Amid a challenging stretch for all restaurant workers, an Enderby bar manager has been recognized as a “superstar of service.”
Carina Stokes joined The Small Axe Roadhouse about a year ago, and having made a lasting impression in her workplace ever since, she’s one of four restaurant workers recognized by the Standing Up for Service campaign, created by the British Columbia Restaurant and Foodservices Association (BCRFA) as a special way of honouring restaurant staff after a trying 15 months of work amid the pandemic.
Asked what’s guided her in her work during a year of public health guidelines, dining closures and the general “COVID-ness of everything,” Stokes said that patience has been the keyword.
“I think it’s just about having patience with people right now.”
The Small Axe has found a home on Cliff Avenue beside the Shuswap River for the past five years, bringing stability to a downtown property that’s been a revolving door of restaurants, antique shops and other businesses in past years.
“It’s really refreshing for me,” Stokes said of her latest restaurant gig working alongside Small Axe owner Sarah Dudley.
“She’s so, so good at what she does and just crazy passionate about it too, which definitely makes working for her more exciting,” Stokes said.
“She cares so much about supporting other small businesses and just making sure that everyone shows up to work feeling safe and comfortable and excited to be here.”
The Standing Up for Service campaign began with a BCRFA call-out to diners across the province to share their stories of workers going above and beyond while following COVID-19 best practices. More than 250 stories were shared about servers, cooks, dishwashers and owners during the 12-week campaign.
“With B.C. residents eager to nominate a deserving restaurant worker in their neighbourhood, it was difficult for us to select four truly outstanding individuals,” said Ian Tostenson, BCRFA president and CEO.
Rounding out the list of award recipients were Victoria’s Mieran Loria of Moxie’s on Yates; Vancouver’s Clint Goldsmith, Water St Café; and in Whistler, Cliodhna Minihane with the Earls Kitchen and Bar.
“It’s amazing to finally be in a time where we can celebrate, and we feel the stress our industry has been under begin to lift,” added Tostenson. “I commend all restaurant workers for staying the course and providing great service in these trying times.”
Summerland’s Sumac Ridge Estate Winery — a B.C. winery pioneer and Standing Up for Service sponsor — immediately saw the importance of the campaign.
“It’s important to acknowledge the hard work and commitment of our BC hospitality staff. We see them, and we are so thankful. They continuously go above and beyond, and we are so incredibly proud to be a part of this local community,” the winery stated.