Building a hospitality career on the shores of home

An itch for travel and adventure led Nicholas Clements to western Canada, but a love of calm life and beautiful beaches brought him home to PEI.

“I was born in Summerside but raised just outside O’Leary and really just lived that small-town Island lifestyle until I left to study sciences at Dalhousie,” he said, drinking iced coffee at a downtown café.

“Before I finished that degree, though, I decided I wanted to see some different things. I went out to Banff and found work in the restaurant industry. That developed into a thing where I was working winters in Banff during their peak season and in summers I would go to Ossoyoos, B.C. where they had more of a summer tourism season. “

Over seven years, Clements worked his way into management positions in western tourism. But the lure of the East Coast air pulled him back.

“This last Christmas I came home and sort of decided it was time to come back, I wanted to be living on Prince Edward Island,” he said.

“I moved back to the Island, to I work at Claddagh House, waiting tables, shucking oysters – just a variety of jobs. I decided to take a step back from the management side and work in the customer service side of the restaurant business. I’ve been spending this summer enjoying the island on my days off, catching up with friends and just enjoying a quieter pace of life.”

Clements said his time out of the province gave him the perspective to appreciate what he had back at home.

“This was the perfect place to grow up and whenever I was talking to friends out west I’d tell them Prince Edward Island is the perfect place for anyone looking to get married and raise kids. Housing is affordable here, you don’t really have to worry about crime and we have the most beautiful beaches and landscapes.”

Clements said he’s not quite at the “house and family” stage yet, but he knows where he wants to call home.

“I’ll probably further my education, and maybe look at other industries. I can’t say for sure where I’ll be exactly, but it will be right around here.”

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