Why she's a 2016 Top 40:
By heading up the Calgary chapter of Mealshare, Sich has helped Calgary restaurants bring more than 250,000 meals to youth in need.
photograph by Jared Sych. Photographed at the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning at the University of Calgary.
She’s not a chef, but Breanne Sich’s life revolves around the act of feeding others. With two demanding jobs — one with a high-end restaurant group and another with an organization that feeds hungry youth — her work is about filling people’s bellies in very different ways.
Sich is the marketing coordinator for the Teatro Group, the restaurant group behind Teatro Ristorante, Cucina, Vendome Café, Ca’Puccini, Alforno Bakery, E.A.T., the Carne food truck and the brand-new Royale restaurant. While managing the branding for that growing stable of restaurants would be enough for most young professionals, she is also the Calgary community leader for Mealshare, a non-profit initiative that partners with restaurants to help eradicate hunger and food instability among youth through a “buy one, give one” model.
Mealshare started in Calgary in 2013 and Sich took over as the Calgary coordinator less than a year later. Since then, she has grown the number of participating restaurants from 15 to more than 60 and has seen more than 250,000 meals donated through Calgary restaurants. She’ll also be helping out with Mealshare’s first American expansion when the program launches in Austin, Texas this year. She was able to achieve this in part through the industry connections she’s made through her work with the Teatro Group, but also through her infectious sense of energy and boundless drive to help people.
In addition to the two busy high-profile gigs, Sich also finds time to regularly volunteer at the Calgary Drop-In Centre and Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids as part of her commitment to Mealshare and also donates time to Leftovers Food Rescue, Ronald McDonald House and other charities when opportunities arise.
It’s a lot for one person, but Sich sees all of her work as being part of the same story. “It’s two sides of the spectrum, and that’s why I love it,” Sich says. “When Mealshare came along, it fused my passions for volunteering and giving back but also working with restaurants in different ways.
“I’ve been working in restaurants for almost 10 years now, and I’ve learned that you can go out and dine and drink wine, but you can also give back while you’re doing it and help impact people’s lives in a different way.” — Elizabeth Chorney-Booth