Get to Know Us
Leslie Thomson for Mayor of Gibsons
Leslie Thomson and Andrew Press are the founders and co-owners of More Café and Bakeshop. They chose the community of Gibsons, BC on the Sunshine Coast after 20 years of working and residing in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Leslie was born in Muscat, Oman and is the eldest of 3 siblings. He started his education at Bishop Cotton boarding school in Bangalore, India and soon became a Cottonian, where his education was unhampered. This was followed by college at St Francis Xavier in Mumbai and finally in Cambridge, England. He became a Permanent resident of Canada in 1998 and received his citizenship in 2015. He is very close to his family and friends worldwide and keeps in touch with his widowed Mother by phone every day.
Leslie and his partner of 26 years, Andrew, entered the bakery business in 2009, when they visited Gibsons on holiday from Dubai and started thinking about how satisfying it would be to live in a small town and be part of a community operating their own small business. It was on that visit that they approached the owners of a local business, Wheatberries Bakery, and began discussions to purchase a franchise of the company located in Gibsons. The purchase was finalized while back in Dubai. In early 2010, they resigned from their jobs at Emirates Airline, packed up their house and moved with two dogs to Gibsons to operate a franchise of Wheatberries Bakery. With the excitement and energy of new business owners, they injected life into a tired brand. In July 2010, they purchased a second Wheatberries franchise in hopes of a gaining a larger audience and expanding the business. They succeeded in part by opening the new location in the evenings to local groups seeking space to hold events. They became well known in the community for providing this service.
In 2012, they parted ways with the franchise and launched MORE Café and Bakeshop in order to pursue their original vision of operating an independent bakery and café business. Sufficiently equipped with the knowledge and experience of running a business, they embarked on a revised journey.
More Café and Bakeshop was established in October 2012 in Gibsons, BC as a European style bakery and café, specializing in croissants, pastries and cakes. All baking is from scratch using the finest ingredients including high quality butter, organic flour and Belgian chocolate. Our coffee is organic, free trade espresso, roasted locally on the Sunshine Coast.
Both Leslie and Andrew have traveled extensively, which has enabled them to experience and appreciate cultures and tastes from all over the world. Their love of European baking is what led them to start their own bakery business. Their past experiences have ensured success in the form of high-quality products and superior customer service.
Leslie comes from a customer service background, having worked in the airline industry for 22 years as a Flight Purser on the award-winning Emirates Airline, which he was heavily involved with the startup, based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. He also served as a Safety Auditor and led the Quality Assurance Committee for the airline as Chairman. In addition to baking cakes, pies and tarts, Leslie oversees employee standards in customer service delivery as well as the financial operations for the business. He is a recreational pilot and belongs to Angel Flight, a volunteer organization that transports cancer patients living in remote areas to and from their treatments. His career started in Cambridge England where he represented the YMCA at the annual BOD meetings. These leadership skills continue to the present where he has been president of the BOD of Gibsons Public Art Gallery (GPAG) for the last two years. From running various councils and boards from a successful airline worldwide to helping individuals on a personal level, Leslie has demonstrated his ability to lead people to achieve positive results and win-win outcomes.
More Café enjoys supporting several local charities in the Sunshine Coast community. Donations to the Salvation Army food bank are part of its daily routine as well as weekly donations of bread to the Sunshine Coast Community Services Babies and Bellies program for single mothers and mothers to be. They also donate to fundraising efforts by organizations such as Cops for Cancer, the Sechelt Hospital Auxiliary and Linwood House Ministries, aiding struggling women from Vancouver’s East Side. It’s important for Leslie and Andrew to make sure our youth are well looked after, and our teenage population are listened too. Our Seniors form our largest population and must be well cared for. Since 2010, the business has provided coffee and muffins to the annual Bike to Work Week, a popular event in many BC communities. A remembrance of Life ceremony and various personal events held locally.
Over the years, More Café has employed as many as 16 staff members at the height of its operations. Its employees have always proudly been paid above minimum wage in line with qualifications and previous experience.
In October 2023, Andrew and Leslie will have reached a milestone of 15 years in business on the Sunshine Coast. With hard work and commitment, they are proud of what they have achieved and are grateful for the recognition and support shown by the community in which they live and do business.
Leslie is an asset to the community and will make you proud to be your representative as Mayor of Gibsons.
Leslie Thomson for Mayor of Gibsons BC 2022
Making a Difference