A new food services manager at the Hirsch Creek Golf and Winter Club is going to take a new approach to running the business — an approach that will mean collaboration with Kitimat’s other food establishments.
Kitimat-raised Raymond Boguski has returned to his hometown to attempt to lead the restaurant and lounge into new glory after the facility has seen a declining reputation when it comes to food service.
“I didn’t want to leave Kitimat,” he said. He spent the past two years as a head chef and kitchen manager for a golf course in Victoria. “We knew the jobs were coming [to Kitimat]. The jobs weren’t here yet.”
Boguski spent some time in his youth working at the golf course as well and was happy be able to return.
“This building, to me, you can’t put a dollar value on the view off that front deck.”
But with the challenges the restaurant has faced recently, he wants to find ways to turn that around.
“I think that, with the club doing as well as it is and as poorly as it’s doing, we needed to focus on the community,” he said. “We’re losing people left, right and centre to these [camp] jobs. Some of the best cooks in Kitimat are now janitors.”
A crucial peg of his plan for the facility is to work closely with other Kitimat and area restaurants, rather than work solely within a bubble.
“I look at Kitimat as not just Kitimat. Kitimat’s a northern hub to me. Terrace and Kitimat go hand-in-hand, they work together whether they realize it as much as they need to,” he said. “There’s not enough businesses here to compete.”
To that end, he said he welcomes calls from other local restaurant operators for support, and he said he won’t be afraid to do the same.
“Lets work together. We’re such a small, tight-knit community, competition exists but it doesn’t really exist here,” he said.
Club president Art Emmerson said he’s excited to have Boguski on board given their challenges.
“It’s amazing how many people don’t have it in their mindset that the golf course is a place to go and have a meal,” said Emmerson.
While the golf course has challenges, Boguski said he considers it his job to point out where opportunities might have been lost and to build new ones.