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The co-founder of fan-favorite backpack brand Herschel Supply Company shares his favorite places to go in Vancouver.

Andrew Villagomez
August 21, 2015

It seems as if you can’t board a plane or walk around a major city without stumbling upon one of Herschel Supply Co.’s signature backpacks. Creating gear since 2009, the Canadian brand keeps garnering new fans for its utilitarian features and attractive silhouettes.

Based in the beautiful Vancouver, co-founder Jamie Cormack shows us his what to do in the city:

What are some end-of-summer and early fall must-dos in Vancouver?

If you’re into biking, head out to the seawall—it runs along the edge of the downtown core and offers up some great views of the mountains, ocean and city. There’s a nice selection of beaches along the way as well.

For hiking, you’ll want to try the Grind on North Vancouver’s Grouse Mountain, or take the short drive out to Squamish and climb the Stawamus Chief. On both hikes you can grab a beer at the top and take a gondola down to enjoy the view.

Which local bars would you recommend for a drink?

Our office is right down the street from a great after-work spot called the Settlement Building—it houses the Vancouver Urban Winery, Postmark Brewing and Belgard Kitchen. Its focus on smaller batch-craft beer and wine mean whenever we have local events, they’re the first ones we reach out to about beer and wine.

If you’re looking for a cocktail, Tacofino in Gastown has a great patio located right off Blood Alley. They also have a good menu selection if you decide to carry-on into dinner.

What sort of shopping would you recommend in town?

Gastown has become a popular neighborhood in Vancouver for unique retail experiences. You can find anything from interiors and menswear, to juices and apothecaries.

One of my favorite shopping destinations in Vancouver as far as antiques and unique finds go is the Found and The Freed on Victoria Drive. It’s always nice to find new uses for storied objects. For interiors you’ll want to hit Living Space and Inform—they offer a really good selection of contemporary furniture and housewares.

What are some of your favorite restaurants right now and what do you recommend ordering?

You can’t go wrong with pizza and a glass of red wine. Nicli in Gastown is one of my favorite places to go for great thin crust Neapolitan pizza done in 90 seconds. Here’s a little secret: order the #1 Pizza off the hidden menu.

When I’m out in Deep Cove, I go to the Arms Reach Bistro for the Coconut Mussels and the Chad Salad. Their patio has the best view in Vancouver. Also, I have to come back to Tacofino in Gastown. It’s simple food done extremely well in a good atmosphere.

Coffee?

For coffee shops, I always enjoy Matchstick. They have great coffee and we use them for events whenever possible. When I’m in the office I hit the local JJ Bean; they have several locations in the city and good service. Our staff can always be found there.

When you’re looking to escape from Vancouver for the day, what's a nearby adventure you'd recommend?

Deep Cove in my opinion is one of the most beautiful places in the world, which is why I live there. It’s a great escape from the busy day-to-day in Vancouver. You can rent kayaks and there’s a popular hike up to Quarry Rock, which offers amazing views. Cates Park is also a great place to check out.

There’s a good hike up to Mystery Lake on Mount Seymour as well. Further up the peak you’ll find an amazing view of the city. Overall, it’s a great spot for a day of outdoor activity.

This year’s Bad Hills Workshop Collection featured an offering of leather silhouettes. What’s in store for the future of Bad Hills?

The nice thing about Bad Hills Workshop is that we’ve placed no boundaries or design parameters on ourselves. Each season we’ll continue experiment with new material innovations. A full leather collection for Fall 2015 felt right, but for future seasons this will change and continuously evolve. It’s a small line for our top-tier accounts, so we want to stay design driven and push the boundaries of what we’ve done with accessories. Next season we’ll be working with a completely different material, but you’ll see full leather come in and out of future collections.

You guys have been creating more wearables through Herschel Supply’s headwear releases and collaborations with Clarks. What's next?

There are a lot of new ideas coming down the pipeline. We have some big partnerships dropping this year, including a couple of collections with Disney and a Coca-Cola offering with a unique material play. We’ll also be releasing a partnership collection with Hudson’s Bay Company. That being said, we’re not slowing down anytime soon. 

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