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Bryan Baeumler
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Interview by Jay Cooper

We have all watched at least one of Bryan’s HGTV shows at one time or another. His new show, Bryan’s All In, is different than the others as he explains in this interview. Right now you can also watch Bryan and Sarah on Rock The Block which started early March. How much busier can you get?


Bryan Baeumler (BB):  How’s it going, Jay? It’s been a while, my friend. I don’t even know when it was last?
Jay Cooper (ATOTK):  Hey Bryan! It was back when we were talking about Scott, which we’ll forget about for now (laughs).
BB: Yes, we’ll forget about that now. We’ll block it out of our minds (laughs).

ATOTK: Let’s talk about your new show ‘Bryan’s All In’.  What is the concept?
BB: I really want to work with these businesses that are off the beaten path. I want to try something different. They want to invest their life savings and take a risk, but they’re either scared to do it or they’re in the middle of it, looking for guidance and help. One of the things I love to see is people being successful, finding something they love to do and turning it into a business and being successful at it. So, part of me said, we have had a lot of experience building things and certainly building businesses and traveling and taking the road less traveled and making it work. And I think I have something I can share. So, the thought of being able to travel around to small towns and cities off the beaten path and experience different businesses, meet people and help them overcome, not only their infrastructure issues, but give them the perspective that it’s hard to have when you are the one with all the money on the line in the middle of it. I give them some advice and share some experiences that we’ve had, point them in the right direction and ultimately get the job done. Tune up the business, get that big open sign hung on the street and watch them start making money and being successful. There’s a really interesting component in this show that we’ve never tried before. I’m not there to do it for them. I get them to a certain point, but then I leave them with a list of tasks to be done. When I come back, and they’ve put it all together, I get to see the big reveal, the final product. It’s a lot of fun, and it’s really rewarding.

ATOTK: How do you select the businesses for the show and what criteria is there when deciding which projects to take on, meaning budget/location?
BB: A couple of considerations. It’s got to be the perfect mix of size and scope. It’s got to be in the right area and it’s got to be something we can tackle within our production schedule. Then obviously I wanted to have really dynamic, fun people that have found a business that they’re passionate about and really want to get involved and get help.  There’s a lot of lightning that has to strike in the right place. We had so many people apply for the show and some of the size and scope warranted an entire series themselves. Others you look at and think, you know, this is a tough one. I really wanted to put our resources to play for people that have a ‘We have most of the ingredients, but need some help, to put it over the finish line’ attitude. I wanted them to be different, varying businesses. Post Covid, a lot of people said that’s it, I’m out of this office tower and I’m moving to (insert name of small town) to pursue my dreams of becoming a maple syrup magnate or a distiller or whatever it maybe. We wanted really interesting stories and there is certainly no lack of that.

ATOTK: You and your team must have spent a huge amount of time storyboarding your journey? This is a huge undertaking.
BB: It is. The logistics of travel and other things is significant. I spent most of the summer in the RV traveling back and forth living at different sites. The whole concept is Bryan’s All In - and I’m all in. I’m going to live there. I’m going to wake up with you. I’m going to stay on your property and we’re going to get this done. We let the story play out, as it is obviously a format show. There’s a certain procedure and steps to take. The information shared, the emotions of the people and the requirements of the job - that’s all very organic. We just kind of figured out how to get everybody there and how to film it right. We let the story play out and see what happens.

ATOTK: Now, you act as a coach and a mentor to these entrepreneurs. Was there some pushback on certain projects?
BB: Yes, there is. I certainly don’t come in saying ‘I’m the expert at all things’, but I certainly threw my hat into the ring quite often. The people we are working with are kind of like, ‘I’m down to my last five bucks, right? I’m down to my last bead of sweat. The only other option is Bankruptcy and back home with my tail between my legs’. So, they were hungry for advice, assistance and they got it. I didn’t hold back. There was a business I walked into and said, ‘You know, you’ve got everything wrong. The name is wrong. The location is wrong. Your focus is wrong’. And somewhere between there and what they had, we came up with a successful formula and we put it together.

ATOTK: Are the results satisfactory to yourself and the businesses?
BB: Yeah, good but it remains to be seen, as it’s like planting an orchard. You plant it all and you hope all the trees survive but you have to go back and see how they’re doing. So, that’s why part of this was me getting them to a certain point and saying, ‘here’s a list of things’. I gave the owners the push but they are really responsible to put everything together. I go back in a month or six weeks or whatever time they need. Here are the things I want to see and here are the things I think you need to be successful. So, it was really interesting to come back and see what they did and what they put together for the grand opening.

ATOTK: Was there a common challenge with these entrepreneurs?
BB: Most cases, people are just leveraged. This is their season. It needs to work or it’s got to be shut down. Some people, it was just a matter of focus. They had the funding they needed, but didn’t have the know-how or skills to do the things for the infrastructure that they need. They just needed to be refocused. A lot of people get the blinders on like horses and focus too hard on a specific portion of the company rather than stepping back. It’s a lot easier for someone to come in from the outside and say, I’ve looked at this from 35,000 feet and here are the issues I see. It’s like a third person perspective.

