|55 weeks ago I read a theory that going for 50 coffees with people you’ve never met is the entrepreneur’s equivalent to the theory that doing anything for 10,000 hours will make you an expert on it. While I got the idea, 50 coffees was far easier than practicing something for ten years, so after completing that challenge I decided to make a major commitment and publish 500 over the next few years. In this series I introduce you to interesting Vancouverites, many of whom I had never met before. It’s an exercise in networking for myself and for V.I.A. while also being a platform through which I to introduce you to some people who are doing really cool stuff in the city you live in.
Meet Daniel Boffo. Development professional, father, brother, and the most Italian person I (now) know. Along with his sister Flavia he runs a second-generation family business, Boffo Properties, which is a business like no other in Vancouver. Essentially they own and operate the Take Five Café chain (now 10 franchises deep in the Lower Mainland) and they are also real estate developers who take on residential, commercial and industrial projects.
Daniel has a BA in Economics and a Diploma in Architectural and Building Engineering Technology (ABET) with a Construction Management specialization, and for years he worked as a project coordinator for the construction company, Ledcor. I’m not going to pretend to know the ins and outs of their business but can connect the dots and know that having someone with that education combined with the practical experience of coordinating giant projects like the Shaw Tower (which he did from 2003-2005) has got to be a great thing. He came on board the family business – which turns 50 this year – back in 2007.
To be honest, we didn’t spend much time talking about any of that stuff over coffee. And, in fact, what I thought was going to be “coffee” at their newest Take Five Café location in Gastown ended up being a full-on meal. Starting with antipasto (pictured above) then moving on to mains, the topics of conversations were mostly family and food, and also where the two meet. We also talked about the Kettle Friendship Society that they support and I concluded that Daniel will now be my go-to guy whenever I have any questions regarding the culture of Italians which, like our conversation, centres around family and food.
Follow him on Twitter at @DanielBoffo and check out this quick video below that talks about how he and his sister took over the family business…
Stay tuned for 445 more Coffees!