“Hello, how are you” said the barista. “I’m good, thanks. I’m going to get the avocado toast please” said the customer. “That will be $11.00 please” said the barista. “That is outrageous, that is the same price as my wage” said the customer.
That was the conversation that started it all. And yes, he still bought the toast.
We live in an age where minimum wage is the same price as avocado toast; an age where magazines appear to still feature only the elite, selling us unattainable lifestyles, and for some reason… we are still buying it. It’s easy to get lost in the beauty of an aesthetically pleasing print magazine, and even easier to ask the question: how the hell is this relevant to me, to my surroundings, to my community? Most often it’s not. Perhaps this is why the print magazine industry has seriously taken a hit? Avocado Toast Post is a lifestyle magazine for the modern human. The real modern human; in our many forms, cultures, and ways of life. A true celebration of our differences, similarities, and the ambiguity sewn in-between. With a focus on current modern anthropology, we explore; fashion, the arts, culture, design, and food to new heights. We are connecting with makers, movers, and shakers, and perhaps the man who stands on the corner handing out newspapers every morning. It’s time to dig deeper, be transparent, and outspoken.
“It all started in a cafe in Gastown, one of my favourite neighbourhoods in Vancouver” explains Editor-in-Chief, Jamila Pomeroy.
“I had worked 14 days in a row with my multiple jobs; the 9-5 bread and butter job as a reproduction painter and a slew of side gigs. I was exhausted, and on my third coffee when I heard the conversation that started it all. A man walked up to the counter of a very modern, hip coffee shop; the kind of design that belongs in Kinfolk: sleek and minimalistic.
“Hello, how are you” said the barista. “I’m good, thanks. I’m going to get the avocado toast please” said the customer. “That will be $11.00 please” said the barista. “That is outrageous, that is the same price as my wage.”
Despite the price of the toast, the man still purchased it. I watched him attempt a few photos for Instagram, and then devour the toast faster that the awkward conversation I had previously witnessed. I stopped for a moment and thought… damn, that right there is a perfect example of what it is to be a millennial in Vancouver, and larger, that is a perfect depiction of the modern age in North America.”
Pomeroy explains that the paradox of the conversation was almost making fun of her current situation and caused her to re-evaluate where to direct her career and energy. “It hit me instantly: Avocado Toast Post; a magazine for the modern human. A publication that was honest, transparent, and really highlighted relatable stories. I was doing lots of freelance writing and journalism, while trying to get my book published. It was clear to me that if I really wanted to make waves and do things differently, I was going to have to create that space myself. Me the woman buying overpriced avocado toast on an artist and writers wage.”
“People aren’t buying magazines because they can smell the bullshit.”
To Pomeroy’s delight and surprise, the magazine grew quite quickly. “I thought it was going to be quite small. Perhaps 30 pages, and I would sell it around Vancouver and offer it online. The next thing I knew I was coordinating campaigns with designers, establishing brand partnerships, and setting up interviews with some pretty amazing people. People seem to really believe in what we are trying to do, and our ethics” says Pomeroy. Avocado Toast Post went from a one woman show to a magazine of five editors and over 10 contributors, in two months. The magazine, in its first release, has a collective of over 30 contributing creatives.
“I was never a huge magazine reader growing up” says Pomeroy.
“I just never really felt represented visually, or through the story narratives being portrayed in print. I grew up in a mixed family with a single mom, while also being daughter to a refugee father from Kenya. I think the narrative that is often pushed is the “token person of colour”, and that usually excludes mixed-race people. I think that everyone should be represented, and not by social obligation, but because they should be celebrated for their gifts, their talents, and their businesses. The magazine industry has not been doing well, and in my opinion, people aren’t buying magazines because they can smell the bullshit: magazines have really turned into commercials in print, without full-spectrum representation… and who wants to purchase a commercial for something they don’t want to buy, in an age of ad-blocker.”
Pomeroy explains that the magazine is closer to an adult storybook than your traditional print magazine. “Magazines are using the same layout and method they have been using since the 50’s. Nothing has really changed. I think there is a huge missed opportunity to integrate story-telling into ad campaigns and have everything flow seamlessly with purpose; there is no reason the story should end after the article. We have fashion campaigns that are using clothing to tell a story, and are getting more intimate with designers and creatives; I think even having this quality is really going to set us aside from the rest, and hopefully intrigue people who aren’t usually magazine readers, like me” says Pomeroy.