500 Coffees #68: Kate Colley @katecolley


More than 67 weeks ago I embarked on a mission to publish 500 Coffees over the next few years. In this series I introduce you to interesting Vancouverites, many of whom I had never met before our coffees/meals. It’s an exercise in networking for myself and for V.I.A. while also being a platform through which I enjoy introducing you to some people who are doing really cool stuff in the city you live in.

Name: Kate Colley
Occupation: Marketing Communications Specialist
Beverage: Twin Peaks Mocktail

Meet Kate Colley. Owner of Kate Colley Communications Inc, Public Relations Director at Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver and the Marketing Communications Agency on Record for Constellation Brands VQA Western Estates. She also has a son who’s around the age of my son and is friends with many of my friends – some of whom have been featured in this very series – but I’ll leave the children and friends talk at the table and tell you all about Kate and what I learned about her story.


Of course we met for lunch for this 500 Coffees at YEW seafood + bar at the Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver. If you’ve been following along and you read the LAST piece in this series you’ll know that Yew is now hosting us for these – Kate was actually the person I pitched the idea to and who helped make it happen.

Where to start? Well, she cut her teeth at Tourism Vancouver from 2000 until 2006. Working in travel and media relations, a highlight for her was going to Torino during the 2006 Winter Olympics and observing how they treated international media, then figuring out how to maximize the opportunity for Vancouver when the big show finally landed here in 2010. She left “T-Van” (as it’s referred to by all of the people I know who’ve worked there) and moved to the Okanagan for a few years (Penticton to be exact), where she did communications work for a number of winery clients.

In 2008, a series of events (which you can rightly assume involved wine) brought Kate to a gathering at Terry David Mulligan’s house (TDM!) where she connected with the man who would one day become her husband – Chef Ned Bell! The two had a baby together in 2009 which was around the same time that Four Seasons Vancouver invited her to come on board as their PR Director, and she ended up moving back to the city with her rising-celebrity-chef-husband. As fate would have it, Ned would go on to become the Executive Chef of Yew and the two would end up working together.

Right now her major clients are Yew and Constellation Brands, and she considers herself lucky to have great clients that really understand her. Talking about being a business owner I can relate to her sentiment that “While it’s a juggling act it’s pretty great”.

We talked about our kids, and about our spouses, and we got into the idea behind partnering with us on this series and what she wants people to know about Yew. Since I started going there a couple of months ago I’ve learned a lot about the place, and I think the thing that stands out the most is that while it’s a high end dining experience with great service it’s not an exclusive, hoity toity sort of place. The menu is comparable to other upscale fine dining where you could order a 10 course tasting menu OR just go for a burger, as you can see Kate opted for today. I enjoyed the scallop salad and vowed to try everything on the menu as I continue this series there. They’ve just redone their lounge as well as put in a long table, and it almost feels like restaurants within a restaurant. Kate’s message is basically “YEW is approachable, delicious, welcoming and fun. Well worth a try.” Oh, and Sundays and Mondays are their days when they do half off bottles of wine. Any bottle of wine. Half price!

Keep up with Kate’s work at katecolley.com, and at @KateColley on Twitter and Instagram.

And stay tuned for 432 more Coffees! Check out the caffeinated archive HERE.