It’s Matt Santagapita, Santa Knows Best and for this week’s #BusinessOfTheWeek interview we’re down here with the
founder and legend Mike – the owner of Toboggan and we’re gonna go have some
beer and learn about what you’re doing. [Matt]: Mike thanks for having us.
[Mike]: Thanks for dropping by Matt. So Mike, tell us about the legend Mike. Who is Mike? Where did you come from?
How were we here today? Well I guess I’m the guy that was the class clown and maybe could have had good marks in school – did initially but
gradually the class clown took over – but I was really good at having parties at
my house and entertaining and I figured time to get in the hospitality business,
might as well do what you like to do. So then what did that look like over the years? I was working for an ad agency and I was calling on City Centre and there were 3,000 office workers there. There wasn’t a place to get a coffee
to-go or a sandwich to-go, it was just a full-scale restaurant, so I opened that
to start off with it was followed by Joe Kool’s, Fellini’s, Jimbob’s and several other concepts. How did you come up with, you’know, I want to get into the craft beer scene? Where did that come from? Matt, I wanted to do craft beer years ago. I wanted to do a brew pub probably 25-30 years ago, but to me the marketplace in London and Eastern Canada wasn’t ready for it I didn’t think. And so what do you guys do down at Toboggan that’s a little bit different than every other craft beer place in London or Southwestern Ontario? One of the things we have here Matt, is it’s a restaurant, bar, pub as well. So the thing is someone can come in and try the samples, which they can in another but it’s it’s more of a pure destination for the other, but if a family came out for dinner – so it allows people to kind of introduce it, and if they find something they like then they’ll try it or maybe buy it at our store or comeback and have it later. Alright, so Mike, how many beers are you
guys making at any given time or can somebody come in and get? Well it varies Matt, we usually have 5 or 6 but that are strong ones that you have all the time and then seasonally we change – How about, what’s your favourite beer?
What turns your crank? From our beer, I love the Vanilla Stout. How long has Toboggan been here?
When did you guys open? So, we’ve been open about two and a half
years as Toboggan now. But it – there was no exact start date. It faded from the remnants of Jimbob’s into the start of Toboggan. And how many people – like what’s your capacity here? It’s a pretty big place in comparison to most. It’s a big place and it’s about 300 seats. But it was a big room, well I’m not
going to shrink the room because it’s there. But it’s funny that’s why we have
the restaurant component you know with the Wood Stone oven for the pizzas and
we do, you’know, more on the tapas range, the smaller appetizers, things that people are sharing. The dining portion combines with the brewery. Alright Mike, I want to thank you very much for having us. This has been a blast down here at Toboggan. Again, Matt Santagapita, Santa Knows Best and this is our #BusinessOfThe Week interview with Mike at Toboggan. Thanks for having me.