February 26, 2018 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Vancouver BC - Virtuous Pie’s highly-anticipated new Vancouver restaurant is opening its doors on Wednesday, February 28. At just over 2000 square feet, the UBC Wesbrook Village location will be Virtuous Pie’s largest outpost, featuring both indoor and outdoor seating and a number of new offerings including soft serve ice cream, Matchstick coffee, Dipped Doughnut Co.’s donuts., house-made breakfast pastries, and pizza by the slice Monday to Friday.
The menu will also include two new pizzas: the Pesto CBR, with Bianca, Pesto Marinated Chicken, Sundried Tomatoes, Cashew Mozzarella, House-made Bacon, Garlic Ranch and Rocket and the Peking Express, with 5 Spice Onion Cream, Hoisin Pulled Mushrooms, Cashew Mozzarella, Gai Lan, Scallion Ginger Sauce, Crispy Shallots, and Sesame. Other new additions include the Steak + Eggs breakfast pizza, with Cheddar Cream, Caramelized Onion, Steak Curls, Tofu Scramble, Oven dried tomatoes, and Fresh Chimichurri and Shakshuka, a Middle Eastern inspired breakfast skillet with Smoky Tomato sauce, Poached Veg, Green Harissa Sauce, House Made Feta, and Avocado, served with Zaatar spiced flatbread. The full menu can be viewed here.
While Virtuous Pie has served dairy-free ice cream since opening, this is the company’s first foray into soft serve.
“Soft serve ice cream is clearly having a moment,” says Jim Vesal, Director of Culinary and Business Development. “Our ice cream has become so popular and we wanted to expand on that. We’re starting with two flavours, vanilla and strawberry, that you can enjoy as a single flavour, a twist or you can make it a sundae. New flavours and sundaes will rotate seasonally. We’ve also partnered with Matchstick for our coffee service, because we all know that students need their coffee!”
With a continued focus on supporting local supplier and purveyors, the Wesbrook location will be serving Blume’s turmeric and beet lattes. Local wine, beer and kombucha will also be available on tap.
Designed by interior design firm Mason Studio, the new location is taking inspiration from its surroundings and using contrasts to create a dynamic space. Terrazzo flooring, PaperStone wood-like wall cladding and plants from Vancouver supplier Greenstems are key elements of design. The restaurant will also feature a pendant light from Vancouver designer Lukas Peet and artwork by local artists Sarah Delaney Schick, Maia Boakye, and Lindsay Cohen.
Virtuous Pie opened its first restaurant in Chinatown in September 2016 and is rapidly expanding. A second location opened in Portland in June 2017 and a fourth location is scheduled for Toronto’s popular College Street later this year.
“I think we can safely say that the appetite for plant-based food is here to stay,” says Lia Loukas, Director of Marketing and Business Development. “With Virtuous Pie, we wanted to ensure that people who are vegan, or those who want to incorporate more plant-based meals into their diets, have a place where they don’t have to sacrifice flavour, break the bank, and in a space that is inclusive and enjoyable to hang out in. So opening up near the university made a lot of sense.” The Virtuous Pie Wesbrook Mall location at 3339 Shrum Lane will be open Monday to Thursday 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Sunday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Brunch will be available as of mid-March every Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. - 2.30 p.m. Online ordering for pick-up is also available and delivery by Doordash will commence in spring.
Help animals by baking a differencefor BC SPCA’s National Cupcake Day™
January 10, 2018 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Looking to make a difference in 2018? One simple way to do just that is to get involved in the BC SPCA’s National Cupcake Day. By baking cupcakes and giving them away in exchange for a donation, participants can improve the lives of abused, abandoned and neglected animals in our communities.
National Cupcake Day is a cross-country event presented by the BC SPCA, the Ontario SPCA and participating humane societies. This year, Cupcake Day falls on Monday, Feb. 26 (the last Monday of February), but animal lovers and bakers are encouraged to fundraise throughout January and February.
“When it comes to baking, cupcakes are pretty foolproof. Trust me, if I can make them, anyone can,” says National Cupcake Day spokesperson and TV host Kristina Matisic. “Over the past few years we’ve seen kids, small businesses and large companies get involved. I love the cute creations that people come up with and seeing all the donations come in.”
Participants who register at www.nationalcupcakeday.ca before Wednesday, Jan. 31 and raise $50 will be entered in a draw to win a KitchenAid Stand mixer, the perfect tool for whipping up delicious cupcakes and frosting.
Last year, Canadians raised more than $600,000 through their baking and fundraising efforts. Since the campaign’s inception in 2013, $2.45 million has been raised, with proceeds going to participating SPCAs and humane societies across the country.
