JOEY Chinook reopens its doors May 18 at 3PM after undergoing a renovation that will revamp the entire space. The new look features a refined, industrial yet timeless aesthetic with a focus on opening up the space, just in time to celebrate the 25th anniversary of JOEY Restaurant Group.
JOEY has a long-standing history in Calgary, with Jeff Fuller, CEO of JOEY Restaurants, opening the original JOEY Tomato’s Italian Kitchen in 1992, known for it’s pizza, pasta and tomatoes hanging off the ceiling. In December of that year, JOEY Eau Claire opened. Not only did it aid in revitalizing downtown Calgary but the location injected the brand with a vibrancy. Demand for new locations across Canada and the United States soon came. Jeff Fuller and Al Jessa knew that changes needed to come if they wanted to compete in the North American competitive market. In 1999, Executive Chef Chris Mills joined the company and redesigned the menu, fresh from his appearance on Iron Chef Japan.
With the success of the first location, JOEY evolved from Italian dining to the globally inspired concept that it is known for today. Much has changed since those early days and now, in 2017, JOEY has:
- 26 locations, across Canada and Western USA including Vancouver, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Toronto, Ottawa and the Seattle and Los Angeles area
- 4,000+ employees
- 13 years’ average management tenure
- 52% of management team are women
- Named one of Canada’s Best Employers by Forbes Magazine for the past two years, Canada’s Best Workplace for Women, and Top 100 Workplace for Young People
- Received Best Work Places in Canada 8 years in a row, Top 100 Workplaces for Young People, the ICF International Prism Award and the TELUS Business Community Champion Award
Even with all the growth there remains a commitment to the communities who supported JOEY in those early days. This can be seen in Calgary where JOEY:
- partners with local companies like Christiaan + Planck, a Calgary based custom lighting designer and fabricator and Cargill High River, Alberta who bring quality Canadian beef to the JOEY menu
- assists local Calgary-based charities and organizations to feed the hungry through Cup of Care and Scoop of Care including; the Ronald McDonald House® Southern Alberta, Between Friends, Inn from the Cold, KidSport Calgary and the YWCA of Calgary
- supports SAIT by providing ongoing education about the industry, hosting culinary demonstrations, hosting an annual 5 course dinner for the SAIT instructors as a thank you for the education they provide, and having senior representatives like Al Jessa, President and Casey Miles CCC, VP of Culinary Operations being key note speakers at the SAIT hospitality fair
- provides SAIT with an annual $10,000 bursary to help fund their culinary program, with a portion going to a student in the form of a scholarship
“We don’t believe in growing for the sake of growing, we want to ensure that we pick the right new locations and that our current locations are thriving. It’s about relevancy over growth,” said Al Jessa, President of JOEY Restaurant Group, “We are putting the same focus in redeveloping existing locations that no longer feel relevant for our guests.”
JOEY Chinook is no exception. Noticeable before even stepping foot in JOEY Chinook is the soaring glass windows that have been expanded on the front side of the building, allowing natural light to flow through the interior.
Integral to the renovation is removing the existing interior wall between the dining room and lounge to create an open concept focused around a central bar. Heavy timber beams suspended above the bar will provide a warm juxtaposition to the elegant bronze bar panels and white quartzite bartop below.
JOEY designer, Jenna McBride, continues the use of natural materials throughout the space by creating two custom walls flanking either side of the restaurant, commissioned exclusively for this location.
Craftsmanship is showcased on the dining room wall with custom white washed oak planks installed in an intricate pattern. A blackened steel clad fireplace centered in the room amidst all new seating creating a cozy atmosphere. Elegant, handmade chandeliers illuminate and complete the space, fabricated by Calgary’s own Christiaan & Planck.
Playing with light and shadow, the back wall of the lounge adds dramatic textures to the room with a reclaimed 3D brick façade complimented with hemlock timber columns. The lounge will also offer a selection of seating including a walnut live edge custom social table that plays to the natural elements throughout the redesign. In addition, a new custom wine wall provides focus on the handpicked wine selection featured at JOEY and was designed in collaboration with JOEY Sommelier Jason Yamasaki for maximizing the wine experience.
Key to the renovation is a collection of vintage and commissioned artwork throughout the space. From Canadian artist Miriam Aroeste’s abstract tryptic to a refurbished one of a kind neon fish sourced from Ocean City New Jersey the artwork provides a level of beauty and a pop of color to the room. A highlight of the space is a commissioned piece by renowned collage artist Jay Kelly. Kelly’s work is a labour of love as he hand tears and glues a variety of vintage magazines, novels & art history books to create his masterpieces.
