David Grant – The Funky Goat Eatery

You’ve probably seen the bright green van parked conveniently off of 5th Avenue, Valemount’s main drag – that is the Funky Goat Eatery, and David Grant is the chef and entrepreneur behind the sliding door.

It was 2001 when Dave decided to make the move from Jasper to Mount Robson. Hailing from Ontario originally, he attended culinary school at Canadore College where he was taught by a classically trained French chef, Daniel Esposito.

Dave was there in 1997 during an official royal visit, where he and his classmates were able to prepare the royal lunch, as well as meet the Queen and Prince Philip.

After school he moved from Ontario to Jasper, where he worked as a chef at Jasper Park Lodge for three years.

Family came later, once he met Karen at a Jasper sushi bar. Now the couple spends time with their five-year-old daughter Blake. You can typically find Dave and Blake spending quality time fishing the Fraser River together.

When asked how he came up with the idea to start a food truck business, Dave said, “By fluke – I was looking to get back into cooking, and ended up online looking for a food truck or trailer.”

He explained that most food trucks for sale are typically from down in the states – not close by any means – but one day a food truck popped up in Salmon Arm, he drove down for a second time to check it out (the first one being a dud), and the rest is history!

At the time, Valemount didn’t have any by-laws pertaining to mobile food. “I dealt with resistance from the community, and costs for maintenance, labor, vendor fees. It took about a year and half to get everything squared away.”

The Funky Goat Eatery has been open now for its fourth season, and Dave’s hard work and determination has opened the door for other mobile vendors who may want to come to Valemount.

Those same preserving traits are what make it possible for Dave to drive 30km (or about half an hour) into Valemount from Mount Robson. After a couple bad road experiences, his availability in winter months is definitely weather dependent, but you can find Dave parked in his usual spot most days out of the week.

“My five-year goal is to have three restaurants,” said Dave of the future. He does have an eventual move closer to town planned at some point. And as a community, we’d definitely benefit from his creative genius when it comes to food.

“Now my free time is dedicated to fishing and sleeping,” he said when asked what he loves most about living in the Robson Valley. He loves to walk over to the Fraser River to try his luck.

Dave is a true on-man operation who brings his passion for food to the Robson Valley – that’s why he’s an RVR success!