Tag Archives: Small Business

Make It! 10 Year Anniversary Market At The Croatian Cultural Centre September 21st and 22nd

19 Sep

MakeItSeptember2018Make It! has been part of the handmade revolution for the last 10 years in Vancouver.  As such, they are celebrating with a throwback style Make It! at the Croatian Cultural Centre this Friday & Saturday.   You can expect to find many local makers including a few of our favourites: Beth & Olivia, Sarah Mulder Jewellery, The Lemon Square, The Branch and Vine and East Van’s Sriracha Revolver. As this event kicks off on Friday night, you will also find a bar with $5 drinks, music and food trucks for a fun shopping experience.  Also on hand, will be a charity silent auction with items donated by various participating Makies. 100% of the proceeds benefit the Union Gospel Mission. This Make It! Market happens Friday, September 21st from 5:00 to 9:00 pm and Saturday, September 22nd from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm.  Tickets for admission are $3.00 for advance purchase on Eventbrite or $5 at the door. Children under 12 get in free.

Mike Jackson East Van Business Owner Celebrates 30 Years In Business

20 Aug

IMG_2728 (2)Have you made your way to Les Faux Bourgeois, Heartbreaker Salon or Savio Volpe at the corner of Kingsway & Fraser?   If you have, did you catch Mike Jackson’s shop tucked next to Savio Volpe?

It’s a small shop with a retail component in the front and more space at the back for the custom work he does. Thus, the name Studiotique, studio in the back – boutique in the front. We recently started working with Mike and in doing so learned that this is one cool guy who has weathered many incarnations to stay in small business for 30 years. This is quite an accomplishment.

It all began in 1988. Mike was attending the University of Western Ontario, and launched Grubwear Clothing Co. He hit the streets to create and sell streetwear and action sports clothing from the back of his Honda Civic. Soon after, he drove West with his dog Memphis and a U-Haul to open Thriller, his first retail venture. Mike wanted to create bold graphic t-shirts and has a passion for sports, beach lifestyle, surf, skateboard and snowboarding.  He was driven to bring these passions together with a cutting-edge design and unique merchandise.  Grubwear with his now infamous TRI-G logo was born and has led him around the world with one of his passions, snowboarding. This in turn led him to launch Jackson Snowboards in 1991.  The business grew and evolved, Mike had distributors in 11 countries from Germany to Japan.  In 1996, he opened Thriller Shop in Kitsilano which became the head office for all his brands, Grubwear, Boris Brothers and Jackson Snowboards.   After 3 stores, 15 employees, Mike has scaled things back at his store at Kingsway & Fraser and focuses on his brands that he sells from his storefront as well as his online shop and doing custom work.

Now in 2018, things have come full circle for Mike.  To celebrate his 30 years in business, on August 1, 2018 Mike launched a KickStarter Campaign to create 30 special edition Jackson snowboards. He is working with Rob Dow, the creator of WIRED Snowboards in Vancouver who has 25 years of experience in design and production. Mike launched his Kickstarter campaign with the aim of raising $5,000. He reached that mark within 24 hour. If you wish to check out the Kickstarter Campaign to see what reward packages are still available, visit Mike’s Kickstarter.

 

 

It takes a lot to stay in business for 30 years.  Hats off to Mike who has reinvented himself many times over. Madonna comes to mind when we think of all his incarnations over the years. He may not like that we said that, but that’s how we see it. If you wish to check some of his cool designs, stop by his shop located at 617 Kingsway or check out his online store at Grubwear. You will see East Van merchandise figures prominently. If you are looking to have some custom t-shirts, jerseys, bags what have you for your sports team or for your business, Mike’s your man.

We raise a beer to Mike for 30 years in business! Cheers.

Jak’s View: Follow Up To Fets Whiskey Kitchen Raid – Why Did It Happen?

