Our whole goal is to have as much of a conversation with people as possible. We have the burger for the carnivorous folks, the sushi in the middle to work on ocean conservation, and then we have a ton of vegetarians and vegans that come in. We have this bell curve, so everyone can be together talking, conversing and having this communication around change.
Our scope of what we do just in Portland is pretty incredible. We’re serving I’d bet the most meals of any independent restaurant company in the city—over 550,000. For one individual concept to have that in a city is amazing. I mean, we have more locations here than Chipotle! When you look at that from a sustainability and social impact standpoint, to be able to grow with the city has been a tremendous honor.
The US has the best managed fisheries in the world. We source about 80 percent of our seafood from US waters. But 80 percent of the seafood here actually is exported. So we decided to work with those fisheries to help our economy and lower our carbon footprint while increasing quality. We’re sourcing mostly locally and domestic while having a global impact at the same time.
Hawaii is an amazing place in general for sustainability because of the fact that the heritage roots of the Hawaiian people were based on living off the land, in harmony with nature. That ethos has I think stayed on the Hawaiian Islands. Blue Ocean, our main supplier, has made a promise to create the most sustainable aquacultural product in the world—and they’re doing a fantastic job. We’re really proud to work with them.
I think Hawaii is one of the most special places in the world, and it’s odd because it’s one of the most well known. You go to any corner of the world and most people have heard of the Hawaiian Islands—they’re not out of reach. Yet at the same time, you go there, and it has this incredible aura, power, weight and magic. You can feel the thousands of years of energy from the volcanos to the forests to the indigenous people. Sure, you can go golf and rent a Ferrari, but you can also get off the grid and feel connected to nature in a way that’s almost surreal.
Oh man, Damian Lillard’s a huge fan of Bamboo Sushi. If I got an opportunity, the Trailblazers would be a great team and they’ve been such great supporters of us. But I’m a Cali boy, so coaching the Lakers would be a dream come true. I’d probably have more fun coaching the Blazers, but either one: if they call me, I’d consider it. I’m a little busy right now, but if they need a little help, I’d be happy to.