A small peek into the life of Toronto's Robin Wynne. Bartender, bar manager, rumfest organizer, rum enthusiast and people person.
What made you choose for a career in the bar industry and how long has it been so far?
I've pretty much devoted my life to the hospitality industry. I started as a dishwasher early on in high school and have worked my way up as a chef, through to running multi unit operations in the restaurant and bar trade. I'm currently in my 24th year, I think that makes me a senior in this industry!
I love the industry, it has a strong family aspect to it that's given me many rewards over the years. One of my favourite aspects of the job is that no day is ever the same. Every day you have new challenges, new tasks, fresh new faces coming in and out of your life. I meet so many people from very diverse backgrounds that it's been a blessing to learn from and listen to so many people. Through this, I encounter so many different perspectives on life that it keeps you from being stale when talking about the world we live in.
I'm never bored at work and relish talking to guests as much as i can throughout the day. When they leave, I've hopefully made their day better!
You clearly have a passion for rum. What does rum have over other spirits for you to make it your passion?
It's true, I do love rum. It's more than just a passion, it's become a lifestyle for me. Growing up, I was fascinated with history, geography, biology, science and art. Rum has all of that wrapped up into it.
Most spirits have a young history, maybe only going back 100 years in time, but rum has almost 400 years of history. That's fascinating to me, to see how big a part history is within the rum world.
You cannot have a conversation about rum without a conversation about history, the two go hand in hand.
One thing to understand is that the history of rum is as much about the history of people, who we were and who we've become, and it’s not all good. It's a humbling reminder why today we still have a lot of work to do.
Rum is also a global phenomenon. It's now being produced all over the world, with a lot of diversity, this is fascinating to see. It gives me hope that while we do come from different backgrounds, different ways of life, we can still connect and enjoy what rum is about...family.
How would you describe the current rum scene in Toronto and how could it become bigger and better?