Breakfast Moms – Karyn
Have you met Karyn?
Karyn is our strong, no-nonsense owner at the Burloak, Burlington Sunset Grill. She’s been a part of the brand for just over six years now and has a fiery passion for excellence in all that she does.
“An owner shouldn’t expect to be a manager,” she said. “They should expect to do every job and do it the best.” During her initial training with Sunset Grill, she was told to really learn the grill, and she took that to heart.
“I think we’re a good price point, we give really great food, fast,” she said. You know what you’re getting when you dine at Sunset Grill. “Plus, coffee is the nectar of the Gods, and Hollandaise is the sauce of the Gods,” she laughed.
“Take the time to learn the business,” said Karyn. “Be the best cook, but also take the time with your customers.”
Coming from a sports family, Karyn knows the value of teamwork and having a solid game plan in place for success. She not only plays soccer competitively; all four of her children are also quite athletic as well. It’s something the family bonds over. There are many commonalities when it comes to running a restaurant, she explained.
Both require discipline and a willingness to persevere.
“I really do believe that most young people should have experience in a restaurant,” she said. “It teaches you about life. We’re kind of like a microcosm of society.”
Karyn has always been willing to put in the work to achieve her dreams. And that extends to her family as well. She was the one waking up early mornings for hockey practice with her son making sacrifices to help him pursue his passion. Working the restaurant’s one-shift operation allowed her to be there for her kids in a meaningful way and still spend quality time with her family and two dogs at the end of each day.
She has a son who plays in the OHL and has just been drafted to the Buffalo Sabres and another that plays competitive lacrosse and she couldn’t be more proud. Her other two children are grown and living on their own, paving their own path.
Karyn used to be a consultant on Bay Street in Toronto for years. She’s also served and worked weddings in the past, so she came in with “eyes wide open.”
While Karyn has certainly developed a thick skin over the years, she admits she took things a little too seriously her first few years in the restaurant. “It is personal, but you have to separate that,” she said.
While she’s committed to the grind, she also values her downtime. “Like many of us women, we don’t do enough [to take care of ourselves],” she said. “My goal over the next few years is to get some more travel in, it decompresses me. I’m a Cancer [sign], so being near water just makes it for me.”
She’s travelled far and wide throughout her lifetime and laid her head in many ports. One of her most memorable travel experiences occurred after graduating teacher’s college. She spent nine weeks biking through the British Isles with a friend, eventually landing along the French Riviera. She’s also lived in Australia with her family, and one day hopes to travel to Thailand.
“Work travel into your lifestyle as you can,” she advised. “It’s so worth it.”
Karyn takes great pride in the fact everyone she hires at the restaurant is local. “It’s a very family, tight-knit community here,” she said. “Our customers are like family. Just treat them sweet as pie and it keeps them coming back.”
While most of her customers are regulars, she also gets a lot of Americans that come into the restaurant, being right off the QEW. “It’s nice having Americans in and teaching them about peameal bacon,” she laughed.
She’s very much looking forward to seeing all the smiling faces and moms coming in to celebrate this weekend. “It’s a nice acknowledgement… mothers should have more days,” she quipped.
At the end of the day, Karyn is grateful for the experience she’s had with Sunset Grill and all the friendships and lessons she’s learned along the way. “Enjoy the brand, enjoy the ride, take it all in,” she said.
The next time you’re in the area be sure to stop by our Burloak, Burlington Sunset Grill and say hi to Karyn and her amazing team!
Go-To Breakfast: Eggs Florentine; poached soft
Karyn is part of this year’s Mother’s Day profile series highlighting Breakfast Moms – the strong and talented women that make up the many faces of the Sunset Grill community.
Burlington, ON, L7L 0B1
Open Daily 7 AM to 3 PM