Kim described living on ground zero during 9/11. The World Trade Center was approximately ten blocks from where she was living at the time. After the tragic event, her life view changed.“It made me look beyond where I was, to where I needed to be,” she said. The air quality changed with dust clouds including harmful particles after the collapse of the Twin Towers. She said she loved living in Manhattan, but a few months after 9/11 she felt she could no longer stay there. Not only because of the trauma of that day but because of the living conditions at ground zero continued to have lingering issues as time passed. After 9/11 Kim needed a new journey. She started travelling and landed in Geneva, Switzerland for nine months. This trip allowed her to have an adventure while soaking up every learning opportunity she could find. Inspiration and knowledge from living in Switzer - land is something Kim applied throughout her busi - ness journey. After returning to the United States, she moved to upstate New York and bought a puppet the - atre. As owner and site performer of Fairy Tale Castle Puppet Theatre, Kim found a new passion. Reestablishing a new rural lifestyle, Kim was running her puppetry business when her and her business partner went on a vacation to Cape Breton, Nova Sco - tia. “We stopped at Castle RockCountry Inn to get our bearings and see how far we were. We loved the area so much we decided we would get a place here togeth - er” she said. When they came back a year later, Cas - tle Rock Country Inn was for sale. “The overwhelming natural beauty of the region was what sold me on the opportunity. That’s how we came to be here.” Kim and her business partner bought Castle Rock Country Inn and moved to Ingonish Beach in 2007. When she moved to Ingonish Beach, it was hard for her to find a skilled seasonal chef to work due to the remote location, so she took on the role herself. Kim put her management training into use and dove right into owning and operating the restaurant at the Inn. Luckily, when Kim opened the restaurant, she had the help of excellent consultants. Her first consultant was a French chef who gave her the Haute Couture training that is the tion of her menu. She also worked alongside a chef from the Culinary Institute of America who was working with high end Asian catering in New York. “That’s where the Asian flair came from. I think it was a really good fit for the high-quality items I’m able to obtain” Kim revealed. She is very proud to have worked alongside these experts to put her restaurant on a path to success right from the start.
Starting out at Castle Rock Country Inn, Kim said her main challenge was the cultural differences. “The greatest challenge was adapting to running a business in a remote location” she explained. Coming into the rural community as a business owner, Kim figured it may take time for the local people to accept her. But she was fortunate to have a Nova Scotia Power hydro plant just down the road whose employees were her first customers. They set her in the right direction and the rest followed. “The people have been brilliant, real - ly. I wouldn’t have been able to do any of the things I’ve accomplished without the wonderful people that I’ve encountered here”. Kim brought her culinary experience to Nova Scotia and has not been disappointed by the food options. “The products here are as good or better than any products you can get elsewhere,especially for Haute cuisine.” She goes on to say Nova Scotian lobster is premium quality andthere’s no comparison to what she
has seen elsewhere. “You won’t find better” she added. While Kim praises the lobster, wine, organic produce, and quality of meats, she remarks on the overall exceptional agriculture Nova Scotia has to offer. “Nova Scotia is a hidden jewel” she says. She wants her customers to know where their food comes from, so she tries to offer Nova Scotian meats and seafood on her menu whenever she can. She offers a unique variation of Asian recipes and Cape Breton classics. “I fell in love with the hospitality industry… I really enjoyed the work. It opened up a lot of doors for me.”
“The overwhelming natural beauty of the region was what sold me on the opportunity. That’s how we came to be here.”
“The products here are as good or better than any products you can get elsewhere, especially for Haute cuisine.”
SPOTLIGHT ON BUSINESS MAGAZINE • VOL 23 ISSUE 3
VOL 23 ISSUE 3 • SPOTLIGHT ON BUSINESS MAGAZINE
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