Experience the new JOEY Chinook for yourself on May 18 at 3PM when it opens.
We are proud to announce that JOEY Restaurant Group’s own Meghan Pitt has been chosen by VMSD to be part of the magazine’s 2017 Designer Dozen awards. The twelve individuals honoured are recognized as being the best and brightest young retail designers across North America with the talent, drive and innovation necessary to move this industry forward.
At JOEY, Meghan is responsible for our restaurant designs and has been behind such beautiful projects as JOEY Woodland Hills in Los Angeles and JOEY Sherway in Toronto. Meghan sat down with VMSD to chat about her experiences in the industry:
How and why did you get into retail design/visual merchandising?
I’ve always been intrigued by design that impacts public experiences. You create an environment that a diverse group of people interact with in many different ways, that’s amazing to think about.
Restaurant design was always the end goal for me. I love being a part of a group of people at JOEY Restaurants that curate the dining experience for the guest. I grew up in a foodie family and some of my most memorable moments are with my family and friends around a table sharing food. A fantastic restaurant experience goes so far beyond what’s on your plate and there’s something really magical about being a part of that.
JOEY Sherway, Toronto
Describe a signature design element in your work.
The use of natural materials in authentic applications. Guests really connect with natural building materials, especially wood. They soften and warm up spaces making guests feel at home and comfortable. There tends to be a focus of utilizing a natural form of material in feature areas that attract animation from restaurant staff – bars, tasting tables, kitchen pass-throughs.
Describe a project that you were involved in. What about that project are you most proud of?
I am most proud of JOEY Woodland Hills, our first restaurant to open in California back in December 2015. Our design team had to overcome a huge learning curve; relating to a new climate,
new building code, and new consultant team, in a market where we were unknown. We had to make an amazing first impression and we did!
JOEY Woodland Hills, Los Angeles
Who or what has been the greatest influence on you in your work?
I think staying connected to the notion that design is a fluid process and there is no finish line. If you continue to allow yourself to be pushed (or push yourself), you will achieve a greater solution… but there is no one solution. An old colleague and mentor always reminded me to stay humble, push your ideas, fail fast, and move on.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
How diverse the process is. I love being highly conceptual at points and extremely focused and detailed at others. I love knowing that there is so much more to know! There is no getting bored in design.
What’s the biggest challenge you face professionally?
Finding a balance between the best design solution and the schedule and budget. I’m probably a rare breed of designer where I do have a strong left brain as well. I am very much interested in the practical management and execution of our projects. With that said, the challenge then becomes working within these constraints without allowing them to hinder the best design solutions.
If budget (and schedule) were no object, I’d….prototype everything, R&D like crazy. Custom, custom, custom!
Retail changes every day. What design trends have caught your eye recently?
Mixed metals, lighter palettes, small curated vignettes.
What excites you most about retail design/visual merchandising?
Becoming ingrained in the brand you’re working with to understand every aspect of their business and how this translates into their physical built environments.
Look for more of Meghan’s designs as we get set to open JOEY Rideau this summer.
JOEY Woodland Hills, Los Angeles
Today, JOEY was named one of the top 20 Best Places to Work in Canada by the Great Places To Work Institute. This will be the eighth consecutive year JOEY has been on the list.
JOEY has a long-standing history in Canada with Jeff Fuller, CEO of JOEY Restaurants, opening the original JOEY Tomato’s Italian Kitchen in 1992. It was known for it’s pizza, pasta and tomatoes hanging off the ceiling. Over the years, demand grew and the brand changed but one thing always remained at the forefront of the business; a focus on people development.
Now, in it’s 25th anniversary, JOEY:
- Employs over 3,000 individuals
- Has an average management tenure of 13 years
- Has 52% of management team are women
`This is a company that helps you grow and change as it grows and changes, that’s one of the big things that has made us successful,’ said Geoff Boyd, VP of Bar, who started with the company as a bartender. Boyd created his own future by pitching Fuller on the idea of owning and managing bar concepts. Back when he joined head office, he was the bar department, now he manages a team that thrives. “I like that what was just a one-man show has become an important part of our business, and I like that my job is now more about supporting and sustaining other people than thinking I need to do everything myself.