6 Feb

FetsWhiskeyWe are adding another voice to ILiveInEastVan today. We would like to introduce you to Jak King.  If you don’t know him by name, he is a long time resident of East Vancouver. Jak is civic minded, has opinions on a number of issues some light topics, others not and a penchant for history particularly as it relates to Grandview Woodlands.  Jak has his own blog, which we invite you to check out called Jak’s View.  With his permission, we will be reprinting some of his posts here from time to time.  Today we’d like to share Jak’s View on the recent raid of Fets Whiskey Kitchen on Commercial Drive. This event boggles our mind. So many small businesses are struggling with increasing costs such as taxes, rent, attracting and keeping staff with rising costs in Vancouver, this antiquated raid was a slap in the face to small business. Instead of helping small business, this heavy handed approach to enforce antiquated laws seemed beyond fair or reasonable.   We invite you to check out Jak’s View on this recent event:

As I reported earlier, and has been widely reported since, Fets Whiskey Kitchen on Commercial Drive was raided last week and $40,000 worth of bottles were seized by agents of the BC government.

At the time there was some mystery as to why this had happened, but the reason has now been made clear — they were purchased from private liquor stores (which had purchased them legally from the BC Liquor Distribution Branch) rather than from the BCLDB directly. All required taxes had been paid but these bars are only allowed to buy their liquor from the BCLDB — even though the BCLDB won’t sell them these particular whiskeys.

It is worth repeating that all required taxes had been paid.  In other words, this is all about the bureaucratic nonsense that is BC’s liquor laws.

Apparently bars and clubs have been buying from private liquor outlets for years and liquor inspectors have allowed it to go on. Now, suddenly, the Ministry under David Eby has decided to stamp down on the practice. They could, of course, have changed the law so that BCLDB could sell these whiskeys to the bars but no, they wanted to play the heavy instead.

In a long article by Martyn Brown, he suggests that the “prohibition style” raids may have been occasioned by the money laundering crisis in BC casinos:

“It is in an interesting coincidence, I’m sure, that this crackdown has occurred only days after Attorney General Eby launched his own scathing indictment of the inept gaming policy enforcement and money laundering problems that transpired under the former government’s watch. No doubt, the last thing the general manager or others in the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch want to do is to leave the branch vulnerable to being accused of falling short in its enforcement responsibilities.”

However, as the same article notes, the raids have done nothing to enhance BC’s image as a tourist friendly Province. Perhaps more importantly for locals, Eric Fergie of Fet’s notes that his small business could suffer badly.

“Fergie said he’s now worried how his small business will absorb the cost. ‘If we are fined heavily for the infractions and we lose our product, then, you know, we’ve got 20-something people that work for us and it’s going to be difficult’.”

Eric and Allura Fergie have been mainstays of Commercial Drive business since opening their original Fettucini’s Cafe in 1987.

Reprinted With Permission (Jan. 21, 2018)

Photo Credits: Jak King & Fets Whiskey Kitchen

 

 

 

 

This New East Van Business Is Sriracha Hot!

7 Dec

 

SrirachaRevolverIn case you hadn’t heard, Srircha is hot this year, literally and figuratively. If you aren’t familiar with Sriracha, it is a type of hot sauce or chili sauce made from a paste of chili peppers, distilled vinegar, garlic, sugar and salt.  It varies in consistency, ingredients and hotness.  We recently met Jordan Hocking, co-owner of the new Sriracha Revolver, an East Van business that’s only been in operation since June of this year, but has been flying off the shelves literally.  Their sriracha-style hot sauce is made in a local commissary in small batches. They use all natural and fresh ingredients to make something unique and delicious. Jordan Hocking works with her business partner and co-owner, Justin Cox, also a tattooer at Funhouse Tattoo on Cambie Street whereas Jordan’s background leans to sales in the wine industry.  They bring a unique combination of talents to Sriracha Revolver. 

