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Finding success amidst the pandemic, Trevor Jones' story

In this episode of Business Matters, presented by Valley First, a division of First West Credit Union, Rob Cupello is joined by Trevor Jones, owner of Il Mercato Social Kitchen and The Landing Social + Bar.

An Ontario native, Jones grew up in North Toronto where he started his career in food and hospitality at an early age.

“I got a job in a hotel as a young high school student… Chef Carlos put me on the line and I just seemed to have a knack for it,” explains Jones.

Jones thrived in the kitchen environment and was soon promoted to Chef. By the time he arrived at George Brown College, he was able to use tracked working hours towards college credit.

Though his career began in the kitchen, Jones has triumphantly transitioned into the business side of the industry.

“I really enjoy going in and talking to the customers and the people who operate the restaurants, I collaborate with the chefs, I’m a real believer in collaboration,” he adds about his current role.

Although Jones had ran other restaurants in Ontario, he wanted to do “something really special” when he opened Il Mercato Social Kitchen in Kelowna.

“We love Italian food... and there’s only one city in Italy that has more Italians than Toronto,” jokes Jones when asked about his inspiration for the Italian cuisine offered at Il Mercato.

Despite opening four months before the pandemic, Il Mercato continues to thrive, garnering many positive reviews from the community.

“It worked out… last year was sensational and we’re really optimistic about this year,” says Jones.

Jones also owns The Landing Kitchen + Bar, which hosts the only waterfront patio in West Kelowna, and has been just as successful.

Although it’s fairly different from Il Mercato, it carries the same purpose: to be a place “where people gather.”

“We wanted to make food that was easy to understand and made you feel warm inside,” comments Jones about the menu at The Landing Kitchen + Bar.

Tune in to this episode of Business Matters to hear more about Jones’ journey through the food and hospitality industry and how he built successful restaurants amidst the pandemic.

Send your comments, news tips, typos, letter to the editor, photos and videos to [email protected].

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