“It’s a very important campaign for us in terms of fundraising for the work that we do and it’s wonderful to see how much it has grown over the past few years,” says BC SPCA CEO Craig Daniell. “It’s a delicious way to show your compassion for animals.” The BC SPCA will use the funds to find homes for surrendered, rescued, neglected or abused animals, and provide emergency care to injured animals. “At the end of the day, it’s not about how well you bake. It’s about helping animals in need. So even if you’re not much of a baker, not to worry. You can always donate to someone who is participating or directly to the campaign via the website,” says Matisic. “There are many ways to get involved and to make a difference.”
How you can get involved:
1. Register for FREE at www.nationalcupcakeday.ca 2. Everyone who registers and makes a self-donation of $25 or more will be sent a host kit including a fundraising guide, cupcake selfie frame, mini tote bag and more. The host kit materials are also available for download on the website. 3. Customize your Personal Fundraising Centre online and ask your friends, family and colleagues to support your fundraising efforts. 4. Send your friends and family an email through your participant centre, encouraging them to show their support by donating online. 5. Plan your National Cupcake Day Party for home, work, school or wherever you think people would love to eat cupcakes. 6. Hold your National Cupcake Day Party on Monday, Feb. 26 or any day in January or February that works for you. 7. Bake, decorate and eat!
Visit nationalcupcakeday.ca to register, bake and donate.
Crystal Hills Organics donates 50% of Crystal Love proceedsto Breast Cancer Support
October 5, 2017 For Immediate Release
Vancouver, BC - In honour of Breast Cancer Awareness month, Canadian skin care company Crystal Hills Organics is donating 50 per cent of October online sales of its Crystal Love line to The Canadian Breast Cancer Support Fund and The Pink Fund. The two organizations provide financial support to meet basic needs, decrease stress levels, and allow breast cancer patients to focus on healing while improving survivorship outcomes.
“Breast cancer affects one in eight women and some of my close friends have been affected by it,” says Crystal Hills founder and CEO Andrea Barone. “I know that people fighting cancer need our love and compassion. This is our way of sending them some support,” says Barone.
Crystal Hills Organics is an all-natural bath and skincare company based out of Kelowna, BC. The company makes bath salts, sugar scrubs, and body serums that incorporate the active constituents of organic botanicals, therapeutic herbs, and high vibration crystals.
A rose quartz is included in every product from the Crystal Love line. The pink stone has long represented love and compassion and is believed to increase inner peace and self-worth.
“We believe in the infinite power of giving,” says Barone. “We have an ongoing give back program where we donate eight per cent of profits to three great charities, the Canadian Women’s Foundation, Free the Children, and World Wildlife Foundation.”
With its mandate to soothe and nourish both the body and the soul, all Crystal Hills products are made free of artificial fragrances, GMOs, and harsh preservatives.
Kristina Matisic talks "keeping cool" on CTV Morning Live
July 31, 2017 Kristina Matisic is a regular lifestyle contributor on local news morning programs. On July 31, 2017, she talked about ways to beat the heat with CTV Morning Live Host Keri Adams. Click photo or link to view the segment.
Doing regular TV segments and writing posts and articles for local publications allows Kristina to practise what she preaches. She also prides herself on being a smart consumer and spent over a dozen years trying and testing thousands of products on The Shopping Bags and Anna and Kristina's Grocery Bag. She still thrives on sharing smart shopping information with the public.
Kids Encouraged to Spread Goodwill at Third Annual Kindness Patrol
Kindness Patrol in Action, 2016
May 10, 2017 For Immediate Release Vancouver, BC – Children throughout the province are being encouraged to join the Kindness Patrol on May 28th 2017, a movement to spread kindness and goodwill throughout the community. The initiative was spearheaded by Clinical Psychologists Dr. Carla Fry and Dr. Lisa Ferrari fromVancouver Psychology Centre andReal Parenting Lab, in an effort jump-start the younger generation’s belief in the power of a kind word or gesture. “This really is kindness for kindness sake,” says Dr. Lisa Ferrari. “There is no other goal, we aren’t fundraising or doing anything like that. We just want to show kids that kindness is its own reward and that there is real value in being nice to others.” The Dr.Fs, as they’re known, are hosting a Kindness Patrol at Stanley Park from 11am to 1pm on Sunday May 28th. Participants will be tying notes with positive messages to cut flowers and giving them out to unsuspecting passersby. Space is limited and those who are unable to join are encouraged to launch their own Kindness Patrol, wherever they may live. The www.kindnesspatrol.org website includes a Kindness Note download that kids can print out and decorate. They can then give the notes away in their own neighbourhoods and communities, with or without flowers attached. The website also includes other suggestions for easy-to-execute kindness acts. “We firmly believe that kindness is infectious. Our dream is to see this happening all over the city, the province, and even the country,” say Dr. Fry. This is the third annual Kindness Patrol in Vancouver. Past years saw participants deliver baked cookies to first responders, visit seniors in a retirement home, and pick up litter at Ambleside beach. “The joy we saw on the kids’ faces was remarkable. Seeing that even the smallest thing could put a smile on someone else’s face and potentially impact their whole day, that’s a pretty powerful lesson,” says Dr. Fry. This event has been sponsored by a number of local businesses in past years, includingDavid’s Tea,Iviva,Cobs Bread, andKidsbooks. For more information on the Kindness Patrol or to launch your own, visit: www.kindnesspatrol.org.
