Man sells Toronto bar during lockdown and buys ambulance to try something new
The past year has been a tough one for bar owners which is why one decided to transition his career into a whole new direction that will help make life easier for all those looking to survive in one of the toughest industries around.
Nathan Hunter is the former owner of Toronto barcades such as Tilt and ZED*80. After the pandemic hit, he didn't see a way of making it out of the year without massive amounts of debt and made the tough decision to sell off his ownership stakes and pursue something entirely different.
What came next was Blade Medic, a sharpening business operating out of an old ambulance that Hunter bought and turned into a travelling workshop.
"It was not only a business I thought would thrive and survive but more importantly something I thought could give back to the industry and give back to it because we were absolutely devastated by the pandemic," Hunter told blogTO.
"It really came from the idea of healing. My whole goal is to fix things and see things not go into the landfill. To see things find a new life."
Hunter's choice of operating out of an ambulance not only fits with his theme of healing, but also came out of a desire to no longer work with landlords who had caused him much grief in the past.
It also allows him to partner with local businesses, parking his truck outside their store and offering promotions together.
Hunter credits having a child during the pandemic on changing his outlook on life. His passion for helping others and creating a better future has grown over the past year.
"I absolutely love what I do, I can't over emphasize how much enjoyment I get working with different clients every day and seeing the enjoyment they get from what I do. Seeing an item get new life," Hunter explained.
"Right now, everyone who was my peer in the industry, we're all hurting. Whatever I can do to help them get through this time, it doesn't have to be a money thing, it can be through trade. Anything that can help them get through that next week is what I want to do, because if I don't do that, I'm doing it wrong."
Beyond helping businesses, Blade Medic also sends 2 per cent of profits back into community gardens, helping bring some much needed life back into a city that has suffered for over 18 months.
He hopes that his business helps inspire others, and that other Blade Medic ambulances could open up in other cities, providing similar services to restaurants, bars, hairdressers and barbers in those regions.
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