Mayumi & Mama Izumi’s Foodie Adventures — Fets Whisky Kitchen

Fets Whisky Kitchen

Welcome to my new series, Mayumi & Mama Izumi’s Foodie Adventures! Today marks my first installment and I’m very excited to write about Fets Whiskey Kitchen. It was my second and Mama’s first time at the yummy eatery and bar.

Located in East Vancouver’s Little Italy on ‘the Drive’, Fets is nestled beside Havana and across the street from Grandview Park.

Mama and I ordered their Country Fried Steak and the Cooper’s Breakfast. Fets’ Country Fried Steak is crispy on the outside and the organic meat is moist and tender on the inside — the best I’ve had. It is accompanied by Maker’s Mark Bourbon white gravy, rosemary biscuit & bread, sunny side up egg, hashbrowns (with sauteed onions), and a dash of greens (with pickled onions). Delish!

Fets' Country Fried Steak and Cooper's Breakfast
Fets’ Country Fried Steak and Cooper’s Breakfast

The Cooper’s Breakfast is so tasty that my mouth is watering reliving my memories of it. It is comprised of braised local pork, black beans, sunny egg, and cornbread. All the flavours in both dishes enhance rather than compete with each other. It is gourmet comfort food and my gourmand compliments go to the chef.

Not only am I a foodie, but also a coffee connoisseur. Fets did not disappoint. They serve Western Canadian, Canterbury coffee that is filled with multi levels of roasted flavour notes.

Canterbury coffee at Fets Whisky Kitchen
Canterbury coffee at Fets Whisky Kitchen

A definite must if you haven’t already had the pleasure to nom at this wonderful Commercial Drive restaurant. Besides the yummy eats, the customer service is also top notch and they have a heated patio. Need I say more?

If you would like to learn more about Fets Whisky Kitchen follow them on their Instagram.

Babes Promoting Babes Interview Series – Kristin Ames of Fit Life Coaching

Kristin Ames and I graduated from Carson Graham Secondary together. One of my first memories of her is from grade 8 when she invited me to her birthday/slumber party. There were 5 of us: Kristin, Tracy Meredith, Judi Hector, Hanna Barber and I (Some of the girls’ last names have since changed but I am using their maiden names).

I don’t remember all the details of her birthday party but I do remember we had fun and the next day we swam in her swimming pool and her Mom made us brunch afterwards to eat on her patio.

It is with great pleasure that I introduce you all to my dear high school friend, Kristin Ames, Founder of Fit LIfe Coaching.

MY MISSION:  To motivate and inspire Boss Babes in the making. To uplift, encourage, and promote male & female entrepreneurs and to share aspirations, goals and dreams with them, and you, my subscribers.

To provide and build a warm, loving, and supportive community of CREATORS. Creators of art, a business, or a NEW YOU … 

M: What’s your story?  Where were you born, where were you raised?  What was your childhood, growing up years like? 

K: I was born in Vancouver and grew up here in North Vancouver.  I had a pretty typical childhood, played sports, was involved in music, lots of social activities.  I’ve always liked to be busy and for as long as I can remember, I have had a pretty full plate. 

My parents were both university professors, so there was a lot of pressure to excel academically.  I can’t really say I regret it though, I learned how to set goals and work hard from a young age, a skill which has served me well over the years.  We were always encouraged to set the bar high.

M: What did you want to do when you grew up? 

K: My mom loves to tell the story that when I was 3, I said I wanted to be a ‘fruit cocktail’ waitress.  I’ve never heard the end of that one.

Kristin Ames of Fit Life Coaching
Kristin is baking with protein powder & gives us tips on her Instagram page.

I knew I wanted to be involved in business in some aspect, but I had envisioned working for a big company, not for myself. It was the 80s, the era of movies like “Working Girl” and “Baby Boom”, and corporate opportunities for women were on the rise.  That world seemed glamorous to me.

M: Did you go to college or university?  If so, what did you study?

K: I tried college and university, and I felt a business degree would set me up for the future. But quickly found the rigidity of the programs and having to take classes that I had no interest in just to satisfy degree requirements frustrating. When I was 21, I was offered an opportunity to article at an accounting firm by my old boss who I had worked for in high school.

At that time, you could work full-time and go to school at night to get your professional accounting designation. I didn’t even blink; I left university immediately and went to work for an accounting firm downtown. 

