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Waves Coffee House founder dies in a car crash in Pitt Meadows

‘He was super-driven, so passionate and just so kind,’ said Kami Rahmati’s son
Kami Rahmati, founded the New Westminster-based coffee house and expanded it to over 27 franchises in B.C. and Alberta. (Kayvan Rahmati/Special to The News)

A fatal crash in Pitt Meadows last week, claimed the life of the founder of the popular coffee chain, Waves Coffee House.

Kami Rahmati died on March 5, when his car crashed in a ditch in Pitt Meadows.

According to Cpl. Julie Klaussner, on March 5, 2022 in the early hours of the morning, Ridge Meadows RCMP were advised by BC Ambulance Services that while BC Hydro was completing work in the 13900-block of Harris Rd., they located a 2021 Lexus submerged upside down in a ditch.

BC Coroners Services attended and determined the driver of the vehicle deceased, she said, adding that the Integrated Collision Analysis Reconstruction Services (ICARS) was called out to assist Ridge Meadows RCMP with the investigation.

Kayvan Rahmati is Kami’s son and president of Waves. Kayvan spoke to Black Press about his father’s life and legacy.

Kami, a Kurdish immigrant from Iran, came to Canada in 1990 with his wife and three years old son. From dish-washing to running a taxi service, he worked in several different jobs before putting together enough funds to buy Robin’s Donuts in Manitoba, in 1996.

“He just kept moving faster, doing different things and taking up new ventures; it all finally caught up with him,” said Kayvan.

Kami opened the first Waves Coffee House in 2005. Kayvan isn’t sure if his father always planned to open more franchises but he does know that he refused to sell his business.

When the first offer to franchise came through though, Kami took it up. The coffee chain is now spread across B.C and Alberta in 27 locations, including a location in Pitt Meadows, and plans to open at least six to eight more stores in the next few years are already in the works.

While he was passionate about his business, he also loved soccer. He owned a soccer league for players over the age of 55 and had 80 teams playing in it.

“I played soccer with him every Thursday and he would joke we were Messi and Ronaldo. He would always say he was Messi and I said, you are more like LeBron James — so motivated and passionate,” said Kayvan.

With all this success, Kami didn’t just keep it all to his family, but opened the doors to several others, said Kayvan.

“I am so proud of him; he sponsored 30 families from Iran over the years. Many of them even lived at our house till they got settled. He was just a very giving man,” he said.

This taught Kayvan to be generous too, and said there was so much he learnt from his father and one of the biggest things would be to always greet people.

“He always had a smile on his face, he was always greeting people in a way to make them feel welcome. That was how the coffee house got its name too. He called it Waves because he believed in greeting people always. He was just such a role model to me,” he said.

Kami would have turned 60 on March 21. He leaves behind his wife, Asrin, two daughters Krystal and Kiara, and son Kayvan.

At this time, the cause of the crash is still under investigation and the RCMP and the family are awaiting the coroner’s reports.

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Priyanka Ketkar

About the Author: Priyanka Ketkar

Priyanka Ketkar has been a journalist since 2011 with extensive experience in community-driven news writing, feature writing, and editing.
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