After working at the Cork for close to eight years, Kate Gill considers her colleagues to be like family, and we feel the same. Here, the Maryland native shares her thoughts about the Cork’s incredible longevity, how her love of travel helps her at work, and why she often chooses to work on her birthday. Come get to know a member of our Cork family.
Q: How did you start working at the Cork and what are some of your job duties?
KATE: I was hired when my husband and I moved to Boulder in August of 2012. I started out as a server and a couple of years into it they asked me if I would like to join the management team. When I first started, I’d call it substitute managing, because I basically acted as a fill-in when other managers were sick or on vacation, Now more full-time, I do a couple of evening shifts each week. I’m the one who makes the schedule for all the employees, too, which helps to take some things off the other managers’ plates.
Q: What do you like best about working here?
KATE: The best part about working at the Cork is that it’s a family-run business, and it’s well-run. I’ve worked at different corporate places before, and Alan, the owner, runs his business with all the good things about corporate business and none of the bad. Everything runs smoothly, and yet it’s not overly strict about things like in a corporate environment, and there isn’t a lot of micromanaging. We tend to trust our staff to do the right things.
It really is just a big family. People always laugh because I tend to work on my birthdays and I just say, well, my friends are here. As a workplace it feels small, even though we have a decent-sized staff. And we all depend on each other and love working with each other, which is really what you need to be happy in your job.
Q: What did you do before joining the Cork team?
KATE: I bounced around a lot. My husband and I got the travel bug because we both studied abroad in college (I was in France and we both studied for a year in Prague), so we’re always looking for new trips. Immediately after we graduated, we went to Taiwan and taught English for a year. Then we lived in Baltimore for a little bit working in restaurants, then in St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands for a year working on boats. After that, we moved back to Pittsburgh to be closer to family, then we went backpacking in South America for three months. And after that we moved to Boulder.
My husband and I have always been in the restaurant industry, or in the service industry. Even in the Islands when we were on boats, the job was about service and entertaining people. All of the travel I have done has definitely extended to how I am when I work. It’s a lot about being able to meet new people and travel definitely helps with that.
Q: What do you think makes the Cork a unique venue for fine dining?
KATE: I would say it’s our history. We just celebrated our 50th anniversary. We’ve always been out here in Boulder, same location and everything, and everyone who comes in all the time is like oh, we had our wedding reception here, or oh, we celebrated our first anniversary here and now we’re celebrating our 40th. The other thing that makes the Cork unique is our consistency. It’s the service we provide and the delicious food that is always great
Q: What’s your favorite thing to eat at the Cork?
KATE: That’s a difficult question! Well, if I want a good steak, I eat it here, for sure. But I also really love our Southwestern dishes. We have a delicious Niman Ranch pork-stuffed chile. I’m eating some chiles for lunch right now actually.
Q: What’s something customers may be surprised to learn about you?
KATE: Well, I tell people when they ask, but I’m kind of from a Brady Bunch family. I have four sisters and four brothers, so it’s a big, big family. The restaurant industry is great for me because I love being around tons of people. What some people would find to be noise and chaos I’m fine with. We used to say we were like the Brady Bunch without the maid; we kids were the maids.
Q: What is a personal goal of yours?
KATE: For me, that’s kind of like when people ask you what your main fault is. I’m just not all that goal-oriented, so I have to push myself. Making all the staff happy, putting out the schedule in a timely manner, and making all the guests happy is the main goal, I guess. Being easily contented is considered kind of a fault in the business world, but I don’t find it to be a fault in my own life.