2014 ended yesterday and it’s really been an incredible year for us. It was the year we started the Meatventures Meat Wagon and it’s been a year full of new experiences, learning, fun, and terror. When I say terror, I mean it in a good way. There were a lot of situations where I had to step way out of my comfort zone, which is a terrifying experience, but every time I did lead to growth and a bigger comfort zone.
I am also grateful for so much in 2014. I’m grateful for my wife Jeannie, who has gone out of her way to support me in this crazy adventure, despite it being a huge leap out of her own comfort zone. I’m grateful for everyone at Roux and in the Hamilton food community in general for all of their support and help. I’m grateful for every person who saw our little cart and chose to spend their hard earned money on our food. I’m grateful for all of my friends and family who understood when we missed event after event this year because we were either working or exhausted from working. I’m grateful that I’ve been fortunate enough to be in a position to take this path, and grateful for everyone who has helped along the way and believed in what we are doing.
With that being said, here’s some of the highlights from 2014 for us!
The first time Meatventures made any money. This was from someone buying some bacon and Jeannie framed it for me.
The first time I ever got a look at the Meat Wagon. We learned a lot by starting out with a little.
First time I ever got interviewed – thanks to Carly from the Fat Girl Food Squad!
Food and Drink show – the first time I ever served our food to the public. I was terrified and shaking and it took an hour for me to calm down. Also where I learned to let go of what I think I know and listen to those who know better.
Sew Hungry – the first time I ever did a cooking demo in front of anyone. Again, terrifying to start with, but better after Susan, Scott, and Iain helped me practice. They also introduced my to Chanry who I met for the first time and helped me out by co-hosting.
First service with the Meat Wagon. It was cold, it was windy, our umbrella blew away, our pilot lights wouldn’t work, and then it rained. Luckily some friends came and kept it from being a complete disaster.
First time at the Village Station Bazaar, and the first time we ever sold out completely. Which was good, but bad because we were still figuring out how much food we needed to bring to events.
First big event we ever did – the Waterdown Street Festival. We had a lot of friends come and visit us which was great. We brought an entire trailer full of crap to this event because we just didn’t know any better at the time. by the end of the season our setup was half the size.
Popup Hamilton – first time doing an upscale event and first time cooking for 90 people. Thanks to Jeannie, Iain, and Terry for helping me out and Susan and Dave for believing in me despite my inexperience. It was terrifying to present my dish to a big room full of diners, but it went well and the night was awesome. Was fun to work with everyone and help put everyone’s dishes together.
We competed at the Canadian National Bacon Championships and won, winning an entry to the World Food Championships and a trip to Vegas!
We travelled to a bunch of different events. Some were good, some were bad, but every time we learned something new and had fun.
We did our first big catering jobs.
We met some awesome people and made a bunch of new friends – I wish I had pics of everyone!
We travelled to Vegas to compete in the World Food Championships. Missed the second day by 0.3 of a point in 11th place, but had a blast and got to hang out with lots of good people.
We had an article written about us!
Finally, we launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise some funds for expanding our business so we can step it up this year. Together with our own funds we were able to put together enough money to move into a full size mobile kitchen. The new Meatwagon is currently under construction and will be out on the streets this spring.
There’s more – so much more, but if I put in everything from the year this post would go on forever and it’s already too long.
2015 is going to have a lot more firsts in store, and I’m sure it’ll have its own share of terrifying moments.
I’m really looking forward to expanding our menu and having a proper mobile kitchen to cook in and I can’t wait for the new season to start. Hope to see you all out there this year!