H.A.V.E. Culinary Training Society

What’s Your Business?

H.A.V.E. is a not for profit, registered charity and social enterprise that provide culinary training for people with barriers in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside and the lower mainland.

Why Did You Start Your Business?

To provide opportunities for those who live in poverty, suffer from mental illness and/or addiction and other barriers who do not fit the criteria of other training programs and to place our graduates in entry level positions in British Columbia’s Food and Restaurant Industry.

What Does It Say On Your Business Card?


What's Your Neigbourhood And Why Do You Love It?

We are located in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside next to Oppenheimer Park. We love our neighbourhood because it has the strongest sense of community in all of Vancouver. People down here have heart and they care about one another. It’s also the oldest part of the city.

Best Kept Secret or Little Known Fact About Your Neighbouhood?

Our building has been here since 1913 in what used to be Japan Town. It has been the Sun Theatre, Sun Rooms, Shibuya Clothing Co., and from 1963 to 1999 it was Aki’s Japanese restaurant, one of the few businesses to return to the area after the internment of the Japanese residents during World War ll. Also we are right next to Oppenheimer Park home to the world famous Asahi baseball team that have had a major motion picture made of their story.

The One Piece of Advice You’d Give Other Local Businesses Is….

If you’re planning on starting a business down here….welcome, but know that it’s your job to fit in with this tight knit community and not the other way around. This is the last affordable place to live in this city and there is a lot of poverty here. So make sure you are going to be of benefit.

What’s The Most Important Business Lesson You’ve Learned?

We always strive to treat our customers as if they have invited to dinner at a friends house.

What's The Best Business Move You've Made Recently? The Worst?

Signing up with you guys!! The worst: We can’t afford to make bad decisions.

What Local Suppliers (goods or services) Can't You Live Without? Why?

Sunrise Market. They are affordable and allow us to use fresh sustainable produce on a daily basis and it helps to support the local economy.

What's A Little Known Fact About Your Business?

Since 2007 we have trained over 800 individuals with barriers to employment and our job placement rate if 80%. Also Chef Amber our Executive Director has a secret Cream of Tomato Soup recipe that we are famous for and she has never…..ever…given it to anyone!!

What Inspires You to Keep Moving Forward?

We change a lot of lives on a regular basis.

One Thing That Never Ceases to Amaze You About Doing Business Here Is….

The awesome array of local residents!!

How Does Your Business Work To Better Our World?

All the revenue from both our cafe and catering orders goes directly back into the business to continue training people and help them to escape the cycle of poverty.

How Are Your Products/Services Environmentally And Socially Beneficial?

We use a local non profit’s recycling and composting service. All our take out containers and catering platters are made from sugar cane and all our menu items are made fresh daily with locally sourced ingredients.

Why Is Local Important To You?

Buying local supports the local economy, lessens environmental impact, it provides employment opportunities for people who live in the community, supports other local non profits, most importantly it involves ground up thinking and empowers people.

How Do You Support Other Local Businesses?

We buy our produce daily at Sunrise Market, we use the composting services of Mission Possible, we use a local ( non-hipster, affordable, long term community member ) butcher and donate our time to places like the Door is Open and community events.

You Are Excited About The Future Because…

Social Enterprise’s are popping up everywhere and we believe that they are the way forward for communities like ours.