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Life Lessons: Eric Pateman

Partnerships are not all about you
Eric Pateman, executive chef and president, Edible Canada

The business Eric Pateman started was once an online store called Edible Vancouver that offered culinary travel adventures such as kayaking trips and chef tours of Granville Island’s Public Market.

With the addition of a retail store, the company became Edible British Columbia; now it’s known as Edible Canada and has plans to open stores across the country.

While partnerships have always been important for the business, Pateman said that in the past few years he’s changed his perspective on what collaborations are all about.

“When I started out, I always thought networking was all about what could I get from somebody else,” he said. “About seven years ago I changed the mentality around that to what could I do for other people.”

A partnership with Audi in 2007 was the first result of that new attitude. Edible Canada struck a deal with the luxury carmaker to use its cars on gourmet driving tours through the Okanagan and Tofino. The event put the right demographic into Audi cars and made Pateman’s event truly unique.

“We had sold-out trips, and they sold some vehicles,” Pateman said.

Partnerships have often created a chain reaction. When Pateman opened the Edible Canada restaurant on Granville Island, he decided to install electric vehicle charging stations.

Working with BC Hydro on the installations led to introductions to Mitsubishi, Nissan and Fisker Automotive.

“From all of this, we’ve ended up with partnerships with everyone from General Electric to BC Hydro as well as Fisker, doing vehicle sponsorships,” Pateman said, “and we’ve ended up doing vehicle launches for Chevy Volts and some of the other electric vehicles that have come onto the market.”