Ian Chen took over ownership of The Cracked Pot last spring and after a year of learning and planning he is eager to make a few changes.
With the help of his manager Bertha Barkman, who previously owned the Red Barn, they will continue to focus on customer service and fresh, quality ingredients.
Chen, originally from Beijing, moved to Vancouver in 2005. He then studied hospitality in Switzerland before purchasing The Cracked Pot last year.
“I like living in a smaller community,” said Chen. “In Vernon the people are friendly and I like the weather.”
Chen and Barkman make a great team. He brings his customer service expertise to the table, and Barkman’s specialty is food.
She has brought some of her most popular items over to The Cracked Pot from her old restaurant, like her muffins and pull-aparts.
“I have already had requests for my waffles so I might have to bring them back as well,” said Barkman.
The Cracked Pot has two locations in Vernon. Their main coffee shop and restaurant is located on 30th Avenue, with their second location at the Vernon Jubilee Hospital.
Chen is starting to make a number of changes to the restaurant, including the addition of new booths for a comfortable, cozy atmosphere, and bringing more variety to the menu, using local ingredients whenever possible in order to support local farmers and businesses.
“We are offering art classes in the evenings by local artist Kris Ponto,” said Barkman.
The Cracked Pot has expanded into some catering as well.