Secrets and Lives with Tara Armstrong – Smithers Interior News


– Words by Angela Cowan Photographs by Lia Crowe

spend five minutes chat with Tara Armstrong and you’ll not only feel instantly at ease, but also likely impressed with her energy and enthusiasm, which serve her well in her role as co-owner of Vancouver-based PR and marketing firm Armstrong + Lan .

She began her career in 2011 as Marketing Director for Vancouver’s award-winning restaurant group Glowbal, after completing an internship with a PR firm in the UK.

“I wanted a cool, interesting job, where you had to do a lot of interesting things,” she says. “I contacted Glowbal and they hired me pretty much down the street.”

Prior to the internship, Tara had spent her working life in restaurants – from washing dishes to managing the entire show – and definitely credits her front-line knowledge for the speed and success with which she rose through the ranks with Glowing.

When she decided to go out on her own, fate intervened by offering her a business partner.

“I was introduced to Michelle Lan. We met at the Flying Pig for a glass of wine and never looked back,” says Tara.

Her partner and clients have been amazing, she adds.

“It was really great to choose people you wanted to work with. I’ve been lucky enough to work with the most talented people in the industry who are doing great things. When you work with people who push boundaries, it forces you to push your own limits.

When the first waves of COVID-19 hit, it upended the restaurant industry and demanded a new way of thinking about business.

“Everyone had to change what a restaurant is and what it represented at the time. They had to step out of their comfort zones and their limits, and so did we, to support them in their efforts.

New business angles like delivering food to vulnerable populations, expanding takeout options and fundraising have become the norm.

“Even in times of crisis, the creativity that came out of it was truly inspiring,” says Tara. “I love the people I work with. My clients are amazing. And to see how they’ve fared…they’re so brilliant at what they do. Really.”

The 7 Sins


What shoes would you like to walk in?

I’ve become a little obsessed lately with reading about female industry leaders who are also mothers. There are aspects of each of them that I would like to discover! Joanna Griffiths of Knix, Elizabeth Blau of Blau & Associates, Natasha Koifman of NKPR and Italian politician Licia Ronzulli all topped the list.


What is the food you could eat on top and again?

It’s hard ! But I think my answer should be spaghetti bolognese. It’s the perfect meal for any occasion – happy, sad, sick, stressed, celebratory. And what could be better than homemade noodles?


You are given $1 million to spend selfishly. What would you spend it on?

I have a list of best-selling restaurants around the world that I must try before I die. Michelin starred, food trucks, dives and everything in between. I would take a gastronomic world tour, stopping at each place on my list until it was complete.


The black beasts?

Chewing gum under the tables. Why?! Why do people do this!?

The laziness:

Where would you spend long Do nothing?

I’m not very good at doing nothing. But when we were in Costa Rica, we stumbled upon this beach, miles in length in either direction as far as the eye can see. The only people on the beach were us and the owners of a converted shipping container in the middle of the beach serving ceviche and beer. I could spend an awful lot of time sitting on this beach, doing nothing (apart from eating ceviche and drinking beer).


What’s the one thing you secretly are proud of?

The title of my master’s thesis, Managing Tiger Out of the Woods. I wish I was a fly on the wall

when my paper landed on my professor’s desk and he read this.


What makes your heart beat faster?

I have a seven month old daughter, Frankie. The excitement she gets when me or her dad walks into a room and sees us presents the ultimate heart pounding feeling.

Story reprinted courtesy of Boulevard Magazine, a publication of Black Press Media

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