ATOTK: Memorable moments?
BB: We’ve had a lot of memorable moments. We were in Newfoundland in a small boat circling an iceberg, chewing on scallops we had just caught and fried up on the boat. On Random Island, we had to take a boat through the fog across the open Atlantic Ocean for an hour and a half to get to this place. It was just a really great experience, I think, for everybody involved. We had full survival suits on for that one as well. Blasting through the fog with puffins zipping by our face, fishing with whales coming up. It was just spectacular. And a lot of these places that I got to experience - Prince Edward County, Newfoundland, Kenora and places that I probably would never have gone to. You get off the main road and get off the highway and there’s a lot of life out there, especially from an entrepreneurial perspective.

ATOTK: Now, have you kept in touch with these entrepreneurs?
BB: I sure have. It’s such a transformative experience and we’re kind of there 24/7 living on top of each other. We’ve made some great friendships.

ATOTK: What size was the production crew on these shoots?
BB: We have a crew of about 12 cameras and sound and assists and story editors that travel with us. But yeah, we fly, drive, take a boat. There were times crossing the open Atlantic was one of those Deadliest Catch moments, on the back of an old Newfoundland schooner with the entire film crew and all our gear and there were other times that it was quite civilized where we flew into Winnipeg and then drove out to Kenora.

ATOTK: With a limited time frame, how did you ensure that the quality of the work is maintained under that kind of time constraint?
BB: We’ve got to make sure the scope of work is within what we can tackle in the timeframe. We did bring a couple of my guys to help with work and certainly things that need a little extra time, we’ll get subs in or have some work done after we’ve left or after hours. We had to be really careful not to bite off more than we could chew and to ensure what we put in, would give them the best chance of success.

ATOTK: What kind of feedback have you received so far from the viewers for the first two episodes?
BB: Well, I mean from viewers we got thousands of messages. People love seeing that there’s support for people that are passionate about it and go after it. There is so many people who want to do that and are afraid for one reason or another or they listen to all those people that say you can’t do it. There are too many reasons why you can’t. Whether that’s just getting to watch someone else go through it, I think it’s really satisfying for people.

ATOTK: Are there already plans to hit the road again for another season? Would you do it again?
BB: I would certainly do it again. We’re discussing all kinds of options because we’re also looking at some bigger projects and expansion down in the Bahamas and other projects in Canada. So yeah, it’s certainly not off the table. We’ll see how it’s received. There’s a lot more places I want to go and lot more businesses I’d love to get involved with. Even some of the ones we did, I’ve looked at investing in and building them up to a different point. So yeah, never say never.

ATOTK: You juggle so much. A successful business with all of these successful projects that we get to see on television. You are an amazing man, my friend.
BB: Thank you. There’s a lot of balls in the air for sure.

ATOTK: Maybe if there’s going to be a second season take Scott with you. (laughs)
BB: I’m trying to limit liability on these. (laughs)

ATOTK: Speaking of Scott, I see that you two are teaming up once again for Renovation Resort Take Two. How did that happen?
BB: Yeah, I lost another bet. (laughs)

ATOTK: (laughs) Is there anything to report? How is that shaping up?
BB: I think we’ve got our locations and what have you. We’re in the casting process now, but I think it’ll be great. Last season was really well received. As far as a challenge show, it’s got that unprecedented $100, 000 prize. It’s as real as the stress, the emotions, the amount of work that these teams are doing. For Scott and I, it’s really rewarding to see. We hear when people say everything’s edited and it’s easy. It’s great to see teams come and they realize, 20 hours a day, seven days a week of sweating and stress. It’s great to experience. I think the most difficult part for Scott and I is, we had so much talent show up last season that it’s really difficult to judge them and set them apart from each other.

It comes down to the most minute of details, which we warn them about ahead of time. It’s really fun to watch them evolve, and even their relationships evolve and go through a rollercoaster ride from start to finish.

ATOTK: I can’t wait for the remainder of the episodes of Bryan’s All In. I think it’s just a great show.
BB: Well thank you.

ATOTK: Anything you’d like to add?
BB: I think people will watch Bryan’s All In. There’s always something that you really want to do and you think there are too many barriers and reasons why you shouldn’t do it. Just go for it. I hope that’s what people take from this show. That they get ideas, get inspired to try things they want to do. And end up fulfilled.

ATOTK: Our birthdays are coming up so, I wanted to wish you an early Happy birthday and it’s a big one!
BB: Yes, a big year for me, but the odd memory is starting to evade me (laughs). That’s good, that’s a sign of a life well lived.  A Very happy birthday to you as well Jay!

ATOTK: Thank you my friend and congrats on ‘Bryan’s All In’!
BB: Hope you enjoy the rest of the season, cheers!


Bryan’s All In    
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