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March 26th, 2014 ~ Vol. 84 No. 12
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A decade at The RumRunner
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Submitted Photo
The Rum Runner
EZRA BLACK
Pass Herald Reporter
Jody Wood has come a long way from the Motor Hotel in La Ronge, Saskatchewan where the current proprietor of The RumRunner landed her first serving gig.
“It was a dive,” admits Wood. “It was right beside a bar called The Zoo… it was pretty interesting [but] everyone was friendly. That’s probably why I keep serving, even now. I enjoy the customers and talking to people.”
On Saturday March 29, 2014, The RumRunner is throwing an anniversary party to celebrate a decade in business. In a press release, Wood writes the evening will be a reunion for all current and past employees and the customers who have helped build the iconic Coleman venue into what it is today.
Live entertainment for Saturday’s party is being provided by the Coal Creek Boys. Concert tickets to country duo Florida Georgia Line are being given away and there will be complementary champagne and a snack bar.
Wood says the business used to be called Emperor Pic’s after Emilio Picariello, an infamous Italian-Canadian bootlegger and murderer who operated in the Pass.
She says the venue employs a staff of 16, changes its menu twice a year to reflect the change of seasons from summer to winter and offers a lounge for private functions.

Her kitchen manager Tim May and his wife Nikki emigrated to the Pass from England and have been working at The RumRunner for six years. Leon Doucette has been working there since they opened in 2003.
Longtime employee Jody Campbell says The RumRunner must be doing something right because she sees the same customers coming back year after year. She says deep job satisfaction has kept her at The RumRunner for years.
“I get paid to go out,” says Campbell. “I love it. I work with a bunch of great people. To be here for four and a half years has to say something.”
The restaurant business is an important part of the province’s economy, especially for young people. According to the Canadian Restaurant and Food Services Association (CRFA), almost 1 out of 6 Albertans between the ages of 16 and 24 are employed in the industry.
According to a study by Cornell University and the University of Michigan State, running a restaurant is no piece of cake. The restaurants in the study had a typical failure rate of 50 percent over their first three years of operation.
Wood says one of the keys to success is elbow grease.
“The first six years you’ve got to be here every day, sleep here. Eat and breathe your business if you want to succeed,” says Wood. “You have to persevere through it. There will be a lot of good times, but hardships as well.”
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March 26th ~ Vol. 84 No. 12
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