LIFE LESSONS: McHugh shares her expertise with a student during a course at the Bars To Go Training Institute.
Highly proficient and incredibly successful in the hospitality industry, Bars To Go boss Patrice McHugh has climbed her way to the top and is determined to play her part in nation-building by giving back. Now president of the 33-member Jamaica Bartending Guild, and Jamaica’s first master mixologist, McHugh dishes to TALLAWAH about her involvement with Project Tourism, a new initiative that seeks to change live by providing job opportunities for some 300 inner-city residents, and why she is overwhelmed by her success.
Why was it important to help bring a project like this to life?
I thought it was important to give persons from the inner-city a chance for upliftment of themselves because some are not able to get jobs and education, so it was a perfect opportunity for them. So when Red Stripe approached me I knew it was great idea, and something I would love to be a part of.
With a great deal of young person set to benefit, are youth issues something your company is passionate about?
It is something I am passionate about and I was very touched by the fact that I would able to help some young people. Because for one thing, I am a product of the inner-city, and I love to give back.
What next do you hope to tackle?
What we’ve been concentrating on is since 2010 is building the training institute and we’ve been getting positive reviews. We are also working hard at elevating the hospitality profession in Jamaica. And for the rest of this year, we hope to expand to the the rest of Caribbean, starting with Trinidad.
Personally, how do you feel about giving back?
It makes me feel good inside because I never thought I would ever be this successful in life to the point where I have been named one of the best mixologists in the world by Don Julio magazine. So it is a bit overwhelming.