“It’s so funny,” she admits, “but the industry changes a person. Put it this way: just as CJTR saved me from mainstream radio, Bushwakker has saved me from mainstream beer. I’m telling you, when I first started working in the industry, I was a Labatt’s Lite girl, completely. I’d probably still be drinking that, if I hadn’t accepted this job when Elaine offered it to me. Serving here, I slowly started moving on to new things, trying new beers, maltier lagers, and then ales. And now I’m a certified beer-snob! I cannot drink a domestic beer now! It doesn’t have taste anymore,” she waves her hand dismissively. It’s pretty obvious why her reputation as seen by the public is so high, but when asked about it, Tovey laughs, “Well, it’s just my nature I guess. I’m just a down to earth kind of gal. I know people from all walks of life and as much as I’m now a certified snob towards conventional beer, I’m not that way with people in the least. I’ve got friends of all kinds, from all areas of the province, and I value those people who come in to see me and who make my day better. I love people. I appreciate people.” Judging by her dismissive laughter and general modesty – what’s not to like? “One thing I just love about my job is our regulars. And, anyone can be a regular. No two people who come in are the same – we have such a wide variety of people who come in. But the regulars, they know exactly what food and what brew they want, and when we don’t have it, it’s like, a collective sigh – like, ‘now what?’ But it’s something I can count on. I love when someone walks in the door and I can get them what they want, without them even asking. It’s a very comforting familiarity, I think – and makes my job easy!” “Cheryl is – oh we butt heads,” Monette shakes her head, trying to articulate just how much Tovey dedicates herself to the customer. “Both of us are control freaks so that’s why I try to stay out of her area because she knows what she’s doing so she doesn’t need my hands in there. I try to help her by bussing or expediting in the kitchen or something, or I bartend for her. But, Cheryl is … she’s so cool. She wants the customers to have a good experience each and every time they visit. She is the epitome of customer service – she is there for the customer. And it’s like people always say – she knows everyone in town! There is hardly anyone she doesn’t know. I’ve had no problem staying in the background because Cheryl – she just wants to provide everyone with a good time. Also, she’s the mother hen for 25 staff who serve under her – and that’s a whole mess of something I couldn’t do, so I admire her for that. She is an absolute, integral part of this place.”
‘this was just like a house party! This was great!’ And so many times when people leave us at night as we’re closing, they’ll say ‘good night, we will see you soon.’ You always know that they’ll be back. And I think that’s the true test.” www.bushwakker.com
KicK Off ThOse heels...
and dig in!
As a result of their connection, (with the help of their other staff of course), Monette, Robertson, and Tovey have become notorious names in the brewing and hospitality industry. Combining each of their strengths and abilities, the women have helped shape a place that so many people call their favourite. “I remember an incident,” Robertson recalls, “The first time the Grey Cup was in Regina in the 90s. We had a session with the police and SLGA about how to handle things when the Grey Cup was on, and we had our downstairs clubroom open for extra customers. It was so busy that night, and we were all run off our feet. But, I distinctly remember some people that were here that night. They said to me as they were leaving …
The Real Saskatchewan Brewpub Experience www.bushwakker.com facebook.com/thebushwakker 2206 Dewdney Avenue, Regina, SK 306.359.7276 FOR SASKATCHEWAN WOMEN