The word “definitely” has only positive connotations. People who are unsure of themselves or wishy-washy in some way, without a plan, do not use that word. Meet Garcia, Ike’s very first employee of the month. He has a plan.
“Definitely since I can remember I’ve always been in the back of the kitchen,” Garcia told me, Relaxed, a smile on his face. He’s happier now at Ike’s.
Garcia worked in restaurants as dishwasher, prep cook and line cook. “I get to meet more people at Ike’s and I like it. It’s nice to get to know a lot of people. A nice change from the back of the house.”
He’s a cannabis user, and his favorite strains “from the store right now” are San Juan’s Green Crack and Island Cush. Also Highwayman from Doc and Yeti.
Garcia found his Ike’s gig through mutual friends. “I was working as a cook at a retirement home and my friend Lucinda went to work at Ike’s, and I followed. Better pay. More fun. Happier people.”
Young and eager at only 21, Garcia is “Our workhorse,” according to Jen from Ike’s. “Any time we need anybody to come and cover anything, Garcia is always there.”
Tourists gravitate toward Ike’s, which means Garcia gets to meet people from all over the world. “A bunch of people from Green Bay came in, before the Seahawks game, and I got to get to know them a bit,” he said. “It was awesome.” His favorite Seahawk? “Definitely Russell. I remember watching him when he got drafted. kept my eye on him from the beginning.”
Garcia cooks at home, for his wife, who was, of course – his high school sweetheart.
He likes making stews. “My wife’s in to pastry so it’s a good fit. I like making stews can you can do it out of anything, things you have around the house.”
You might not be surprised to learn that Garcia has a dog named Scooby, a chihuahua mix. “My wife fell in love with him. Two weeks after we recused him, he already knew how to fetch. He’s really smart”
There’s a future in Ike’s. I asked Garcia if he could imagine being the manager of “Ike’s Honolulu” or a similar scenario. “Definitely. We get people who have gone to other stores and they tell us that Ike’s is one of the best stores. Price wise. The way it looks. People are really friendly who work here, and patient.”
“And everybody walks out looking happy.”