Ethical Bean’s Sir Galahad – by Aaron De Lazzer

The quiet giant that manages the thrum and roar of the engine room at Ethical Bean. Father of one, enigma to most and a helluva good guy, may I introduce Jason Rennie, Production Manager at Ethical Bean.

ADL: Jason, you have the strength of ten men, very similar to Sir Galahad from King Arthur’s Court. We all know Sir Galahad got his strength from magic, where does yours come from?

JR: Clean living and the love of a good woman…and oatmeal.

ADL: Sir Galahad had a pure heart too but you’re trending a little more “Lord of the Flies” if you will. Has it always been this way?

JR: My personal philosophy is to try not to screw people over. Help others if you can. That’s pretty much it. We’re all heading back to the dirt sooner or later so we might as well try to be useful.

ADL: You used to ride the “Widow Maker.” Do tell.

Jason Rennie – Production Manager

JR: The mighty Ruckus: 49cc’s of scooter rage, and only one near death experience. It was a practical choice – not really pleasurable in most of Vancouver’s weather. I much prefer the four wheels, heater, stereo that I have now, as does the wife and child. Want to buy it?

ADL: As a youth you spent time in the “Peg” (Winnipeg) and Prince George, basically in the bush – were you raised by wolves?

JR: My parents chased the dream of steady employment. You are missing my (de)formative early teen years spent in Ocean Falls. It was a coastal paper mill town, no roads in, and only one TV channel. The Sears catalog was the height of cool and yet somehow out of that environment I emerged with a love of punk rock, which really went over big when I got to PG (Prince George).

ADL: As the second oldest member of the team here at Ethical Bean you must remember a cleaner, quieter, less gentrified Vancouver, and in particular Commercial Drive. Take us back to those days and your formative years of drinking coffee in ignorant bliss.

JR: Some highlights: Espresso made hours ago poured out of an empty syrup bottle at Joe’s. Late night “coffees” at Pofi bar, (why, that’s not coffee in that cup…these guys are selling booze!). Customer pretension so thick you could hammer it with your copy of Recheche du Temps Perdu at Calabria.  The blue cloud of second hand smoke pushing down to knee level over the course of an afternoon at Continental. There was still the touch of exotic ethnicity to the coffee bar experience; it wasn’t like going to the ‘coffee shop’ or ‘donut haus’ or whatever your parents did back in 100 Mile or Burns Lake or wherever you were from. You were living on the edge; rubbing shoulders with people who were practically foreign. So exciting, so cosmopolitan – and so big city.

ADL: Everyone has an “ah ha” moment in coffee. Tell us about yours.

JR: It was probably the first time I bought whole bean coffee and a little zing-zing blade grinder. I got some extra greasy stale French roast in bulk from Galloway’s, took it home, ground it up, drank it down. It was so different – so much better than coffee I’d had to that point. I was hooked.

ADL: Strawberries and Cream, Wine and Cheese, Simon and Garfunkel, Coffee and ____________. Please explain the opiate like euphoria all these combinations can produce.

JR: Coffee and cigarettes, sadly.  A coffee and smoke after a good meal (or a crappy meal, or two triscuits and a piece of bologna) was almost worth the possibility of a tumor. Like wine, and the less creepy works of Garfunkel, coffee alone is good; but with the right accomplice, so much more.

ADL: Folks that work in warehouses get a bad rap as not being the sharpest tacks on the board, if you know what I mean. You defy this urban myth with deep blue like math skills, fluent in literature, and have a mind as if blended from equal parts politician, con man and prizefighter. Who are you really?

JR: I am the product of millions of years of successful reproduction.; an endless parade of badass primates. I am also an evolutionary dead end. Take that, DNA. You don’t own me! People who work in warehouse have a lot of opportunity to get lost in their thoughts…

ADL: How far do you think you can take this whole coffee thing?

JR: I will ride this horse until it dies beneath me. Then I will cut steaks from its carcass, and make shoes from its hide.

ADL: In life being a dad is like, the best thing. Working with Aaron De Lazzer, Director of Coffee at Ethical Bean, is a close second. What’s third?

JR: A good book. Full stop.

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