Saturday, August 28, 2010


Wow , I cannot believe how fast things have flown by during this last C0-0p . Until completing my midway evaluation sheet I was unaware on how many things I have learned at Canoe. I have improved my multitasking skills like crazy . I am able to think and do so many more things at once. This allows be to spend more time with my tables. Plus I must say my product knowledge has more then doubled. I went into Canoe with very little beer knowledge , what I did know about beer is that I did not care for it . Today I can proudly say I can drink beer and enjoy it . All the beer at Canoe is great . Plus they produce five different types of beer . All five of these beers have unique characteristics which make them easy to break down to tables and find out what they like. I have also taken lately to drinking beer out , not at Canoe . My favorite non Canoe beer lately (because I love all of Canoes beer!) has been Phillips Phoenix , man it is great

My wine knowledge has also improved , not only can I open a perfect bottle of wine at a table but I know all wines my the glass at Canoe. There are about 12 different wines. I know their characteristics , and a idea of what they will pair well with.

I am stating to get very exited about school . I love September , I love fall fashion , student life return to victoria . The influx of youth returning , and of course fringe feast , Rifflandria, and of corse my birthday . Lately however , I am starting to get a little stressed out , will my student loan come in on time? will it be enough money to make it through the year. It is my goal this fall to apply for as many school bursaries as possible. Plus I have given myself till the end of September to decided where I am going to go for my second Co-op. So far I have it narrowed down to 3 places , Whistler ,Banff -Canmore or just staying in Victoria. It can be difficult packing up you life for just four months just to return for another 2 months of school. Choices , Choices!

As Far as work is going they have implemented a new schedule for the patio. This new thing is through shifts. Instead of starting at 11 and working until 5 most of us are scheduled 12-till close. Which sometimes can be until 9 9:30. For myself today working a though on a Saturday it is going to be a very long day . Without any breaks:( . On my plus side you make bank , it will most likely be a good tip day , plus an opportunity to go into overtime. Downside 9 hour days running you butt off , with little food and absolutely no breaks. Arg!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Howard Soon

As you know one of my main goals during this Co-op was to learn more about wine. Today I attended a seminar at Canoe hosted by Howard Soon . Many different people where there some from different hotels around Victoria , and the majority of the people were from Cascada liquor store. Howard Soon is the Master Wine maker for Sandhill winery . This year Sandhill won for best wine in the Canadian wine championships. He was a very interesting man . As a business man he always puts wine quality first . This really came through when he said that the Sandhill winery would rather have a larger yield , because this means that they are only using the highest quality of grapes. Howard has been working in the wine industry for over 35 years and now. As well as teaches other wine makers the art of wine making. Many of his students make wine for other VQA wineries loacated in Okanagan. Some of this wineries are X0X0, Red Rooster and Peller Estates all these companies are under the same company of Sandhill winery .
We all got the opportunity to try many different wine varieties. Here is a list of the wines we got to taste. Pinot Blanc, Pinot noir , chardonnay , unoaked chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc (my favorite) Gamay Noir, and two different types of merlots. Personally I Preferred the White wines over the Reds . Although I have been enjoying wines for the last couple years I still find red wine to be to full bodied and tannins. During the end I got to personally introduce myself to him and ask him a few questions . Then he asked us questions based on his seminar. I answered a few questions right and won myself a prize. A Peller camping chair . It was the perfect ending to such a informative gathering .

Monday, August 9, 2010


A couple days ago I had the opportunity to work my first Catering gig with Truffles Catering . We are both owned my the same company , however, are quite separate. On Saturday Truffles were short staffed so they called Canoe to see if any servers would be able to work for them . Due to the patio being closed I got called. It was great , my job can be very redundant so it was fantastic to be able to mix it up. The event that I ended up helping with was a wedding . The wedding was located near Sydney , right on the water. When I arrived I was put to work right away. I was a little nervous because I had never done anything like this before. I was given the job of bartending . All night long I poured drinks for guests, the majority of the drinks were wine and beer. When the bar was slow I helped re-fill waters and clear tables. After the event was over we had to disassemble all the tables and chairs. This was actually very tiring because the chairs and tables were quite heavy , plus all the caterers had worked a full 9 hour day.
This was a great experience for me. During the event I got to see the fundamentals that went into throwing a event . I learned that the majority of then things catering company's provide are rented. From the tables to the plates. This allows for very little over head. I found this very intreating because you don't need to have a lot of equity to start up a company . The over head is much smaller then opening a restaurant . Perhaps in the future I will first start my career off first starting a catering company rather then a restaurant .
I am going to try and stay on working gigs with Truffles Catering . They apparently are quite a flexible company , they allow you to work your own hours. For example you email them what days you can work , and they will have you work if they have an event . This will allow me to make some extra cash while working at Canoe , and perhaps throughout the school year. Plus will give me the insight I will need if I ever want to open a Catering Company.
Today has been a very productive day for me . I paid my web declaration fees so I can register for school for October , and finally completed my Student Loan. After completing all of this I feel stress free. The only thing I need to accomplish now is my Co-op meeting . The meeting will hopefully take place this week and everything I need to do will be complete.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Half way point

Man, Co-op has already made it to the half way point . The last few months have flew by , its pretty crazy. I was thinking today how far I have come at Canoe, my wine and beer knowledge has enhanced as well as my confidence. When we first started Dunlop I remember serving my first table and how nervous I was . How uncomfortable it can be serving different groups of people that you don't know or have little in common with. I feel the last 3 months at Canoe have really helped me. Lately my tables have even commented on how their service was wonderful. This has been a real confidence boast. Plus the staff that work at Canoe are amazing . Just moving to Victoria a year ago Canoe had provided me a great chance to meet people that work in the industry. Many people that I work with work other jobs , which has given me insight into other places as well. For instance how other places are to work for , and the kind of work atmosphere other jobs provide. Making me feel like part of the industry.

This week has been pretty hectic, although , thankfully non of the drama has come from work . I (again) just returned from up Island . While I was there decided to get my car looked at . It has not been running well . After everything was done and fixed , the final bill was over 1000 dollars which was alarming . This means that I am going to have to save extra hard this summer to start saving for school . :( Plus get my butt in gear for completing all my student loan stuff.