Neal Brothers and Beau's

Certain things just go together: peanut butter and jelly, Batman and Robin, and thunder and lightning. Thanks to two Bishop’s alumnae, the mentors and protégés of the Toronto chapter of the JUMP mentorship program got to experience another formidable duo: gourmet snack foods and craft beers.

The November event, the third of the 2016-2017 program, featured speakers Peter Neal, co-owner of Neal Brothers Foods, and Brian “Banana” Moleiro, a sales representative for Beau’s Brewing Company. The two alumnae generously shared their career journeys, their respective passion for social entrepreneurship and their first class products with a group of 32 mentors and protégés.

Peter started with an anecdote about how he concocted the idea for Neal Brothers Foods while in a sociology class in his first year at Bishop’s. From humble beginnings producing croutons in their parents’ kitchen, he and his brother were able to grow their company to where it is today, distributing not only their own products, but also those of over 40 different brands throughout Eastern Canada. For the event, Peter generously supplied multiple high quality organic snack foods including potato and tortilla chips, salsa and guacamole.

While Peter finished up his talk and invited us to sample the delicious array of foods, Brian readied the beautifully labelled varieties of Beau’s beer for tasting. Starting with Lug Tread, the most recognized of the Beau’s brands, Brian also shared some stories about his life since Bishop’s, including how he donned the nickname “Banana”. From there he cracked open a bottle or two (or three) of each of the other four brands provided for the event: Buenos Dias (a citrus-flavoured beer), Patershier (a Belgian-style ale), La Formidable (an American-belgo IPA) and Marzen ( an Oktoberfest-inspired Amber).

With our bellies full, plates licked clean and sample glasses drained of every last drop, we thanked our two special guests for an inspirational evening fuelled by their engaging stories and unwavering passion for fantastic food and beer produced by successful family owned, independent and socially conscious businesses.

Next up for JUMP Toronto is the annual after-hours curator tour of the Royal Ontario Museum in early December.