Since January 2017, JOEY was also recognized as one of:
- Canada’s Best Workplaces for Women
- Canada’s Top Employers for Young People
- Canada’s Best Workplaces for Part-Time Employees
- Forbes 2017 list of Canada’s Best Places to Work (appeared on the list as the top restaurant company in Canada)
“It’s a career without a ceiling,” says Karen Johnston, newly appointed VP of Operations West. “We have mentors and coaches for anyone who wants to grow in any capacity. Johnston is another success story with the company, starting in 1999 out of JOEY Coquitlam as a server. “One of my favourite things Fuller has ever said was, ‘You make your own opportunities out of life.’ It’s always been true here at JOEY, and you have a team supporting you the whole way.”
JOEY contributes their ongoing success to their performance-driven teams who take pride in creating exceptional experiences and environments where people are inspired to grow, learn, and discover their full potential. To support their growth and ongoing people development JOEY has partnered with experts in the field to create a customized learning and development path for their partners called the JOEY Path to Mastery. Through the JOEY Path to Mastery, leaders in the organization are given the opportunity to embark on different paths in their career in four distinct areas — business, leadership, coaching, and culinary. The courses have been designed in partnership with Royal Roads University, Essential Impact and the Leader’s Circle. This educational experience opens up the world of leadership to their people and allows them to build a meaningful career in hospitality while also developing their own personal leadership style.
Culinary education and partner development is also a key focus for Executive Chef Chris Mills and the culinary team at JOEY Restaurants. As part of their ongoing development, JOEY kitchen partners take part in a three-year apprenticeship program where they build a solid foundation of culinary arts through weekly culinary clubs as well as black box and iron chef competitions, all while they are attending semesters at a local culinary school. The weekly culinary clubs provide partners with the opportunity to practise their skills in a comfortable learning environment which inspires them to create and execute on different menu items and cooking styles outside of their daily roles.
“Many people have pre-conceived notions about restaurant “jobs” and what a career looks like,” said Leah Whitworth, Regional Manager. “There’s a whole world of opportunity that exists depending on your interests and skill set. JOEY takes developing people seriously and your performance of sales, people and growth profit directly reflects returns in your pocket.”
JOEY Restaurant Group is opening its first North Shore location, at the new Shipyards development in the heart of Lower Lonsdale. With panoramic, sweeping views of the city, JOEY Shipyards features design innovation, specifically envisioned for this remarkable site.
Directly on the waterfront, JOEY Shipyards will feature two patios, ideal for long summer nights with unobstructed views of downtown Vancouver. Eye-catching custom-built chandeliers will connect the first and second floors and reflect the scale and drama of the North Shore mountains. Open sightlines throughout the restaurant will maximize and emphasize the view out to the water and the city across. The theatre kitchen and central bar will create an ambiance on par with the skyline.
“We are excited to welcome JOEY Restaurant to The Shipyards community” said City of North Vancouver Mayor Darrell Mussatto. “The addition of JOEY Shipyards and its unique dining experience is perfectly suited to the locale and will contribute to the City’s delivery of a unique, interactive and vibrant year-round people place at the waterfront.”
“This is an extremely special location for us as an organization and for me personally,” said Jeff Fuller, CEO of JOEY Restaurant Group. “We’ve been looking for the perfect location in the Lower Mainland and we are so happy to be a part of the North Vancouver community.”
The restaurant will have a strong connection to the new public plaza being developed as part of this project, creating a welcoming place for the community to gather and enjoy the one-of-a-kind sweeping views.
“At JOEY, we create unique experiences that invite our guests into our business at a deeper level,” said Chris Mills, Executive Chef of JOEY Restaurants, “JOEY Shipyards is no exception. The theatre kitchen will be showcased from the outside through a long, horizontal window and will be the focus of the entry experience. You can see our chefs in action at all times.”
Creating a space that guests can enjoy year-round, a lush terrace will feature a sliding glass wall to open the interior to the patio on the lower level. This remarkable balance between form and function will create a unique flow from the garden terrace to the interior.
“The vision Jeff Fuller and his team at JOEY Restaurants have for this location is very exciting, and we are fortunate to have this well-established local brand anchor the development,” says Gary Mathiesen, President & CEO of Quay Property Management Corp., the company developing The Shipyards – Lot 5 project. “JOEY Shipyards will be a great addition to the business community in Lower Lonsdale, and is a key component in making The Shipyards development truly unlike anything else in the region.”
JOEY Shipyards will have nods to the North Shore from architectural design to final touches, with a curated collection of artwork by local North Vancouver artists.