All I did was work and study for the next 7 years, but I finished my CGA (now rolled into the CPA designation) and by that time I had enough work experience to get a really good job.  I didn’t know then that I would end up on a very different career path!

M: When did you start your business?  What was your inspiration?

K: A couple of years ago I sold my former business, Posy Floral Design, wanting a change of pace. I started to think about how I could still run my own business, but have the flexibility of being able to travel, take care of my family, and enjoy life a bit more.

Fitness has been a big part of my personal life for the last 15 years, and several years ago I developed an interest in sports nutrition.  I had also been reading a lot about the online fitness industry and was intrigued with how seamlessly that business model seemed to fit with what I had been envisioning for my future.  

Kristin Ames of Fit Life Coaching
Kristin Ames is the ultimate Boss Babe! She started not only 1 but 2 businesses!

I went back to school and got certified as a Personal Trainer, Nutrition Coach and Health Coach, which rounded out the practical experience I already had. 

I know so many women in their 40s and 50s who have put themselves last for years, working on careers and raising families, neglecting themselves along the way. They don’t know what to do so they do nothing, figuring it’s ‘too late’ to make a change. 

Having been there myself at one point in my life, I know that all you need is the belief that you can change and the right people to support you.  

This was my inspiration to create Fit Life Coaching; we create customized fitness and nutrition programs for women who want to get back in shape and feel confident again.

M: What do you love the most about being a Boss Babe?

K: I love the feeling of being completely in control of what happens, that the sky’s the limit.  There is always something new to learn, some way to grow and get better.  Sometimes I have trouble falling asleep at night because I just want it to be morning so I can get up and start going again … The feeling that each day is a blank slate, full of possibility. It’s a feeling you just can’t replicate working for someone else. 

M: What would your advice be for Boss Babes in the making?  If they are contemplating leaving a secure 9-5 job with benefits – what would you say to them? Should they take the leap?

K: Don’t feel that where you start is where you have to end up. It’s okay to want different things at different times in your life.  People get stuck because they think they have to keep doing what they are already doing – but that’s crazy! 

If you are so passionate about something that you can’t stop thinking about it and want to do it all day every day, then absolutely stop thinking about it and start doing it.  Passion for what you do and hard work will get you through almost any obstacle.

M: Any last words? What’s our favourite positive/motivational quote or book?

K: There is a perplexing fear of losing and making mistakes in today’s world.  We are taking competition away from our children as though it’s a bad thing.  I don’t get it.  Some of the biggest lessons I learned in life were through my failures and losses; if I hadn’t had those experiences I would never have learned about resilience.  Don’t let the fear of failure stop you from taking chances.

Take chances, make mistakes. That’s how you grow.” – Mary Tyler Moore

If you would like to learn more about Fit Life Coaching, follow her on Instagram and her website.

Babes Promoting Babes Interview Series – Gordon Tang of GT & Co

My haircut from Gordon at GT & Co

MY MISSION:  To motivate and inspire Boss Babes in the making. To uplift, encourage, and promote male & female entrepreneurs and to share aspirations, goals and dreams with them, and you, my subscribers.

To provide and build a warm, loving, and supportive community of CREATORS. Creators of art, a business, or a NEW YOU … 

I met Gordon Tang when I was 14 years old before he started his salon, GT & Co Hair Studio on East 2nd in North Vancouver. My Mom had her hair done by him and recommended him to me. She said he was, “sugoku jouzu (which means really good or skillful in Japanese)”.

And I have been going to see Gordon since then for over 20 years. Mom was right — Gordon is great! If you ask him to only cut 1/2 an inch off that’s all he will cut. And so talented in the way he cuts and styles hair.

Once I find a person, company or product that I like, admire and enjoy — I stay loyal. I am that “sought after customer” that businesses dream about. Not only do I stay loyal to the company but I also spread the word. I created a hashtag on Instagram #fortheloveoflocal with a heart emoji and without for this exact purpose. I spread the word about a Local Business through my love for them.

So without further ado — It’s my pleasure to introduce you to Gordon, Owner of GT & Co and my stylist since I was in high school.

M: What’s your story?  Where were you born, where were you raised?  What was your childhood, growing up years like? 

G: I was born and raised in the Hong Kong countryside. My childhood consisted of lots of farming and lots of pets.

M: What did you want to do when you grew up? 

G: I wanted to be a professional soccer player.

