This is Anna Levy.
Anna is 24 years old. She is the oldest of five and grew up in the United States, near New York City. She came to Montreal in 2014 to study at Mcgill University and decided to stay.
Like many of us, Anna needed a quick way to make ends meet when she was a full-time university student, so she started to work as a bartender in a nightclub. At first, Anna thought that bartending was just a side job and that she was going to use her degree, so she jumped back and forth between nightclubs until she realized that she didn’t really like what she was studying. It took her a D in organic chemistry after she worked her ass off to realize that she wasn’t cut out for the path she had chosen for herself. It became clear to her that it was time to start thinking about doing something else.
It was at that moment that she realized that she loved what she was doing in the hospitality industry. She decided she wanted to get out of nightclubs and start learning about cocktails, so she focused on finishing her degree and learn about cocktails at the same time. She started to go out in cocktail bars, to meet more people from the industry, and to do a couple of guest shifts here and there. In 2019, she took part in Speed Rack where she met Emilie Loiselle who was then the manager of The Cloakroom, and was offered to join the bar team. Of course, she jumped on the opportunity and has been part of the team since then.
Anna has learned a lot since she started to work for this famous Montreal cocktail bar. She particularly enjoys the fact that she is allowed to have a lot of autonomy there. She feels that they trust their employees to do their jobs correctly and let them be creative. The fact that she doesn’t feel like they are breathing down her neck allows her to really express her creativity.
Anna is a great example of someone that decides they want something and goes for it. In just a few years, she went from working in nightclubs to working in one of Canada’s best cocktail bars. We hope that her road to cocktails will inspire others who feel drawn to this industry but lack the confidence to just jump and do it.
A little bit more about Anna...
One thing she has achieved on her life bucket list: Travel until there is no more money left. She went traveling solo for 2 months last year. She quit her job, went to Europe, traveled until she had no money left, and came back to work.
Life motto: My perception of the world isn’t how it is to other people so don’t assume that you know people’s lives. Don’t be so quick to judge people.
Her nicest work moment: One day a couple just got engaged and invited her to their wedding.
One piece of advice she offers to younger bartenders: Don’t assume that you know everything. If you are going to a new establishment, you are going to have to change your habits because a bar has to run according to certain algorithms so that the bar works. You have to adapt to what is done there even if you think you know better. Service isn’t gonna run well if you don’t change your habits.
The beauty and strength of our community: It’s an industry that exists worldwide and those worldwide connections are getting more and more important. And it is beginning to become somewhat more diverse and there are a lot of important players that are active in promoting diversity.