We had the good fortune of connecting with Anique Ross and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Anique, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
This is a constant struggle as a small business owner. You’re so much more involved, emotionally and otherwise, than as an employee working for someone else that it can be hard to not constantly check the phone or worry about what’s going on when you’re not there.
My balance has definitely changed over time due to a few factors. One of those was having kids. I have 3 year old twins and they definitely need a lot from you at that age and you obviously want to do your best as a parent. The other thing that has had a major impact is having a team that I trust and can rely on. It makes it easier to step back a little when you have such an amazing crew in place!
Balance is something I continue to struggle with. It seems to always be in flux and somewhat fragile. Losing a team member or having additional familial commitments crop up can throw things significantly off kilter. Balance at this stage of life, as a business-owning, working mom feels elusive at times.
What should our readers know about your business?
Something I’m proud of with our brewery is the fact that we are owner/operators and have built everything here from scratch ourselves – from the physical space, to the concept, to our beer lineup. I like to say our fingerprints are on everything here. There’s a good chance if you come by you’ll see at least one of us at the brewery and I think that makes a big difference. None of us have a background in business or hospitality, but we’ve worked really hard, learnt a lot, and managed to create the warm and welcoming community gathering space that we always dreamed of.
We like to joke that we do things in the most labour intensive way possible but for certain things it makes all the difference. For example, we love using fresh local fruit in our beer when it’s in season. It’s a lot less work to just buy a puree than to hand process hundreds of pounds of fruit but you can really taste the difference in the end product. I think this speaks to our ethos here and applies to all aspects of our business.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
No trip to Vancouver would be complete without a tour of some of the fine breweries in the area! I’d take them to the one of the brewery districts – either Yeast Van (where we’re located), Brewery Creek or Brewer’s Row out in Port Moody – to sample some fine west coast ales and lagers.
Another place I love bringing visitors is the Museum of Anthropology. It’s a beautiful museum that focuses on the arts and culture of First Nations Communities in British Columbia and beyond. There are always really interesting exhibitions on and the building itself, designed by Arthur Erickson, is pretty cool too. From there it’s a short walk to Wreck Beach, Vancouver’s famous nude beach which is an absolute stunner of a spot. You hike down stairs through the forest and reach a rustic Pacific Ocean beach with beautiful views. A great place to relax and go for a swim.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There are so many people that helped us make our dream of opening a brewery possible. Too many to mention really!
I’d like to give a Shoutout to Birrificio Lambrate, one of the oldest craft breweries in Italy, where my husband Federico and I fell in love with craft beer. It’s this little hole in the wall brewery in Milan which makes awesome beer but beyond the beer we loved the atmosphere there. The indoor space was small, dark and cozy but in summer there would be hundreds of people spilling out onto the street outside. It was always such a fun and festive atmosphere there and we dreamed of recreating something like that in our own spot one day.