The Hallmark Holiday movies may be over, but being a Catering Assistant for a female-owned cookie company feels like it's straight from a movie. We caught up with our very own Alyssa Ramnath to learn what it means to be a Catering Assistant and some of her favourite parts of the job.
What do you like to do outside of work, and what drew you to working with food?
Right before joining Sweet Flour, I became interested in learning how to cook real and delicious meals, but the one thing I cannot do is bake, so working in a bakery is the next best thing! I also have past experience similar to project management and client relations so Sweet Flour was a natural fit.
Tell us about a day in the life working at Sweet Flour as a catering assistant – what is the hardest part, what is the most fun?
I think my “day in the life” is always changing because it’s all dependent on what’s in my inbox that morning. Every order request I receive is different in some capacity so there’s always the challenge of figuring out how to customize an order to the client’s specific needs. Though it can become complicated really quickly, the more complex the better because that’s what keeps the job exciting.
How is Sweet Flour different from other jobs/companies -- either from past experiences or what you’ve noticed in your time working here?
My time at Sweet Flour has really allowed me to build and develop skills that I didn’t have because here I was given the time and opportunity to really learn. Also the team is really great at pushing you to do what interests you and then shaping your role to fit within that where possible.
What are some of the exciting challenges that keep you on your toes?
A huge part of my day is the back and forth between customers for corporate and custom orders but when I’m not doing that, I’m heavily involved in project research and development which is never a dull moment. I get thrown interesting, and sometimes crazy, ideas that I basically need to figure out how to make happen and the most exciting part is seeing the final product come to life.
What is one of the most important skills needed in becoming a catering assistant?
I would say multitasking and time management are much needed skills. Being a Catering Assistant involves being able to juggle multiple orders at once while giving each one the same amount of time and attention. No order is more important than the next and each customer deserves the best service we can provide.
What season (for work) is your favourite and why?
I absolutely love the Holiday season because to me it’s chaotic in the best way possible. I’ve experienced three Sweet Flour Holiday seasons and I’ve met some really incredible team members, suppliers and clients that have grown into year around relationships. There’s a lot of great moments to choose from but the chance to help out SickKids is really special for me.
If you could give advice to someone wanting to get into this industry, what would it be?
I’m all for jumping right into it and learning as you go because this is something you really need to be hands on with to be able to gain experience. My journey in customer service started off with a lot of trial and error but once you find what works best for you, it can be a really incredible job.