The Salmon Arm Observer presents Tovah Shantz, one of 20 young community leaders recognized in Salmon Arm’s inaugural Top 20 Under 40 program.
Pie, it seems, is something people simply can’t get enough of.
And for Tovah Shantz, our next Top 20 Under 40 award recipient, that is excellent news.
Born and raised in Salmon Arm, Shantz always knew she wanted to live her adult life in the region. And after graduating high school and touring Australia for a year, she moved back to town and took a job at a newly established pie company.
Before long, Shantz’s role at the Shuswap Pie Co. changed from an employee to a management and, in 2014, she purchased the business from Mary Jo Biernes. Just a short time later, the restaurant was featured on the hit TV show You Gotta Eat Here.
It’s no doubt that the Pie Co. is so well-loved. The busy little restaurant is much more than a place to grab a coffee and a slice of pie; it’s an experience. It’s alive and happy, and it smells divine.
Nearly all of the food served is made from scratch in-house or by local suppliers like Little Red Hen. At the centre of it all is a great leader, surrounded by a fantastic team.
Depending on the season, the Shuswap Pie Co. employees anywhere from 20 to 40 people. Many of the staff are students.
Thanks to the flexible hours, a fun environment and free food, it’s a great first job for many. It’s so great, in fact, that each year students who have left for school will come back to work on holidays or in the summer.
The work culture that Shantz has built makes it feel like family. You can sense it when you walk through the restaurant doors, and you can taste it in each bite. This business has been built with love and an extremely generous sprinkling of hard work.
Running a successful business can be difficult at the best of times, and once you throw a pandemic into the mix, it’s even more of a challenge.
Shantz managed staffing shortages by reducing open hours and gave her current employees two consecutive days off per week. She understands that her staff need rest too, and they are making the best of it for now.
Not only does Shantz treat her staff well, but she also has been working diligently to reduce waste.
Leftover food is donated weekly to the Food with Friends program, and Shuswap Pie Co. uses compostable, recyclable or reusable dishes and utensils any time possible.
Shantz clearly has found the recipe for success. The next time you are downtown, be sure to stop in for the Shuswap Pie Co. experience!
Salmon Arm’s Top 20 Under 40 program was launched this year by Dustin Serviss, of Serviss Wealth Management, in partnership with the Salmon Arm Economic Development Society and the Salmon Arm Chamber of Commerce, to acknowledge outstanding individuals, role models, mentors and community builders over the age of 18 and under 40.
Visit salmonarmtop20.ca for more information.