Filipe's love of food began at a very young age. Born in Brazil into a Spanish/Italian family, cooking was in his blood and great food was always around. His culinary career began at the age of 6 helping his grandmother in the kitchen with family meals and at the BBQ with his father. Trained in culinary arts and whole animal butchery, Filipe has the perfect mix of skills and passion to ensure that every animal we butcher reaches its full potential. Filipe's food philosophy is to keep it simple, sustainable, use fresh, local ingredients and to always work with well-raised animals. His favourite way to cook, like all Brazilians is on the barbeque and he says that all you need when working with quality meat is a sharp knife and salt.
Ludo Ferrari: farmer, driver, fixer & lifter of heavy things
Farming may have seemed like an unlikely career for a French kid growing up in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower in Paris but food was in his blood. In fact, Ludo's grandfather opened the first line of grocery stores in France. Only a couple of years after they planted their first seeds together, Ludo took a leave of absence from his “real job” to help Julia on the farm for the summer. He never went back and loves being able to spend his days with the pigs at our Nicola Valley Ranch.
Sam Holland: customer experience manager & people person
Sam is the smiling face behind the wheel of the Urban Digs delivery truck and the front line of customer service response for our web store. Sam comes to Urban Digs after spending several years working with international not-for-profits where he learned the power of small business to create real and lasting change. As a prospective MBA student, Sam is eager to learn the ins and outs of running a business dedicated and passionate about environmental sustainability, social change and, of course, bacon. :).
Rory Holland: business builder, visionary & compost geek
After many months working closely with Urban Digs in a consulting capacity, Rory jumped in with both feet, partnering with Julia and Ludo to take the company to the next level with the Beasty Shop and expanded farm gate sales at the farm. He brings a wealth of business knowledge, experience and a passion for working with socially minded entrepreneurs on their journey to resiliency and sustainability.
Julie Hommik: ring leader & all-round superhero
Julie joined Urban Digs as an operations and business development intern last summer. A Toronto native, she left a career as a management consultant to move to Vancouver to explore the food sustainability scene while pursuing her MBA at UBC. She stayed on as a part-time consultant after going back to school in September for the final leg of her MBA. We couldn't be more thrilled to welcome her back, full-time as our new Chief Operating Officer/Wonder Woman. Julie loves to travel and explore, most recently becoming very good friends with a parasite in Guatemala while working with local coffee co-ops. A deep believer that real change starts with businesses, Julie’s excited to get her hands dirty at Urban Digs.
Julia Smith: chief storyteller & farmhand
Julia co-founded Urban Digs Farm with Ludo in 2012. With Julie taking over day-to-day operations at the shop, Julia is happy to have more time for telling our story and managing the ranch. She is surprised at how much time a farmer has to spend in the office and is happiest out in the field with the pigs. An outspoken advocate for sustainable agriculture and animal welfare, Julia also enjoys working with local colleges & universities where she is often asked to engage with the next generation of farmers, speaking engagements and writing.
Adrian Beaty: farm chef & prepared foods wizard
Adrian combined his experience and knowledge from a lengthy career in the restaurant industry with his passion for working directly with local growers and producers to create "Food from the Farm." For busy people who don't want to compromise their values, health or taste, Food from the Farm prepared foods offer restaurant-quality meals made with our own pasture-raised meats and local, organic fruits, vegetables, grains & pulses.
Callum Waters: assistant butchery ninja
Callum came to Urban Digs after graduating from high school. While at school, he had been researching butchery techniques, eating a wide variety of meats and enjoyed analyzing their distinct characteristics. He decided to pursue a career in whole animal butchery and continues to study all aspects of the trade from farm to table. He worked as an apprentice under our head butcher, Filipe's instruction and continues to learn more every day now as Filipe's assistant. He is a fast learner and has become a talented butcher. In his free time, he enjoys forging his own knives.
Mike Benton: butchery apprentice & resident rock star
Mike works part-time in the Beasty Shop to support his music habit. He is happy to be learning a trade he enjoys while pursuing his education and career in music. His fast fingers & guitar mastery seem to have provided him with a unique physiological ability to slice and pack bacon with remarkable speed and precision! This multi-talented guy is honing his skills with whole animal butchery now and recently released a new EP.