We are products of this historic community that has welcomed people from all walks of life. Growing up here or moving here generates an immense admiration and appreciation for what is harvested here – from land to sea. The team at Founders House will showcase the best of local in all aspects of our operation – the food, the drink, and the people!
Everyone who works at Founders House Dining & Drinks is here because they share our passion for all things local – the food, the drink, and most importantly… the people!
I had my first taste of the tourism industry scooping ice cream for Cam and Jan Albright at Dunromin Campground when I was 12. I fell in love with the people who visited and fell in love with our province and that love led me to pursue a degree in Tourism Management.
At the Digby Pines with Valerie Carty is where I first put my knowledge to work before leaving Nova Scotia to travel from Newfoundland to Alberta – gaining experience and life lessons along the way. Like so many Nova Scotians I leapt at the chance to come home as soon as it arose, taking a position at a prominent Halifax hotel where I headed their guest service department.
The past 2 years my priority has been starting my family, all while carrying an ache in my heart to move back to Annapolis Royal. There is something about this place – an energy that draws your soul here – and both the first peoples and the founders of our communities would tell you that feeling has been nurtured here for many lifetimes. The development of the Fort View Golf Course gave me an opportunity of a life time – to bring my family here and fulfil my dream of sharing this place with others so they can fall in love with this place too. Founders House Dining & Drinks is that place, where everyone is welcome at our table and where everyone can fall in love with Annapolis Royal…all over again or for the very first time!
It all started when I was fourteen standing behind the line for the first time working for the family business…I knew I was going to be a chef one day and have never looked back since.
My apprenticeship and my first taste of fine dining started at one of the top restaurants in Calgary, AB – Rush Restaurant. Becoming part of a professional brigade, I was the youngest cook on the team and the restaurant had just been awarded best fine dining establishment in the city. It was here that I learned the importance of seasonality, quality and how to respect ingredients and food.
That was followed with three more years in Calgary, working for Chef Michael Noble at NOtaBLE, under Chef Justin Labossiere who mentored me as I graduated from the culinary program at S.A.I.T and achieved my Journeyman as well as my Red Seal certification…all by the age of 21.
Working in the United Kingdom brought me the experience of working for one and two Michelin star Chefs Anthony Demetre and Marcus Wareing in London. Following family roots, I accepted a job in Wales at Restaurant James Sommerin and quickly became the senior Chef De Partie. While there, we earned a coveted Michelin star for the restaurants’ first time and were also awarded restaurant of the year. Back home in Canada I put my own stamp on casual fine dining at Michael and Marion’s in Ontario.
With family ties here in Nova Scotia, coming to Founders House is like coming home. Fresh upscale comfort food made with seasonal ingredients from our local farmers and fishermen – it’s elevated rural dining rooted in our sea and soil.
Beverage Service Supervisor
When not behind the bar, or working at Still Fired Distillery, I’m usually in the garden or hanging out with one of my horses. The garden keeps me grounded and in touch with the very things I love about being a mixologist…recipe development with a local twist!
I have a degree in Winery and Viticulture Technology and a practical background in winemaking and grape growing. I became a ‘cocktail nerd’ after meeting Matt and Jeff from The Clever Barkeep – their inspiration shines through my creative cocktail recipe development. Founders House provides the opportunity for me to showcase those recipes which feature some of the best spirits, mixers, and unusual ingredients our region has to offer. As a self-taught bartender, I’ve enjoyed learning the classic cocktails but when you’ve got such amazing local ingredients to work with, who can resist trying something new!