So Asa, thank you for having us in your
restaurant. First thing, you were never in the restaurant business before this. Well
apart from student jobs in the past, no, I wasn’t I wasn’t formally in the
restaurant business. What did you do before? My background is more in natural food
retail and distribution. Okay, so this was a very courageous step for you
guys to do this because you’ve never been a business owner before…? Not
on this scale, no. So what do we call this place exactly? So, it’s a restaurant but I guess the style of restaurant would be considered quick service. So the idea
of opening this is it because you are vegan yourself? Yes, we are both vegan but
I do find that some vegans are looking for something healthier, something more
substantial. And this is what you guys do because you do everything from
scratch. That’s right, yes. So Asa take me a little bit through the
process. Well first step is I guess to assess your market and and to see if
your concept has commercial potential in that market and, to be honest, myself having
already lived in Toronto for 20 plus years, I knew that there was very good
potential for this kind of concept here. Next step would be product development – creating our menu… And then the
renovation began? Yes. Asa, why did you choose to work with Reno-Assistance
instead of finding your own contractor? To be honest, it was a little bit out of
desperation… I had actually tried to find one on my own.
Difficult? It was difficult. I was able to get a number of quotations but the best
quotation that I got I felt was it seemed to be quite high. Now, mind you, I
was quite vulnerable because I don’t have experience in this
field, I don’t know exactly what, you know, what is standard in terms of charges but,
anyway, I felt that I needed a third party to assist me through this process.
And this is where we kicked in? Reno-Assistance came in, exactly, yes. You spoke
with my colleague Louise. Yes I did. So, the moment you got Louise on the phone… Yes?
How did that go? How did she guide you? She wanted to understand
what our needs were, having clear understanding of our needs. First thing, of course. Yes, I did explain you know what we had in mind, what we were
proceeding with, what we were looking for. She took all of my
information… she eventually presented me with three options in terms of
candidates of contractors. She gave me a little bit of information as to their
background and what sort of services they have provided in the past. And, from
there, it was just a matter of it..like.. they seemed to be three reliable,
competent parties, so it was a matter of just comparing price, really, from that point.
Asa, would you would you recommend our service to others? Yes, absolutely. Because
it is a very useful and resourceful service for someone who is in my
position, who does not have contacts, experience working with contractors… it
made it easy and it made it fast. An important point at that
time is that we were already paying rent on this space, so we needed, you know,.. So,
time was crucial, we needed to get this process done, not only competently but as
quickly as possible. And that’s good to know because that’s the whole point. This
is what we do. We help, we let you do your thing, which is create your business
and make great food – yes – and we take care in making sure that it’s built properly
and so you could get it started. Okay, Asa, we’ve been sitting here for quite a while. I appreciate your time, but it smells so good and I’m getting hungry. Alright.
Can I try something? Absolutely.