Last week I was invited to go on a media preview tour for Made in Strathcona, a new initiative by the Strathcona Business Improvement Association to promote the area. On May 31 and June 7, public can purchase tickets to tour some of the businesses in the area in various disciplines, such as manufacturing, textile/fashion, culinary and woodwork.
Our tour consisted of four of the possible stops. First, we learned a lot about coffee roasting and tasting at the A.G.R.O Roasters. It was interesting to see the bean roaster on-site (they roast their beans in-house!!) but we didn’t get to see a demo. I never realized that light roast actually has more caffeine content than dark roast, even espresso beans. I do prefer the flavours of dark roast and espresso beans though so I wouldn’t switch to light roast for the caffeine.
Then we checked out the facility of The Butler Did It Catering Co. The 12,000 sq ft space handles catering orders from 8 to thousands. Sustainability is important to the operation and they compost all kitchen waste, approximately 800-1,000lb per week. Every piece equipment is the mammoth size of what I have at home. The roaster, aka Big Red, can roast 60 prime ribs or 50 turkeys at once, and the 24,000W coffee machine can pump out 1,200 cups worth of coffee per hour!!
Next, we visited YEW Woodshop where 4 Emily Carr industrial designer graduates share a studio working on wood craft projects from scratch. Their clients include cafe and jewellers, and all their designs are scalable. What’s unique about them is that they try to use as much locally sourced and reclaimed material as they can. And reclaimed material is often considered to be high quality and highly sought after. We watched a demo in the studio, seeing part of the process of how they made our gift.
Christine Lingerie sells silk lingerie and lounge wear that are 100% designed and manufactured in Canada. Run by designer Christine Mortin, their products are sold all over North America, Europe, Saudi Arabia and online. You may have also seen them on Oprah, Catherine Zeta Jones, Gwyneth Paltrow, Diana Krall, Christina Hendricks and Katie Holmes. This studio space has a retail section that is open to public 5 days a week. We had a glimpse of how the studio works, and yes, they’re already working on the Spring 2015 collection!
Lastly, our tour ended at Vancouver Urban Winery. Although not part of the Made in Strathcona tour route, it was interesting for us to be there on that day as the company reached another milestone – beer brewing. Postmark Brewing will be coming to the Railtown/Strathcona area coming June 2014. Vancouver Urban Winery is also serving lunch and dinner now, with brunch menu on the weekends. They are currently rotating 60 wineries on tap with 4 beers coming.
There are over 500 businesses in the Strathcona area and they each have a story. Made in Strathcona will allow the public to meet these interesting people and hear about the businesses. Made in Strathcona Tours are composed of two tour streams hosted on May 31 and June 7 from 1pm – 3pm. Each tour costs $10 and takes you into 2 businesses. For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit madeinstrathcona.com. Use promo code BLOGGER50 to receive 50% off!
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