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.
After yesterday's BizBeat entry profiling Creekside organic vegan bakery, BReD, we talk with star employee and baker, Jana Mihalikova.
The following interview has been lightly edited for grammar and clarity.
Pique: Tell us about yourself and how you landed in Whistler.
My name is Jana Mihalikova and I am from Slovakia. I have an active lifestyle; biking and skiing are my main hobbies. While I was finishing my studies at university, I felt like a change of scenery, so I came to Whistler as a student at Whistler Adventure School. I have kept up my passion for skiing and biking and I have since landed a position as a full-time baker at BReD.
Describe your current job and what you do at the company.
I am currently the pastry production manager at BReD. I take care of the production of our delicious sourdough cinnamon buns and all the other sweet treats. I like to make our savoury sourdough tartines, which have different flavours according to the availability of seasonal ingredients.
We are a small business, so we help each other as much as we can. Every day is different, because working with sourdough is more of a science than routine baking.
What do you like best about the job?
What I love the most about my job is seeing the smiles of our customers when they try our treats and bread. Weirdly enough, I like my early schedule, because I am done by noon so I have most of the day off every day.
What is your housing situation? How did you find it?
I have heard that if you are meant to be in Whistler, you will always find housing. Well, I am the lucky one, and I have secured long term housing just across the street from my work. But housing is definitely the most stressful part of living in Whistler.
How do you try to strike a healthy work-life balance in Whistler?
Finding balance in Whistler is tricky. We say there is a triangle of work, party, and play. I try to avoid partying, because I love skiing or biking every day for at least a few hours. An early bedtime for bakers is essential, but I do not always keep the balance, as there is so much to do in Whistler!
If you were mayor for a day, what single policy would you implement in Whistler to best support local workers?
I would try to implement affordable housing for local workers. It is not achievable in a day, but it is the biggest issue.
What’s a memorable moment or customer from your time on the job?
The most hilarious moment for me was when a trio of customers walked into the bakery in snowshoes! They were walking around like nothing was unusual and enjoyed their drinks and treats sitting on our stools wearing their snowshoes.
Any advice for young people trying to make it in Whistler?
My advice is to enjoy every moment here in this paradise. At the same time, do not play too hard! Fear of missing out is huge here, but with less, you get more.
Learn more at edsbred.com.
Got a business or employee you'd like us to profile? Email reporter Brandon Barrett at email@example.com.