Grey Goose Notable young professionals and entrepreneurs are influential tastemakers who have made it beyond their years and, though their careers are still evolving, are now able to enjoy the success and life they have created. These selected individuals share how they got to where they are today, how they are able to enjoy what they have earned, where they love to travel, how they entertain and how they celebrate all that life has to offer. Jeffrey Baikowitz is the kind of guy who makes even the most driven fellow YPs wish they were doing more.
Montreal-based serial entrepreneur Jeffrey Baikowitz currently helps manage eight start-ups that he co-founded, including the Victoria Park Wellness Center and Essentia Technologies. You’ll find Montreal’s active YP set at Victoria Park, a 30,000-square foot urban facility that integrates a world-class medispa, private health club, full-service spa, hair studio, and the award-winning Park Restaurant. Jeff is also a co-founder of two other restaurants consistently ranked as the best in Canada. He successfully sold his previous companies, Microban Canada, and Encore Waste Management, to competitors. Jeff and his partner are the inventors of Guard-In, a new eco-friendly anti-bacterial formulation based on natural essential oils that are incorporated into a wide range of consumer and commercial goods.
As an active philanthropist, Jeff is the Director and Chairman of the Board of LOVE – Leave Out Violence – Central. L.O.V.E. is the leading not-for-profit youth violence prevention organization in Canada, with chapters in the US, Israel and Uganda. Jeff is also the Chairman of the Leadership Council for the McGill Social Economy Initiative in the Desautels School of Management, which he helped found. He has also served on many other non-profit boards, including Chairman of Street Kids International. Jeff is a fellow of QuantumShiftT for Entrepreneurs in 2005, selected as one of the top 40 entrepreneurs in Canada by KPMG and The University of Western Ontario – Richard Ivey School of Business.
If there was one location everyone must see, what would it be?
In addition to the historic cities and wonders of the world, I recommend a small beachside village on the southern coast of Uruguay called José Ignacio. There is a simple, wood-fire, outdoor restaurant in the sand called La Huella, which my wife and I consider to be one of the world’s perfect places.
What is your general perspective on life Advice for fellow young professionals?
I believe that the most interesting innovations these days are coming from the non-profit sector, where social entrepreneurs and NGOs are succeeding in areas where government programs have historically failed. The social economy has become one of the fastest growing sectors in Canada, with exceptional results that create real social progress. I would urge all young professionals to get involved in a cause they care about early in their careers, beyond just raising funds. The time and energy they invest in helping others, and the legacy from their social efforts, will provide them far greater satisfaction than material wealth alone.
Who do you admire most?
Twinkle Ruberg took a personal tragedy and channeled her grief into a pragmatic, effective response to youth violence. Over the past twenty years, Leave Out Violence (L.O.V.E.) has helped tens of thousands of youth in Canada, the US, Israel and Uganda prevent violence in their lives, and in their communities. If all stakeholders can get past the politics and misinformation about the causes of violence, they will learn that practical solutions do exist.
Why were the early stages of your career worth what you are now able to enjoy?
In the early days of my career, I (like many young professionals) was naive and inexperienced. I was blissfully unaware of all the challenges people face when building careers and enterprises, but that innocence was what helped me to make bold choices. I’m not sure I would have the courage to take the same risks today.
What makes the best host at a dinner party?
For me, the best host is a great storyteller. To captivate an audience with engaging stories is still a remarkable skill.
What’s your favorite restaurant?
Well, my biased answer would be Park in Montreal, which is run by my incredible partner Antonio Park. It has recently been recognized in several publications as one of the best new restaurants in Canada. I also love Joe Beef and Liverpool House. When you’re in Montreal you should definitely make reservations.
What’s your favorite drink?
I love the Bloody Caesar from Park. It is made with Antonio’s homemade Kimchi, yuzu and, of course, Grey Goose.
One thing always in your fridge?
My wife is South American so we always have hot sauce.
Do you cook?
Yes, but I cheat, because Antonio gives me incredibly complex stocks and sauces, and impossible-to-find ingredients. Like the rest of my partners, in many facets of my life, he makes me look a lot better than I really am.
How do you stay fit and healthy?
I am a partner in the Victoria Park Wellness Center, run my partner Jeff Hart. I train at our health club with Victor Vargotsky, who is a world champion kick boxer. If I am ever delusional enough to think I’m tough, or in good shape, he reminds me that I am neither of those.
What is your ideal Sunday?
I collect vintage cars, so, on the rare occasions when the weather is nice, and the cars are running properly and I have free time, my wife and I try to find some great country roads for a long drive.