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June 2013 – Karen Blair

//June 2013 – Karen Blair

June 2013 – Karen Blair

karen jpg

This month our VIP is: Karen Blair.

Thank you for spending some time in between the school run and supervising your restaurant Karen’s Place.

We can all hear that you come from England – whereabouts and what did you do there?

I lived in Bolton, a town near the city of Manchester, that’s the North West area.  I was in the travel industry.

Why did you come to Bucerias?

My father had lived here for years and I visited him on holidays.  I decided to stay for 6 months – that’s now ended up being 20 years!  I did in fact go back to England for a year after that initial 6 months but – just decided to return.  After being involved in sales at Paradise Village, I started working at Mark’s Restaurant here and did that for 5 years.

I opened my restaurant in 1998, initially it was only breakfast and lunch, and Cara Anderson was my pillar of strength and helped me through the tears and hard work.  Then Tim Burnham came to work with me and I learned a lot from him – he had been a chef in California.  So at night we then had a limited 5 item menu.  He was with me, in the kitchen, for 3 years.  Then Esperanza, who used to work at Mark’s, joined me as my head chef.  I am very pleased that all my staff have been with me for years.

I’ve had modifications to the restaurant, moved its location within the Costa Dorada, and in 2010 extended it with the addition of the palapa.  This was not a good time to do this because that’s when we had all the exceptionally heavy rains and the Vallarta bridge was partially knocked out.  The palms for the palapa were brought in from Sayulita but couldn’t because of all those bridges that were washed away.  So the lesson is not to do this again in September!

You’ve done really well with your restaurant, congratulations!  I know you do weddings on the beach, golden wedding anniversaries, outside catering – any particular favourites?

I love the Sorority Beta Sigma Phi fashion show!  Although I can seat 130 people I keep it to a maximum of 100 just to give us all some breathing room  – and all the ladies have such a good time – and so do we!  You’ll see the ladies and the staff jigging away ..and all for a really good cause.

Obviously you have your delightful 2 children here, your Dad and Dresden – have any of the other family members visited?

Yes, my Mum, sister and brother have all come over from England and they all liked it here and had a great time. My Mum really misses me but she can see that I’ve got the restaurant and she is happy for me and she sees that I have a better lifestyle here than in England.

And do you miss England?

No not really.  Of course I miss my family and my friends, but – well just look at the blue skies and the beach and palm trees and ocean…it’s so beautiful here.

I know you don’t have much time off, but when you do – what do you like to do?

I like to spend it with my children.  We go swimming, beach walking, go to the movies.  My son likes to stand up paddle board so we do that a lot, and my princess is a shopper.

You own your own house now in Colonia Dorada, well done, and a lot of involvement with the refurbishment?

Yes.  It’s an old house so there’s always lots to do, but it’s all fun.

Obviously you have had many out of the ordinary experiences in living here – which one most springs to mind?

Well I guess that would have to be …when I was out surfing back in 2002 and got stuck out there due to the tropical storm.  It was scary, but eventually made it back to shore.

Your Spanish is excellent – how did you learn?  And how important is it to learn Spanish?

The best way to learn is to open a business where the staff don’t speak English!  Yes it’s really important, whether you are in business or not – you miss out on a lot of local knowledge.  Just learning a little at a time and practicing every day in every day situations, like going to the supermarket or the hairdresser or the building supply store!

We all appreciate the time you have shared with us today – thank you Karen Blair!

By | 2013-06-03T18:00:17-05:00 May 30th, 2013|VIP Interview|2 Comments

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  1. David Rice June 15, 2013 at 9:41 am

    I have known and loved Karen for almost 10 years and realize that her zest for family and living is what has made her the operator of probably the finest restaurant on our little strip of heaven, and that is all the way from the mountains in the south to the jungle in the north. She has the best staff and they have in deed be with her for years. I am sure every one of her returning customers enjoys the same affection shown me and my friends when we come back home each fall. I have decided to spend most of my time in Bucerias from now on and a lot of that feeling of home is because I know that Karen´s is just around the corner and waiting with open arms.

    • admin June 30, 2013 at 5:53 pm

      Thank you David. Please continue to check our website to see what’s happening, and what’s needed to help happen, etc!

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