Making good food a family affair
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Making good food a family affair

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Julie Metcalfe uses family to link her past and bridge her future.

Speaking from Helen Henderson Care Centre where she has managed the Dietary Department for the past eight years, Julie’s family values are evident everywhere in this popular retirement lodge and long-term care home.

“Working at Helen Henderson Care Centre makes me feel like I’m part of an amazing team and one big happy family,” says the friendly brunette. “People care deeply for each other here and this depth of love makes it feel like home.”

Married with three daughters, Julie uses the same feelings to meet the nutritional needs of residents in this accredited home owned and operated by the Gibson family.

“I like my job,” says the 44-year-old with a smile. “You’re never on your own here. Many of the staff have been here for a long time and have grown really close. The managers are always willing to support you.”

Speaking on behalf of the home, Assistant Administrator Angela Gibson notes, “As a family business, we’ve always taken pride in the good food we offer here. Julie is a big reason this continues to occur. She takes pride in the quality of food and in the kitchen as a whole. She cares about the opinions of residents and staff.”


Asked to describe herself, Julie says she’s family oriented.

“My kids are everything to me,” she says kindly.

“They love coming here, too,” she notes. “They’re comfortable here because it’s not a sterile environment. It’s homey.”

Passionate about food that is fresh and appealing, Julie is proud of her work as the Food Services Nutrition Manager. She talks fondly about her team in the kitchen and how she enjoys working with residents to plan meals.

“I love the fact that more-and-more residents want to share their meal ideas,” she explains. “They’re so happy to share their opinions and then enjoy the meals they’ve suggested.”

Julie is also proud of the home-made meals produced by her skilled team in the kitchen.

“The cooks take the time to make sure everything is good. Fresh is extremely important to them. I think we’ve come a long way in the last couple of years. People are engaged and know what they’re producing is a reflection of themselves.”

Careful to keep comfort foods on the menu, Julie has added fruit plates, salads and modern meals such as wraps; all to positive reviews.

“People often say our food looks as good as a meal served in a restaurant,” she says happily.

Looking ahead, the kitchen manager is preparing to consult with residents on upcoming spring and summer menus.

“I like talking to the residents about food,” she says warmly. “From soup to dessert, they help us decide what to serve. It’s a nice feeling because this input makes it their menu. We are just here to help make the delicious food served in their home. I’m happy to say the good food at Helen Henderson Care Centre is a family affair.”

Helen Henderson Care Centre is grateful for the good work of Julie Metcalfe and the Dietary Department.

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