So, I wanted to make sure that I was able to get this typed out on….computer and the interweb, before the Christmas time as I knew that I wouldnt get a chance to type it out during the Christmas break. Things are getting amped up to 11 when January hits as a whole, and so since I had time to put some thoughts out there…here goes.
After my post about the struggle and people responding on a really positive note, I decided that the idea that I had been chewing on with a friend of mine named Kelso, it was time to just get the idea out there and see what happens. I had to take the risk and just broadcast it as taking risks is what has to happen to see if its going to be able to be done. Its how I started my mobile coffee business, this risk taking adventure…..hard risk don’t forget.
As I have been sharing with people who are asking, as well as vendors, the market space in Kelowna is an interesting one. There are some great markets out there, and I am in no way going to bash anything, because markets are good for the community and great for those who want to see if they have a shot at this whole entrepreneurial thing, or if its just a side hustle for funzies sake. The Okanagan has a community that has finally come around to well…wanting more community. There was a trend where people were happy with their house in the burbs and were happy with sticking with their own cliques and not talking to any one else. But that time has changed, and evidence of that is in the marketplace.
As more and more high rises are being built in the downtown core of Kelowna, a culture from the Vancouver coast are moving up here to live in such high rises so they can experience that same no-need-for-cars lifestyle. Even in the winter time, being able to walk everywhere is what the culture is showing what they want. And as more and more homes in the burbs are sitting dormant cause no one is buying them cause of their cost and walk score, it is inevitable that these homes downtown are being built. This is a positive turn for the small business downtown as they wont need to shut down for the winter cause people dont go downtown to shop or dine out in the winter. Kelowna is interesting that way. When the snow hits, they either hibernate or go to the hills. But with the rise of these high rises, businesses will flourish if they keep up with the culture game and make their space relevant to what the signs of the times are.
Bit of a rabbit trail here, I know, but lets get back to the market talk.
Kelso and I agreed that Kelowna needs a market for a culture to exist, support each other, showcase their product, and have an incredible place to hang and socialize. For me, it was no mistake that I found a home that was The East Side Flea in Vancouver ( shout out to the homies at the ESF! Miss ya’ll…and thanks to Alberta for giving me a chance to make coffee for peeps! ) and it is no mistake that I am here wanting to create a space for this same culture to exist, grow, and learn. Kelowna needs a space like this.
So, how does one get to a point of having a home base for this community to exist? Well we had to start somewhere, so why not at a location where the community of Kelowna and Westbank ( West Kelowna…settle down ) know about. Green Bay ( Home Grown 001 ) is a well known place for its involvement in Kelowna as THOUSANDS of families have been on its property, old skate clubs use to visit on a regular basis when they had that drop in center in the gym, and more and more rental groups come by each year to use their facilities. It is also another place I call home from my history there, and so why not start it at a place that can not only host a lot of parking, but also more and more community.
Home Grown 001 will have a few ‘hue’s’ of Valentines day as it is two weeks before V day and folks can come and get in their early shopping for their lovelys, but the heart will remain the same behind it all. To give others a platform to share with others what they have to offer, to build community with those who want to be a part of it, but to know we cant do it alone. And heck, if we can eat food, drink drinks ( only at certain locations ), laugh and make new friends while buying all the things, why not?!
As I could go deeper into why I think this needs to happen, I’ll end it with this….As I will be continuing my mobile coffee business all around town with pop-ups and collabs ( even at the Home Grown Markets ), this is going to be a branch out of what The Local Chemist is all about. Think somewhere around the time of a 1900’s western style chemist that had a lot of bottles of stuff behind the counter. You would come to them and tell them your ailment and they would grab a little bit of this and a little bit of that and serve you the mixture for you to take away. This is sort of what TLC is about. Grabbing a little bit of this ( specialty coffee ), and a little bit of that ( cafe consulting ), with a splash of that ( podcasting ), and a pinch of that ( blogs ), and now a droplet of this ( craft market for the culture ) and we will see what comes of it. As time goes by, TLC will continue to add more pinches and splashes of this and that, but for now…..here-we-go!