Friend of the People: An Interview with Dean Petty
Where did you grow up and how did you end up in Nova Scotia?
I grew up in Maine... Kittery Point ME. Which, in a lot of ways, if you didn't have a smartphone and had a terrible sense of direction, you could mistake for Nova Scotia very easily :)
The real reason I ended up in Nova Scotia was because my mom was draft dodging in the late 60s/ early 70s with her first husband. They split, but we would visit her friends almost every year and camp up in Cape Breton. This led me to look at Dalhousie's Marine Biology program (I’m not a Marine Biologist) when I was looking at a university to go to, and the rest is History.
Tell us what you love about where you live.
For me Nova Scotia has it all. The grit, the waves, the no waves, the nature, the small community vibes, the beauty, the rugged, the everything. I always knew I wanted to be on the East coast and found my property 9 years ago. I pinch myself every morning when I wake up. I feel so incredibly lucky to live in Cow Bay and get to call Nova Scotia my home.
When did you first try surfing, was it love at first sight?
It was for sure love at first sight, I can so vividly remember seeing a surfboard at my friend's house when I was probably 6 or 7 years old and just thinking it was the coolest looking thing on the planet. I kind of had the classic grom entry to surfing.... saved up some money, begged my mom to drive me to the local surf shop and bought myself a 6'0 SPECTRUM thruster and an Aleeda wetsuit full of holes (I remember wanting to wear it inside-out because it was really fun and colourful on the inside :) Then my brother and all our friends got boards and from that point on I was fully hooked... which turned into slightly obsessed..and is now healthy again :)
It gets pretty cold up there in the winter. Have you ever been tempted by warmer waves?
I actually tried to move to California at one point. I was working as a beer rep in NS and was feeling completely unfulfilled in my work and surf life. I wanted to do the things, ya know, get in the mix in Cali (which now is my worst nightmare). So I quit my job, bailed on my apartment, packed my bags and went and stayed with the BING surfboards crew. I surfed maybe two or three times before I tore my MCL. The universe delivered. I'm so happy it did. I gritted it out in Cali for a bit, which helped me realize I couldn't hang with the crowds and needed something more than just surfing to balance out my life. So I moved back to NS.
You’re the co-founder of Anchored Coffee, how did you get into coffee roasting?
Yet again the Universe delivered :) I rolled back into town post-California awakening in my new-to-me 1989 Volvo 240 and in my first stop bumped into my now ex-business partner. He was all fired up on opening a coffee roastery and I had a bit of money saved up and sales and marketing experience from my past days as a beer rep, so we combined forces and Anchored Coffee began! It was just the two of us roasting, bagging, shipping and bumping our way through getting a coffee roastery off the ground.
What are some of the main values at Anchored Coffee and how do you and the team embody them?
The core values at Anchored are pretty simple. Take care of each other, roast yummy coffee and have fun doing it. We source and roast with incredible care and compassion but we don't want the coffees to feel precious. It's just coffee after all! It should make you smile. It should be care-free. It should be a simple constant in your life; The things that you fall asleep looking forward to and wake up being in love with, no matter the weather or what's going on in your life. The team embodies this wholeheartedly. The roastery is a fun emporium full of laughs, hard work and care. Everyone respects each other and in turn, our coffee is full of love. I'm a huge believer that the environment something is created in, translates into that product. I think you can taste the good vibes in Anchored Coffee.
You also own a pizza joint with your friend that people go wild for, how did that come about?
Ahhh the Pizza. This one actually has a very simple beginning, again, the Universe. A mediumly close friend of mine (now pizza husband) popped into the roastery one day and asked what was going on with the recently vacant space about the roastery which used to house a sandwich shop. I said.. "nothing. Want to open a restaurant together?!" He was freshly back from managing a hotshot restaurant in TO and looking to sink his teeth into something so he said "Yep!" Then we kinda racked our brains around what the neighborhood was missing and it was some delicious wheel :) We then hit the green button and learned everything there was to learn about pizza, bought all the used kitchen equipment and opened Yeah Yeahs Pizza. It’s been 4 years of absolute epic-ness. The pizza world is so fun!
If you had to eat only one type of pizza for eternity what would it be?
I like the basics. Marg or Pep.
What does an ideal day look like to you?
Wake up, make a coffee. Drink said coffee on the way to the shop while listening to some tunes. Spends a few hours at work, puttering around. Then head home, maybe work on the barn for a few hours then have a surf and make a yummy dinner. Pretty simple creature. I love to work, this I do know :) I find I have way better surfs after I get some real work in!
For us, socks and Coffee go hand in hand/foot… Something most people start the day with… either slipping on a fresh pair of socks or sipping on a freshly made brew. Are you socks before coffee? Or coffee before socks?
Oh I'm coffee before everything! The first thing I do is scurry out of bed and hit the kettle. Then I jump back into bed until I hear it pop. Then my day starts.
Anchored, Yeah Yeahs, house builds, sliding waves… What’s on the horizon for Dean?
The horizon for ol' Deanzie. Probably more of the same, I guess. No more restaurants..this I'm sure of. I'm really looking forward to travelling again, sure I did miss that over the past year and a half. I guess... No new businesses and more trips :)