Work related aka short description
Wish to improve local service and beverage culture. Using my knowledge, knowhow and experience.
Entrepreneurship - projects, trainings, materials, etc.
16 years of experience in hospitality - Hilton Tallinn Park, Pädaste Manor, Pärnu Rannahotel
Sommelier diploma from Estonian private school for sommeliers
Winecinema & tasting events
DiSC behavioural coach
To whom it may concern
They say writing about yourself is supposed to be easy, because, well there’s no-one else who knows you better than you know yourself. In reality it kind of feels like a startup elevator pitch you didn’t really prepare for.
Reasoning behind this letter is simple. Once you reach this page, it’d be nice to have a way to discover who is actually behind everything that’s going on here. Or am I wrong? So take this as a CV, welcome letter or a reasoning.
As of today I have been active in the food industry for 16 years. I was 14 when my first summer job sent me through the door of a small town hotel kitchen in Pärnu Rannahotel. Fulfilling the role of a chefs help. From that I take away 4AM mornings, smell of fresh pastries and feeling sleepy. I wouldn’t have believed you if you said that almost 20 years later I’m still active in the same line of work.
Within the 6 years there was a lot of thing happening behind the scenes of different restaurants. I do know what it’s like to work as a dishwasher in one of the busiest dining places in Estonia or how much cheese goes through Pärnu Steffani pizza restaurant on average per day.
Together with getting to legal drinking age I found myself on the floor of a restaurant. Service is where my focus is still. Kitchen has it’s beauty in hierarchy, service on the other hand is more like a play. An improv from morning to late evening hours. It’s a game between people and an excellent learning point for human behaviour.
As I attended university in Tallinn I found a job at Tallink City hotel. My mentor was a 63 year old gentleman. A true old school waiter. Bit of a control freak, but I owe him so much. It took 2 months before he actually let me serve an a la carte table on my own.
From that time I got infected with the wine bug, finishing both entry level and junior sommelier course at Estonian Private Sommelier school. As well as getting my first supervisory position. From there I decided to go out and see the world, finding myself in the States. That was a life changing experience. After seeing how hospitality works on that side of the ocean I finally understood what people are talking about when criticising Estonian service quality. I decided I wanted to do something about it.
When I got back from the US I landed in Pädaste Manor, best restaurant in Estonia at the time. This was the beginning of an unforgettable learning experience. A period in my life that I cherish the most. It was a crazy ride, but worth every drop of sweat. It’s there I learned the importance of teamwork and how what hospitality offers is not just good food and service, but the overall experience every guest takes with them when they leave. During that time I finished my sommelier diploma and ended up as a service manager and sommelier in Pädaste.
After Pädaste I took some time off and started thinking about entrepreneurship. Even though I really wanted to take that step, fear got the best of me at that point and I found myself back in Pärnu Rannahotel, this time as restaurant manager. This step offered a great opportunity to start doing private events like birthdays and weddings. So overall, I’m happy I decided to take that position. At some point I felt restless and thinking there must be more to life than just restaurants. Ended up selling wine for restaurants in one of the distribution companies in Tallinn. All the wine fairs and events were awesome. Talking to bar and restaurant owners I got more information about their troubles, points of view and what was lacking.
Entrepreneurship was still lingering in the back of my mind. I wanted to do something about it, which led me to gathering all my courage and quitting my job to focus on my dream. From that moment I have helped restaurants with trainings, managing their business and was working in sales for Lehe craft brewery for a year. I’m also a certified DiSC behavioural coach and still a sommelier. I write beverage descriptions, help with drink lists, training materials and ways to improve service quality as needed for a specific restaurant.
Bit less than 2 years into it I found myself demotivated and sad. Everything seemed too hard, too much hassle and getting a regular job seemed like a good way to go. So I ended up as Restaurant general manager at Hilton Tallinn Park. A year into it and the spark is back. I’m growing, learning and seeing opportunities and challenges that have not been dealt with. I’m back, baby! Time to wake up and refocus on my dream.
My mission is to play my part in improving the quality of service for guest and team members in bars and restaurants. Using my love for hospitality and sommelier ship. Using my knowledge, knowhow and experience to help everyone that may benefit from my experience.