to add some fun and laughs in people’s lives, while doing something meaningful for the Surrey Food Bank”.

West Craft, the organizer behind the successful Hopwired Festival and Fruit Beer Festival, is promising a fun time to help cure the winter blues and help those who are less fortunate.

Singer-songwriter Daniel Wesley will be bringing his prominent reggae element and unvarnished rock music sound to this high energy livestream, alongside soul-neo-folk stylings of Singer-songwriter Tonye Aganaba who will be closing the broadcast with her who is akin to legend Lauryn Hill, 3-time Canadian Comedy Award winner & co-host of Maximum Fun’s Stop Podcasting Yourself Graham Clark, and many more will be stopping in.

For more information about Hopwired Festival, please visit: www.beersupply.ca

For more information please contact: office@beersupply.ca

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Savour What’s Simple this National Pizza Day with Coors Organic and Bowen Island Pizza Co.

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Celebrate National Pizza Day and Support Local!

National Pizza Day, a day that’s garnered more than 200k Instagram shares, is coming up on February 9, 2021. And what pairs best with pizza? Beer, of course.

As the expert in brewing with simple yet high quality ingredients, Coors Organic wants to help Canadians Savour What’s Simple this National Pizza Day by partnering with Bowen Island Pizza Co. to create a limited time only ‘Savour What’s Simple’ pizza that gives back.

The Savour What’s Simple pizza will be made with simple, fresh and high quality ingredients and available to consumers exclusively on National Pizza Day.

HOW YOUR PIZZA GIVES BACK

For every Savour What’s Simple pizza ordered, Coors Organic will match the purchase price and make a donation to Second Harvest, a charity focused on connecting excess food to those in need.

HOW TO GET YOUR PIZZA

On February 9th, support local and order a ‘Savour What’s Simple’ pizza from Bowen Island Pizza Co. to enjoy on National Pizza Day.

Order in person, by phone, or through Skip the Dishes.

MORE INFORMATION

Coors Organic is one of the latest additions to the Coors™ portfolio and is a first of its kind for the brand. It’s a light, organic lager that is expertly brewed with minimal ingredients for an elevated taste.

Located in the heart of North Vancouver in popular Lonsdale Quay, Bowen Island Pizza Co. creates high-quality, thin crust pizzas that have become a favourite among locals!

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New “50 Mile Menu” Encourages Vancouverites To Eat Local

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Collaboration between Oroweat Organic and DALINA exclusively
features ingredients produced within 50 miles of Vancouver

In a first-of-its-kind collaboration, Oroweat Organic and local cafe-grocer DALINA have teamed up to create the “Oroweat Organic 50 Mile Menu”, a new collection of delicious sandwiches made entirely from ingredients produced within 50 miles of Vancouver.

Available from February 7 to March 14, the “50 Mile Menu” shines a spotlight on Metro Vancouver’s producers and showcases the amazing food available on our doorstep.

The “Oroweat Organic 50 Mile Menu” was developed by DALINA’s Innovation Chef, Matt Sanderson, and features three limited edition sandwiches – Roasted Chicken, Porchetta with Fresh Herbs, and Roasted Portobello Mushroom (vegan).

Each recipe is created with the freshest and best quality local ingredients sourced from producers such as Surrey’s Evergreen Herb Farms, Rossdown Farms in Abbotsford, Golden Ears Cheesecrafters in Maple Ridge, and others.

All sandwiches are made with Oroweat Organic bread, available in three varieties and also produced locally at Oroweat’s bakery in Langley, B.C.

Oroweat Organic chose to partner with DALINA as it shares Oroweat’s commitment to local ingredients and sustainable practices. Oroweat’s loaves are sustainably baked using certified organic ingredients.

Oroweat Organic also matches 100% of the electricity usage that goes into baking its bread with electricity produced from renewable sources and 100% of the fuel usage that goes into delivering its products with green certificates

The “Oroweat Organic 50 Mile Menu” is available from February 7 to March 14, exclusively at DALINA stores in Vancouver (992 Broadway & 687 Main St.) and for pick-up via DALINA’s mobile ordering Craver app or for delivery via Uber Eats.

For more information on Oroweat Organic products visit oroweat.ca or follow @OroweatCanada on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

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What to eat when Jollibee opens in Strawberry Hill

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If “yum” is your favourite way to talk about food, you’ll get a mouthful ordering at Jollibee.

And you’ll get that chance sometime in the coming months when the cherished Fillipino fast-food chain opens in Newton’s Strawberry Hill Shopping Center.

The wildly popular Jollibee first launched as an ice cream parlour 45 years ago and claims to be the “largest fast-food chain brand in the Philippines.

” It boasts about offering a taste of home for the international community as “a stronghold of heritage and monument of Filipino pride.”

Jollibee is aggressively taking its cheerful vibe, mash-up dishes and family-friendly atmosphere around the world and opened its first Canadian location in 2016. It has yet to arrive in B.C. though is expected to open imminently on Vancouver’s Granville Street.

Chickeyjoy

 

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What’s for you? Spicy or regular?

Dubbed the “McDonald’s of the Philippines,” Jollibee is also known as “JFC,” and the Jollibee Food Corporation embraces the acronym that hints at its own finger-licking-good fried chicken and signature secret recipe.

Amazing Aloha Yumburger

There it is. Yum is right in the name.

The Canadian menu includes the Big Yumburger, the Cheesy Yumburger, and the Amazing Aloha Yumburger with bacon and a slice of pineapple. Hawaiian pizza on a bun, basically. Can’t wait!

Jolly Spaghetti

When Anthony Bourdain visited a Manilla location of the “wackiest, jolliest place on Earth,” he dove right into that Jolly Spaghetti and its hotdog toppings. His review: “Deranged, yet strangely alluring.”

Burger Steak

This pile of hamburgers and mushroom gravy is missing an adjective. May I suggest, “Yum”?

 

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Palabok Fiesta and Family Platters

 

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When it arrives in Surrey, there will be platters and palabok.

The Strawberry Hill Shopping Centre will get a facelift near the intersection of 120th and 72nd with Jollibee’s new 3,400-square-foot restaurant and outdoor patio.

The City of Surrey approved the development in December and said the new Jollibee will “improve the streetscape” near the busy intersection.

Ube is made from taro and used in all kinds of desserts, from pastries to ice cream, and is a striking, photo-ready shade of purple.

Peach mango pie is also on the Canadian menu.

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