Mark Brand is one of North America’s foremost social entrepreneurs. With eleven businesses under his belt, he is an example of a new form of leadership that encompasses good in every step. Five years ago, Brand took over Save On Meats, a Vancouver butcher, and diner that has provided food security and access since 1957. In 2013, he created The Token Program, an alternate currency to feed those in need without a cash exchange. Almost 100,000 tokens have been redeemed, filling 100,000 empty stomachs, and creating interactions between those who have, and those in need.In addition, more than 1 million meals have left Save On’s doors to feed those who struggle, in partnership with his charity A Better Life Foundation. ABLF works with community agencies, marginalized individuals, and governments to create tangible waves of change. Along with managing the 5 companies under the MB Inc umbrella, Brand is a graduate of THNK, a Stanford fellow, Professor of Innovation at USC, Executive Chef for Pope Francis’s Laudato Si Challenge, and an advisor to corporations and agencies working to make real change. It’s through his cooking, philanthropic efforts, systems design, and love for the community that he’s found a unique balance in business and purpose.
A Better Life Foundation
Founded in 2012 by Mark Brand, ‘A Better Life Foundation’ (ABLF) strives to support people in need. The overarching goal of the Foundation is to raise critical funds towards providing food security to women, children, and those in assisted living as well as provide job training and employment opportunities for the community at large. By looking for and working towards sustainable solutions, ABLF aims to contribute towards meaningful change.
Greasy Spoon Diner
The Greasy Spoon Diner is a monthly event benefitting ABLF. It pairs the best chefs in the world with the legendary Save On Meats to create a four-course dining experience inspired by diner food. The meal is paired with cocktails made by award-winning bartenders, as well as craft beer and wine. The best part: it helps feed and employ members of our community. It’s an opportunity to re-connect with purpose, enjoy an exceptional meal with people who share the same values, and hear about the work being done to serve those less fortunate. The Greasy Spoon is the easiest way to make a big impact while having a great time, every time.
Save On Meats
Save On Meats houses our classic diner, full-service butcher, catering department, and a community commissary kitchen. It’s a lively, socially motivated venue, representative of the neighborhood and city we love. SOM is considered a social enterprise and is well known in the North American business community for its cutting-edge employment models and focus on local food security. We work with many community groups, educational institutions, non-profits and corporations to continuously improve and build on our best practices. We keep our prices affordable for the community, and we focus on training to build a stronger local workforce. Our award-winning Token Program is always a hot topic of conversation. Redeemable for a sandwich either at the front take-out window or inside the diner, tokens are purchased for $2.25 and handed out to those in need. The act of giving a token to someone is meant to be a conversation-starter, a front-line personal interaction with our neighbors in Vancouver.
Latest video on the work – https://vimeo.com/247275530/3cc22cb56e
Save On Radio – Street front community digital radio, picture Samuel L Jackson in Do The Right Thing smack dab in Vancouver’s DTES Persephone Brewing Company.
Persephone Brewing Co
(PBC) operates an 11-acre farm and craft micro-brewery in the community of Gibsons on BC’s Sunshine Coast. PBC is operated by a small team of extremely passionate people committed to the vision of supporting amazing beer built through local agriculture, community connectedness, and partnerships. Producing the finest quality craft beer (15+ awards including a Land Award from the Real Estate Foundation), our “farmhouse” approach integrates onsite farming of hops – one of the principal ingredients in beer – and other food crops in support of local food security (i.e. “farm to table AND farm to barrel”).As a certified B Corporation we take a ‘triple-bottom-line’ (People, Planet, Profit) approach to our business model, and incorporate both social and environmental sustainability into our operating principles and core values. We are committed to using the power of business to help solve social and ecological problems.