Shananigan's owner serves up homestyle eats and a passion for cooking
- Naomi Zurevinski | June 13, 2019
For owner and head chef Jeannette Kindzerski of Shananigan's Coffee & Dessert Bar in Prince Albert, her passion for cooking has turned into a 40 year career. Originally from Saskatoon, Kindzerski began working at the age of 15 in hotel kitchens and for small restaurants.
“I have the passion for cooking and I still love it after 40 years. I’ve had a really huge drive,” Kindzerski said. “I jumped around from smaller restaurants and then back to hotels. My next move was to lease a restaurant, and I did that for five years. When my lease was up and I could renew, it got me thinking to look for something where I could actually buy the building. It was my drive to buy the building and my passion to cook all in one.”
Kindzerski opened Shananigan's in 2011, with the help of the Clarence Campeau Development Fund, which was established in 1997 by the Government of Saskatchewan and the Métis Nation of Saskatchewan. The CCDF works to assist economic development activities of Métis people in the province, and has over 10 programs for business development.
Kindzerski went through the CCDF’s Business Plan and Business Development programs, and said that the CCDF was incredibly helpful.
“I wouldn’t have been able to do it without them. They’re knowledgeable, they know their stuff. They always come in town and eat in my restaurant now, and even when they stop in, they say, ‘Anything you need Jen, let us know.’ If I have any questions I can phone anytime. They’re really, really good people, and they definitely know their job, that’s for sure.”
Shananigan's now has two locations; the first one is larger and where they do all their meals and catering. Last year, the CCDF helped Kindzerski to open a second smaller location, which offers coffee and desserts.
Kindzerski prides herself on making everything from scratch and customers love her homestyle food. One of the things she’s most proud of is how her business has grown over the years.
“When I bought this place, I put about $250,000 worth of equipment in here, cleaned it up, painted it, made it look great, everything like that. I started off with a little board out front on my first day of opening, and I had six people that day. Now, I have 200 per day.For me to stand at my office door, on a Sunday [during brunch], and see my place packed, when it never used to even be open on a Sunday, that’s one of my proudest moments.”
Although Kindzerski said it’s hard work and long hours, she loves what she does. Her advice to anyone starting out with the CCDF is to persevere, because it’s worth it.
“For any restaurant or small business person, take pride in what you do and it will pay off.”