Jordan started making sriracha in 2012 when she was 9 months pregnant with her second child. She made and canned small jars as gifts one Christmas and everyone loved them.  Jordan then started experimenting with recipes. We learnt that most sriracha recipes call for red jalapeños, but Jordan wasn’t a fan of the taste so she substituted Thai chili peppers. Once she had the hot sauce down, she experimented with other recipes and created one based on her favourite flavours Beets + Tequila. In The Spring of 2013, a friend took her sauces to foodie party and next thing you know she was receiving orders and requests to buy her sauces. In 2015, her business partner and long time family friend, Justin had a near death experience. He decided life was too short not to take chances, so they formed a partnership to create Sriracha Revolver. It was a year and a half in the making, but they now have 3 sauces available Beets + Tequila, Cilantro + Lime Sriracha and Clean Mango Sriracha. 

Not only do their sauces pair nicely with a variety of foods, we hear they are perfect for cocktails. Jordan says that each sauce works perfectly in a caesar and encourages those to try tequila instead of vodka in their caesars.   We see a cool new drink in the lounge at Odd Society Spirits with this local business, hint hint, nudge nudge.

If you wish to try these sauces for yourself, you have a few options. They have an online shop open 24/7. Cost of a small bottle is $8 plus shipping.  You can also find their sauces on the menu at a few restaurants around town including The Shameful Tiki Room on Main Street.  Jordan and Justin have lined up a number or retailers already including most recently Gourmet Warehouse which has 2 of their sauces in stock. To see the full line up of retailers, visit their website’s Where To Find Us. If you wish to do a bit of taste testing and buy their gift pack with all 3 sauces, check them out this weekend at Got Craft? happening December 9 & 10 at the Maritime Labour Museum from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. If you missed them at Got Craft?, you can purchase the Gift Pack at Blitzen Pop Up Shop at 623 Kingsway.  Stop by and see what’s hot in East Van. 

New In Town – Golden Thread Consulting: Support For Your Small Business

16 May

GoldenThreadConsultingFor those that follow us regularly, you know that we love featuring local businesses, makers and artisans. If you yourself are a local business, artisan or maker who is trying to do and be everything, we know all too well it’s near impossible.  Not only are there not enough hours in the day, but one’s sanity and quality of life come into play.  So today we would like to introduce you to the cavalry that is here to help, that being Maria Marcakis who is the Principal and Founder of Golden Thread Consulting. Maria is based in East Vancouver and provides customized administrative support solutions for small businesses under the title of Administrative Consultant. An Administrative Consultant is not a virtual or administrative assistant, but a hybrid between one who performs specific administrative work while consulting (providing expert advice, professionally). Assistance is available on an ongoing monthly basis or is offered on a per project basis. Maria has over 14 years administrative experience including executive assistance, recruiting, and all types of administrative work in for profit and non-profit organizations.  Some of the things she may be able to assist you with include:

  • You need to set up relationships with new or existing vendors to ensure smooth running of paperwork,
  • You need research done on a particular software you need to implement,
  • You want to create or finish that employee handbook, toolkit or report that has been on the back burner for 2 years,
  • You want to increase your employee satisfaction and need a survey, data analysis and/or ways to implement the changes you want to see,
  • Drafting presentations, consulting on how to give better presentations, etc.MariaMarcakis
  • Advice on how to streamline your website to create a better user experience,
  • Any miscellaneous higher level items that require time and attention that take you away from other aspects of running and growing your business.
  • Create new procedures to streamline your business
  • Help you plan and organize a Pop Up Shop

If you are wondering what it costs for these services, Golden Thread Consulting uses a value-based model. Maria does not charge by the hour, but quotes are based on individual business needs. Maria is more than happy to provide a complimentary consultation to discuss your needs.  We invite you to check out her website to learn more about how she can assist you.  She’s mastered the art of efficiency, something we aim for every day.  From having met Maria, we are confident she will be able to help you be more efficient in your business and complete projects which help move your business forward.

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