It’s a Must Have – H.A.V.E

It’s of common knowledge that Team Daily is a food loving bunch. Food forms the focal point of all our discussions, meetings and talks. Apart from food, community is what we feel strongly about. Of course, loving food and caring for the community are the two traits that all our partners share, too. The partner that we are talking about today is so passionate about food that they even teach how to whip up delicacies. Yes, they are a Culinary Training Society. And, a Not-for-profit one at that. With the community at heart, they are also a registered charity. Yes, we are talking about H.A.V.E Culinary Training Society today.  We recently got in touch with Adriane from HAVE to learn more about them and to bring you their story to you.

HAVE is acronym for Hope Action Values Ethics. Given that HAVE is a registered charity and not-for-profit culinary training society seeking to empower individuals to break away from the cycle of poverty, their name is very fitting.

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Since their inception in 2007, they have been working closely to help individuals, particularly from the DTES and Strathcona areas, who face barriers to employment. It is through their eight week long culinary training program that they equip these individuals with skills that enable them to get into the workforce.

HAVE also operates a Cafe and Catering Social enterprise that gives their students on-the-job training while aiding HAVE in funding their programs.
HAVE’s day to day operations are managed by Executive Director Amber Anderson. She is a Culinary Chef de Cuisine (CCC) and Chef Instructor at HAVE, too.

Executive Director Amber Anderson
Executive Director Amber Anderson

She is supported by Glenda Phillips, Professional Cook 1 and HAVE graduate.
HAVE’s close knit team also includes Café Manager Robert Jamieson, Student Counselor and Employment Coach Celena Arthur and Executive Assistant Adriane King.

With three well-equipped kitchens and a restaurant, HAVE is in the forefront of culinary training as well as helping the fraternity.Their premises is rented from the Lookout Emergency Aid Society. The kitchens are HAVE’s training facility. It is in the kitchens that their students prepare the meals which then go on to being served at their restaurant, to catering customers and for contract shelter meals.

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While Adriane was talking about the students preparing the food, we had to know what’s the dish that the students enjoy making. She replied saying that the students really enjoy making their daily Pizza special. “Being one of the most popular items, it usually sells out and when it does, students can often be seen high-fiving each other!”, she added.

When we quizzed her on what is something that troubles the students, she replied with measurements. Elaborating on it she said, “being one of the more technical skills, students initially have tough time dealing with accurate weights and measures”.

Think about it, measuring everything to the correct weight does sound tedious. However, the students at HAVE take little time in familiarizing themselves with it. Not only they get accustomed to it, they get onto making delicious concoctions and mouth watering dishes.

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Being foodies, we had to talk more about food and of course, we had to ask Adriane about her personal favorite from HAVE. Yes, her favorite sounded like we should try it soon (which we will, of course!). She said Montreal Smoked Beef and Swiss Cheese on Marbled Rye Sandwich and their homemade Tomato Soup. Yum!

Elaborating more on food, Adriane talked about how HAVE caters 7 dinners a week for the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre. A great initiative and we feel proud to have partnered with an entity like HAVE. Other than this, their contract catering orders go to various businesses and organizations across the city.  For your next office lunch, you know whom to contact, right?

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Adriane told us that their sandwich, fruit and cookie platters are very popular for meetings and training sessions. Now you know what to order, correct? Well, we do. They are also in the process of updating their catering menu, so expect to see some yummy additions soon.

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Adriane talked about her HAVE family with joy. We had to question her about her most memorable time at HAVE. It was then that she spoke about their last year’s Christmas celebrations. Adriane said, “We are lucky to work with a leader like Amber whose dedication, passion and energy does not stop uplifting and inspiring students and staff. If I had to pick one memorable day, I would have to say our Christmas celebration in 2015. We had our current students, past students and members of the community all come together with staff and our Board of Directors to celebrate.  Ian Tostenson, President of the British Columbia Restaurant and Foodservice Association and a board member of HAVE, dressed up like Santa Claus Santa and gave each student a gift bag containing non-perishables, socks, shampoo/conditioner, grocery store gift certificates, White Spot gift certificates and other goodies. We had a delicious meal served by Chef Amber. Many of our students do not have family or other supports so at HAVE, we are all a big family. Celebrating Christmas with my HAVE family was really a memorable experience”.

