Tag Archives: Kichesippi

Stittsville’s Paul Meek inducted into Order of Ottawa

(Photo: Paul Meek holds up a bottle of Harvey & Vern’s root beer at Quitters Coffee, November 2014. Photo by Barry Gray.)

The first thing to go through Paul Meek’s head when he got a call telling him he was receiving the Order of Ottawa: “There’s no way, I’m not worthy.”

Meekis the president and co-owner of Kichesippi Beer Co., and Harvey & Vern’s, and lives in Granite Ridge.  He’s one of 14 people to be inducted into the Order of Ottawa by Mayor Jim Watson, at a ceremony this evening at City Hall.

“It’s incredibly humbling. I don’t mind telling you there’s time I think”, ‘how did i make that list’,” he told StittsvilleCentral.ca

“We’re very passionate with our business in helping out our city however we can.  It is easly the most humlbling thing I’ve ever gotten a call on… The biggest compliment-  is that people have said it’s well deserved. I’m apprecaitive for that,” he said.

“Stittville’s been a very good community for us and Ottawa’s has been a great city since we moved here 13 years ago.”


Kichesippi is one of Ottawa’s fastest growing craft breweries, established in 2009. He focused the company on a commitment to Ottawa’s history and heritage,  using locally sourced ingredients, brewing completely in Ottawa, and sponsoring many local recreational sports teams, tournaments, festivals and community events. The company donates 50 cents for every growler of beer sold to Juvenile Diabetes research, in support of Mr. Meek’s son Alex.

He has partnered with the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce to promote business education for new start-up companies and entrepreneurs. As a member of the Beer Canada Lobby group, he endeavours to ensure a strong voice for small-scale brewmasters. He continues to demonstrate extraordinary community commitment in every aspect of his professional and personal life.


This year’s recipients  include an eclectic list of residents including Ben Babelowsky, Ron Burke, Guy Cousineau, Bill Malhotra, Vera Mitchell, Wendy Muckle, Bryan Murray, Alicia S. Natividad, Marion Rattray, The Honourable Allan Rock, Ernest G. Tannis, Simone Thibault, Ewart Walters and Gary Zed.

“I am honoured to award the 2015 Order of Ottawa to these remarkable individuals in recognition of their outstanding contributions to our city,” said Mayor Watson. “They have not only made Ottawa a better place to live, work and raise a family, they have shown us how one person’s actions can make a difference in the lives of others within our community.”

The civic award recognizes exceptional citizen contributions in the many areas of city life, including arts and culture, business, community service, education, public service, labour, communications and media, science, medicine, sports and entertainment, or other fields of endeavour that benefit the residents of Ottawa.

Recipients of the Order of Ottawa were chosen by a Selection Committee comprised of the Mayor, City Clerk and Solicitor, Chief of Police, Chief of Protocol, City Archivist and the Chief Executive Officer, Library Services.

For more information regarding the Order of Ottawa and the full biographies of the recipients, visit ottawa.ca.


Third year’s a charm for Aperitivo

(Photos by Barry Gray)

The owner of Aperitivo restaurant at the Kanata Centrum didn’t want to jinx his business with a first or second birthday party, but he’s going all out for birthday number three.

Sean McCoy quit a job in software sales three years ago, and took over a restaurant space where none of the three previous restaurants managed to survive more than two years.

“For us it was, let’s get by the two-year mark that nobody else has,” says McCoy. “Now it’s: what can we do to give back to the community? Instead of it being a celebration about us, we wanted to get members of our community — our regulars — to come out and give back.”

The third birthday, presented in collaboration with Kichesippi Beer, takes place on Sunday, September 13 from 6:00pm-10:00pm. There’s a $20 cover charge that includes food, and all proceeds to go to Roger’s House and Tysen’s Mission to a Million.

Sean McCoy, owner of Aperitivo restaurant. Photo by Barry Gray.
Sean McCoy, owner of Aperitivo restaurant. Photo by Barry Gray.


McCoy wasn’t completely new to the restaurant industry when he switched careers.  He was part of the teams that opened the Kelsey’s on Merivale, and the Chophouse in Kanata.

“I saw one success, one failure. I’d worked as a doorman in the market while doing software sales to save up money for an engagement ring,” he says.

“The biggest challlenge is trying to stay relevant and ahead of the game. Our team and our chefs strive to be different. they put out a menu almost every two months and it’s alays different, always evolving. We work with a lot of local producers. The menus reflect what’s in season. Changing a menu is terrifying every time we do it – how will people react to the change?”

McCoy stays out of the kitchen for the most part and manages the front-of house operation.  He credits his staff and the support of his family for the restaurant’s success.  (It’s ranked #4 of over 2,200 Ottawa restaurants on TripAdvisor.)

“I have an excellent set of chefs. The core has been there since day one: my head chef, my sous chef. They manage the food and the menus and I rarely question what they do – I question to learn, not to debate what they’re doing,” he says.



Harvey & Vern’s brings a local flavour to soda

Over the weekend I met up with Paul Meek (pictured above, photo by Barry Gray) the owner of Ottawa-based Harvey & Vern’s soda and Kichesippi Beer.  Both companies are manufactured on Campbell Avenue (near Carling and 417), and Meek lives with his family in Granite Ridge. Here are some highlights from our conversation. Continue reading