Farmer’s Apprentice, Grapes & Soda Alumni Take Reins of Award-Winning Establishments from Founder David Gunawan


Satoshi Yonemori, Mioi Sawada to Share Ownership of Farm-To-Table Staple,
All-Natural Wine Bar

Local hospitality industry veterans Satoshi Yonemori and Mioi Sawada have taken the reins of award-winning establishments Farmer’s Apprentice and Grapes & Soda from Chef/Founder David Gunawan, who will now focus solely on his new community focused restaurant and bakery Ubuntu Canteen in Vancouver’s Fraserhood district.

While it represents a new chapter for both the farm-to-table restaurant and its sister wine bar, the handover is more of a continuum than a reinvention. Yonemori, Sawada and Gunawan have long been colleagues and familiar faces for guests at the South Granville staples, and both new owners will maintain Gunawan’s locavore-forward philosophy of showcasing 100-per-cent organic, sustainable and seasonal fare.

Yonemori first joined Farmer’s Apprentice as Bar Manager in 2014 and went on to help Gunawan open the city’s first all-natural wine bar next door at Grapes & Soda in 2015, while Sawada worked with Gunawan at Royal Dinette before joining him at Farmer’s Apprentice in 2017.

Gunawan began his culinary career at such notable local restaurants as West, Maenam and Wildebeest before launching Farmer’s Apprentice and Grapes & Soda and was named Chef of the Year by Vancouver Magazine in 2016. He took on his latest venture in 2018 when he opened Ubuntu Canteen, a bakery, coffee shop and counter-service restaurant that provides a place for friends and families of all ages to gather, break bread and build a strong sense of community.

“Six years ago, I was lucky to be part of a talented and passionate group of humans who opened a restaurant and then the city’s first all-natural wine bar,” said Gunawan. “Together we embarked on an ambitious journey to transform the way that restaurants function and the role they play in the larger community, and I will now have the opportunity to carry on this mission and intention by solely focusing on Ubuntu Canteen.”

Chef Alden Ong (Coquille, Royal Dinette), who will continue to lead the kitchens at both establishments, has unveiled new à-la-carte menus available at Farmer’s Apprentice for lunch (Tuesday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.), dinner (Tuesday to Friday from 5:30 to 10 p.m.) and weekend brunch (Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.).

“Beyond being friends and colleagues, we’ve long been admirers of David and the intention he put into play at both restaurants to inform and inspire his guests about the importance of acting globally by eating locally,” says Yonemori. “Both Mioi and I are proud to take on this new role and continue in David’s footsteps by carrying forward his steadfast philosophy of championing local farms, pastures and providers.”

Both Farmer’s Apprentice and Grapes & Soda have accumulated a host of accolades since opening their doors. Launched in 2013, Farmer’s was ranked No. 2 on enRoute Magazine’s 2014 list of Canada’s Best New Restaurants and was singled out as Best New Restaurant, Best Casual Restaurant and Restaurant of the Year at the 2014 Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards. Grapes & Soda was honoured with back-to-back wins as Best Bar at the 2018 and ’19 Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards and named to the 2019 list of Canada’s 50 Best Bars, while Vancouver Magazine named Yonemori Bartender of the Year in 2018.

To make a reservation for lunch, dinner or weekend brunch services at Farmer’s Apprentice, call the restaurant at 604-620-2070 or go to Grapes & Soda accepts walk-in guests only on a first-come, first-served basis. As both Farmer’s Apprentice and Grapes & Soda pride themselves on placing a premium on the availability and seasonality of all ingredients, all menus and items may be subject to slight changes.

For the latest news about Farmer’s Apprentice, register for the restaurant’s e-newsletter at, become a fan of /Farmers-Apprentice on Facebook or follow @thefarmersapprentice on Instagram.

For more information about Grapes & Soda, go to, become a fan of /Grapesandsoda on Facebook or follow @grapesandsoda on Instagram.

ABOUT FARMER’S APPRENTICE | The birthplace of innovative, artisanal and sustainable cuisine in Vancouver, Farmer’s Apprentice features ever-changing menus comprised of ingredients delivered fresh daily from local farms, pastures and providers and served in a casual, intellectually stimulating environment that encourages interactions between the chefs and guests. Launched in 2013, Farmer’s Apprentice was ranked No. 2 on enRoute magazine’s annual list of Canada’s Best New Restaurants in 2014 |

1535 W 6th Ave., Vancouver, BC  V6J 1R1 | 604-620-2070 | Lunch: Tues – Fri 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. | Dinner: Tues – Sun 5:30 – 10 p.m. | Brunch: Sat – Sun 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Facebook: /Farmers-Apprentice | Instagram: @thefarmersapprentice

ABOUT GRAPES & SODA | Located in the South Granville area of Vancouver, Grapes & Soda is the city’s first and only natural wine bar located in the South Granville area of Vancouver where seasonally inspired, tapas-style plates are paired with an ever-changing list of natural, organic and biodynamic wines for a uniquely interactive dining experience. A 25-seat restaurant space available to host private events, Grapes & Soda also features a selection of dessert plates paired with house-made, handcrafted cocktails and half-price happy hour specials between 5 and 6:30 p.m. Grapes & Soda was honoured with a spot on the prestigious 2019 list of Canada’s 50 Best Bars |

1541 W 6th Ave., Vancouver, BC  V6J 1R1 | 604-336-2456 | Tues – Sat 5:30 – 11 p.m. | Happy Hour 5 – 6:30 p.m.

Facebook: /Grapesandsoda | Instagram: @grapesandsoda

Media release and images provided by Kate Blyth, SMC Communications Inc. Feature image: left to right: Mioi Sawada, Sathosi Yonemori, and David Gunawan.

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