Victoria Chef Makes Professional Pivot to Blue Mountain Solutions

It's a year of exciting changes at Blue Mountains Solutions, including the addition of a new team member — one of Victoria's best-known chefs.

Theresa Ito, owner of Blue Mountain Solutions, with Chef Takashi Ito. Photo by Kate Dickinson.

After 40 years in kitchens across Canada — from New Brunswick to Victoria via Ottawa and Calgary — Takashi Ito has moved from his role as the executive chef of Inn at Laurel Point to join Blue Mountain Solutions as a culinary business advisor. 

Working alongside his wife and Blue Mountain Solutions owner Theresa Ito, Chef Ito will be part of a team developing leaders and supporting teams in hospitality and other industries. He will focus on offering culinary business assistance to clients — helping chefs to be more profitable and sustainable in business by developing and implementing efficient systems while helping them keep their work/life balance.

Chef Ito’s move into consulting for Blue Mountain is a welcome change in a year of big transformations across the sector.

“Blue Mountain Solutions had its most successful first quarter in 2020,” says Theresa, “and we had forecasted the best year in its 13 years. However, the pandemic led to everything on the books being postponed or cancelled. It all happened so quickly, for all of us really.”  

While the COVID crisis forced Blue Mountain to press pause in its training and operational support, it did give the team an opportunity to review the business and strategize.

“We immediately started working on some big projects that were on the ‘someday’ list and began developing new content, which has been very exciting,” says Theresa Ito. “The clarity and creativity that comes with space and time is amazing.”

The company also reached out to clients to help support them in making some tough decisions.
“They were so grateful because it is lonely at the top and to be honest we were happy to be useful,” says Theresa, who in early April began presenting weekly Development Sessions for Hospitality Professionals at no cost.

She notes that Chef Ito’s hands-on approach and experience in the industry will allow him to work alongside chefs to assess the situation, develop an action plan and help to implement it. And, she adds, you can expect to see Chef Ito assisting some chefs at special events around Vancouver Island as Blue Mountain bounces back.