M: Did you go to college or university?  If so, what did you study?

G: I studied business at Langara College and then I studied hair design at Vidal Sassoon in London, England.

M: When did you move to Vancouver?  Why did you move to Vancouver?

G: I moved to Vancouver with my family in 1979 for a better education and more opportunities.

M: When did you start your business?  What was your inspiration?

G: I started my business in 1986. I cut my friends’ hair in high school and it was then that I found my passion — I love to talk to people while hairdressing.

M: What do you love the most about being a Boss Babe?

G: The ability to control my own finances, hours and being able to learn from my customers; and to have the ability to implement their good ideas.

M: What would your advice be for Boss Babes in the making?  If they are contemplating leaving a secure 9-5 job with benefits – what would you say to them? Should they take the leap?

G: If you believe in yourself and your dreams and are willing to work hard, you will find success

M: Any last words? What’s our favourite positive/motivational quote or book?

G: My favourite quote is, “nothing ventured, nothing gained“.

Gordon is old school and does not have any social media platforms or website for his salon. If you would like to make an appointment with him, please tell him that Mayumi sent you!

GT & Co Hair Studio is located at: 130 2nd St E, North Vancouver, BC and their phone number is: 604.988.9813. The salon hours are: Tuesday through Saturday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Babes Promoting Babes – Francisco of Tequila Cocina Restaurant

MY MISSION:  To motivate and inspire Boss Babes in the making. To uplift, encourage, and promote male & female entrepreneurs and to share aspirations, goals and dreams with them and you, my subscribers.

To provide and build a warm, loving, and supportive community of CREATORS. Creators of art, a business, or a NEW YOU … 

I first met Francisco Sonora, Owner of Tequila Cocina Restaurant at the Lonsdale Ave Magazine launch party as I did our first Male Boss Babe, Eamonn Duignan, when we were introduced by the magazine founder.

Francisco is affable, friendly and very easy to talk to. He is in the perfect industry …

M;  What’s your story?  Where were you born, where were you raised?  What was your childhood, growing up years like? 

F:  I was born and raised in Mexico City and have an older brother. I grew up in an ordinary family, playing soccer in the streets and drinking water from the hose in the summer. Nintendo was also something I enjoyed playing back then.

I helped our family in a small restaurant, doing everything from washing dishes to cooking, and serving customers.

My mom who raised my brother and myself with a strong work ethic and morals, set a good example for us.

Tequila Cocina’s yummy nachos

M:  What did you want to do when you grew up?  

F: Having my own restaurant was always one of my dreams because cooking is one of my biggest passions.

Also, I wanted to have my own family and I feel blessed now to have baby Ana, she’s my sunshine!!

M:  Did you go to college or university?  If so, what did you study?

F:  No I didn’t.

M:  When did you move to Vancouver?  Why did you move to Vancouver?

F:  I moved to Vancouver when I was about 20 years old and worked in construction for years (which I still do).

First, I visited on vacation and loved it and all the opportunities that are here. I’m lucky to get to live in this city.

Tequila Cocina’s live entertainment on Friday Nights – Mariachi Los Dorados

M:  When did you start your business?  What was your inspiration?

F:  We first opened on May 31st, 2019 but it took us about one year to build and renovate the place.

We are going to have our first anniversary in a couple weeks. It falls on a Sunday and we will be preparing a lot of specials for our customers.

M:  What do you love the most about being a Boss Babe?

F:  Well, I’m just the face of the restaurant but there’s a team of many people involved who I appreciate and have to thank.

We have become a family at Tequila Cocina — from my business partner, Mami Matsumura, to kitchen and front staff and of course, my wife and baby who are my motivation to keep me going everyday.

M:  What would your advice be for Boss Babes in the making?  If they are contemplating leaving a secure 9-5 job with benefits – what would you say to them? Should they take the leap?

F:  I’d say just go for it, everything is going to make sense down the road.

Vancouver is an open ocean full of fish and we are the fisherman. Martin Luther king once said,  “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”

M:  Any last words? What’s our favourite positive/motivational quote or book?

F:  There’s a quote that I like and it goes something like,

“The key to success is start before you are ready. Don’t look for happiness, create it …”

You can follow Tequila Cocina on their Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tequilacocina/ and have a look at their menu — their first anniversary is just around the corner: https://www.tequilacocina.org/

Babes Promoting Babes – Shane of Goodlad Clothing

Grandpa Goodlad

I had the pleasure of meeting Shane Meier last year when I walked into Goodlad Clothing and introduced myself.

