Grounds & Greens Cafe was the result of a love story between two accomplished chefs, Mannel and Ben Kilford – they created a vegan White Rock cafe that is elevating plant-based dining & it’s DELICIOUS! We had the pleasure of speaking with Mannel & YES the conversation made us very hungry.. Enjoy!
Here is THEIR story:
Ben, born in England, is a typical Brit who loves his tea, cookies for snacks, and cooking roast and potatoes, which he learned to do at just four years of age. Mannel, born in the Philippines, grew up in the kitchen with a professional chef for a grandmother. Having both been raised in an environment where food was the avenue that brought everyone together, they both followed their passion and pursued culinary arts as a career.
Ben and Mannel met during their apprenticeship at the Four Seasons Hotel in Vancouver and travelled together with Four Seasons Hotel for eight years, working in Dublin and Hampshire. While in Europe, Ben and Mannel travelled throughout Europe, and from that experience, their passion for travelling was born. To date they have visited over 30 countries and dined at over 20 Michelin Star restaurants.
In 2014, Ben and Mannel returned to Vancouver where Ben stayed with Four Seasons and became the Executive Sous Chef at Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver. Mannel, wanting a change from hotel and fine dining, followed her mentor to work at Cactus Club Café where she spent the next six years. In this time, Mannel developed business acumen and an understanding of kitchen management, mentored women in the kitchen and in leadership, and eventually joined their training team, working to instill the company’s knowledge, values and practices into new teams at opening locations.
After 8 years of marriage, their son Ollie, the inspiration behind Grounds & Greens Café, was born. Considering food is a significant part of theirs lives, and wanting to raise a healthy, kind and respectful little human, Ben and Mannel decided to make a change. Eating plant-based was a family decision they made to focus on their health, shrink their environmental footprint, and demonstrate to Ollie respect for all beings, animals included. Mannel and Ben acknowledge that while they are far from perfect plant-based eaters, they are committed to learning everyday.
Their mission in opening a plant-based cafe was to build a community of people and families who value kindness, and are committed to the improving themselves, the community and the environment. At Grounds & Greens Café, you will find plant-based dishes that were created with quality and creativity in mind. As their guest, you can trust to find nutritionally balanced menu items meant to nourish and sustain your body, and the elevated taste is meant to inspire plant-based eating. All dishes are made in house with high quality, often locally sourced ingredients.
Ben and Mannel are extremely grateful for all the love and support they have received and continue to receive from their friends, family and the community.
Check out their Instagram page below: