Meet The Face Behind Clock Tower Inn
I’m Mark Graham, proud owner of Clock Tower Inn.
I look forward to sharing my story. I hope that you will enjoy getting to know me better.
I grew up north of Toronto on a farm in Uxbridge ON. After finishing High School in Uxbridge, I attended George Brown College for Culinary Management training. After working several years I went back to Niagara College to complete my Chef de Cuisine certification and took several courses in HR, accounting and business management.
I have been working in the food service industry for forty years now. I worked at the Oakwood Resort in Grand Bend as executive chef for six years and was also executive chef at the Cherry Hill Golf Club in Niagara for nineteen years.
I spent many years and countless hours working for someone else and using my drive, determination and culinary skills to make other businesses successful. I decided to invest in my self and take the opportunity that was presented to me three years ago and open the Clock Tower Inn-Bistro-Pub and catering company. And now I currently own and operate my own inn, bistro, pub, and catering company.
The Clock Tower has been open since May 2015, in a 128-year-old former Post Office Building designed by Thomas Fuller, the chief architect for the Canadian Government in 1889 and several other Federal buildings.
At the Clock Tower, I am in charge of everything. Hands-on in the kitchen every day, supervising the front of house staff, inn staff and all of the administrative duties. The biggest decision I have to make on a daily basis includes, organizing all the work needed to keep the Bistro stocked and running while controlling the amount of staff I have and the cost of product we are using. All while keeping our customers happy and our quality of product and service at the level I expect.
I attribute my success to the energy and culinary skills I bring to the Clock Tower as well as the patience I have with my staff and customers and being able to calmly deal with all their wants and needs. In addition, providing a consistent product for sale and a safe fair workplace for my employees has helped the Clock Tower find success in this tough industry.
Seeing the growth of my business has been the most satisfying experience of being in business. The Inn, Bistro, and Catering division are growing nicely and it gives me a great feeling of satisfaction. I am also really proud and happy with the fantastic, hard-working, and dedicated staff I have, that makes it all possible. They help me enjoy every part of everything I do. I also really enjoy the extremely busy days when everything is running smoothly, the Bistro is full and I hear the loud chatter of happy customers laughing and talking.
While I am honestly so focused on developing my own company, I have paid little attention to the companies around me. However, what I do admire is a business owner who is hands-on and work closely with their employees and are the driving force of their own business.
Emil Rinderlin, a chef/manager that I worked with at the Cherry Hill Club in Niagara, has had the biggest impact on my leadership style. He pushed and challenged me and molded me into the chef I am today. I may have disliked him at the time for pushing me so hard but he saw potential in me that I didn't even see myself. I would thank him today if I could.
When I am not at work, I like to rest in my beautiful, quite organized home away from phones and the constant questions I need to answer every day. Surprisingly, my hobby is also cooking. Even at home, I love to cook for friends and family.
As an individual, I believe what sets me apart from the others is my honesty, hard work, dedication, and a willingness to learn and work as a team. As a business owner, I believe it’s my duty to give back to the community and support local causes and charities. I believe in community, sourcing and buying products locally, supporting and promoting local businesses.
I have enjoyed sharing my story about the things which matter to me and how they influence the way I do business.
If you or someone you know could benefit from our expertise in catering services, I invite you to get in touch. Please visit our website at www.clocktowercatering.ca.