I chose to visit his store because I wanted to feature their Men’s Clothing in my First Annual Fashion Gala, “For the Love of Local”. And to my delight, Shane agreed on the spot. He was also a gracious host and gave me a tour of his store, barber & coffee shop — All contained in the one location.

Shane told me the reason he named his store Goodlad. It was his grandfather’s last name. Grandpa James Goodlad’s portrait was rendered by an amazing local artist, Kevin Keeler. It is hung in the center of Shane’s store & shown above .

A portion of my fashion show ticket sales will be donated to Not for Profit Organization, Harvest Project. Designer garments from their thrift store, Clothes For Change will be highlighted and 3 suits designed & constructed by VCC (Vancouver Community College) Fashion Design students will be auctioned and all proceeds will be going to help families in the Harvest Project program. Stay tuned, I will be announcing when and where the gala will be taking place when it is deemed safe to do so.

Goodlad Clothing
Goodlad Clothing Store – Men’s Fashion in North Vancouver

MY MISSION:  To motivate and inspire Boss Babes in the making. To uplift, encourage, and promote male & female entreprenuers and to share aspirations, goals and dreams with them.

To provide and build a warm, loving, and supportive community of CREATORS. Creators of art, a business, or a NEW YOU … 

M: What’s your story?  Where were you born, where were you raised?  What was your childhood, growing up years like? 

S: I was born and raised in Saskatoon, Sask (Saskatchewan) but lived most of my life in the Lower Mainland.

Spent about 30 years in the Film/TV Industry both locally and in Los Angeles, as well as across most of Canada.  Currently live in Yaletown but cannot wait to get to the North Shore where my business GOODLAD is located.

M: What did you want to do when you grew up?  

S: I had ZERO clue. Lol … In FACT, I didn’t know what I wanted to do (for the rest of my life) until I was in my late 30’s.

Acting was a hobby and that was it. I was too small to play most sports as a kid so Film/TV performances were a natural fit for me and I was very fortunate to get work steadily as a kid.

M: Did you go to college or university?  If so, what did you study?

S: I did not. I moved to LA when I was 17 and lived there for a year. THAT was my post secondary education.

M: When did you move to Vancouver?  Where in Vancouver did you move to?

S: We moved from Saskatchewan around 1988. I lived and grew up in Coquitlam.

M: When did you start your business?  What was your inspiration?

S: Goodlad was born about 2 years ago. We officially opened for business in August 2018 so we are still new!

Inspiration came just wanting to be a business owner. I’ve always worked for myself my whole life in the Film World.

I wanted to open something special where people would gravitate towards. I wanted each person that comes through the doors to have a great experience.

Goodlad's Coffee Shop
Goodlad’s Coffee Shop – drink coffee & grab a breakfast sandwich or snack

M: What do you love the most about being a Boss Babe?

S: If you ask ANY of my staff I DO NOT use the term BOSS in or around the shop. I am their colleague. Co-worker. Mentor. I just so happen to be the signing officer on their paychecks — That is it. 

I do, however, like being able to do just that. Mentor and point people in the right direction. 

I was once in their shoes. And learning from people with experience only helped push me in the direction I wanted to go. 

M; What would your advice be for Boss Babes in the making?  If they are contemplating leaving a secure 9-5 job with benefits – what would you say to them? Should they take the leap?

S: YES. Take the plunge. Commit. A lot of people get scared and stay in their 9-5’s and are miserable for most of their lives.

Goodlad - Barber Shop
Goodlad Barber Shop – get your hair cut, and a shave while you shop

Being an entrepreneur is one of the most exhilarating  experiences I have ever had. Stressful at times, but once you see what you have created for people, there is no better feeling.

I may have brought this mentality from my performing days…

M: Any last words? What’s our favourite positive/motivational quote or book.

S: Never be afraid. Attack projects with KNOWING that you will succeed. Hard work always pays off in the end.

Motivating books?? Gino Wickman writes a ton of VERY useful books for running anything from 2 to 2000 staff business. Very useful for me when opening Goodlad. 

And you cannot go wrong with Mr. Jordan Peterson’s “12 Rules of Life”. It’s a true game changer!!

