Notable.ca has partnered with Grey Goose, the World’s Best Tasting Vodka, to celebrate an exclusive series of Grey Goose Notables: young professionals and entrepreneurs who are influential taste-makers. For the next 10 weeks, we will feature two unique Notables who have made it – young professionals who have reached success beyond their years. We’ll show you how these Notables enjoy what they’ve earned – how they entertain friends, where they travel, what drives them from the office to the golf course – and how they celebrate life and all it has to offer. So, raise a glass as we toast to the Grey Goose Notables…
Michael Kimel is a true entrepreneur success story. As one half of MJK Captial – he’s the M, his brother Jeffrey is the J – Michael has started and invested in several businesses that have reached a high level of success. In high school, Michael founded Pound Productions, a promotional company that now counts three night clubs, one in Toronto – which was bought during Michael’s fourth year in university – London, and Burlington, as part of its roster, as well as stake in Toronto’s Thompson Hotel.
While attending the University of Western for economics – “I like numbers, not essays,” he says – Michael started IceRok Jewelry, which has quickly become one of Canada’s leading jewelry companies and is sold in 400 stores throughout North America. (IceRok has also partnered with NHL star Alex Ovechkin and reggae legend Bob Marley, and will be opening its first store near Yonge and Eglinton in the near future – another notable partnership, this time with Pandora.)
After graduation, a friend of Michael showed him a small site being ran by two freshmen in Michigan. It essentially provided a more thought-out e-commerce way to order take-out. He got in touch with the ingenious duo and convinced them to drop out of school and move to Toronto to continue the site’s development, which led to the creation of Grub Canada.
Michael is a venture capitalist, which bodes well considering he doesn’t “see myself being in one industry. I like to get involved and invest my expertise and funds.” Eventually he’d like to own his own sports franchise, and considering his notable successes, we don’t see that being a long shot. Michael Kimel is most definitely a Notable.
What is your general life philosophy?/What advice would you want to share with others?
My general philosophy on life is to live it to the fullest and never take anything for granted. I learned that at a very young age from my beloved Aunt Elkie. My advice to others would be life is a privilege, so respect it and live every day likes it’s your last.
What is it about you that you feel attracts others to you?
I feel others are attracted to my loud but comforting personality. Along with my personality, I was taught at a young age by my parents about sharing and giving back to others.
What do you do to keep active, healthy, and vibrant?
I’ve never been to a gym, so sports play a large roll in my lifestyle. In the winter, it’s mostly hockey and indoor basketball. In the summer, its water-skiing and surfing, with lots of outdoor basketball.
Please describe what entertaining looks like to you? What makes the perfect host?
Entertaining to me would be an average of Corey Wiseberg and Adam Mandell – please look them up on Facebook! My parents are the example of perfect hosts.
What is more important when entertaining: the space, or the people in the space, and why?
When entertaining, the people in the space are way more important than the space itself. I’ve thrown some wild parties in the middle of nowhere, but the people made the event, so no one worried about the terrible location to say the least.
When entertaining at your home, what is your one staple item that you must serve, and why?
When I entertain at my place, the most crucial ingredient is of course vodka or tequila. Vodka or tequila always warm up a cold room…extremely fast.
What is one of your favourite lounge/restaurants? Why?
My favourite lounge/bar in the city of Toronto would have to be Cheval. Every time I’m there I feel at home, thanks to the great staff that have been there for years. I would have to say my favourite restaurant is The Bowery, although it is fairly new, the food is amazing and the vibe is even better.