Small kitchen, big hearts

Published on June 26 2018

*Behind every menu, product and experience, you’ll find passionate people and their stories. Discover these proud Outaouais ambassadors!

Auberge [obèrZ], feminine noun. A house, usually located in a village or small town, that provides lodging and food. To that definition you could add: “A friendly place where people meet and mingle.”

It was in a house built in 1870 that Ephraim Guimond, the innkeeper at the Symmes Hotel, ran a small tavern. Many years later, that same house is still welcoming guests, to the delight of Aylmer residents and visitors.

Véronique and Patrick, two of the four co-owners of L’Aubergiste bistro, are very fond of the community.

“Aylmer is a village. Everyone knows each other. Whenever I go shopping, I meet someone I know, “says Véronique.

Patrick likes customer service so much that he works as a server in two different restaurants! “What I like most about this job is that it’s never dull. Yes, there’s a routine, but it’s always different. My motivation is to make people happy,” he says.

The two agree on this aspect of the business: making people happy and not counting the hours it takes to do it. Véronique works five days a week from 10 a.m. to midnight. “We meet people, we take the time to chat. We’re a bit like psychologists. People need to talk. And I love it too!”

This relationship with customers has been built up and enriched over time. “When I look at the reservation book, I can’t wait,” adds Véronique enthusiastically.

And Véronique has energy to spare. “I’m a real workaholic. At 18, I was working five jobs. That’s how I roll.” This energy is balanced by her three colleagues. Two guys, two girls. “I couldn’t live without them! There’s a lot of administration involved. It’s a good thing there are four of us!” says Véronique. Patrick agrees.

When they’re asked what makes them most proud, they are unanimous: co-owning the restaurant. Véronique loves the freedom and quality of life, while Patrick reports that he has everything he ever wanted: “A restaurant, a house, friends and a family.”


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