50 Coffees #18 – Anthony Nicalo


I recently read a theory that going for 50 coffees with people you’ve never met is the entrepreneurs equivalent to the theory that doing anything for 10,000 hours will make you an expert on it. While I get the idea, 50 coffees is far easier than practicing something for ten years, and while I’m far from lazy I’ve decided to set out on a fairly simple mission: over the next 50 weeks I’m going to invite 50 interesting Vancouverites, most of whom I have never met before, to go for coffee. I’m going to use this as an exercise in networking for myself and for V.I.A. while also using it as a platform to introduce you to some people who are doing really cool stuff in the city you live in.

Name: Anthony Nicalo
Occupation: Chef / CEO
Beverage: Cappucino

Meet Anthony Nicalo. Career chef, entrepreneur and the founder and CEO of Foodtree, a Vancouver-based social venture that focuses on helping you share local food information that you’ve discovered. What they’re really about is “ethical sourcing and a new model for transparency in food production, distribution and marketing” but when you break that down essentially what it means for us is that they’ve produced a cool smartphone and web app! You can use it to take photos of your food and share information as well as track and follow the trail that your food takes to get where it ultimately lands – on your plate.

Foodtree’s office is right across the street from V.I.A.’s in Chinatown, in fact if I was to go to the window right now and throw a rock it would land close to Anthony’s feet, so we decided to keep it super local and have coffee and lunch at one of our other neighbours, Everything Cafe on Pender. After pointing out the Foodtree decal on the door as we entered, he filled me in on the history of the company and where they’re headed. There’s a bunch of their decals on the doors of other partner restaurants, butcher shops and grocers in town. Next time you see one scan the bar code on it and see where it takes you!

In the meantime, take a minute to download the Foodtree app for any smartphone or access it online. I just did a search for “food nearby” on the app on my iPhone and what do you know? Everything Cafe came up. Then I did a quick scan of my feed and enjoyed a bunch of pictures taken at the last Winter Farmers Market at Nat Bailey, whom I follow on there and am given updates from all of the folks who go there and shoot photos of the food they pick up, which farm it came from, etc etc. Foodtree is more than worth the price tag (FREE!) and a strongly encourage you to check it out!

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Bob is our founder and Editor-in-Chief. A family man and outdoors enthusiast in his 3rd decade of publishing, he steers the V.I.A. ship and hosts our 'BC Was Awesome' history TV show. bobk@vancouverisawesome.com