Welcome to BizBeat, Pique’s newest web series profiling Whistler businesses and their employees who go above and beyond.
Each week, we will profile another resort employer and one of their staff, who have each agreed to answer the same questionnaire that has been sent to businesses and employees across the community.
This week we focus on Daisen Restaurants' three Asian concepts, located near the conference centre: Harajuku Izakaya, Ohyama Ramen and Fuji Market. Read on for a Q&A with Harajuku and Ohyama manager Brit Holmes, before we publish a profile of star Harajuku and Ohyama employee Tiarna Oakes tomorrow.
The following interview has been lightly edited for grammar and clarity.
Pique: Describe your business and the products/services it provides, as well as when it launched.
We are a group of two Japanese restaurants and an Asian grocery store, catering to anyone and everyone in Whistler who is craving some delicious, hearty Asian cuisine. Our ramen restaurant, Ohyama, is very popular with families, and those looking to warm up after a long day of skiing, while our sister restaurant, Harajuku, is a great place to dine with a larger group in our tatami booths, and is a favourite of many locals. The grocery store, Fuji Market, focuses on stocking exciting new products from Japan and the rest of Asia, while providing delicious pre-made sushi rolls, donburi bowls and bento boxes for those in a rush.
What do you like the most about doing business in Whistler?
For many, visiting Whistler is the highlight of their year. We get to participate in and enhance their already amazing vacation and share our favourite tips about our beautiful little town. Getting to learn a little about different cultures and ethnicities, as we have people visiting from everywhere on Earth, is fascinating and rewarding as well.
What do you like the least about doing business in Whistler?
The seasonal fluctuations can be difficult for our staff. When business levels slow down and there are less shifts to go around, it can be a strenuous time. Additionally, losing amazing staff because they can’t find housing is very sad.
If you were mayor for a day, what single policy would you implement in Whistler to best support local businesses?
I would place a cap on local workers’ rental rates, as well as get more staff housing built.
What’s a memorable moment or customer from your time doing business in Whistler?
There are so many, but we all love that we are a favourite destination of locals. Getting to be a part of all our friends’ and acquaintances’ special occasions and helping make their night memorable is the most fun, and makes us feel so lucky to work here.
Also, getting to meet the many dogs of Whistler on our patio in the summer.
Learn more at harajuku.ca.
Got a business or employee you'd like us to profile? Email reporter Brandon Barrett at email@example.com.