Saturday, May 14, 2011

5 Questions with Brad Campeau of BGoods Bakery

Photo courtesy of Brad Campeau

I first encountered Brad Campeau of BGoods Bakery the first time I attended Feast of Fields. For those of you who live in Ottawa, you may already know him, perhaps as the "Cookie Truck Guy". A man who a truck? I instantly thought to myself: "I must interview that guy". Fast forward to Feast of Fields a year later, and we chatted about telling his story on After the Harvest. Alas, a mere 7 months later, we finally got around to meeting up, where I asked him 5 Questions.

Brad owns BGoods Bakery, which is essentially a mobile bakery. He bakes 11 varieties of cookies, including flavours such as: oatmeal raisin, spelt butterscotch almond, whole wheat chocolate chip and spelt molasses ginger, among others. There is actually an oven inside his truck, so he never runs out of cookies, and he also has coffee on hand to wash down the tasty treats. I asked Brad how a guy like him ended up baking cookies in a truck:

ATH(After the Harvest): What inspired you to start baking? How did you get started?

BC(Brad Campeau): My first job was at a bakery. I really enjoyed it and I thought I could do it for a living. I had worked in the food industry in other ways as well, from fine foods to catering to grocery store jobs. I also took Business at Niagara College. Growing up I was used to making my own food -- I had to, because I have an alternative diet .(Brad is vegan, as are his cookies, you don't have to be vegan to enjoy the BGoods goodness!) I'm vegan for personal, ethical reasons, and I started baking vegan cookies simply because I wanted to be able to eat my own cookies! I'm not trying to save the world one cookie at a time, or anything, although I must confess to quoting Lord of the Rings on Twitter when I tweeted, "One cookie to rule them all!"

ATH: What is your favourite music to listen to while you're baking cookies?

BC: I used to listen to music a lot in the bakery, but now it's all about CBC Radio One. I listen to Kathleen Petty in the morning. I wanted to get back in touch with what's happening in Ottawa. It allows me to feel connected to the city.

ATH: When you cook for yourself at home, what is your favourite signature dish?

BC: It would have to be a baked pasta dish. Red peppers, kale, mushrooms, pan-fried tofu and a sundried tomato rose sauce with Daiya cheese, topped with bread crumbs, nutritional yeast and sesame seeds.

ATH: What's next on the horizon for BGoods Bakery?

BC: Festivals! Bluesfest, JazzFest, possibly Folk Fest, and I'll also be at Pride and the Main Street Farmers' Market.

ATH: Food Trucks are all the rage these days. Since you started your business a while ago, what is your opinion about the increase in food trucks?

BC: Food trucks won't be a passing fad. It's a good alternative business idea, a good way to test a business idea without having to invest in a restaurant space. Your truck is your building -- it's affordable. There will most likely be growing pains if Ottawa gets more of a food truck scene, but food trucks and restaurants could work together. Food trucks often offer alternative food ideas.

ATH: What is your earliest food memory?

BC: It's funny, the first thing that comes to my mind is when I was 5 or 6 years old, waking up in the middle of the night and drinking a big glass of milk. Interesting food memory for a vegan to have, I know, but that's the earliest one I can think of!

I really need to start calling this feature "5-10 Questions", as I never quite seem to be able to cap it at just 5. Many thanks to Brad for taking the time to chat, and if you're in the Ottawa area or visiting in the summer, keep an eye out for the BGoods cookie truck at Bluesfest, JazzFest, Folk Fest and the Main Street Farmers' Market!

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