SKYE Footwear Enters Market With Three Sneaker Styles
Vancouver-based shoe company launches into retail after successful Kickstarter campaign
April 18, 2017 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Vancouver B.C. - Vancouver-based SKYE Footwear is now available for purchase on the SKYE website. The company, which makes comfortable and stylish unisex shoes, is entering the retail market after a successful Kickstarter campaign that raised over $43,000 USD, topping the company’s $30,000 goal.
“The Kickstarter campaign exceeded our expectations, with the money raised and the amount of support we received from customers. It solidified that there is a demand for shoes like ours,” says SKYE COO, Gary Chang.
SKYE Footwear feeds into consumers’ growing demand for athleisure fashion, with a focus on comfortable and stylish designs that work with busy, active lifestyles. “The funds that we raised through the Kickstarter campaign are going towards manufacturing, and continued research and development. This will ensure that we can deliver top of the line shoes to our customers,” says Chang. “Making every shoe as comfortable as possible, without sacrificing style, is our number one objective.” The brand is entering the market with three distinct styles that are inspired by the company’s home city of Vancouver BC.
The Lons – A loafer sneaker, marine classic for modern urbanites. Perfect for casual strolls, top-decks or trips to the beach. The Rbutus - An ultra-soft runner style shoe, designed for those on the go. Great for hikes, bikes and power walks. The Powll - A mod desert boot, cut higher at the ankle, for the statement-making city-slicker, kicking back around town.
SKYE Footwear products have a unique Loop-Lok™ laceless hold pays homage to the popular West Coast activity, stand-up paddleboarding. The form-fitting microfibre shoe is made predominantly from recycled materials and comes with a foam rubber outsole and a built-in deep gel insole, all offering exceptional comfort.
“Through the design of our shoes, we are focusing on minimizing our environmental footprint. The fashion industry can be very polluting, therefore it was important for us to create a product that was sustainable. We even created the shoes to be biodegradable,” says SKYE designer Justin Heinrichs.
Each of the three styles will be available in two colours. The company has plans to roll out additional colours and fall/winter models in the coming year. SKYE Footwear is owned by parent company C.K. International Enterprises, which has its home-based in Richmond, BC. The company has been manufacturing and importing consumer goods for over 25 years. The SKYE Footwear lifestyle brand is their first step into the athleisure space.
Tap & Barrel Named One of Canada's Best Managed Companies
Vancouver, BC – March 9, 2017 - Tap & Barrel Restaurants has been recognized as one of the country’s best managed companies by Canada’s Best Managed Companies program, which recognizes excellence in Canadian-owned businesses that demonstrate strategy, capability and commitment to achieve sustainable growth.
Tap & Barrel is the only BC food and beverage company to be added to the Best Managed New Winner list and is among the youngest BC companies to be recognized this year. “This celebrates and recognizes our incredible tribe for their unwavering commitment to the continual pursuit of excellence,” says Tap & Barrel founder and CEO, Daniel Frankel. “For our company, it reinforces our modus operandi that ‘People Who Really Care Do It Better.’ I couldn't be more proud of my team.”
Established in 1993, Canada’s Best Managed Companies is one of the country’s leading business awards programs recognizing Canadian-owned and managed companies for innovative, world-class business practices. Winners are an important engine of economic growth for being adaptable and sustainable in a global market.
“It’s much more than just financial performance,” says Peter Brown, Partner, Deloitte and Co-Leader, Canada’s Best Managed Companies program. “The ingredients to success also include overall business performance and sustained growth. It takes dedication and commitment from the entire organization.”
Applicants are evaluated by an independent judging panel made up of judges from Deloitte, CIBC, Canadian Business, Smith School of Business and MacKay CEO Forums. Best Managed companies share commonalities that include an emphasis on culture and people, innovation, sustained performance and strong financial results.
Tap & Barrel’s inclusion in this prestigious list comes as the company prepares to celebrate its fifth anniversary. Frankel attributes the restaurant’s burgeoning success in large part to its on-going dedication to innovation and sustainability; its focus on local producers, suppliers and artisans; its commitment to community; and most importantly, to fostering positive employee relations.
“Our HR goal is simple and predicated in delivering two things: happiness and opportunity,” says Frankel. “We give people the opportunity to become the best version of themselves. My contribution is to keep everyone aligned and to provide the resources and the freedom that our tribe needs in order to succeed.”
2017 winners of the Canada’s Best Managed Companies award will be honoured at the annual Canada’s Best Managed Companies gala in Toronto on April 19, 2017. On the same date, the Best Managed symposium will address leading-edge business issues that are key to the success of today’s business leaders.