“I have deep roots on the North Shore and am a resident of the community,” said Fuller. “We are committed to becoming central members of North Vancouver through this unique location and our ongoing community involvement. We will represent the North Shore with pride.”
JOEY Shipyards is set to open in 2018.
JOEY employees are passionate about their communities and are always looking for ways to get involved. In 2008, JOEY explored a new company-wide approach to giving back that was accessible to anyone in the organization who wanted to participate. As a restaurant, it was also important to address the issue of hunger in the communities JOEY operated in. Cup of Care was born.
Over the last nine year, JOEY has peeled and prepped approximately 10 thousand pounds of carrots, celery and mushrooms to make a hearty and delicious beef and barley soup. To date, JOEY has served 100,000 hot meals across Canada, Seattle and Los Angeles partnering with local shelters and organizations chosen by our employees in each of our communities.
“Cup of Care is near and dear to our hearts. It`s a way we can all come together to support our communities and truly make an impact,” said Chris Mills, Executive Chef of JOEY Restaurants. “We will be serving over 6,000 chicken pot pies between all our regions based on community needs.”
“At JOEY Restaurants, we are passionate about empowering our communities and making sure that they are provided with the necessary resources to be set-up for success,” said Jeff Fuller, owner and CEO of JOEY Restaurants. “We surveyed partners in each city to determine what causes were most important to them. It`s important to us that our employees have a voice in our community outreach.”
The organization we partnered with this year include:
Greater Vancouver Regional District
Covenant House Vancouver offers a clear exit from life on the street to youth aged 16 – 24. This is made possible through a carefully designed Continuum of Care including a daily drop-in program, a 54 bed residential crisis program, a transitional living program, relapse prevention and life skills training.
Inner City Love works to nourish the body and minds of some of Vancouver’s most disadvantaged children in need. Operating out of Admiral Seymour Elementary School in East Vancouver, Inner City Love takes a two-tier, holistic approach to delivering health and wellness, while mentoring children and creating a special environment that builds confidence and self-love.
Okanagan Boys and Girls Club Kelowna is a leading provider of programs to children and youth that support the healthy physical, educational and social development of more than 7,000 young people and their families each year. We have been helping young people discover, develop and achieve their potential since 1959. Every day at Okanagan Boys and Girls Clubs, children and youth get the help they need to learn to develop positive relationships—with peers, family, teachers and the community at large. Clubs offer programs in physical recreation, technology, the arts, personal growth and more. Many clubs also provide meals, emergency shelter, family support programs and other support to children, youth and families at risk. Our mission is to provide a good place to be for children, youth and families across the Okanagan regardless of circumstances.
The FOUNDATION Youth Centre‘s primary purpose is to invest in the lives of every young person in Mill Woods by providing holistic care, mentoring relationships, a safe community to belong to, and opportunities to explore their potential.
The Mustard Seed is a Christian non-profit organization that has been caring for the needs of the less fortunate since 1984. Through its ministry centres across Alberta, The Mustard Seed delivers basic services, housing and employment programs to those in need and partners with the community to address the root causes of poverty. For more information, visit www.theseed.ca.
Ronald McDonald House® Southern Alberta offers a home away from home for out-of-town families with children receiving medical care at a Calgary hospital. Our House provides a warm, compassionate and comfortable environment where families can share experiences, eat a warm homemade meal, and rest while caring for a sick child. Offering 23 private family suites, the House also features a communal kitchen, home-style living rooms, free laundry facilities, play areas and programming for all ages facilitated by our Family Services team. Last year, 283 families stayed at the House.
The Siloam Mission is a connecting point between the compassionate and Winnipeg’s less fortunate, Siloam Mission is a Christian humanitarian organization that alleviates hardships and provides opportunities for change for those affected by homelessness.
Covenant House Toronto is Canada’s largest agency serving at-risk, homeless and trafficked youth – as many as 250 youth daily. A national leader, we educate and advocate for change by influencing public policy and delivering prevention and awareness programs. The agency provides 24/7 crisis shelter, transitional housing and comprehensive services, including education, counselling, health care, employment assistance, job training and aftercare.
Shepherds of Good Hope is the largest not-for-profit organization dedicated to the needs of homeless and vulnerably-housed men and women in the city of Ottawa. We are the only organization to provide around-the-clock, comprehensive services to our clients and residents, most of whom live with addictions, mental health challenges and trauma. From a 254 bed shelter, to our 5 supportive living residences across the City of Ottawa, over 450 men and women sleep in our facilities each night. By offering innovative programs and services in a non-judgemental environment, Shepherds of Good Hope is creating a community for all through acceptance, compassion and care.
