Every once in a while, an entrepreneur comes along who dares to disturb the status quo of an industry, thereby pushing it forward. Yannick Bigourdan is one such businessman. By taking big, unapologetic risks, he’s quickly become a driving force in not just one Canadian market, but two. Last year alone saw the French-born freethinker play a game of entrepreneurial Russian roulette. After running Toronto’s upscale eatery Nota Bene for many fruitful years, Bigourdan launched The Carbon Bar, a casual, unpretentious but decidedly premium barbeque restaurant. It was a left turn that stunned many. And yet, his new restaurant has garnered glowing reviews ever since its opening.
As if one big gamble wasn’t enough, Bigourdan also decided to plunge headfirst into the world of fashion. Last year, he opened the first North American location of renowned Parisian menswear boutique Loding in Toronto. A more wary capitalist would think twice before taking on this many risks. But wary Bigourdan is not. He’s in the business of leveraging fresh ideas and offering something wholly different from the competition. Really, he does what only a rare breed of businessmen is capable of doing: daring greatly, blazing a new trail and making a difference. And, so far, his wagers are paying big dividends.