As we near the end of another year, it’s a great opportunity to reflect on the challenges and accomplishments of the year that was 2022. Despite facing difficulties, including supply chain disruptions and fluctuating Covid-19 restrictions, we have persevered and achieved a lot within our community. It's important for all of us to take a moment to recognize and celebrate these accomplishments. Here are some of our highlights from the past year!
Beach Day by Brassica
As we waited in anticipation for our new home in Lower Gibsons to be completed, we took the bold step of setting up shop in sunny Davis Bay with the pop-up, Beach Day by Brassica. We were met with overwhelming enthusiasm from the Sechelt community, which filled us with excitement and pride as we prepared to permanently open our doors in Gibsons.
The Coho team successfully completed our Initial Public Offering (IPO) - a significant achievement for our company, marking the culmination of years of hard work and dedication from our team, and representing a major milestone and a step forward in our growth and development. The IPO has allowed us to raise significant capital to fund new projects, expand into new markets, improve our services, and provide our team with the opportunity to participate in the ownership and success of the company.
Our much anticipated commissary on the Sunshine Coast officially opened its doors. We welcomed our first members, Little Spoon Ice Cream, Tk’s Gourmet Turkish Cuisine, and Mamma Musey Pierogies, to the kitchen. In addition to the commissary, we have also opened the Sunshine Kitchen, a space for local chefs and guests to host pop-ups, workshops, demos, dinners, filming, art shows, and more! To celebrate the opening of our new space, we held a grand opening event to introduce ourselves to the community.
The launch of Brassica Restaurant in October was a resounding success, and the community is thrilled to have Chef Jack and Chef Hilary shining a spotlight on the local producers and ingredients of the Sunshine Coast. Brassica is also home to our new retail nook, where we have showcased over 30 members' products and another 15+ hyper local brands. The Coast Reporter heralded Brassica as a game changer restaurant for the Sunshine Coast!
We expanded our operations to Vancouver Island this year. Our new shared kitchen inside of the Victoria Public Market officially opened its doors in November, welcoming Big Bite Samosa as our very first member in the kitchen. We are thrilled to be part of the small business community within the public market itself, and had the opportunity to connect with neighboring companies like Shatterbox Coffee, The Chocolate Project and La Pasta La Pizza.
Our Growing Community
This year, we welcomed more than 30 new members to the Coho community, with over 400 companies still currently on our waitlist. As Covid restrictions eased, we were able to host our first in-person Member Celebration event in two years. Additionally, we have hosted over 10 pop-up events in collaboration with members, and look forward to hosting more events in the future to bring awareness to the incredible talent in our culinary community and continue to offer unique dining experiences to the city.
Coho continues to give back to our wider community, with ongoing partnerships and sponsorships. We have continued our partnership with Flavours of Hope and welcomed 2 new members to the Dream Cuisines program which supports newcomer women by providing access to mentorship and kitchen space as they build their burgeoning food businesses. This year, we were proud to sponsor Richmond Soccer FC to provide a free soccer program to the families in the Richmond Food Bank program.
We’d like to give a shoutout to our amazing members and alumni whose dedication and hard work has made waves in the food & beverage industry. Congratulations on all that has been accomplished this year.
Among many big wins to celebrate this year, here are some of the huge achievements our members and alumni have accomplished this 2022:
Hanai Family Table, a former Hawaian-style catering company that operated from our Coho Strathcona commissary, has opened a fantastic restaurant called Hanai, on Commercial Drive. Tess, Tom and their team have embarked on this adventure with friends and we wish them all the best with their new restaurant.
Several of our Coho members shined bright under studio spotlights. Jimmy Stambowsky of Beiju Foods, a former Coho member, pitched his business on CBC’s Dragons’ Den and received offers from two dragons, Vincenzo Guzzo and Arlene Dickinson, for his delicious cassava-based snacks. Chef Tushar, (owner of The Indian Pantry and co-owner of Urban Tadka) competed on Hulu’s Chefs vs Wild, in which top chefs from across North America are flown to a remote location in the BC wilderness and are tasked with creating a fine dining meal in under 48 hours.
Feeding Mama, Susgrainable, and Yumasoy were all nominated this year for various awards from BCFB (BC Food and Beverage). We are proud of their recognition and are excited to see the impact they are making in the food industry. Panela Lemon, won the People's Choice Award at the BCFB Awards. These are all significant accomplishments and we are thrilled to see the hard work and dedication of our members being recognized and rewarded!
The Year to Come
As we kick off 2023, we look forward to welcoming you through new doors and the opportunities and experiences that we’ll have to offer those that step through with us!
We are thrilled to announce that we will be opening Coho Eatery, our brand new kitchen and dining concept, in the early part of the new year. The 2200 square foot space will feature a shared kitchen space and ghost kitchens, as well as both dine-in and carry-out options. This exciting new venture will provide the White Rock and South Surrey communities with a unique and innovative dining and delivery experience.
Zero Zero Pizza
Zero Zero Pizza, a new ghost kitchen brand, will open in conjunction with Coho Eatery. Our focus is on creating and delivering fresh, Neapolitan-style pizzas to customers in White Rock and South Surrey. We are committed to using only the best ingredients and delivering a high-quality product to our customers.
On the heels of Coho Eatery, we will be opening the doors to Coho Pandora, the largest shared kitchen space in Vancouver. This 19,932 square foot facility will be home to over 40 businesses, from ghost kitchens to caterers, and restaurant groups to commercial bakers.
Later in the year, we anticipate the opening of Coho Richmond. This expansive new space will feature one of Canada’s largest commissary kitchens, grocery, and food hall to service all our new business park community.
Coho Victoria - The Press
We are also looking forward to opening our second commissary in Victoria out of The Press Building.
As we come to the close of another year, we wanted to take a moment to express our gratitude to our community, members, and partners for coming on this journey with us. Despite the challenges and obstacles that we have faced, we have persevered and achieved a lot together. We are proud of the hard work and dedication of our team, and we are grateful for the support and encouragement of our community and partners.
Your support has been instrumental in our success and we are grateful to have you as a part of our journey. As we look ahead to the new year, we are excited for the opportunities and possibilities that it will bring, and we look forward to continuing to grow and thrive together. Thank you for being a part of our community and for your continued support.