The Best Managed program is sponsored by Deloitte, CIBC, Canadian Business, Smith School of Business and MacKay CEO Forums.
About Tap & Barrel Tap & Barrel Restaurants is a Vancouver-based restaurant group that opened its first location in July 2012. In under five years, the company has grown to three large-format Tap & Barrels and two smaller outpost concepts, TAPshack Eatery, with a seating capacity of over 2,100. The restaurants are well-regarded for their waterfront locations, environmental stewardship and commitment to supporting local artisanal purveyors of food, beverages and art. Tap & Barrel Restaurants offers feel good food with an innovative craft beer and wine program that is exclusive to BC-on-Tap. For more information, visit tapandbarrel.com
About Canada’s Best Managed Companies Canada's Best Managed Companies continues to be the mark of excellence for Canadian-owned and managed companies with revenues over $15 million. Every year since the launch of the program in 1993, hundreds of entrepreneurial companies have competed for this designation in a rigorous and independent process that evaluates their management skills and practices. The awards are granted on four levels: 1) Canada’s Best Managed Companies new winner (one of the new winners selected each year); 2) Canada’s Best Managed Companies winner (award recipients that have re-applied and successfully retained their Best Managed designation for two additional years, subject to annual operational and financial review); 3) Gold Standard winner (After three consecutive years of maintaining their Best Managed status, these winners have demonstrated their commitment to the program and successfully retained their award for 4-6 consecutive years); 4) Platinum Club member (Winners that have maintained their Best Managed status for seven years or more). Program sponsors are Deloitte, CIBC, Canadian Business, Smith School of Business and MacKay CEO Forums. For further information, visit www.bestmanagedcompanies.ca.
Help Fight Animal Cruelty By "Baking" A Difference
January 23, 2017 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Feb. 27 is Canada’s fifth annual National Cupcake Day™ for SPCAs and humane societies
Looking to start the year by making a difference? By getting involved in National Cupcake Day™, animal lovers can help save the lives of animals in our communities simply by baking cupcakes and giving them away in exchange for a donation.
National Cupcake Day™ is cross-country event presented by the BC SPCA, the Ontario SPCA and participating humane societies. This year, Cupcake Day falls on Monday, Feb. 27 (the last Monday of February), but animal lovers and bakers are encouraged to fundraise throughout January and February.
“I’m excited to test out some new cupcake recipes and decorating techniques this year,” says National Cupcake Day™ spokesperson and cupcake crusader, Kristina Matisic.
“What I love about this event is that it’s super easy to get involved and cupcakes are simple to make. Plus, who can say no to a delicious cupcake, especially when it’s for such a great cause?” Last year, Canadians raised more than $615,000 through their baking and fundraising efforts. Since the campaign’s inception in 2013, $1.85 million has been raised, with proceeds going to participating SPCAs and Humane Societies across the country. How you can get involved: 1.Register for FREE at www.nationalcupcakeday.ca 2.Receive for your Cupcake Host Kit to arrive in the mail or download it online. 3.Customize your Personal Fundraising Centre online and ask your friends, family and colleagues to support your fundraising efforts. 4.Send your friends and family an email through your participant centre, encouraging them to show their support by donating online. 5.Plan your National Cupcake Day Party for home, work, school or wherever you think people would love to eat cupcakes. 6.Hold your National Cupcake Day Party on Monday, Feb. 27 or any day in January or February that works for you. 7.Bake, decorate and eat! Visit nationalcupcakeday.ca to register, bake and donate. To learn more about National Cupcake Day, check out the short video below!
