Toronto man turns his passion for coffee and sneakers into full-time side hustle
One Toronto-based photographer is combining two things most people love - coffee and sneakers - in a beautifully-curated Instagram page appropriately titled "Coffee and Kicks."
Luke Ceo, the photographer behind the colourful page, is a self-described coffee connoisseur and kicks enthusiast, having developed a deep passion for both fields at different points in his life.
Ceo told blogTO that his appreciation for sneakers is the result of being the youngest in a family full of boys.
"Each one owned their individual style and was confident in what they wore," he explained. "Seeing this so early on created a desire in me to 'look cool' just like them and to find my own lane to evolve as I got older."
His passion for all things caffeine came a little later in life, while studying Industrial Design at OCAD University. Ceo would commute into the city daily, which meant lots of free time between morning and night classes.
"This 'dilemma' ultimately created my interest in trying new coffee shops each and every day," he told blogTO.
The original idea behind Ceo's now-successful Instagram page was given to him by a family friend, who encouraged him to post some of the photos he had already taken on his phone.
It only took one week for Ceo to become completely obsessed with capturing new cafe spaces in the city along with his shoe collection. Soon enough, his side passion evolved into a daily routine, which he has maintained over the past five plus years.
By day, Ceo's full-time job is as the Creative Director at Faema Canada, a major coffee and restaurant equipment distributor in Toronto which provides products across Canada.
"I would not be in this position if it wasn't for the Coffee and Kicks page," he told blogTO. "My boss who conveniently is also a big sneakerhead, found my page scrolling through Instagram one afternoon and invited me into their space."
When it comes to choosing which coffee shops to visit around the city, Ceo always looks for one thing: a beautifully unique space.
"Nothing says quality more than attention to the detail. You can almost guarantee a great coffee when your first impression is a well-kept space incorporating thoughtful design," he explained.
Although his Instagram page represents a niche crossover between two different worlds, Ceo finds many similarities in both spaces.
"There is so much incredible coffee in the world worth trying. I couldn't even imagine going to a single place forever," he said. "Similarly with sneakers, there's so much innovative design to explore, I wish people would spend just an extra second giving something new and exciting a chance."
With almost 5,000 followers and over 500 posts at the time of writing, Ceo says side passion doesn't feel like work at all.
"If I could spend all my time exploring coffee shops, meeting new people, trying new coffee, chatting with homies about sneakers, I would in a heartbeat," he said. "Opportunities I couldn't even imagine that have come from all my 'hard work' are just cherries on top of spending time doing what I love."
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