This is Raven Alexis Dales, from Victoria, bartender at Wind Cries Mary.
Raven is 27 years old and is originally from Calgary. She moved to BC when she was seven years old and lived in different parts of the province until she met her husband in Vancouver and they decided to move to Victoria to have a quieter life. They haven’t looked back since.
Raven’s original hospitality training was through the culinary world. She was a cook for about eight years until she decided to move front of the house. At that point, she was already seeing herself in hospitality for the long run and wanted to have a better, full rounded experience and understanding of the industry.
Her transition in the FOH happened when she contacted Shawn Soole, whom she had been working with at a previous restaurant, and asked him if he would take her as an apprentice. Back when they were working together, he was the bar manager while she was working in the kitchen, but he knew her work ethic and decided to give her a chance and take her on the team. Raven started bussing and hosting, then doing the expo, serving, a month or two after she went into bartending, and another couple of months later she became Shawn Soole’s right hand.
She then got married in 2019, went on her honeymoon and joined the team at famous Veneto bar, which was a bartending institution in Victoria. When she left, she got a job at Vintage, Hotel Rialto’s spirits, wine and beer store, which allowed her to deepen her product knowledge even more. While working at Vintage, she started to work at Bartholomew’s bar and eventually found her way into the team at Wind Cries Mary, another staple in Victoria’s bar community.
Overall, what struck us most when we talked with Raven was her deep passion for hospitality at its very core: taking care of people. Her passion was ignited by her grandmother, who immigrated from Trinidad in the late 60s with Raven’s mother, uncle and aunty. Her grandmother lived with her when she was a kid, made sure she was all right while her parents were at work, and taught her how to cook and how to bake, but most importantly, how to be kind and to truly care about others. If you ask us, that’s pretty much what hospitality should be. Raven definitely learnt the lesson well, as it was a true pleasure meeting her.