Ring in the Holiday in Wesbrook Village WITH UNIQUE BALLOON EXHIBIT, CRAFT FAIR AND OTHER FESTIVITIES
November 17, 2016 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Vancouver, BC – Wesbrook Village on Vancouver’s west side is celebrating the holiday season with the launch of its first Balloon Winter Wonderland and Holiday Craft Fair starting Saturday, December 3. Holiday in Wesbrook will also feature a number of other festive exhibits and events throughout the community, providing free entertainment for the entire family. The Balloon Winter Wonderland, housed in the 1,600 square foot Wesbrook Welcome Centre, will be open daily (December 3-18) from 10am to 8pm. The exhibit will feature four familiar holiday scenes, made entirely from biodegradable, nitrogen-filled balloons. Created by balloon artist Angela Fraser of A-Star Art Parlour, the display will use over 2,500 balloons and take around seven days to construct. “We want to create a festive destination for local families to visit and enjoy,” says Christine Chan, Director of Marketing for UBC Properties Trust. “Our winter wonderland is going to be quite elaborate, I can’t wait to see it come to life! We think it will be the first of its kind in the Lower Mainland.” The Holiday Craft Fair at the new Wesbrook Community Centre is taking place on December 3 from 10am to 5pm and will include offerings from over 50 BC artisans and a number of Wesbrook Village businesses. Holiday shoppers will be able to purchase everything from knitwear, to soaps, to jewelry and baked goods. Holiday in Wesbrook will also include: Photos with Santa – Young revelers are invited to take a photo with Santa at the Blenz coffee shop on December 3 from 11am to 1pm. Balloon ContestDraw - Visitors can enter to win their own 4-foot balloon Snowman to take home. The prize will be drawn on December 19. Festive Music – The UBC Thunderbird Band and carollers from UBC Theatre entertaining crowds and infusing the neighbourhood with holiday cheer, on December 3 starting at 12pm. A number of other local businesses will be staging additional holiday events, including brunch at BierCraft Restaurant, the area’s favourite watering hole, a tea sampling at Murchie’s Fine Tea, face-painting at Fido, and a kids’ craft and colouring station at Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt. See list of times and additional activities at DiscoverWesbrook.com. Entry to all events is free and free parking is available across from Save-On-Foods and in the underground parkade. Located south of West 16th Avenue and flanked by Pacific Spirit Regional Park and UBC Farm, Wesbrook is set on a pristine peninsula surrounded by spectacular sweeping ocean views. The ideal balance of urban village and natural setting, Wesbrook is made up of a collection of shops, residences, parks and playgrounds nestled beside a forest on the University of British Columbia’s Vancouver campus. The new community features a variety of rental apartments and ownership condominiums that all conform to UBC’s sustainability guidelines and has great access to public transit. Learn more atwww.discoverwesbrook.com
Vancouver Company Launches Kickstarter Campaign to Bring New Athleisure Shoe to Market
October 20, 2016 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Vancouver, BC – New local shoe company SKYE Footwear has launched a Kickstarter campaign to help introduce three styles of their unisex SKYE street shoe to North American consumers. The company hopes to raise $30,000 US over the course of the month-long campaign. The new footwear line is in step with consumers’ growing appetite for athleisure fashion and focuses on comfortable and stylish designs that work with busy, active lifestyles. “Wearing them really feels like walking on air,” says SKYE designer Justin Heinrichs. “Making these shoes supremely comfortable was the top priority. But we didn’t want to sacrifice style either. When people feel great in the shoes they wear, they’re able to get on with things… to be active, to be creative, and to be happy.” The form-fitting shoe has a true four-way stretch upper, a foam rubber outsole, built-in deep gel insole, and a snug Loop-Lok™ lace-less hold, all contributing to the shoe’s exceptional comfort. The unique lace-less design was inspired by the stand-up paddle-boarding trend, a popular West Coast activity. The brand is launching the line with three styles, with names inspired by the company’s hometown of Vancouver, BC. The Lons - A loafer sneaker, marine classic for modern urbanites. Perfect for casual strolls, top-decks or trips to the beach. The Rbutus - An ultra-soft runner style shoe, designed for those on-the-go. Great for hikes, bikes, and power walks. The Powll - A mod desert boot, cut higher at the ankle. Top choice for city-touring and kicking back around town. SKYE will be releasing two colour variants per style, with more options and combinations to be rolled out in the coming months. In addition to its focus on style and comfort, the company is committed to environmentally-conscious and minimal-use manufacturing and production. Many parts of the shoes are either biodegradable or recyclable. “There is a lot of waste in the fashion industry. With styles changing, people want something new every couple of years. We wanted to come out with a product that is sustainable and as low-impact as possible,” says Gary Chang, SKYE’s COO. While the designs for three styles of SKYE sneakers are already in place, funds raised by the Kickstarter campaign will go towards research and development, creating new molds, manufacturing, and developing a retail distribution plan.
August 30, 2016 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Vancouver, BC - Virtuous Pie, opening Saturday, September 10th in Chinatown, is an elevated fast-casual restaurant, focused on handcrafted plant-based pizzas, non-dairy ice creams, and seasonal salads, featuring local beer and wine on tap. “Our goal is to offer addicting and sustainable food options that are good for you and good for the planet – without sacrificing great taste,” says Executive Chef Jim Vesal. “We’re on a mission to change the way people eat. Even choosing one plant-based meal a day or a week is already a big step in the right direction.” Vesal, former Head Chef at Cocktails & Canapes Catering and Earls Yaletown, is making all of the key ingredients in-house, including his own cultured nut-based cheeses. He’s also driving an innovative menu by incorporating some unexpected toppings, like falafel and harissa on The Med pizza, and gochujang braised jackfruit and spicy kimchi on the Kim Jack-Il. All pizzas are prepared fresh to order and ready in six minutes or less, making it an ideal dining destination for time-pressed lunch seekers. Dinner guests are invited to linger over drinks, including beer from Four Winds and 33 Acres breweries by the bottle, and kombucha, Nitro brew, and BC’s Haywire wine, all on tap. In addition to handcrafted pizzas, the restaurant is also feeding Vancouver’s ice cream obsession by offering a selection of house-made cashew, coconut and almond milk-based “ice creams” with rich flavours like Turmeric + Black Pepper, Donuts + Coffee, and Mint + Dark Chocolate Chunk. Virtuous Pie’s “food with roots” tagline plays to the fact that the restaurant serves a 100% plant-based menu, but also that the team is committed to establishing strong ties to the neighbourhood it calls home. “It’s really important to us to create a menu, a space and an environment that aligns with our core values, and a big part of that is becoming a meaningful part of this community,” says Lia Loukas, VP’s Director of Marketing. To that end, Virtuous Pie is committed to connecting to and building relationships within their community. This includes supporting organizations like the Pivot Foundation, a charitable organization that champions the rights of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside residents, and getting involved at a grass roots level with Mosaic BC and Growing Chefs. Vancouver’s award-winning interior design agency House of Bohn designed the restaurant, drawing inspiration from old world Italy while also injecting a modern, bright, and clean twist in keeping with a fast-casual atmosphere. The 1,100 square foot space incorporates a variety of natural materials and textures, including marble, vintage brick, travertine and local wood. The ceramic red-tiled restrooms pay homage to Chinatown, and everything, from the brass lighting to the tables and benches, is custom and locally made. “We’re really excited about the space and about our food,” says Vesal. “We feel we have something unique to offer and we can’t wait to share it with our neighbours and our city.”
