Breakfast Dads – Jey
Have you met Jey?
Jey is one of the seasoned cooks from our Orangeville Sunset Grill. He’s a playful guy who likes to laugh and make jokes, however, he also knows the value of hard work.
“Cooking is my passion,” he shares. “This is my career. My life. My future. I always have to be on top of my game, to own my position.”
It’s not without its challenges. “You have to learn how to handle the pressure in the kitchen,” explains Jey. Weekends are our busiest time, and it can be stressful for our cooks.
“The engine is the kitchen, and the cooks are the pilots,” he says. If the engine isn’t functional, you’ve got a problem. The solution? Proper communication and teamwork. It takes a team of people to successfully operate an aircraft, and, in the same vein, it takes a team of people to successfully operate a restaurant – from cooks and servers to dishwashers and bussers, and everyone else in between.
He doesn’t mind working the weekend rush, as long as he has his Mondays free. “We work hard,” he says. “We don’t care about weekends, or going to the beach,” he laughs. Monday is his day to unwind and spend time with family and friends.
Jey started out at one of our Milton locations back in 2008. At the time, it didn’t work out, however, Jey was determined. Fast forward almost 10 years later, and Jey has become an important part of the Sunset Grill family.
He owes a debt of gratitude to one of Sunset Grill’s other tenured cooks, Kanna. Kanna trained Jey, took him under his wing, and gave him the opportunity to succeed. “He gave me this opportunity, and I am so grateful,” says Jey. “I thank Kanna and respect him.”
Jey has a deep connection with many other Sunset Grill cooks. Not only do they share a common lineage, they bond over their common goal of working hard to support their families both in Canada and back home in Sri Lanka. “They have families back home,” says Jey. “They need to send them money. So, they very work hard. They are quick learners.”
“Being a part of Sunset Grill… I’m so lucky,” he says with a smile. He has worked at various locations throughout the years and has found a home at the Sunset Grill in Orangeville.
Jey is a new father. His son, Darun, is just 18-months old, and they have another one on the way. “My son is everything,” he says with pride. “Sunset Grill is everything to me, and he is everything to me. As soon as I get home, he runs and comes to me and gives me a big hug.”
Jey was fortunate enough to be able to sponsor his wife and son to come live in Canada with him about a year ago. When his son turned one last November, Jey knew a big celebration was in order. He rented a hall, and even invited many of Sunset Grill’s regulars to come partake in the festivities.
“I am lucky to have a son like him,” he says. Darun is an adventurous little fellow who loves to sing, dance, and explore.
The family has a tradition Jey looks forward to every week. “Every Tuesday, I take my wife and son to breakfast,” he says. “I spend the whole day with them. Family is everything to me.”
While Jey admits he wasn’t the model son growing up, today he has a newfound respect for the lessons his parents taught him. “My mom, she always tells me, ‘be real,’” he says. “And do what you love.”
They wanted him to pursue post-secondary education, however, Jey knew that wasn’t the right path for him, despite a hunger and drive to succeed.
“Sunset Grill is the best opportunity,” he says. “I have no degree. No diploma. No certificate. Nothing. Today, I am like a head cook.”
And he’s not done yet. One day he’d even love to work at Head Office as a corporate chef.
“Whatever talent I have, I am using it.”
The next time you stop by for breakfast or lunch at our Orangeville Sunset Grill, be sure to say hi to Jey!
Riddell Rd. & Centennial Rd.
515 Riddell Rd., Unit 3,
Orangeville, ON, L9W 6X2
Open Daily 7 AM to 3 PM