099 – Saint James Eatery – with Rocky

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Rocky from Saint James Eatery is our guest this week.  Rocky grew up in Hamilton, and Saint James is a long realized dream.  All the culture and character is down in this part of Hamilton – it’s the heartbeat.

Rocky is passionate about food, music, and talking.  He grew up around multiple forms of art, it was everywhere.  Right now it is food and music.  Food is art and craftsmanship and alchemy.

The partners all care equally and have passed that along to the staff.  Now there is so much talent and competition in the area, you have to be really good at what you are doing and you have to really care.  They are doing it, not to be competitive, but because they are genuine.  James Street has a lot of history for Rocky, it seemed a natural fit.

Hamilton is in a delicate stage.  There are many who are proud of the “old” city, it is part of the history.  Don’t be afraid of people coming in and changing things.  You can appreciate a beautiful old home, but don’t feel bad about changing it, making it more beautiful.  There is a pioneering spirit – we are living in history.  There are parts of the city that need improvement and will improve, because there is no where to go but up.

Rocky has thought of having his own podcast.  He enjoys conversation.  We have had past guests become podcasters.  We can all be fans of each other, we champion each other.  He would love to do it.

On the music side of things, the band he is in, are going to go up north and write and not come out until they have a body of work they want to record.

There is now a patio for Saint James, it sits on the road.  It is a great place to sit, and it has doubled the size of their seating area.  Having a small space creates an exclusivity, but it can also create a problem where people will get frustrated.  The patio has helped.  Being mighty but small has not hampered how much they create.  They are nimble and quick because they are small.  People need real food and they need it lovingly prepared.  Having a space that is unique it creates a history.  People should want to hang out.

It is a very exciting time in Hamilton.  People are day tripping from Toronto to Hamilton.  People are moving to Hamilton.  It comes down to relationship, looking you in the eye and engaging in conversation.  You have to care.


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