Meet the Team: Chantelle Whyte

Chantelle Whyte is Human Resources Manager here at The Creamery. She is also constantly smiling, energetic and the perfect balance between maternal and sassy. We sat down to chat (and laugh a lot!) with her…
IMG_0542The Creamery:  What does being a Human Resources Manager entail?
Chantelle Whyte: My role at The Creamery includes hiring and settling in new staff, implementing and monitoring all human resource policies, payroll reconciliation, and staff scheduling for our two (soon to be three!) cafés, our permanent market stall at the V&A Waterfront, and our weekly stalls at the Neighbourgoods Market and St George’s Mall Earthfair Market.

Scheduling might sound like an easy task, but it actually takes a great deal of thought and care. It’s so important to look at our staff’s strengths, weaknesses, and general personality traits when putting together a shift. You want to combine characteristics and people that compliment one another. If the best combinations of people are working together, then our customers are receiving the best Creamery experience.

I’m also working on introducing an in-house training programme that will look at career development and mentorship for our staff. The more tools our team members have, the more empowered they are.

TC: What skills and characteristics are useful for a Human Resource Manager?
CW: You have to be a people-person because you’re constantly dealing with people. You cannot shy away from conversing with people about personal issues so you also have to be neutral but very approachable. It can be challenging to toe the line between being supportive and available, but also being pragmatic and a problem-solver.

You have to be organised, disciplined and patient. It also helps greatly to be a clear communicator.

TC: What do you enjoy most about being part of Team Creamery?
CW: I love working as part of a small business, which is growing steadily. This means there is room for role growth and versatility, but the company still retains a family feel. That is what makes The Creamery unique – everyone is interlinked, and the management team is supportive regardless of your role (management, administration, café staff, kitchen team, etc.). Everyone gets the same attention and support. With a small business you also have the chance to be exposed to different facets of the business. Even the more administrative roles still end up being creative.

I also love the combination of getting to deal with people AND food. Two of my favourite things! My background was in food manufacturing, so now I get to combine hospitality and manufacturing. It’s a big cookie of goodness!

TC: What is your favourite ice cream flavour?
CW: The first Creamery flavour I ever tried was Rosetta Coffee ice cream. Having gone without coffee for about five years, it wasn’t long until I was hooked on both the Coffee ice cream AND Rosetta coffee itself! Since that first taste, I’ve moved onto a new obsession with Choc Malt paired with Tiramisu – that was my first mix and match flavour combo. But now that Cookie Dough is coming into scoop counters in September, I might have a problem!

TC: I know it’s like choosing a favourite child, but which is your favourite Creamery café?
CW: Each café has a different feel. When I walk into Mouille Point Café, I’m transported to another world – a coastal, quaint town. It’s a hidden gem but once you know where it is, you’re part of that world. I love Newlands Café for its hustling and bustling nature. I love the windows that open out onto the street – it really makes you feel like you’re in a city with a lively café culture. I can imagine The Creamery Cafe at Palmyra Junction will be just as amazing with indoor AND outdoor seating. I can’t wait!

TC: Can you tell us something that not a lot of people know about you?
CW: I was a touring contemporary and ballet dancer with the Cape Academy of Performing Arts. I was one of the first founding members and we toured to the Edinburgh Arts Festival, Grahamstown Arts Festival, and I won the Cape Town Eisteddfod championships. I think that’s part of the reason why I love the hospitality industry – it’s another form of entertaining. I also use dance skills like strength, resilience, and discipline in my work today.
Coffee 1
Thank you, Chantelle!