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.

Mystery Guest Services – NEW to Fashion INVESTIGATOR INC

Mayumi Izumi

I am very excited to announce that Fashion INVESTIGATOR INC has NEW SERVICES to offer you – Mystery Guest services. For those of you, visiting mayumiizumi.com for the first time, this is in addition to the host of other services we provide such as Digital Marketing, Content Creation, Social Media Management, and Public Relations. With the global pandemic not going anywhere, anytime soon, supporting Local Businesses is of utmost importance.

But that also means that Local Business Owners need to ensure their employees’ customer service is up to par. Because if it isn’t — customers will go to another restaurant, clothing or grocery store down the street.

If you are following my Instagram page, you know that I am always giving positive feedback on customer service. Being a Local Promoter I want to recommend the business to my friends and followers, encourage the restaurant server or retail associate that they’re doing a great job and to keep doing what they’re doing. Business Owners benefit by knowing they have trained their staff properly, their business gets a shout-out, and also featured on my social media platform.

Why is it so important to me that businesses provide good customer service? I have been in the customer service industry for over 20 years and in that time I learned a thing or two about what GOOD customer service is.

When I am out in my community as a customer, I expect to receive a certain level of service. Number 1 – greet your customers and ask them how they’re doing! It will form their first impression of your business and brand.

You would think it’s common sense to do so but many a time, I have walked into establishments where I have been completely ignored. The middle of part of the interaction is vital but MOST IMPORTANT is to thank your customers! That is the last impression you make on your potential loyal customer.

Mystery Guest Photo
Customers deserve and need to be treated well. If not they will take their business elsewhere.

There are businesses out there that don’t thank their customers. The cashier or associate says, “Have a nice day”! Have a nice day doesn’t cut it, honey!

You MUST thank your customers. They are contributing to your bottom line. If there is no customer there is no money.

There are other companies that offer Mystery Shoppers — the difference is EXPERIENCE. There are 12 steps to interacting with customers. I will ensure that we provide a full report showing step by step where the server or associate went above and beyond or didn’t meet expectations and detailed suggestions on what areas they can improve on.

If you are an independent Business Owner and do not have a comprehensive training program developed, I will also provide customer service training to your team.

If you have any questions or would like to use our services go to our contact us page.

Babes Promoting Babes – Kasia of Isabelle’s Bridal

Isabelle's Bridal - Martin Thornburg wedding dress

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 …

In the mid 2000’s while I was studying Fashion Merchandising at VCC (Vancouver Community College), I was working part time as a receptionist at Beverly Ball Hair Design on West Esplanade in North Vancouver. It is unfortunately no longer, but when I was working there, and for as long as I can remember, I have admired the stunning dresses on display in the store front windows at Isabelle’s Bridal.

I recently featured their window displays on my Instagram and sought to find out more about the people behind Isabelle’s. The local bridal store is a perfect fit for my Babes Promoting Babes Interview Series. I am very honoured to introduce you to Kasia Bulva, one of the owners of the North Van iconic store.

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 Poland and lived there until I was 9 years old. I grew up in a city called Sanok with my twin sister Basia (who also happens to be my business partner). Growing up in Poland was great but it was during Communism when life was quite difficult at times. My parents decided to immigrate our family to Canada to give us an opportunity for a better life. 

Isabelle's Bridal - Wedding Palette
Isabelle’s Bridal – Wedding Palette

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

K: I was hoping to get into advertising. I’ve always had a passion for coming up with creative ways to sell and market products. As I grew older, I developed a passion for the art of selling and excellence in customer service.

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

K: I went to college and studied business development. 

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

K: I moved to Vancouver in 1999. I was living in Toronto at the time and came to visit BC and I was hooked! It wasn’t long after that trip that I made the decision to move here. 

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

K: My business was started in 2005 under different ownership. Funny thing is, I actually came in as a bride looking to purchase a veil. The previous owners and I had an instant connection. I felt like they had been my friends for years. After going home I quickly realized I wanted to spend more time with them so I became their first employee! I became the store manager and learned many valuable aspects of the wedding industry over the 10 years spent with them.

Isabelle's Bridal - Sweet flower girl dresses
Isabelle’s Bridal – Sweet flower girl dresses by Ooh La La Boutique

After the fantastic 10 years the previous owners decided to change pace and close the store down which forced me to look for other employment options. Upon my search it quickly became evident that my passion was bridal and that I wanted to continue working in the industry. I then had this “it” moment! I literally sprung out of bed at 3am and said out loud to myself “I’m going to buy the store!” And I have now owned the store for 7 years. 

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

K: I love having the freedom of choosing how I spend my time and the ability to make my own business decisions.

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: I would advise future Boss Babes to look within themselves and if what they are planning to do is really their passion. Running a business takes a lot of hard work and dedication. The 9 to 5 workday will not exist anymore and often you will take your work home with you in paper and emotional form.

Having said that, it is also very rewarding and exciting. Your business is your baby so you will need to make sure you do whatever it takes to make it run smoothly. Number one advice – get a very good bookkeeper!

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

K Remember to keep it fun. Stay innovative and motivated. There will be great days and there will be not so great days. Always remind yourself that this a journey of your passion, enjoy the ride! My favorite quote is, “if you love your job, you’ll never work another day in your life”.

If you would like to see more of Isabelle’s Bridal’s beautiful wedding dresses follow their Instagram and visit their website to book an in-store or virtual appointment.

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/