Ashley Sulpher: A love for food, cooking, and helping others

Ashley Sulpher has always been interested in food, cooking, and helping people. That’s what makes her current role as The Grove’s Food Services Supervisor the perfect fit.

“Restaurants were never my thing because I don’t like working late-night hours,” shared Ashley. “At The Grove, I get to combine my love of cooking with my love for helping people.”

Ashley began her ARH career in 2013 and has worked at both The Hospital and Grove in varying positions including cook and dietary aide. This experience has made the move to her current role in July 2021 that much easier.

“It’s been a lot of learning but I’m really enjoying it. Because I’ve seen all the other positions from the other side, I have a good understanding of what’s needed day-to-day.”

One of the best parts of Ashley’s role is that she knows the Food Services Team is making a difference in the residents’ lives.

Ashley Sulpher, The Grove’s Food Services Supervisor, with her two boys.

“Food is the number one thing that residents look forward to every day,” said Ashley, whose team hosts a monthly meeting with residents to understand what they’d like included on the upcoming menus. “They love coming for meals and snacks and checking out what’s going on in the kitchen. It’s really exciting to know that we’re such a big part of their day.”

Transition to the new Grove

Ashley’s transition to her new role coincided with the preparation for the imminent move to the new Grove and the introduction of the new food service plan that has shifted away from the banquet model (food served from steam trays) to the cooks plating the food cold and the dietary aides providing point of service cooking.

“The residents are enjoying the food with this new service plan,” said Ashley. “They get their meal when they arrive in the dining room whereas before they had to wait a period of time before they were served. The quality of food is also better because it’s not sitting in a steam table.”

Ashley and the team have worked out all the kinks of operating out of the new facility and learning the new kitchen technology.

“We’re enjoying it quite a lot. It’s new and the technology is obviously quite better than it was before.”

Leadership growth

Ashley is one of the twelve participants of ARH’s inaugural Emerging Leaders Program that began in November.

“I’m excited to learn. I just started the Food Service Nutrition Management Program as well, and for me, any new information I can get to help me further my development in leadership and management is awesome.”

Cooking at home

Ashley’s focus on food and cooking doesn’t end when she wraps up her workday.

“I go home and cook a lot,” said Ashley. “Both my kids have a rare metabolic disorder, called Phenylketonuria, where their bodies don’t break down protein, so their diets are very specific. You basically have to take everything you know about food and throw it out the window.”

Ashley enjoys taking her 4- and 2-year-old boys on little adventures to the museum or park and spending time at the cottage in the summertime. When Ashley has time to herself, she loves to read and always has multiple books on the go.