Jug­gling a ca­reer in the restau­rant busi­ness with moth­er­hood; yes, it can be done

Ottawa Business Journal - Ottawa at Home - - CONTENTS - WRIT­TEN BY PAULA ROY PHO­TOG­RA­PHY BY MARK HOLLERON

At the age of 29, Jen­nifer Wall has al­ready ac­com­plished many things dur­ing her im­pres­sive culi­nary ca­reer. She works as co-owner of the pop­u­lar Sup­ply and De­mand, re­cently opened in the heart of Welling­ton Vil­lage’s bustling restau­rant row, but per­haps her most re­mark­able feat is the fine art of jug­gling! Be­tween her roles as a restau­ra­teur and mother to fouryear-old Kin­ley, the vi­brant young woman is an in­spir­ing ex­am­ple of to­day’s

work­ing mom.

HAVE YOU AL­WAYS WORKED IN THE RESTAU­RANT BUSI­NESS?

I started out in high school peel­ing pota­toes at a diner in Florenceville (NB), then at­tended Al­go­nquin’s culi­nary pro­gram and have never looked back. I met my hus­band Steven (co-owner and Chef of Sup­ply and De­mand) when we first worked to­gether, and when I re­al­ized he was “the one,” I knew that our life to­gether would be all about mak­ing choices. It’s es­sen­tial for cou­ples in this busi­ness.

WERE YOU ABLE TO EN­JOY SOME TIME AT HOME WITH YOUR BABY?

I didn’t go back to work un­til Kin­ley was 19 months old. I worked Fri­day, Satur­day and Sun­day nights at town and we had great sit­ters. I really felt like hav­ing those week­days at home with Kin­ley made things saner for our whole fam­ily.

RUN­NING YOUR OWN RESTAU­RANT MUST MEAN A HUGE TIME COM­MIT­MENT.

It sure does. Kin­ley spends two full days a week in preschool and then she is with me. She has come to view Sup­ply and De­mand as a sec­ond home. She packs a bag with books, toys, videos, slip­pers and a stuffed an­i­mal. She loves just be­ing amid all the ac­tion or out run­ning er­rands with me. We make sure she has spe­cial time here ev­ery day with Steven, and she usu­ally has staff din­ner with us and the whole crew be­fore ei­ther her babysit­ter or I take her home for bed­time.

WHAT MAKES IT ALL WORTH­WHILE?

We get to do what we love and Kin­ley can be a part of it. We want the busi­ness to do well, but more im­por­tant to us is do­ing some­thing that makes our daugh­ter proud of our hard work. Equally im­por­tant is show­ing peo­ple that we can run a restau­rant that val­ues and respects em­ploy­ees, plus takes care of them in terms of ben­e­fits and out­side train­ing.

WHAT ABOUT THE DOWN­SIDE?

I ex­pe­ri­ence my share of guilt. I guess it’s in­evitable when you have so many balls in the air that a few are go­ing to get dropped, and I am learn­ing to be OK with that. When I see how happy and easy-go­ing Kin­ley is, I re­al­ize that ev­ery­thing’s prob­a­bly fine and this life­style is likely mak­ing her more re­silient!

DO YOU EVER IMAG­INE A DIF­FER­ENT LIFE?

No. This is the life I gladly chose. I love go­ing the ex­tra mile to de­light cus­tomers. There are lots of mo­ments of joy for me at work, and just as many – or more – mo­ments of joy with our daugh­ter. I truly be­lieve that be­ing happy at work en­ables me to be happy at home.

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