What started it all…

I remember the day very clearly, my step father at the time telling me that my job as a Cash Office Supervisor at Food Basics was not a good job for a eighteen year old girl. I should be serving, where there is more money involved. I hated him for making me take my Smart Serve and forcing me to apply to restaurants. I was clever about it though, I picked to apply to places in Merrickville, which was a good 15min drive from home so either I needed a car or a drive to work and emailed my resumes out. I worked in customer service for three years and knew most people (well at that time) didn’t take into consideration emailed resumes. I thought I was doing well, until one place actually emailed me back. Sam Jakes Inn, I remember thinking what am I doing, I have no idea how to serve and they want experience… hell, what were they thinking calling me in?

I showed up to my interview only to see people I knew from school. I was nervous, I was the youngest out of all of them. The interview was easy, smooth talking was always something I had been good at. At the end of the interview Laura (Dinning Room Supervisor) looked at me and said I would start the next week. I had never been so mortified about getting a job before. I was completely out of my element.

Fast forward a month I had picked up the in’s and out’s of serving pretty quickly. I followed the senior servers around closely and asked a lot of questions, but I asked the right ones, which made all the difference when it came to learning how to increase your sales to influence a higher tip out. I began to realize I actually really enjoyed serving and the money was awesome. Still at this time I never thought I’d be doing this for a living, I was actually just planning to leave to go to Sheridan for Art at this point.

I met some amazing people at Sam Jakes Inn, connections that would benefit me in the future. One person in particular helped me the most, Tom Riding. He helped me learned to deal with the not so nice customers and that if I messed up it wasn’t the end of the world, there was usually something we could do to fix it. Tom was the Head Chef at Sam Jakes Inn and was great at it. I really enjoyed working there, I got to experience some amazing dishes. Back then I don’t think I appreciated it as much as I would now though.

In 2010 Sam Jakes Inn ended up closing down (later turning into an International School)

During my time there I got to learn that Tom had his own product called  Just Wing’It assortments of sauces and dressings. All the products are made in Merrickville, ON and are usually sourced from local food suppliers rather then internationally.  He states on his website, “I am proud that all of Just Wing’it products contain no artificial flavors, additives, preservatives or thickening agents, resulting in rich and intense sauces and dressings which add depth to the dishes you cook.

Personally, I’ve only ever had the original sauce, that alone was amazing. I can only imagine the rest of the products. I’ll probably be making a trip to Mrs. McGarrigle’s Fine Food Shop to pick some up.


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