People

Heidi Kuhn

i. I work as a beverage designer – for Mixers and Elixirs – using lots of organic apple cider vinegar and fruit that is too ugly to sell in a grocery store.

ii. I do this creative work because:
I love to engage with people and talk about sharing great beverages, and to connect with an amazing community of local makers.

iii. Personal qualities that help me in my work are:
High energy and perseverance. I get lots of energy from other people, but when it’s production time or you have to get out in the rain and set up for a market, I lean on my positive attitude and just power through what must get done to the best of my ability.

iv. The greatest challenges around doing this work are:
Always being flexible, understanding that what you did last year or last week may not work now, and adapting to the current needs constantly. Funny though, this also leads to the greatest satisfaction when you nail something!
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v. Creative childhood hobbies:
As a child my favorite hobbies were collecting things and pretend parties.

vi. Other creators who inspire you:
So many! I am inspired by creators such as Melissa Ferreira of Adhesif Clothing, chef and hot sauce maker Rossy Earle, ladies who take passion and creativity to make beautiful and tasty things. And pretty much any bartender I get the chance to talk to.

vii. Training that has helped me succeed in this career:
I had a career in sales and marketing, worked in a lot of retail environments, that has helped me engage with people that I meet at markets, events and tastings. Just listening to people that talk about a flavour I’ve used in a shrub, or a drink recipe or technique they are familiar with has helped me develop more recipes and find sources of fruit that otherwise may not be available to me.

viii. The biggest myth about this type of work is:
That it’s easy or that it’s get rich quick ha! But if you have the passion for beverage / food production and you care greatly about what you are producing then nothing is more fulfilling than the process of describing what a shrub is, offering a sample to taste, and having a bottle go home with someone 😊

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ix. Some proud career moments:
I had a retail job on South Granville that I would cycle to early on Saturday morning, and every morning that I had to peddle by the Nat Bailey Farmers Market off Ontario street bike route I would say to myself ‘one day I’ll be going there on my Saturdays’. And now two Saturday’s a month in the winter that’s what I do.

x. If you want to work in my field, I suggest that you:
Do a lot of market research about the food / beverage product that you want to make and sell and don’t be afraid to make something that’s new and not entirely common! Talk to other local makers, do informational interviews, and always use the best ingredients you can keeping in mind our local food security issues.

xi. A professional goal I have for the future:
To really shine a light on the waste that happens in the food industry and what we can all do to become more aware of it and make small changes in our life that can have an impact on reducing waste.

xii. If you want to see my work, go to:
The Vancouver Farmer Markets around town, BC Distilled Festival April 14 at Croatian Cultural Centre, and Nifty for Fifty Sale taking place at Heritage Hall April 15.

www.creatorsvancouver.com

Header: Still Life with Fruit on a Stone Ledge. Caravaggio. 1601-05

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