As part of our ongoing series on Canadian Restaurants That Give, we‘re sitting down with Colin Ross of Tuc Craft Kitchen. Since joining Mealshare in 2013, this Vancouver restaurant has donated 42,843 meals to hungry youth. That's something to chew on!
FBC - Tell us about your restaurant(s)?
CR - Tuc Craft Kitchen is a Gastown restaurant & bar serving hearty fare and inventive cocktails. We founded Tuc on the notion that sharing good food with friends and family is life’s greatest pleasure. And that every invitation to sit down for a meal should be an expression of generosity of spirit. Our simple yet inventive food is a celebration of the agricultural bounty of our region. Our room is warm and convivial, with a nod to the rough-hewn “saloon and sawmill” heritage of our neighbourhood. Welcome to our table.
FBC - How long have you been in business?
CR - Just over 5 years (since 2013)
FBC - Looks like you have multiple Mealshare menu item(s)…
- Brunch - Waffles & Whateva.
- Dinner - Pork Belly Crackling 4 star tao.
- Dessert – Loose Moose.
It might be like asking who is your favourite child, but which Mealshare menu item gets you most pumped?
CR - Probably the Pork Belly Crackling … it is one of the few items that has stayed on the menu from day one. It is a true labour of love. We start with pork belly from loving raised pigs at Gelderman Farms in Abbotsford … cured for 24 hours, braised for 5-6 hours then quickly deep fried and tossed in a star anise-red wine reduction. It is simply amazing … and perfect for shring with friends and a local craft beer of course!
FBC - I see you started Tuc with a few buddies. How many times did the discussion of “we should open a resto” happen before it finally became a reality? And what advice would you give to those having that conversation right now for the first or 100th time?
CR - Not only did we talk about it many times but for many years. Restaurants are fun … but also a lot of work. Figure out what you can be best at and how you can deliver it every day.
FBC - There’s a warm, comforting and familiar feel when you walk into Tuc. Did that come about from the very beginning or did it evolve over time? How difficult was it to get the vibe that you all envisioned?
CR - The décor side of the environment was fairly easy – we wanted to work with all reclaimed items and make it feel like it had always been a part of Gastown. We also have to give credit to our amazing staff and the warmth, care and friendliness that they bring every day.
FBC - Congrats on winning a bronze medal for your wine program at the 2018 Vancouver International Wine Festival! Looks like you had more people to thank than Instagram would allow so would you like to give a shout-out to a few more deserving partners right now?
CR - Keith Nicholson at Statera wine; Maude & Nicole at Lifford; Rich Massey at Massey wines; Matt at Vintage West; Jeff & Courtanie at Wine Syndicate; Paul at Seacove; Bill at Appelations; Rebeka at Trialto; Matt at Sedimentary; Derrick at International Cellars; and of course all the amazing BC Wineries we work with – Clos du Soleil, Upper Bench, Summerhill, Alderlea, Fairview Cellars, Covert Farms, Culmina, Syncromesh, Haywire, Pentage, Liquidity, TH Wines, Anarchist, Poplar Grove, Burrowing Owl, Quails Gate, Terravista, Laughing Stock, Painted Rock, Kettle Valley, Le Vieux Pin, La Stella.
FBC - For all the restaurants out there that think doing something like being involved with a charitable organization like Mealshare will take up too much time or too much of their profit, what would you like to tell them?
CR - First … we should all strive to support our communities and Mealshare makes it simple to do great! Second … people appreciate & support business that do good! Third … karma 🙂
FBC - Is there anything else our readers should know about Tuc Craft Kitchen? (other than going to eat there, of course)
CR - Come here & eat & drink. Just kidding. We love working with Mealshare and helping youth in need … for us it is incredibly meaningful, inspiring and important.
FBC - Thanks for your time today!
CR - Thank you!
For those in Vancouver area, be sure to visit Tuc Craft Kitchen!
As part of FBC’s ongoing relationship with Mealshare (FBC's main charity partner), we’re sitting down and interviewing Mealshare restaurant partners from across Canada who have pledged to help them on their mission to end youth hunger in Canada and abroad.
To learn more about how you can make a difference one meal at a time as a restaurant or supporter, visit Mealshare.ca. And always look for the Mealshare logo.