Shane Meier is the Owner of Goodlad Clothing, North Vancouver’s premier Men’s Fashion store, barber & coffee shop all rolled into one. Very unique concept and a triple threat: https://www.goodladclothing.com/ and follow them on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/goodladclothing/

Babes Promoting Babes Interview Series Launch

Daisy Logo

I’m very excited to announce the launch of my Babes Promoting Babes Interview Series. The first Boss Babe to be interviewed is Brigitte Besner, one of the Owners of Daisy … Sandwiches & Such.

MY MISSION:  To motivate and inspire Boss Babes in the making. To uplift, encourage, and promote male & female entrepreneurs and to share aspirations, goals and dreams with them.

To provide and build a warm, loving, and supportive community of CREATORS. Creators of art, a business, or a NEW YOU …

I had the opportunity to interview Brigitte a couple of days ago and it was timed synchronistically. Daisy will be re-opening for takeout on Monday, April 27th. I am a fan and am very happy!

M:  What’s your story?  Where were you born, where were you raised?  What was your childhood, growing up years like? 

B:  I was born in the province of Quebec in a small town called Verdun.  Family of 4. Younger brother. Both parents worked until they decided to open their own restaurant (diner).  My mother’s parents had their own diner already. So I basically grew up in a diner all my life.

M:  What did you want to do when you grew up?  

B:  Lawyer.  But my father was hoping for me to join the family business so I went a different path.  At that time my parents owned a chain of Italian restaurants.

M: Did you go to university?  If so, what did you study?

B:  No, I did not go to university but I went to a hospitality management school in Montreal.  L’Institut de Tourisme et D’Hôtellerie du Québec.

M:  When did you move to Vancouver?  Why did you move to Vancouver?

I moved to Vancouver in 1991 for work.  I worked in a small restaurant in Maple Bay near Duncan on the Island.  After I moved to Vancouver and worked in different hotels as a server, banquet server and front desk.  Eventually I was offered a position in a hotel in Lebanon for 6 months for Food and Beverage Management … When I came back, I was transferred to a hotel in Montreal (of all places LOL!!) for a year and came back to Vancouver.  Most of my career in BC was mainly in hotel settings. 

 M: When did you start Daisy … Sandwiches & Such? I know the story but how did you name Daisy’s?

B:  We opened Daisy’s in May 2011. My daughter said she wanted to be famous when she grew up so I said okay, here’s your chance.  I named the restaurant after her. Her name is Charlotte Daisy.

6) What do you love the most about being a Boss Babe?

B:  I guess what I like (or liked ) — the control over the “creative” aspects.  

When you are working for someone, you are working at bringing THEIR vision to life.  Even if sometimes you think you know better, and you bring in ideas or feedback to your employers, it is still their dream and vision.

When you are your own boss, you are in charge of every aspect of your vision and your dream.

And from that point on, you build yourself a team that will help you bring your dream and vision to life.  In the process you hope that you are empowering and giving tools to another person to go out and take a leap of faith and start their own business.

M:  What would your advice be for Boss Babes in the making?  If they are contemplating leaving a secure 9-5 job with benefits – what would you say to them? Should they take the leap?

B: THINK about the reason — If you’re in it for the money, you’re not going to make money right away. DO IT IF:  

1) You’re passionate about your service or product.

2) You are excited to be your own boss.

3) You can talk to people in the industry first.  Ask them questions. Questions like, what would they have done when they first opened their business that they didn’t know, but know now.

4) You have the ability to delegate tasks.  It makes a HUGE difference. When you delegate tasks, you can FOCUS your time and energy on what generates MONEY.  If you try to DO EVERYTHING yourself, your creativity dries up …

M:  Any last words? What’s our favourite positive/motivational quote or book.

B:  Being in business is being in a relationship. You are in a relationship with your customers.

Like every relationship to function, some compromises will have to be made. Choose how much and what kind of compromises you are willing to make to keep your relationship with your relationship with your guest healthy and balanced.

When you make too many compromises, you dilute the essence of who you are, of what your business is all about.

It’s a thin line to walk, but it’s very important to learn how to walk it.

But most important, always work from a place of gratitude.

Daisy … Sandwiches & Such is located at 1089 Roosevelt Crescent in North Vancouver.  Their menu is on their website: https://daisysandwiches.com/ and the restaurant will be re-opening for takeut on Monday, April 27th.