Thank you

For the last 12-1/2 years, Dave and I have cared for and loved this grand old building, an icon built of stone that carries the history of our community in its walls. At the end of October we will hand its stewardship over to the next owner, who we believe will respect and care for it as much as we have. We are pleased to have played a part in the legacy of 32 Pacific Avenue, and we feel proud to leave it in better shape than we found it in. Our last day of service will be October 17. We then will cater the SPRA conference, and close the doors finally on October 20.

Those of you who know me know I like a story that carries historic symmetry at its core. 32 Pacific Avenue started out in 1898 as Hewitt Drugs, and now, 120 years later, it returns to its roots and completes the circle, as a drug store of a different kind. The more things change...

So come in and eat some food, raise a glass and bring your gift certificates if you have them. It's been a great run, thanks to you all.
Tina and Dave

Passion

It’s been a long time since I have written in this blog – probably a year or so – not that I haven’t had things to say, but more that I lost the passion to write.

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I have been so consumed with the head-above-water stuff that I forgot what makes my life shine: family, food and feeding people, writing, gardening, heritage preservation, and wool work.

For me, success doesn’t come from money or material things, but from living a full and interesting life. I have enough food, a house to live in, and businesses that serve people’s needs. I have a loving husband and business partner, a great bunch of kids and grandkids, the beauty of my garden, a committed team of talented staff, and I live a creative life.

I just got too busy putting one foot in front of the other and finding the money to keep the businesses open to remember why I chose this life in the first place.

A couple of things have reminded me of my passion. The first was the support and endorsement of a special friend of mine. She makes my life shine and I enjoy every moment spent with her. She holds me up and cheers me on. I try to return the favor.

Another contributing factor to getting my passion back is the recent recognition my husband and I received. We recently got word that we had been given the 2017 Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Architectural Rehabilitation for our work on 130 and 132 Jasper Street, formerly the Rex Café properties. Those who know me know my passion for preserving old buildings, and this recognition gave me a boost. As Sally Field so aptly put it, “They like me, they really like me.”

This winter and spring, I have been attending Connie and Geoff Phillips’ Paint Night every month. While I will never be a Rembrandt, I have rediscovered my love of form and colour and overcome my fear of failure thanks to their positive, cheerful leadership. This success has encouraged me to finish a couple of rugs I have been stalling on, and now to write this.

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At the Star, we follow our passion for creating memorable customer experience. Chef Joel leads the kitchen and Erin leads the front-of-house team to make sure your service, food and experience meet your expectations. We cook good food and serve it well in a beautiful room.

Our passion is food, and our customers are the stars.

Our tenth year

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It has been a long road to where we are now. We started in 2007 with a dream of what we would like, but had no experience owning a restaurant. I had worked in many restaurants and bars over the years, but never in management, and never with any insight into the sheer guts it takes to tough out the bad times and capitalize on the good times.

One of the real challenges in building an award-winning business is developing an ego – a strong sense of self and confidence in your own leadership and vision. It is easy to listen to other people, friends, family, staff and customers, as to what you should be doing with the business, and it is certainly important to adjust your vision and direction based on the marketplace. Still, having listened to and incorporated other people’s advice, it is just as important to articulate your own values and goals to your team and make sure they understand what you expect the business to deliver.

In our case, the underlying values of the Star have never changed. We value excellence in all we do. We value our customers, our team, our community. We value fresh ingredients, complex flavours and careful preparation. We value heritage.

We are now about to enter our tenth year, with our ninth birthday on June 8, 2016. In some ways it has seemed like way longer, and in other ways it seems we opened only yesterday. I do know that while sometimes I may be tired or out of sorts, when I walk into the Star and greet the team, I always get a lift and look forward to service.

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When we opened, our tables were dressed in white tablecloths and stemware. We had visions of grandeur and wanted to compete with the big city restaurants. Over time we went to checked cloths and coloured napkins, and now we have bare tables with cotton napkins. We still do white cloths when asked and on Valentine’s Day and New Year’s Eve, but we have come to realize that a small-town restaurant has to reflect the community as well as the owners’ aesthetic.

We have to reflect the community’s values as well: hard work, fair value for money, and above all, friendliness and mutual respect. These values are the glue which cements our ties to Maple Creek and its people. We hope the Star will serve you as well for the next ten years.