Smoke’s Poutinerie: From rags to riches

Cheese. Gravy. Fries. Need I say more?

Any foodie could tell you exactly what comes to mind when I mention those three ingredients, but not all of us are as adventurous. If you haven’t heard of poutine, a delicious Quebec-originated snack made of crisp fries, gravy and cheese curds, you have been severely missing out. Considered a staple food of Canadians, Poutine has evolved over time from a simple delicious recipe, to a wildly complex personalized meal.

Smoke’s Poutinerie, a notoriously famous food chain invented by Ryan Smolkin, has been king of the scene since 2008 with over 100 stores across Canada and the US, and current plans for expansion. His menu includes everything from “The basic poutine” which consists of hand-cut and custom seasoned fries, Smoke’s Poutinerie signature gravy and Quebec cheese curd; to the “The Chicken Fatija poutine” which includes grilled chicken, roasted red peppers, carmelized onions, salsa and sour cream that we all (well most of us) know and love.

What if I told you Ryan Smolkin was turned down by banks in 2007 for a loan to buy a commercial property to start his small company, and if it weren’t for collateral loans this evolutionary cheesy delicacy might never have existed? As fortune would have it this small business owner’s story has a happy ending. After purchasing the commercial site with a line of credit against his home he has since tripled his money and as you may or may not know – business is booming.

Canadian banking policies have tighter restrictions for small to medium sized business owners, and the majority of the loans approved are going to larger companies. The fact is the little guys need the most help, but are least likely to get it because of the potential risks in comparison. What are the small business owners supposed to do? As the owner of this notorious food chain knows, when you’ve run out of luck, it may be time to make your own.

A mortgage loan can offer up to 85% of the value of your home to be used towards your start-up business. Money which can be put towards expansion, marketing, products and anything you need to turn your idea into a reality. There is never a guarantee of success, but there should be no guarantee of failure either.

Make way for the little guys.