New Destination for Serious Pie Dishes Out and Gives Back
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 20, 2016
Port Moody, BC - The Lower Mainland is getting a new destination pie shop and bakery for hand-crafted fruit pies. Gabi & Jules bakery in Port Moody is opening on Monday July 25th, offering whole pies for purchase or by the slice. The delicious treat is made somewhat “guilt-free” as part proceeds from each pie sold go to support autism organizations.
Owned by Lisa and Patrick Beecroft, the bakery and the pies are named after the couple’s two daughters, 4-year-old Gabi and 8-year-old Jules who has autism. One dollar from each whole pie sold goes to the Autism Support Society and Medicare for Autism. The owners also make a concerted effort to employ individuals on the spectrum, creating an inclusive environment for all employees and setting an example for their daughter.
“Our goal is to give Juliana a place to belong,” says Lisa Beecroft. “We know that often kids with autism can become very isolated and by building this bakery and an environment that is inclusive to individuals of all abilities, we hope that she will find her place there as she gets older. We have already integrated some packaging work into her therapy and she is so proud of her ability to be a part of the business.”
The Beecrofts began serving pie about a year and a half ago at their three Caffe Divano locations. They decided to open a stand-alone bakery focusing predominantly on the pies to meet demand.
“After the vintage market last year, the response was crazy. We sold out of pies so fast. People love pie and it's a fun thing to sell. It makes people happy,” says Beecroft.
Gabi & Jules pie crusts are made with real butter instead of shortening, which gives them their golden hue. The fillings are made with chunks of ripe fruit and spices and aren’t overly sweet. Six to eight pies flavours will be available at any one time, including the signature Strawberry, Peach, Ginger pie which is always on offer.
“There is something comforting about pie. It’s kind of traditional and nostalgic,” says Beecroft. “We use the very best seasonal ingredients and we always get comments about how heavy our pies are because they really are loaded with fruit. It’s amazing to see how far people will drive to get some!”
In addition to pies, the bakery will be serving other treats, coffees and teas. Jams, flavoured popcorn, nuts and bake-at-home scones and brownies will also be available for purchase.
The pies retail for $25 and come in a reusable pie tin. They will be sold at Gabi & Jules, three Caffe Divano locations and the Coquitlam Farmer’s Market and the Main Street Market in Vancouver.
Lombardo's Celebrates 30th Anniversary with Expo Era Prices
Patti Lombardo with daughter Elizabeth
For Immediate Release May 5, 2016. Vancouver, BC – Lombardo’s restaurant on Commercial Drive is announcing the start of Expo Hours - featuring 1986 prices - help mark both the 30th anniversary of Expo ’86 and the year that the restaurant opened its doors.
Starting on Monday May 9th and running until Labour Day, all medium sized pizzas at Lombardo’s will be available for $9.75, Sundays through Thursdays, from 8 pm until 10 pm.
“We couldn’t really bring back dishes from that year because believe it not, very few of our menu items have changed. The number 7 pizza is still the number 7 pizza. And our customers wouldn’t have it any other way,” says Lombardo’s owner Patti Lombardo.
“But what has changed, of course, are the prices. We thought offering Expo ’86 era pricing would be a fun way to celebrate both anniversaries and to say thank you to Vancouver for its continued support.”
Although 22 million people visited the World’s Fair in the summer of 1986, few ventured beyond the fairgrounds to dine at one of Vancouver’s first wood oven pizzerias.
“It was such a beautiful summer weather-wise, and everyone was down at Expo. No one seemed to be coming to Commercial Drive. For the first few months, things definitely weren’t easy. We didn’t know if we’d make it,” says Lombardo.
