|I recently 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 get the idea, 50 coffees is far easier than practicing something for ten years, and while I’m far from lazy I’ve decided to set out on a fairly simple mission: over the next 50 weeks I’m going to invite 50 interesting Vancouverites, most of whom I have never met before, to go for coffee. I’m going to use this as an exercise in networking for myself and for V.I.A. while also using it as a platform to introduce you to some people who are doing really cool stuff in the city you live in.
Meet Mark Brand. Proprietor of the latest incarnation of Save On Meats, a serial entrepreneur who has launched a number of Gastown/DTES restaurants and businesses, and the recent subject of a documentary TV series which you can now watch the entire first season of online, for free (HERE).
We met inside the diner side of Save On, a place I’ve been visiting semi-regularly for lunch since it re-opened. In case you haven’t been yet, the next door over to the West is where the butcher shop and the meat counter is, and it’s a place I’ve also been visiting for months, picking up meat after work for my family’s meals (sausages are a weekly favourite in our household). Though a loyal patron and a fan of what he and his team have been doing less than three blocks away from the V.I.A. office, Mark and I hadn’t formally met before this coffee went down.
After a quick chat Mark took me upstairs and gave me a tour of what you’ll see in all of the episodes of the show, Gastown Gamble, that’s all about how they’re running this social enterprise doing a ton of good for the DTES community and the entire city. The show is real, so authentic that you may have noticed I call it a “documentary TV series” as opposed to a “reality show”. Since our first coffee we’ve met a few more times and I can safely say that Mark is an incredibly awesome and inspiring human being, and I am extremely happy that we’re in the middle of cooking up a collaborative project we’ll be launching here in the coming months. Stay tuned for much more Save On Meats x V.I.A. goodness in the future and, in the meantime, go watch the SHOW!
And stay tuned for more 50 Coffees!