Seattle and Bellevue
The Queen Anne Food Bank envisions a community where no one goes hungry, and our neighbors in need have equitable access to enough healthy and wholesome food to meet their needs. Our mission is to provide healthy food assistance to low-income and homeless people in Seattle. We serve every person that comes to our door in need, without discrimination and with respect and dignity.
The Sacred Heart Shelter is located on lower Queen Anne and is a temporary shelter that offers a safe, home-like refuge to homeless families in Seattle. Sacred Heart functions under the premise that every person is entitled to a safe place to sleep. We believe that the transition from homeless to housed is one that takes time, effort and perseverance. Sacred Heart Shelter operates as a support network for people as they go through that process. The staff works with residents to develop goals, obtain health and dental care, job and parent training, childcare and ongoing support and assistance towards the ultimate goal of locating stable, permanent housing.
Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission is non-profit homeless and housing services provider that exists to support the homeless and hungry in our community. Our goal is to restore hope and rebuild the lives of those that are experiencing homelessness, guiding them from the streets to sustainability while meeting their needs physically, emotionally and spiritually.
JOEY Restaurant Group is proud to announce that our organization has been named to the 2017 BEST WORKPLACES FOR WOMEN.
JOEY Restaurant Group received this honour after a thorough and independent analysis conducted by Great Place to Work® Canada, which included the following considerations of the organizations surveyed:
Minimum 50 women employees in the organization
Minimum 90% positive response to the statement “I am treated fairly regardless of my gender”
For eligibility, surveyed organizations provided male/female breakdown by job level (non-management., middle management and senior management)
At JOEY, 52% of the management team are women, with women playing a leading role in all aspects of our business.
Some of these individuals include:
Bar: Carlyn Gill, Manager of Bar Training
Construction: Oriana Vanderboon, Project Manager
Culinary: Kathleen Good, Night Sous Chef
Design: Meghan Pitt, Senior Project Designer
Human Resources: Georgina Boyne, Manager of Human Resources
Information Technology: Elysia Douillard, Retail Systems Analyst
Marketing: Britt Innes, VP of Marketing
Operations: Leah Whitworth, Regional Manager
Payroll: Ivana Mitrasinovic, Manager of Payroll
Procurement: Caroline Smart, Director of Procurement and Supply Chain
Recruitment: Kelsey Bleakney, Manager of Recruitment and Employment Brand
Senior Executive Team: Kathryn Angus, CFO
“This is not only a day to recognize all the great women that make up our organization but an opportunity to illustrate the diverse careers you can have working for a progressive restaurant group,” said Leah Whitworth, Regional Manager for the Lower Mainland. “Many people have pre-conceived notions about restaurant “jobs” and what a career looks like. There’s a whole world of opportunity that exists depending on your interests and skill set. JOEY takes developing people seriously and your performance of sales, people and growth profit directly reflects returns in your pocket. The restaurant industry is a dynamic industry that is constantly evolving. Innovation, growth and the education of our people is critical and allows us to stay on the leading edge. There`s a reason we have a 13 year average management tenure, we invest in our people in every way possible.”
“I can speak to that personally,” said Britt Innes, VP of Marketing. “I’ve been with company for 13 years. I started as a server, studying to earn my business degree at Simon Fraser University. I quickly realized I was learning more at JOEY as I moved up the ranks; formulating budgets, making sales plans, managing a team. Now, I’m the VP of Marketing. At JOEY, you forge your own path.”
As the night sous chef at JOEY Restaurant Group’s Calgary Chinook store, Kathleen Good performs multiple roles and wears multiple hats. She is responsible for ensuring that the 10-14 kitchen staff working under her are ready each night “to execute a flawless dinner service,” as she puts it.
That is her immediate and daily challenge. Long-term, however, she’s responsible for ensuring that everyone under her grows and develops. “There’s no ceiling for anyone who wants to continue to develop and learn new things,” says Good. “The possibilities are limitless and I haven’t seen anything like it in any other organization where I’ve worked. If you’re driving your personal development, management will support you.”
The list of Best Workplaces for Women is based on direct feedback from employees of the surveyed organizations, and Great Place To Work ® confirms that the survey data has a 90% confidence and a plus or minus 5% margin of error.
Jeff Fuller, owner of JOEY Restaurant Group, is committed to making this a great place to work through encouraging growth and rewarding high performance.