Despite the slow start, Lombardo’s stayed true to its recipe of delicious Italian comfort food served in a cozy, relaxed setting. The restaurant, run by Lombardo and her three daughters, is now celebrating its third decade in business, something few Vancouver restaurants can boast.
“So much has changed in the past thirty years, in the city and in our family. The restaurant has been one mainstay, and it’s not going anywhere!” Says Lombardo.
Patti Lombardo with daughter Elizabeth, 1986
BC Writer Featured in Elizabeth Gilbert's Latest Book
For Immediate Release March 16, 2016
An essay by Delta, BC writer Eran Sudds is one of four dozen published in best-selling author Elizabeth Gilbert’s new anthology, Eat Pray Love Made Me Do It: Life Journeys Inspired by the Bestselling Memoir,” (Riverhead Books) which hits bookstores March 29th, 2016.
Sudds’s candid story about her struggles to find meaning in her life and to cope with motherhood was chosen from among nearly 2000 submissions, and the only one of two essays penned by Canadian writers.
“To be included in Elizabeth Gilbert’s latest book is such a huge honour,” says Sudds. “Eat Pray Love is my own personal bible, no exaggeration. The book changed the course of my life not once, but twice. It gave me the strength to do things that I not only I wanted to do, but that I needed to do.”
In the ten years since its electrifying debut, Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat Pray Love has become a worldwide phenomenon, empowering millions of readers to set out on paths they never thought possible. To celebrate the tenth anniversary of Eat Pray Love and to answer her own burning question, “why was Eat Pray Love such a success?” Gilbert invited her fans to share short essays about the role her story has played in their lives.
Sudds’s reading of Eat Pray Love led her to quit her 9-5 job and embark on her own “Eat” journey to Bordeaux, France. She found inspiration in the book’s words a second time, after giving birth to her son.
“On the very first page Elizabeth writes, “Tell the truth, tell the truth…” I read those words again, during a very dark hour. And I realized then that I had to tell the truth too. And the truth was, I was dealing with postpartum depression and I needed help,” says Sudds.
The help she received from the Pacific Post Partum Support Society inspired Sudds to launch The Good Mother Project, a global online community of mothers supporting mothers through similar hardships. “Talk about the butterfly effect,” says Sudds.
Other stories in the book include one about a writer coming to terms with the loss of her mother; another leaves the seminary, embraces his sexual identity and forges a new relationship with God; while a third reels from a difficult divorce and finds new love overseas. The journeys these writers recount are transformative, sometimes hilarious, sometimes heartbreaking, but always deeply inspiring.
EAT PRAY LOVE MADE ME DO IT is a celebration for fans old and new, and a reminder of what has made Eat Pray Love such an enduring success.
LOMBARDO’S CELEBRATES 30th ANNIVERSARY BY INVITING PATRONS TO COLOUR OUTSIDE THE BOX
For Immediate Release March 16, 2016
Lombardo’s Pizzeria and Restaurant on Commercial Drive in Vancouver is releasing a specially designed “colouring” pizza box to help mark the restaurant’s 30th year in business.
Created by East Vancouver artist Ali Bruce, the box draws on the recent swell in popularity of adult colouring books. Bruce’s bold black and white street-art inspired illustrations depict Lombardo’s owner Patti Lombardo and her three daughters, who all help run the restaurant.
“We wanted to commemorate the years of being on the Drive, and at the same time, showcase that we are a family, female-run business, one that has lasted through thick and thin together,” says Lombardo. “By making it a colouring box, we also thought it would be a fun way to engage customers and inspire their own creativity.”
Patrons of all ages are invited to colour in the box, take photos of their creations, and share with @LombardosPizza on social media using the hashtag #Lombardos30yrs. Submissions will be entered in a monthly draw for a free large pizza, running for the rest of 2016. Lombardo’s opened on Commercial Drive and 1st Avenue in Il Mercato Mall in the summer of 1986, at the height of Expo fever in Vancouver. Despite no previous restaurant experience, Lombardo was able turn the small eatery into a local institution, serving some of the best pizza in the city.
Eldest daughter Elizabeth (31) is the restaurant manager, 21-year-old Sonia helps with front-of-house, bartending and marketing, while 27-year-old Giulia is the head chef, whipping up Italian specialties since the age of five. “We have some great recipes, ones that haven’t changed since day one,” says Lombardo. “Pizza #7 is still the same pizza #7. But the fact that we’ve maintained this as a family-owned and operated business is really the special ingredient. I believe that’s contributed so much to the restaurant’s longevity and success.”
Lombardo’s is Commercial Drive’s original wood oven pizzeria established in 1986. The family owned and operated restaurant serves traditional Italian pasta dishes and what many believe to be the best think-crust pizza in Vancouver. Located at 1st and Commercial Drive, Lombardo’s is open 7 days a week. For more information or to make a reservation, please contact 604-251-2240 or go to www.lombardos.ca.
