This is Brit Maguire, from Toronto, bartender & brand ambassador.
Brit is 33 years old and is originally from a very small town called Tilbury in the South of Ontario. She left her home town about at the very second that she turned 18 years old. Brit moved to Hamilton to study English and Communication at university. After her studies, she moved to Toronto to become a writer. Of course, things didn’t turn out exactly as planned.
Brit has been working in the hospitality industry for the past 13 years. It all started when she moved to Toronto. Still wanting to be a writer, she was working as an intern for a magazine and found herself a job at a bar for financial support. It turned out that she really liked bartending. One day, she was at her writing job and was editing an article from a food writer who had just gone to Kentucky to do the bourbon trail. She loved the way he described his experience, the exquisite and rare bottles of bourbon he got to try, the meals he shared along the way, and all the little stories he had to tell about the spirits. It inspired her a lot and she thought that maybe it was time for her to take her bar job more seriously. She got into bourbon in specific and spirits in general. Meanwhile, she started exploring classic cocktails with her boss at the bar she worked at. Her boss was into very old classics, so they started with that, then moved to modern classics, and next thing you know, that was pretty much the end of her writing career.
After working at the same bar in the East End for three years, Brit got a job at the Drake Hotel, where she would work for eight years. While she was bartending there, she got teamed up with a guy called Kristopher Bahamondes, who at the time was soon to become a brand ambassador for Bacardi. One day, he told Brit about an opening for a St-Germain brand ambassador position. Of course, she applied for it. She had taken floral design courses in the past and thought that working for St-Germain would combine two of her favourite things, plus she found that her personal values really aligned with the brand. Needless to say, she was heartbroken when she didn’t get it. However, to her surprise a few months later the position became available again. She re-applied and got the job this time. She is still with St-Germain to this day. Being a brand ambassador allows her to be close to the bartending community. She gets to hang out with bartenders all the time and to inspire creativity, which is one of the things that she loves most about her position.
A little bit more about Brit...
The three words that describe her best: loyal – empathetic – creative
The cocktail book that inspired her most: Vintage Spirits & Forgotten Cocktails, by Ted Haigh aka Dr. Cocktail
What did she dream to be when she was little: Fashion designer.
The most magical place she’s ever been to: Scotland. She went to her mother’s hometown in the South of the country, where there were all these golden hills that changed colour every part of the day, where the sky is clear and there are sheep everywhere. Then suddenly the sun is setting and the whole country side is set ablaze because of all these wheat fields. Her mom and herself had smuggled her grand-father’s ashes in order to put them on their family grave site and in the river where he used to fish. So here they are, in the cemetery, far up the hill from the village, with a little chapel, and they are putting his ashes just as the sun is setting over the golden hills and it was stunningly beautiful and very magical.
An advice she would offer people that want to take the brand ambassador path: Make sure you’re proficient in Microsoft Office. When you get into that world you have to track your expenses and get into all these admin things. Often the toughest part with transitioning into these roles is that you basically suddenly work in an office.