HAVE truly reflects the values of caring and sharing. With partners like HAVE, we are motivated to work every day to be better and help others.
On this note, see you all very soon with another partner story.

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Uncommon Food and Uncommon Love

On a crisp, breezy morning, the smell of freshly baked muffins and the warmth of coffee can make anyone feel at home. Sprinkle that with the warmth of the hosts and you don’t want to step out. This is exactly what happened with us the other day when we were at The Uncommon Cafe. Having worked with them for quite some time now, we thought it was about time that we brought their story to you.

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While walking down Powell Street, it is impossible to not step in at the Uncommon Cafe. Uncommon, isn’t it an uncommon name? How was this name conceived? What’s so uncommon about Uncommon? Well, these and few other questions were answered by Co-Owner Lisa Leimanis over some scrumptious goodies.

Lisa and her husband, Luc, are the minds and hands behind The Uncommon Café. Initially planning just a commissary, Uncommon is their brainchild through which they want to support other local small businesses. With the commissary, they wanted to be a financially viable option in the commercial kitchen spaces for different small establishments. Luc chose the name “The Uncommonssary Kitchen”.

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Lisa says that apart from being just landlords to small businesses, they wanted to work with them and beside them, too. Now with The Uncommon Cafe, on 477 Powell Street, they prepare home-like food for a thriving community while working with other local small businesses. Home-like? They prefer to call it Homemade (to which we can’t agree more!).

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Almost everything they have in the store is made in-house. The in-house Chef & Baker make everything from scratch – the ricotta, the muffins, the pulled pork, the jalapeno jelly, the weekly desserts – all the items are made on site with many of the recipes coming from their families. On the other hand, the coffee, tea, popsicles and different products in store are sourced from local small vendors.

At Uncommon, Lisa says, they want you to feel at home by being comfortable, known and well fed. Their passion for food, community, local businesses and health is reflected in all their dealings.

Talking of food, we had to quiz Lisa on their top selling item and personal favourite.
Braised Chicken” said Lisa with a proud smile lighting up her face. She then proceeded to explain how their braised chicken is a unique blend of various flavours. With double creamed Brie, Applewood smoked Bacon, homemade Jalapeno Jelly (prepared by Chef Luc) and Herb Aioli, their Braised Chicken is a crowd pleaser. You have to close your eyes to enjoy the taste of so many flavours mixing in your mouth!

“While Braised Chicken is a top seller, we are well known for our Meatballs, too”, said Lisa. With mentions in the Vancity Buzz (Top Meatballs in the City), LA Times (Mind-blowing Meatballs) and other local publications, Meatballs is Uncommon’s another notable delicacy. “When you stuff your Meatballs with Mint, I guess, you got a winner!” mentioned Lisa on giving us a quick insight on their distinct blend for Meatballs.

Apart from Braised  Chicken and Meatballs, do try their Quiche, too. Their French baker, Valentine Kitamura, knows how to do it right in the most authentic way.

While guests and friends love these items, Lisa’s personal favorites are the Porky Bun and the BOB (short of Bacon Onion Bun). “How you can go wrong when you take Grandma’s bun dough and pack it with BBQ slathered pulled pork or sautéed bacon and onions?!”, asks Lisa looking at the plate of buns in front of us. Before you ask, a bite into these buns is a trip down the memory lane which goes straight to your childhood where snacking on house baked goodies was one of your favourite pastimes.

 

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When you work so hard, prepare some flavorful treats and consider customers as guests, you are bound to get immense appreciation from them. It is this appreciation and love that keeps the Uncommon Team going. Lisa narrated one such incident where hearing back from their customer shows how they have been successful in cultivating the community spirit. A Christmas Card from a nearby business in their area read, “Thanks for being in the neighbourhood. We would all still be hangry without you!”. If you are around Jackson Avenue and Powell Street, you would know how true this is.

It is good to know how much Uncommon Cafe has achieved in just a year’s time. Yes, just a year. In fact, they are celebrating their 1-year anniversary today, June 30th  ! To mark the occasion, they are hosting a Birthday BBQ from 2pm – 7pm this evening on their premises. If you are around, do pay them a visit to experience the delicious food and warm hospitality first hand.
Other than this, they will also be a part of the celebrations for this year’s 40th Annual Powell Street Festival on July 30 & 31st. Another reason for you to visit them? Yes, absolutely.

“See you soon!”, says Lisa with the warm smile that we be back for apart from the food.

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