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Women in Business: Vernon restaurateur cooks up inspiring workplace

‘Do not put limitations on what you can achieve,’ EATology owner says
Kristina Klein got her start in the kitchen at the young age of three or four when she’d help in the family restaurant in Oliver. (Caitlin Clow - Vernon Morning Star)

‘Ology’ is defined as a subject of study and in Vernon’s case, that subject is lunch and breakfast, and class is in session.

Located only one block off Main Street (30th Avenue), owner Kristina Klein combines her love of farm-fresh foods and memorable dining experiences. But she brings a lot more to the plate.

“She is so kind and understanding and makes the work environment so much fun,” said nominator Rhiannon Wilson.

Kitchen manager Kurtis Campbell described Klein as a hardworking woman who takes great care of her staff and customers alike.

“She goes over the top to ensure everyone is always taken care of and made to feel like a part of her family,” Campbell said. “She provides an opportunity for people to learn and grow in her business.”

Plus, he adds, she’s always looking for a way to give back, whether it’s supporting charity events financially or through bellies.

“Her hard work and inspiring motivation makes everyone around her want to be the best that they can.”

Klein, 28, had her start in a kitchen at the young age of three or four when her parents owned a restaurant in Oliver. She’d often lend a helping hand peeling carrots or potatoes.

When they sold, the family moved to Vernon to start a cherry orchard and Klein’s passion for food only grew stronger.

Klein said her love of travel, food culture and her Ukrainian background have all brought her to where she is now.

“I was passionate about food and when I got back from travelling I started a catering company,” she said.

But she quickly outgrew that and EATology was born.

“There have been so many changes,” she said of the restaurant that just turned six.

“We started as this tiny restaurant and then when Greyhound went under, we bought the building tripling our size and then, now with this the new lockdown, we got a patio.”

The patio, she says, is here to stay — just maybe not at its current size.

Getting to know Kristina Klein

What is it that drives you in your work?

The thing that drives me the most in my workplace is knowing that if I put in the work I know it will slowly pay off.

Being an entrepreneur is so amazing because you set your own limits and boundaries. There is no cap to what you can accomplish.

What are you passionate about?

I am so passionate about being an entrepreneur, food culture and the creativity behind it, the farm-to-table concept and learning how to grow food and the different ways to preserve and prepare them and most importantly my faith in Jesus.

How do you find work-life balance/ what do you do to escape?

It has been a challenge for me to learn work-life balance but being in business for over six years, I have slowly learned a balance that works well for me.

I spend my off time enjoying the outdoors as much as possible.

I work in my garden, I hang out with my six chickens, go hiking, spend time at the family cabin and I can’t forget that lovely glass of red wine that helps me unwind on occasion.

What is one thing people would be surprised to learn about you?

I feel that people might be surprised to learn that my life goal is to be a farmer.

I would love to grow most of my own food and have many different farm animals.

What advice would you give young women who are interested in your field?

The restaurant industry is a lot of work and there are so many aspects to it, you must be very flexible and have great problem-solving skills.

Do not put limitations on what you can achieve, always remember that you are fearfully and wonderfully made and if you put your mind to it you can accomplish anything.

You are stronger than you know and you can do hard things, always set high standards for yourself.

Celebrate your wins and learn from your losses, every challenge will make you wiser and don’t forget to be kind to yourself.

READ MORE: More tables to be bused at Vernon restaurant Eatology

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