Jennie Wilson

Owner, 11th mile restaurant

I grew up in St. Stephen, New Brunswick, and earned my B.A. and my B.Ed. here in Fredericton at St. Thomas University. I moved out to Toronto in 1999, and pursued a career in education. I completed a M.Ed. at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education in 2004. From 2004-2017, I served as Senior Consultant at Angus Lloyd Associates in mid-town Toronto - a private special education clinic. I had the opportunity to manage a team of teachers, to provide one-on-one special education support, and to train teachers across Ontario.

My husband and I moved home to N.B. in the summer of 2017 to live out our dream of opening a restaurant.

What are you most proud of professionally? 

Currently, I'm overwhelmed with pride about the team at 11th mile. People who come to the restaurant notice the cooperation and camaraderie between the staff members, and it lends a beautiful energy to the space. When we decided to open a restaurant, one of our primary goals was to see if we could create a really positive, open, accepting workspace. We realize that most of us spend more time with our workmates than with our friends from other circles, so it is paramount that work is a place that you want to be.

I'm also proud of my choice to take a chance and pursue a dream.

What's your deepest learning from this past year? How did/will you apply it?

This year, more than any other, I'm learning to 'ride the wave'. Moving home from Toronto to Fredericton to open a business was quite a leap, and there were many aspects that I couldn't control. Running your own business is thrilling and terrifying. I'm learning how to exist in that space of doing my best, having a little faith, and trusting that things are always changing. Knowing that you are able to adapt to those changes makes it all feel ok.

Who's inspired you, directly or indirectly? How have they inspired you?

I've sought out friendships with women who inspire me and help me become a better version of myself, especially with women who excel in their chosen fields.

Jennifer Gittins has been a true inspiration to me. She and her partner own several restaurants in Toronto (Noorden, Little Sister, Bar Batavia). I've watched her succeed in the restaurant game for 15+ years and she is always there for me when I need advice and support.

Victoria Freeman is another close friend of mine, (Vice President, Social Media & Digital, North Strategic). She consistently models for me what it looks like to be unapologetically aggressive in going after what you want. She's offered me valuable professional and personal advice on an on-going basis.

Ashley MacIntyre (Owner, MacIntyre Communications) has supported and inspired me. She is unapologetic, fair, and driven. She helps me out of those 'ummmm, how do I handle this?' situations.

What would you have done differently?

Not a damn thing.

What are the principles you live by?

Peter and I have clearly articulated priorities for work life. We choose to create a work life that melds with our personal life.

Within our business, we prioritize the mental health and well-being of our employees. We attempt to support them in whatever endeavours they choose, whether it be pursuing their own restaurants one day or something outside of our field.

We've been able to achieve a fairly equitable distribution of wealth amongst our employees, a thing which is notoriously difficult amongst tipped staff.

We are motivated by our love for New Brunswick, and our desire to contribute to the province's success. We grew up here, and we know that opportunities can be hard to find. Our goal is to continue to build a strong team and then create opportunities for us all. At the same time, we want to continue to build an innovative and attractive food scene here in Fredericton.


Restaurateur, Mixologist, Teacher, Dog Lover

Jennie Wilson