Episode the 25th: Food talk with Nate Box

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Until very recently — perhaps as recently as five or seven years ago — Edmonton suffered a dearth of great cafés and restaurants. Oh sure, there were diamonds in the rough, but the rough was expansive and the diamonds as rare as something even more rare than diamonds.

Then, the landscape started changing, as Edmonton’s downtown began its still-ongoing revitalization. Now, the city is blessed with great eating and drinking establishments. That means the time is ripe for Nate Box to open the Elm Café.

Well over one year in the making, Nate had originally wanted to open the café as a restaurant concept in the Belgravia neighbourhood on Edmonton’s southside. But the lease fell through and so it was back to the drawing board. Last March, though, things started coming together for Nate, when he locked down a location in Oliver — the west part of Edmonton’s downtown (outside of the core).

With the Elm Café slated to open on Monday, June 7 (bright and early at 7am), Scott and I decided to sit down with Nate and find out exactly what it takes to open a café in the this town. We also talk hamburger waterslides, and some of the worst food trends sweeping the city.


Download episode 25 of the Unknown Studio directly to your computer.

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It’s true! After so much joking and tongue-in-cheek referrals to Edmonton’s newspaper of record on our show, the Edmonton Journal decided to put their money where our mouths are, by sponsoring the Unknown Studio this month!

We’re helping EJ to promote their Blackberry mobile launcher. You can check it out by clicking here on your Blackberry browser. If you have any comments about the mobile launcher or the Journal’s mobile site, let us know and we’ll pass it along!


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10 Responses to “Episode the 25th: Food talk with Nate Box”

  1. Michael Harvey
    June 2, 2010 at 8:21 pm #

    Michael from Cafe Haven here. Nate was an absolute joy to work with on the re-design of our kitchen. Before ever meeting Mr Box, I spent so many hours sketching and re-sketching the kitchen area. When Nate offered a couple of free hours consulting, he pretty much threw away most of my ideas for work flow and suggested a far smarter approach. After that I just knew I needed someone like him on the project. The result? The kitchen has yet to fail to any demand thrown at it so far and we’ve had some pretty busy brunch mornings!

    • Adam Rozenhart
      June 3, 2010 at 10:53 am #

      That’s awesome, Michael! I’m going to have to come down there one of these days to see what all the fuss is about. 😉

  2. Justin
    June 3, 2010 at 4:51 pm #

    When I observe the restaurant industry in Edmonton, one thing seems clear: there is a lot of turnover. Much more so than the regular business failure rate; it seems that making money (a reasonable profit) in the food industry is extremely difficult (if not possible).

    This comes from talking to people I know in the industry. Are they the exceptions, or is serving food and making money impossible?

  3. Scott C. Bourgeois
    June 2, 2010 at 9:41 am #

    I really appreciate the shoutout from Chris at “eating is the hard part,” but I have to say I’m a little stung that “The Unknown Studio” is apparently only Adam’s show.

    Do I really fade into the background that much?

  4. Adam Rozenhart
    June 2, 2010 at 11:32 am #

    You should go onto his blog and ask him that very question.

  5. Jeff
    June 4, 2010 at 5:25 pm #

    I haven’t listened to the show yet, so I don’t know if Scott sat silently.

    I do know I want to see an editorial war between your podcast and Chris’ blog.

    Or a pie eating contest. I always get them confused.


  1. Tweets that mention Episode the 25th: Food talk with Nate Box | The Unknown Studio -- Topsy.com - May 31, 2010

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Mack D. Male, Adam Rozenhart and Jay Runham, The Unknown Studio. The Unknown Studio said: New post! Episode the 25th: Food talk with Nate Box http://bit.ly/aCWbbx #yeg #podcast […]

  2. Only Here for the Food » Blog Archive » Food Notes for May 31, 2010 - June 1, 2010

    […] Looks like Nate Box has pushed back his Elm Cafe opening date to June 14. Speaking of Nate, he stopped by the Unknown Studio to talk food – take a listen here. […]

  3. News and links « The Brûlée Blog - June 1, 2010

    […] The Unknown Studio podcast interviews Nate Box from the soon-to-be-opened Elm Cafe. […]

  4. The Week That Was And Is – June 2nd, 2010 « eating is the hard part - June 2, 2010

    […] local entrepreneur, consultant, and elm café creator, Nate Box, sat down with Adam Rozenhart for a podcast at The Unknown […]