Amherstview cook takes risks and reaps rewards
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Alyssa Paul is a risk-taker.

Only 23-years-old, she has already moved across Canada to start a new life with her boyfriend. Someday, she will return home and open her own business.

Talking on a warm summer day in August 2021, Alyssa wears a small smile as she discusses her work as a cook at Henderson Care Centre in Amherstview which began the previous fall (October 2020).

“I was born and raised in Frog Lake, a small Cree reserve in Alberta,” she explains.  “I moved to Ontario because my significant other is from here and mostly for the professional job opportunities out this way.”  

In her short time in Ontario, Alyssa has made a positive impression at her workplace which named her Employee of the Month for September 2021.

“I was very surprised to win this award,” she admits. “It makes me happy and proud.”

Alyssa is graduate of culinary arts. She enjoys cooking and baking.

“My specialty is decorating cakes,” she says with a smile.

“When I come here it doesn’t feel like I’m working. I like cooking and it’s a pleasure to cook for the residents,” she says about her job at the family owned and operated retirement lodge and long-term care home.

Asked to describe herself, Alyssa admits she can be quiet and shy, but she’s pushing herself to talk more to the residents and staff.

“I like to think I’m grounded and caring, as well,” she adds.

When she’s not working as a cook, Alyssa will pick-up shifts as a Dietary Aide in the busy, fun-filled home.

“I want to gain experience in the food industry and return home to open a restaurant or café,” she explains.

According to Alyssa, there aren’t many employment opportunities or restaurants in the remote community where she was born and raised. She’d like to change that.

“I’d like to make a name for my community in the food industry someday,” she confirms.

When she’s not working at the home, Alyssa enjoys talking with her family, spending time with her fur babies and working with beads. She likes to travel and has been to Europe and Alaska. She’d like to return to Dublin.

“Alyssa is one of our newest cooks,” says Food Service Nutrition Manager Julie Metcalfe. “She has quickly become an amazing part of our team. There is a calmness when she is around. She is always ready to learn and assist in all areas within the Dietary Department. She takes a lot of pride in her work. Alyssa is pleasant, dependable and a kind soul. She is respectful to residents and staff. We are fortunate to have her on our team.”

Questions for Alyssa

If you could rule the world, what would you do on day-one?

“I’d try to stop the hatred between cultures.”

If you weren’t at your current job, what would you be doing?

“I’d probably be somewhere else cooking or baking.”

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

“I would like supersonic speed so I can visit my family.”

Helen Henderson Care Centre is grateful for the good work of Alyssa Paul. To learn more about living or working here, please call 613-384-4585.

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