Or perhaps it’s more accurate to say “top of head.” And in hand, for that matter.
The 46-year-old actor — best known as Harold Lee in the Harold Kumar films and as Hikaru Sulu in the Star Trek reboot movies — was recently interviewed for GQ magazine about the 10 things he can’t live without.
A hat from North Flag is one of those indispensable items. The other is a fountain pen from Tiny Feast, a stationery and homewares store in the Exchange District.
“We definitely sold more hats from it.”
As for the Kaweco pen that Cho raved about in the GQ video — “writing is very pleasurable … this is so smooth” — Tiny Feast is the only store in the city that sells that brand.
“We stock products that we genuinely think are great and we are happy to see our customers enjoying them as well. Of course, in this case, it’s a little extra special when they’re broadcast to such a wide audience,” said Bock.Tiny Feast’s Danika Bock shows off the Kaweco fountain pen that John Cho bought from the Exchange District shop. (Darren Bernhardt/CBC)
Cho’s list primarily features his essentials for travelling on airplanes — toothpicks, books, a power bank, laptop, headphones for music, and a shoulder bag. But he says he’s partial to some of the items at any time.
Bock lauded Cho for his support of small, local businesses and for taking the time to explore the city a little.
“It shows their character, that they genuinely want to see what and who makes up the city, rather than just passing through from airport to set,” she said.
“The fact that he was also purchasing from our brick-and-mortar shops is great. Local shops and small business truly make up such a big part of any city’s unique character and … every customer that comes in to shop with us becomes increasingly important to our well-being.
“It’s nice to see someone with a larger influence leading by example in this way.”
‘A poetic phrase’
During Cho’s half-hour visit, Lazareck did eventually break the ice and chatted for some time with the actor. He expressed a fondness for Winnipeg and said he “really enjoyed working here,” according to Lazareck.
Not only did he show it off in the video but Cho was wearing it when he ran into friend and actress Gabrielle Union in Los Angeles. Union took a selfie with him and posted the pic on Instagram for her 10.7 million followers.
Lazareck estimates 20-30 Middle Province hats — the same one Cho bought — were sold within three or four days of the GQ video being released at the end of August. Typically, about 10 are sold in that time.
It shows their character, that they genuinely want to see what and who makes up the city, rather than just passing through from airport to set.- Danika Bock, Tiny Feast
“I’m hoping to some day see some photos of them in that stuff.”
“Big brands and companies pay a lot for exposure like that. To get it in this way is really nice.”
Bock echoed those sentiments.
“We have never focused our marketing efforts on paid sponsorships. Rather, we depend on our shop’s experience, customer service and the quality of products to speak for themselves when they leave the shop,” she said.
“We have to trust that every happy customer is good for business.”