What is it really like to work with a partner? Jane Walker and Jason Gallagher, both 42, own the Stockbridge Restaurant in Edinburgh and have two children together. They spill all to Family Life, and tell us how they manage to balance their personal and professional lives.
How do you describe what it is you do?
We own and run our small restaurant. Jason is in the kitchen and I am front of house, but we basically do everything in between from the cleaning to the accounts. The restaurant is open for dinner every Tuesday to Sunday and we have it for 12 years. We are really proud of what we have achieved and the fact that it is a small family run establishment. We have built up a really loyal following of regular diners who enjoy the intimate surroundings and personalised service, not to mention Jason’s two AA rosette cooking.
How long have you been together?
We have been together for 16 years.
How did you meet?
We met when we were both working out in Bermuda. I was working as a beauty therapist, which is what I originally trained as and Jason as a chef. It is a small island, with lots of ex-pats and we used to go to the same bars!
Was it a big decision deciding to go into business together?
Looking back it was probably a little naïve. However it is the dream of most chefs to own their own restaurant, so we just jumped in and didn’t think too much. We were very much of the opinion nothing ventured nothing gained!
What are the biggest challenges working together?
Working together, as well as being life partners means you need to separate the two especially when business decisions need to be made. You need to be able to put your personal relationship to one side and treat one another like you would treat another colleague.
What are the best bits?
Working everyday with your best friend.
What about the other person makes them perfect to work with?
Knowing that you can 100% trust each other and when the pressure is on we can rely on each other to perform what we do with full effort.
What are your favourite traits in each other?
Jane: Jason’s ability to rise to the challenge, determined.
Jason: Jane’s attention to detail and sorting out the stuff I don’t want to!
Jane: Jason can be a bit grumpy.
Jason: Pushes me to my limit.
Do you find it hard to switch off and keep your work/life balance?
Our profession and business is a life style choice, we were fully aware of this from the beginning – but yes we have two sons so have to manage a work / life balance somehow.
And last but not least – who wears the trousers?!
Always the women!