This is Allie Martin, from Calgary, Beverage Director at Fonda Fora.
Allie is 25 years old and is the oldest of four brothers and a sister. She was born in Edmonton, moved to Calgary when she was nine years old, and grew up there. She moved to British Colombia for two years after graduating from high school and has been living in Calgary since she came back in 2016.
Allie has pretty much always been working in hospitality. Her parents worked in the service industry when she was growing up, so as far as she can remember, they would always be drinking wine at the table and be talking about food and service-related things. Allie always wanted to be a bartender because her dad was a bartender. When she turned 16 years old, she tried working in retail for a couple of months and really hated it. She begged a friend to hire her at her restaurant and started serving at a really young age. Then she worked breakfast for a little over six years, until she couldn’t do it anymore and started to work in nighttime restaurants. And that’s when she got into bartending.
She was a food runner at a restaurant called Foreign Concept. They liked her work ethic and the way she was running the line, so they asked her to bartend. A few months later, she got the opportunity to work and be mentored at Native Tongues, so she changed job and that’s where she really learned her bartending foundations. She was mentored by Dylan Macleod, who was very regimented and taught her a lot about dilution, bartending techniques, classic cocktails, and cocktail conceptualization. Today, Allie is the Beverage Director for a new opening restaurant called Fonda Fora.
Apart from bartending, Allie has also competed in a few cocktail competitions and is trying to be involved in the cocktail community. She started a community bartender group about two years ago, with the goal of making it easier for people that start in our industry to have access to masterclasses, tastings, cocktail competitions, and so on. She also tries to show up for a lot of community events because she believes that it’s important to have people there, so she’s pretty involved one way or another.
Overall, we wish her all of the best in her new restaurant opening. We were very happy that our paths crossed and we look forward to meeting again.
A little bit more about Allie...
The three words that describe her best: sassy – charismatic – homey
How does she drink her Martini: Gin. Wet. Lemon or orange peel in the glass. Lemon twist for garnish.
The first drink that made her fall in love with cocktails: The Hanky Panky.
A piece of advice she wished someone had given her when she started bartending: Don’t take yourself too seriously.
One thing she hasn’t done on her life to-do list: Travel more. She would really like to backpack on her own through Europe.