Fast Food

Joshua Hendin, cater­ing en­tre­pre­neur and mo­tor­cy­cle en­thu­si­ast, em­bod­ies a new class of biker: those who choose to re­lieve high-stress work with high­oc­tane ad­ven­tures

Sharp - - GUIDE - By Eric Mutrie

TREE­LINE CATER­ING founder Joshua Hendin’s love of mo­tor­cy­cles has oc­ca­sion­ally come in handy dur­ing busi­ness hours. One af­ter­noon, his team was pre­par­ing lunch for U2 to en­joy aboard their pri­vate jet when the band’s as­sis­tant passed along a special re­quest: Bono was ask­ing for “ac­tu­ally home­made” chicken soup. Hendin hung up the phone in Tree­line’s Eto­bi­coke kitchen, placed an­other call to his mother, and then zipped off on his Aprilia RSV4 to meet her in her St. Cather­ines home. A few hours later, he was back — tot­ing two ma­son jars filled with made-by-mom broth.

The 40-year-old en­tre­pre­neur, who has grown a busi­ness that counts Cirque du Soleil and Telus as clients, cur­rently boasts a col­lec­tion of four bikes: the Tri­umph Day­tona 675SE, a Du­cati, a Suzuki GSXR600, and a KTM XC450 dirt bike. Each one is tricked out to the ex­act­ing tastes of its pas­sion­ate owner. His Du­cati, for ex­am­ple, has been out­fit­ted with a lo­cally fab­ri­cated ex­haust, and had sev­eral pieces of its frame and horns shaved off to stream­line its look. When it’s revved up, the noise is ab­so­lutely deaf­en­ing.

Hendin of­ten needs the sound of a loud en­gine to drown out the stresses that ac­com­pany run­ning his own busi­ness. But he ap­pre­ci­ates that his self-di-

rected ca­reer gives him the free­dom to plan high-adren­a­line ex­pe­ri­ences in his down­time. Most re­cently, that meant a moto ad­ven­ture in Mar­rakesh. En route to the coast on the back of an Africa Twin, Hendin ma­neu­vered through spice mar­kets and nav­i­gated along wind­ing roads marked by in­de­ci­pher­able street signs. “In North Amer­ica, we’re so pro­tected,” he says. “In en­vi­ron­ments like that, there are no guardrails. You have to be aware. But it’s a rush to solve prob­lems that aren’t cater­ing prob­lems.”

Of course, not all of his bike trips are so high-speed. Hendin and his close group of friends, a Toronto biker gang of fel­low en­trepreneurs, plan most of their rides around kitschy din­ers on the out­skirts of the city. Oc­ca­sion­ally, they’ll ride to Coachella down Route 66, stop­ping in scenic lo­cales along the way to brew cof­fee from a Moka pot and con­duct in­for­mal Hem­ing­way book club meet­ings. “For me, bikes are just a thing to bond over,” he says. “Af­ter a road trip with some­one, you’re al­ways go­ing to be con­nected to them.”

Hendin’s bond with his bikes runs sim­i­larly deep. His Du­cati is a Sport Clas­sic, a model that launched the same year he started Tree­line. At that time, he was liv­ing across the street from a deal­er­ship and made reg­u­lar vis­its to ad­mire the bike — then too far out of his price range. Years later, af­ter aban­don­ing his Sport Clas­sic dreams and mov­ing on to own a va­ri­ety of other mod­els, the bike re-en­tered his life by way of a neigh­bour seek­ing a good home for one he was no longer rid­ing. It was a clas­sic case of a price too good to refuse.

Still, Hendin is quick to down­play the mean­ing­ful­ness of this long-an­tic­i­pated ac­qui­si­tion. “Ob­vi­ously, I love any­thing that looks cool and goes fast,” he ad­mits, “but it’s less about the bikes as ma­te­rial things and more about them be­ing ve­hi­cles for an ex­pe­ri­ence.” For him, a big­ger sense of ac­com­plish­ment comes from see­ing past em­ploy­ees go on to achieve their own suc­cesses in the food in­dus­try, and from his phil­an­thropic ef­forts build­ing schools in Gu­atemala and Haiti.

On that note, Hendin is ea­ger to steer into a qui­eter chap­ter of life. Hav­ing just bought a rus­tic cabin on Lake Rosseau — a stone’s throw from the his­toric Win­der­mere House, to which Tree­line sup­plies cater­ing ser­vices — he’s started to en­joy still morn­ings on the wa­ter so much that he’s now hunt­ing the In­ter­net for a Scan­di­na­vian sail­boat. He en­vi­sions him­self sun­bathing on the deck of some hand­some ship parked off the coast of Mon­tene­gro. That is, at least un­til Bono’s as­sis­tant calls.

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