March 13, 2012
March 2012 marks the 10 year anniversary of Glowbal Group. As Emad and I reflect on the past decade – awed by how quickly time fleets – the evolution of our company seems incredible. Wasn’t it just yesterday our team totalled 17? Today, a collection of seven restaurants employs a veritable army more than 800 strong.
Becoming restaurateurs was a natural fit for Emad and I. We met, each with extensive experience within the hospitality industry, having literally grown up in the restaurant scene. I earned my stripes in Vancouver as a hostess at Joe Fortes. Emad started as a kitchen assistant at the Harbour Castle Hilton in Toronto.
Timing is everything. Emad and I met at Joe Fortes in 1997. It was love at first sight—a story that for the sake of this one is history. I was running the floor and Emad was being recruited from Toronto to become an Executive Chef. Before long, we realized we shared a passion – a passion for food, for creating memorable moments, for going above and beyond expectations, and most of all for working as a team.
Speaking of passion, our real foray into the restaurant world was as husband and wife. The opening of glowbal grill in Yaletown in 2002 was our first major milestone. As glowbal was one of the first restaurants to open in the neighbourhood, if I said I wasn’t nervous, I would be lying! I remember very clearly, on the eve of our opening day, Emad and I sitting in a quiet corner of the restaurant, hoping for the best and preparing for the worst. As it happened, our opening party was wall-to-wall with people and we’re fortunate that things haven’t changed that much.
With each location we have opened since glowbal grill – Coast, Sanafir, Italian Kitchen, Trattoria, Society and Black+Blue – we’ve learned more about business and have matured as people and as a company. Through it all, one thing has remained the same – gratitude to our loyal customers, who embraced our brand from the very beginning. With that, we still hold true to the values we had from day one: that every guest who walks through our doors is a guest in our home and every staff member who joins our team is family.
This company was founded on a simple formula of passion, love, family, loyalty, egoless nature and plenty of hard work. We are truly humbled by the success we have achieved and so very grateful to our loyal and supportive patrons who choose to dine with us.
To our incredible team of Managing Partners, Chefs, Managers, Front and Back of House staff, Human Resources, Accounting and Marketing Departments, we are indebted to you. If we don’t say it often enough, we thank you.
No one knows what the next ten years will hold, but if Emad and I have our say, it will involve many happy moments shared with good friends… and perhaps a bottle or two of bubbly.