Meet Kent. Kent moved to Kamloops in June of 2018, making him a new member to the Kamloops community. He is co-owner of Local Pulse Plant Powered Products and is passionate about making a difference in the way people consume food and care for the environment. Through his cleverness and creativity he has crafted a super cool company; click here to check it out!
Where are you from and how long have you lived in Kamloops?
I was born in Calgary and lived in Vancouver for 6 years before moving to Kamloops in June of 2018.
Who is your favourite person to spend time with and why?
My partner Nic because he is my best friend and the person that I feel the most comfortable around.
What is your favourite local store in Kamloops and why?
Far and Wide in downtown Kamloops because it is a beautifully curated store where local artisans can showcase their wares for consignment and they host creative workshops. They are awesome supporters of fellow makers!
Describe yourself in one word.
If you could go anywhere in the world right at this moment where would you go and why?
I would love to spend a year in Japan. I have been an anime / manga geek and loved Japanese culture since I was in junior high and studied Japanese in uni but never found the right time to go.
What is your favourite activity in Kamloops?
Enjoying the SUN!!
What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you?
I blacked out on wine at my company christmas party last year when I was supposed to sing with our rock band on stage at the end. Long story short I sung no real words (luckily there were 4 other singers and they cut my mic) and I let down my band mates.
What is the most inspiring thing that has happened to you?
When I was in high school I lost some of my closest friends to eating disorders and mental health. I struggled with my own eating disorder for over a decade and I put a lot of blame on myself that I was too sick to help my friends and thought that maybe I was responsible for them being sick too.
I initially started university planning to be a psychiatrist, thinking that this would be how I made things right in the world. Instead, I found that the best way for me to help myself and others was by connecting with them through food. Food is both a want and a need and that’s why so many people struggle with it. Food can be medicine but it can also be a drug. Food can alienate us but it can also bring us together.
I’m still scared to start a company based around food when food has consumed so much of my life already, however it is this personal struggle that inspires and empowers me to help others. I have seen too many amazing people struggle greatly with food in different ways and so it is through food that I have chosen to make a positive change in the world.
Tell us your favourite childhood memory.
My favourite childhood memories are camping with my family in our tent trailer. We really got to spend a lot of time together this way. Some of my best memories are just hiding from the rain inside playing cards and board games. We would go hiking or mountain biking every day and that is a huge part of why I love and respect nature so much today.
Where do you volunteer or give back to in the community?
My partner and I volunteer on the committee for the Kamloops Public Market where we are trying to start a new year-round community cooperative that supports local farmers, artists, producers and businesses and encourages community gathering and tourism.
I have also joined the Kamloops Food Policy Council where we are working together to grow a regenerative food system for Kamloops by building community capacity around food through programs, policy, and partnerships.
If you could change one thing in the world what would it be?
I want to help everyone to be more aware of the far reaching impacts of their choices. In our globalized economy it is easy to become disconnected from the things that we consume. We try hard to get the best deals on things but then we devalue the materials and the people that made them. How much water and land went into making the clothes you wear or the food you eat? Where did it come from? How far did it have to travel to get to you? Who made it? Are they being treated fairly?
We have become so used to our instant gratifications that we treat so much as disposable and we have stopped trying to fix things. Let’s start growing and cooking our own food, making our own clothes! I’ll tell you, once you sew a pair of pants yourself you’ll find it really strange that you can buy a brand new pair of jeans for less than $25.
Where would you sneak away to in Kamloops to spend some time alone?
Peterson Creek Park.
Where would you like to see positive change in Kamloops and why?
I think that Kamloopsians would benefit greatly from ride-sharing (car/bike) services to connect TRU/Sahali with Downtown and the North Shore. Ride-sharing is great for sustainability but also makes Kamloops more accessible for the vehicle-less.
What do you think makes Kamloops great?
The people! Everyone has been so welcoming to my partner and I. I have had many excellent conversations with people that have come up to our Local Pulse stall at the farmers market who are genuinely excited to have as join their community.
What are 3 things on your bucket list?
1: One day have enough property to adopt a bunch of goats and dogs, maybe a highland cow because we have the same hair do.
2: Create a self-sustaining home
3: I would love to record a Christmas album with my friends
Tell us something that not everyone may know about you.
My favourite thing to do is sing!
How do people connect with you, personally, through social media?
Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn
What is the name of your business/organization?
Local Pulse Plant Powered Products
Why did you get into/start this business?
Food is the best vector for me to make a positive change in the world. I want people to feel good about themselves and what they eat.
What is the goal of your business?
To make sustainable, plant based choices appealing and easily accessible for people of all diets and lifestyles. We think that every little choice matters. Our motto is that through the culmination of many small actions we can all change the world!
What has been your biggest struggle either at work or in life?
I struggle every day with anxiety and depression. It has been difficult for me to excel at work when the hardest part of every day for me is just interacting with other people.
What do you always find yourself saying?
Think big, start small, scale up.
Tell us your best piece of life advice.
If you are going to bother doing something, do it with love.
If you could spend one whole day with anyone in the world who is currently alive, who would you select?
My parents. I am so thankful everyday that I have parents who love me and love each other. We always have lots of fun together. The older I get, the more I realize how special our relationship is.
Why do you think it is important to shop locally?
Local producers/businesses pay local taxes and employ local people who spend money locally which all helps strengthen our community.
What has been your proudest accomplishment?
Maybe I can’t consider it an accomplishment yet, but I am super proud of my partner and I for leaving our stable jobs and comfortable lives in a city where we had lots of friends to take a big risk and move to a new city and start our own business.
Give someone you think that deserves it a shout out and explain why!
My partner Nic because I could not do this without him! He inspires me and keeps me motivated and helps me believe in myself. He is also the genius behind our branding!
Some general comments I would like to share are:
All too often we can be our own biggest obstacle. I spend way too much time obsessing over all the little details that could go wrong.
It's important to also ask yourself:
"What if it does work out?"
Take it one step at a time. The most important step is the first one: try. You're not alone!
We encourage you to leave your comments and words of support below and submit your own nomination by clicking HERE. You are also welcome to submit a form of your own by clicking HERE. Thank you, Kamloops.
In Focus is our gift to the community. A way for us to help show our recognition of the people, businesses, and organizations that help make our city great!