By SILVIA PIKAL
Holly Parks loves a challenge — especially when the clock is ticking. So the hospitality industry feels like home.
“It’s 100 percent a perfect fit for me,” Parks says. “I like to be busy. Even in my own home, I’m always putzing. It drives my husband crazy that I can’t stop doing things and sit and enjoy. I’m always going and fluttering about.”
As the operations manager of Vintage Group, Parks oversees their downtown properties, including Vintage Chophouse. She’s also got her hands full travelling to Lethbridge once a week in support of a new concept Vintage Group is opening there in the summer. And with a steakhouse opening in Mahogany in 2019, there’s no slowing down.
Born and raised in Nova Scotia, Parks moved to Calgary in 2000 eager to make her mark in Calgary’s hospitality scene. She got her start with Creative Restaurants, and then the Stampede Casino, before joining Vintage Group in 2010.
The folks who come through the doors keep her energized in an industry known for its fast pace and long hours.
“The guests make our business. Vintage is celebrating 15 years this year. We’ve weathered some major recessions and the only way we’ve stayed in business and continued such great success is because of our guests. We’re loyal to them and they’re very loyal to us.”
Watching her team grow is a big part of what she loves about her job.
“It’s exciting to watch the evolution and growth of younger employees — to watch them grow through the ranks — starting as a server or bartender and moving into management and seeing their great success and rise within our group or outside of our group.”
Luckily for Parks, she’s been able to find a career that ensures she’s able to follow the big passions of her life: food, wine and travel. She’s always learning more, and both for work and fun she travels the globe in search of the next big dish, or new wine, Vintage Group can bring to their guests.
“My work allows me to travel all over the world to some really great places, sometimes because of work, and sometimes on my own with my husband and my family,” Parks says. “Any travel you do changes you as an individual. You see how other people live and you see what other people’s core values are, which you bring back with you.”