Bake a Difference for Animals this February 29th
For immediate Release January 7, 2016
Did you know that simply by baking cupcakes you can help animals in need? Bakers across the country are pulling out their aprons and dusting off their cupcake tins in preparation for Canada’s fourth annual National Cupcake Day for SPCAs and Humane Societies on Feb. 29, a day when indulging your sweet tooth is entirely guilt-free.
Participants who register before Jan. 31 and raise $50 will be automatically entered to win a KitchenAid Stand Mixer, the perfect kitchen appliance for whipping up cupcake batter or scrumptious frosting.
“What I love about Cupcake Day is that it’s so easy to get involved,” says National Cupcake Day spokesperson and self-proclaimed bungling baker, Kristina Matisic. “Cupcakes are pretty simple to bake. Trust me, if I can pull it off, anyone can.”
Proceeds from the event go to SPCAs and humane societies across the country, helping to support animals big and small who are in need of help. The BC SPCA will use these funds to find homes for surrendered, neglected or abused animals, and provide emergency care to sick or injured animals.
“If you’re not a pro baker, don’t let that stop you,” says Matisic. “I’ve been known to pull out a box of mix now and again. After all, it’s not about the cupcakes themselves, it’s about making a difference.”
As a Cupcake Day host, you will be part of an exceptional group of supporters who understand the importance of animals in our lives. Here’s how to get involved: 1. Register for free at www.nationalcupcakeday.ca and select your charity of choice. 2. Register before Jan. 31 and raise $50 and be entered to win a KitchenAid Stand Mixer. 3. Plan your National Cupcake Day™ party for home, work, school or wherever you think people would love to eat your cupcakes. 4. Promote your Cupcake Day party by personalizing your online bakery and sharing your website link via email and social media. 5. Encourage your co-workers, friends and family to support you and the animals by donating online. 6. Bake (or buy!) and decorate your cupcakes or pupcakes (for your canine friends). 7. Serve your delicious cupcakes in exchange for donations at your National Cupcake Day party. National Cupcake Day is Feb. 29 but you can hold your party any day in January or February. 8. Send in your donations. 9. Celebrate your success. The funds you raised will change the lives of animals! “Last year in B.C. we raised nearly $150,000 and this year our goal is to top that,” says BC SPCA CEO Craig Daniell. “It’s so wonderful to see this initiative grow each year, with so many British Columbians committing to ‘bake a difference’ for animals in need.” Special thanks to gold sponsor Pets Plus Us and silver sponsors Agency 59, BMO and Hill’s® Science Diet®. To register or for more information, visit www.nationalcupcakeday.ca. –30– For more information: Kristina Matisic, National Cupcake Day™ spokesperson, 604-732-7771 or BC SPCA general manager of community relations Lorie Chortyk, 604-647-1316.
The BC SPCA is a non-profit organization funded primarily by public donations. Our mission is to prevent cruelty and to promote the welfare of animals through a wide range of services, including cruelty investigations, emergency rescue and treatment, sheltering and adoption of homeless and abused animals, humane education, advocacy, farm animal welfare, spay/neuter programs, and wildlife rescue and rehabilitation.
Bauhaus and Cioppino's Unite for Special Culinary Evening
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 6, 2016
On January 27th, Bauhaus restaurant is setting the table for a remarkable eight-course dinner prepared by two of Vancouver’s most celebrated chefs. Bauhaus’s own Michelin Star Chef Stefan Hartmann will be joined in the kitchen by award-winning chef Pino Posteraro of Cioppino’s restaurant, for a unique German/Mediterranean feast, with each chef contributing four exquisite dishes.
Both Hartmann and Posteraro are well known for their commitment to using only the finest ingredients, prepared in ways that surprise and delight. Chef Hartmann is noted for his “new German cuisine,” while also earning a reputation for his flair in transforming traditional dishes into contemporary creations.
Chef Posteraro is recognized for his focus on the lightness of taste in his Italian and Mediterranean dishes, electing to use the finest olive oils in lieu of heavier animal fats and creams.
Guests will be treated to six savoury dishes and two desserts, each inspired by that chef’s country of origin.
“We wanted to create an exceptional culinary event for Vancouverites, one they don’t get to experience every day,” says Bauhaus owner Uwe Boll. “I’ve always been a big fan of Pino’s and of his cuisine, and I’ve dined at his restaurant countless times over the years. To have him join forces with Stefan will truly be a special treat for our guests.”
The price for the eight-course tasting menu is $95.00 and seating is limited. To reserve your space, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
German ham, onsen egg, asparagus Light lobster bisque, Pacific crab-apple remoulade, lobster gnocchi Mackerel, blood sausage, apple, onions Pinched ravioli, truffle sauce Veal loin, sweetbreads, brioche, carrots Alberta wild boar “Black Forest” coffee and chocolate, preserved cherry sauce White chocolate, lychee, rose water, champagne Variation of Cacao Barry Tanzanie chocolate