Our impeccable Starbucks® Manager is Melissa Walmsley. Melissa comes to Friday Harbour Resort from a unique background. She graduated from York University in psychology, but she was looking for something more. This led her to search for the most ethical job she could find, which was at Starbucks®!
Her plans for graduate school changed when Melissa fell in love with coffee: the journey of the bean to the cup and what it could all represent. To her, coffee is more than just a cup but is a way of connecting with Homeowners and Guests at Friday Harbour every single day.
What is the most exciting thing you’re working on right now?
Everything. It’s a new experience opening a licenced store, so I would say getting to set up the ins and outs of everything from how the store will be set up right down to creating the policies and procedures is very exciting. I am also renewing my Coffee Masters right now because Starbucks® just updated the program. It is like a sommelier – it provides more in-depth knowledge of coffee and I can speak more to the growth and production of the beans.
What is the most important personal attribute that you bring to your job?
Inspiring and connecting – the human connection. I believe in inspiring and mentoring my team and relating with my guests and going beyond those informal pleasantries and connecting with them. My goal is to make every guest’s day better after they’ve been in. To do that really requires you to treat them as the person they are.
What would you like people to know about Starbucks® at Friday Harbour?
I want people to feel as though the café is a place that everyone can come in to enjoy, relax, and hangout. I want it to become the important third location in their lives after home and work or part of their second home at Friday Harbour. I love hosting coffee tastings in my café and doing a lot of community and Homeowner events. I’m also looking at offering some fun evening events as well so there will really be something for everyone to enjoy!
Which one of our Core Values do you connect with the most? (Passion, Integrity, Excellence, or Respect)
I connect with all our core values especially with passion. I am very passionate, I give 110% and nothing less. I lead with my passion to provide the best experiences for my team and my Guests. I am also passionate about coffee and I love talking about it with anyone and everyone!
What is your favourite Starbucks® beverage?
A filthy chai tea latte which is a chai tea latte with two shots of espresso in it.
What is the best advice you were ever given?
I’ve been given a lot of advice in my life. But the best would be two things: don’t re-invent the wheel and listen. Both things shape my work at Friday Harbour. I’m big at problem solving and creating a solution. I always look for a solution first, and if there isn’t one, then I will create a new solution. I do my best to manage more efficiently and to listen. Not just hear people but to genuinely absorb what they’re saying to me.
What is your favourite family tradition?
I am a huge tradition person, so I have many traditions for each season, it’s hard to pick just one. But my favourite tradition would have to be Christmas. My son and I bake cookies from a recipe that comes from my great grandma. They have yet to turn out correctly even once, though we bake every year. It’s a fun day in the kitchen with my son that usually ends up with flour just about everywhere. Every year people know to expect them, and we watch them attempt to eat them.
Where do you want your next vacation to be?
I have a three-year-old so a vacation for me would be using the bathroom without toddler fingers under the door or the dog in there with me.
If you could live anywhere in world, where would it be?
This is tough. I grew up overseas, so I have a lot of love for Asia, but at the end of the day I absolutely love living in Canada. I love our culture, our heritage, our landscape, and I love our people.
What fictional place would you like to visit?
I would love to live in the Death Star. Why? Because it’s the Death Star!