Armand Tencha and Jeff Jefkins celebrated their 20th year together a few weeks before Lily Mae’s opened its doors.  While the couple would like to pretend they met in their childhood, the reality is that the two met in their 20s while both living in Winnipeg (do the math…they are in their 40s).  One of the perks of being owners is they could put photos of their two most precious possessions, Kobe and Nyla, in lieu of photos of themselves.

Shortly after they met, they moved together to Vancouver to start a new life.  Armand had just moved back to his native Winnipeg from Montreal where he had co-owned and operated a catering business and café.  Jeff, who grew up in small town Manitoba, came to the big city of Vancouver to pursue a career in marketing.  For years, Armand worked in the restaurant business and Jeff worked his way through the corporate ranks.

When Jeff’s job went poof in early 2012, the two decided to switch gears and fulfil something they had nattered about to friends and family for years.   And Lily Mae’s was born.

After seven years of owning a home and living in Gastown, it just made sense to have their restaurant in the neighbourhood.  They are passionate about their neighbourhood, describing it as a village within a city.  People say hi on the street and talk to visit one another.   And while there are many wonderful restaurants and coffee houses in the neighbourhood, they saw a need for a space that was quaint, homey and approachable – offering good food, in a cozy atmosphere, at a fair price.

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